Latter-day Saint Voices

Searching for Ancestors and Finding Truth

By Yuri Siqueira Zanini

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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family history coming alive

Illustration by Truina Dalziel/Lilla Rogers Studio

I was interested in learning about my Italian ancestors, so a few years ago I began researching my genealogy. A day did not go by that I did not do some research to find them. Eventually, I found the birth record of my third great-grandfather from Italy. Finding his record touched me in such a way that I felt I should continue searching for my ancestors.

As I did, I found many ancestors I had never even heard of. I also met a young woman through social media named Ingrid Zanini. We suspected that we might somehow be related because we share the same last name. During our conversation, Ingrid told me that she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She talked to me about the Church, and said she would send me a copy of the Book of Mormon. As soon as the book arrived, I began reading it.

One day at work, a young woman named Erika noticed that I had the Book of Mormon with me. I will never forget the expression on her face—she was so happy and excited. She asked if I was enjoying the book and if I would like to go to church with her and her brother. Two weeks after receiving the Book of Mormon, I attended church for the first time.

The lesson that day in Sunday School was on baptisms for the dead and the importance of family history. I was very interested. I met the missionaries and attended a meeting about family history that afternoon at the stake center. As I investigated the Church, I could feel the presence of my ancestors, and I felt encouraged to learn more.

When the missionaries invited me to be baptized, I paused to think about everything that had happened since I began doing my family history. Being introduced to the gospel and learning about the eternal importance of family history could not have been just a coincidence. I accepted the missionaries’ invitation to be baptized.

I still do family history, and I am grateful to know that my efforts in searching for my ancestors can now bring eternal blessings to them because I found the gospel of Jesus Christ.