There are a million reasons that I love Instagram, but this post isn't actually about all of those. It's really more about Family History. But I found this inspiration on IG, so that's where the blog post title came from.
Last week, I discovered this awesome IG account. They've divided up the Book of Mormon into daily chunks so that readers can finish the whole thing in a year. Awesome challenge. Awesome way to start the year. Awesome inspiration.
Yesterday's reading assignment was 1 Ne 5:7 - 6:6 and there was a great comment about family history…
Here's what the commenter said (her parents are currently serving as Temple Pres and Matron of the Las Vegas Temple and received this instruction during their training with the Quorum of the 12):
"The best way to assure our kids stay on the straight and narrow is twofold.
1. Talk to them about EVERYTHING. ALL THE TIME. AS OFTEN AS THEY WANT TO TALK.
2. Teach them about their family history. Where do they come from? What sacrifices were made to get them where they are today? Why are they an important link in the family chain? What will their righteousness (or unrighteousness) mean to the links in the chain? Don't just make family history about finding names. Make it about bringing their history to life, and letting them see how important they are in holding together the links of the past and the future."
She said that family history has taken on a new level of importance for their family. They get together for FHE once a month with her whole side of the family and Grandma and Grandpa share a personal history moment where they tell stories from their childhood and the grandchildren have a chance to connect with their grandparents in a totally different way.
I love that idea!
Unfortunately my parents are no longer here to connect with my kids, but I certainly have a wealth of their childhood stories that I heard while I was growing up. I don't know that my kids have heard very many of them. Craig's parents have done a lot of family history work and we have access to all of the personal histories from a couple of generations of grandparents, including Moroni Heiner, Craig's great-great-great grandfather on his mom's side. So there are plenty of stories to share with our kids to help them know where they come from.
It's really important for me to not just stress the pioneer heritage of Craig's amazing family, but also to point out the ways that my family blazed trails and laid the little bricks along this path so that we could be exactly where we are right now. They may not have had religious freedom in mind when they came over on boats from Puerto Rico to Hawaii, and they may not have been thinking about getting to the Temple when they traveled across the country from Pennsylvania to California. But they were thinking about providing opportunities for their children and grandchildren, which is exactly what they did for us.
I am immensely grateful for all of the people who came before me, the ones I knew and the ones I did not have the chance to meet, who worked and made sacrifices so that I could have a college education and find the church and have this amazing family. And I'm grateful for Craig's pioneer heritage who crossed plains, served missions and settled in the mountains and valleys of Utah so that a future Church could thrive and grow.
I am so excited for a shift in our upcoming Family Nights and for a new emphasis on all of those amazing people from past generations.