Family History Moment: Promptings Restore 1850 Bible to Original Family Line
Contributed By Sarah Harris, Church News staff writer
“I can’t tell you how deeply I felt Heavenly Father’s help in doing that after she told me how she felt about receiving the Bible. I know that I had help getting that to her.” —RaQuelle Owens
RaQuelle Owens restored an 1850 family Bible to its original family line after she felt compelled to reach out to one of its descendants, Leilani Speck, through ancestry.com.
Owens, a member of the Church who found the Bible while cleaning out a closet at her home in Lakeside, Arizona, said the book was given to her father in about 1975 by a Mr. Speck, one of his real estate employees. Owens kept the Bible for 25 years after her parents died, and this January she felt the need to find a place for it.
She looked up the oldest name written in the Speck family Bible on ancestry.com, researched public member trees associated with the record, and saw that Leilani Speck was LDS and had recently been active on the Ancestry website.
“I just can’t emphasize enough how strongly I felt when I saw her name that she was the one to have it,” Owens said.
Owens sent a message to Speck through ancestry.com, explaining she had the Bible. Speck, a member of the Church in Hurricane, Utah, expressed her interest in seeing the book, and Owens mailed it to her.
That same month, Speck was diagnosed with cancer. She received the family Bible the day after she got out of the hospital following her first surgery. Speck is now cancer free but said the timing of the Bible’s arrival helped her feel close to her ancestors and know she wasn’t alone, even when her closest living family members lived states away.
“It has meant everything to me,” Speck said. “It has been a tremendous source of comfort.”
Knowing how much having the family Bible meant to Speck strengthened Owens and her family spiritually as she shared this story with her children.
“She needed it at that time; she needed to feel that her ancestors knew her—cared about her,” Owens said. “I can’t tell you how deeply I felt Heavenly Father’s help in doing that after she told me how she felt about receiving the Bible. I know that I had help getting that to her.”
Speck said the family Bible has helped her verify important information in her genealogical research, and she is now working toward doing these ancestors’ temple work in the future. She calls receiving the family Bible a miracle.
“I feel like Heavenly Father is definitely involved in this work, and so are our ancestors,” Speck said.