RootsTech 2015: Family History Is Like Climbing a Ladder

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 4 March 2015

Elder Enrique R. Falabella walks to the top of a staircase to demonstrate how the blessings of family history research are often realized after much work. The presentation was delivered in Spanish at the 2015 Family Discovery Day.

Article Highlights

  • 1. Find your ancestors.
  • 2. Take the names to the temple.
  • 3. Teach others.

“Claiming blessings is like climbing a ladder—you have to climb the ladder to receive them.” —Elder Enrique R. Falabella of the Seventy 

Family history research can yield rich blessings—but those blessings are typically received after members accept personal accountability and get to work.

That was the message shared by Elder Enrique R. Falabella of the Seventy in a Spanish language session at the recent Family Discovery Day.

Elder Falabella recounted a sparsely attended stake conference in Guatemala he attended several years ago with Elder Gene R. Cook. The visiting General Authority prophesied that in six months the local conference would reconvene and would require two sessions to accommodate the large crowds of people.

After leaving the conference, Elder Cook told young Enrique that he and the other local leaders would be accountable for fulfilling that prophecy. The leaders accepted accountability, worked together, and did all they could to increase activity in the stake.

Six months passed and, as prophesied, the stake conference was filled to capacity—in both sessions.

Elder Falabella said that experience taught him a vital lesson: blessings often follow diligent labor.

“Claiming blessings is like climbing a ladder—you have to climb the ladder to receive them,” he said. And so it is with family history research.

The Church leader encouraged the audience to take three key steps up the “ladder.”

1. Find your ancestors.

Start by collecting the names and records of living relatives, and then gather those records of ancestors who have died, he said. Then add that information to FamilySearch and begin the indexing process.

2. Take the names to the temple.

Become worthy to enter the temple. Then take the names of ancestors to the temple and perform sacred ordinances on their behalf.

“You will feel a greater connection with those on the other side of the veil,” he said. “It is a great spiritual experience to connect with your ancestors.”

3. Teach others.

Share the joy of family history and temple work with family and friends.

“We have to be willing to help other people,” he said.

By taking those three steps, members become worthy to receive precious blessings, promised Elder Falabella. Modern-day prophets and apostles have declared that faithful family history and temple work will yield blessings in “all aspects of life.” Such blessings include increased faith in Christ, a better understanding of eternal life, stronger ties to ancestors and living relatives, and an increased ability to withstand temptation.

“It is your job to climb the ladder,” he said. “Blessings are waiting.”