More Than a Name


As I sat in the temple, I studied the name on the family file card that my mother had given me. It was the name of one of her ancestors, Catharina Hansdotter, born in 1781 in Malmohus, Sweden.

I glanced around the room, and a lovely young woman caught my eye. She seemed to be glowing with joy. She gazed around the beautiful room with wide, sparkling eyes, eager to take it all in. Apparently, this was her first time in the temple of the Lord, and she was savoring every minute of it.

I smiled to myself. Her sweet happiness reminded me of my first time in the temple several years earlier. What joy I had felt entering that holy place!

I then looked at the card in my hand and thought of Catharina Hansdotter. Suddenly, I was impressed that she too was eagerly anticipating what would happen here. How long she had waited for this day! How happy I was to help her partake of the blessings of the temple, and I wanted to represent her well.

At the end of the session, the lovely young woman I had noticed earlier was called to the front of the room. Her name sounded familiar to me. I glanced down at my card again and caught my breath. The name of this young woman, Catherine Hanson, was the modern English equivalent of the name on my family file card, Catharina Hansdotter.

This sweet coincidence deepened the impression that, like the young woman who shared her name, Catharina Hansdotter was not just a name on a card. She was a real person who was rejoicing in the temple of the Lord.

[photo] Photography by Craig Dimond