Turning Hearts

Youth and Family History Come Together

By Sally Johnson Odekirk

Church Magazines

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Teach youth the basics and watch them grow.

When Westyn D., 17, of Utah, USA, attended a youth family history conference at Brigham Young University, he became excited about family history. He says, “When I was called as a ward family history consultant, I decided I needed to learn how to do it myself before I could teach others. It’s a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Even though it is hard work at times, I can really get in touch with my ancestors.”

Family history conference director Hannah Allan explains, “Family history is so personal that we wanted the youth to learn more about their own families. They have become excited about their families’ stories. They want to learn to do something worthwhile and eternal.”

Youth are following the direction of Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to “find, take, and teach”: find family names, take those names to the temple, and teach others to do likewise.1

Finding Names and Stories

Emily M., 16, from Florida, USA, says, “When I go through tough times, I think of my ancestors and what they went through. They are my heroes, and their stories inspire me. If they can do really hard things like going across the plains, then I can go through my trials.”

Taking Names to the Temple

Taking family names to the temple deepens ties to our ancestors. During a testimony meeting, one young man said, “Many of our ancestors had to work hard to provide for their families in ways that we don’t have to. Since we have the time and technology available to us, we can do the temple work for them that they couldn’t do for themselves.”

Teaching Others

Brooklyn T., 14, of Utah, a stake family history specialist, says, “It’s been fun getting to know other people through family history. The people I’ve taught have been excited to learn about their ancestors—where they came from, what their jobs were—and look at their photos so they can see family resemblances. It’s exciting to see how others connect with their ancestors.”

As the youth have learned to “find, take, and teach,” they have come to understand the promise found in Malachi 4:5–6:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.”

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