Missionary Moment: Family History Work Blesses Man 32 Years Later

Contributed By Irene Jeppsen, Church News contributor

  • 29 August 2014

"I know there are no coincidences in missionary and family history work." —Irene Jeppson

Article Highlights

  • Victor had become inactive 18 months after baptism, but not before he had gathered much family history information.
  • Thirty-two years later Victor became reactivated and was able to complete the temple work for his deceased wife and children.

When Victor Morrison walked into church on Father’s Day 2013, he did not know that one of the elders who had taught and baptized him years before was visiting from Utah.

My husband and I were serving in the England Leeds Mission in the Billingham England Stake and living in the Middlesbrough Ward. For some weeks, we had worked with Victor, reteaching the missionary lessons and answering his questions. This was his third time at church.

As my husband visited with Martin and Michele Lee, he realized Elder Martin Lee’s mission to England was about the time Vic was baptized. He acted on that impression and asked Martin if he knew Victor Morrison. When he described what Victor had looked like 32 years ago, the light went on. He and his companion had taught and baptized Victor.

Martin and Vic began skyping when Martin returned home in July. Then the Lees invited Victor to spend Christmas in Utah. On January 2–3, 2014, we met the Lees and Vic at the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, where he received his endowment, and then he baptized two of the Lee children as proxies for his deceased wife and two children. We completed the endowments that evening with my husband, Michele Lee, and me standing in for Victor’s family. The next morning, we all returned for very special sealings with Martin and his son as witnesses.

Eighteen months after Victor's baptism 32 years ago, family and work circumstances had brought about his inactivity. But not before he had gathered much family history information. Today, Vic rides the temple coach hired by the Billingham England Stake to the Preston England Temple and is serving as a savior on Mount Zion for his relatives and ancestors.

I know there are no coincidences in missionary and family history work. The Lees had originally planned to visit England the previous summer. Had they come earlier, they would never have met Vic, and his story would have a much different ending.