Blessed by Indexing
Rachele J., Utah, USA
I was first introduced to FamilySearch indexing (see page 42) in one of my mom’s Relief Society meetings. I didn’t really understand what it was, but I thought it would be a terrific way to pass off a value project in my Personal Progress booklet. Luckily, my neighbor was able to help me get started.
At first, it was just about getting the 10 hours done. Little did I know that it would be so much more than that. It was so cool to see how old these records were and just have the feeling of helping people find their family history. Now, when I go to the temple, I get an even more powerful feeling than I did before. It makes me feel happy inside.
Indexing also affected my family. My father works in the Church’s Family History Department. When he saw me doing indexing, I could see a spark of excitement go through him. I learned more about his work, and we spent quality time together. Later, I taught my mom how to index and helped with workshops for ward members. After I had finished my 10-hour value project, I found myself still indexing. In about two and a half months, I was able to get over a thousand records done.
Indexing is such a great way to spend my extra time. Instead of doing things for myself, I am doing it for others. It helps the temple workers have names for baptisms for the dead. And it also builds the database that helps people find their ancestors and the significant dates in their lives.
Indexing is a great activity for everyone to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re 13, 18, or 56—every little bit of help counts.
Staying on My Knees
Alex N., Colorado, USA
I decided it was finally time to read the many talks and scriptures our priesthood quorum leaders had asked us to read before camp. Glancing over all the material without much enthusiasm, I saw an article on repentance.
To a 15-year-old boy, the article was not particularly awe-inspiring. It seemed to simply reinforce what I heard in Sunday School on a regular basis. However, it was while reading the message that I realized I never really prayed with the kind of conviction described in the passage. I got off my bed where I had been reading, closed my door, knelt, and began to pray. I figured that I would lose nothing in the attempt.
Although my prayer began as somewhat of a rehearsed statement, I decided to stay on my knees until I felt like I had poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father. The longer I prayed, the more sincere my outpourings became. And when I was finished, I knew I had a Father who listened and cared, and I knew I had a purpose on this earth. For the first time in my life, I thought I had truly become a convert to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When the pressures of life become overwhelming, I think of those few minutes when I felt so connected to my Father in Heaven. I can still feel that same closeness when I devote myself to prayer, go to the temple, and especially when I perform service in His name. I love this gospel of Jesus Christ.
Using the Hymnbook
Chastmier O., Nigeria
Music has always played an important role in my life. I enjoyed music as a child, listening to all sorts of music without even necessarily paying attention to the lyrics. As I have grown in the gospel, I have come to realize the sacred nature of the hymnbook.
The hymns found in the hymnbook have brought me peace many times and have helped me draw closer to my Heavenly Father. Whenever I am faced with a troubling situation, I sing a hymn. If friends lose a loved one, sometimes I sing to them or refer them to a hymn. As I conduct hymns in sacrament meeting, I feel reverent, and the Spirit reminds me of my baptismal covenants and my desire to honor them.
I also like to ponder the words of the hymns. My scriptures are filled with marked verses of quotations found in these wonderful hymns. When I give a talk or prepare a lesson, I quote a hymn. When people ask me to refer them to a particular quote from the talk, I often tell them it is from my Church hymnbook. Some of these instances have led to opportunities to share the gospel.
Most important, the hymns have helped me and my family grow stronger in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The lyrics have given me hope, strengthened my faith in the gospel, and helped me “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3) for the past 18 years. Our wonderful hymnbook is indeed special to me, and it always will be, because I know that we can sing these hymns as a prayer of the righteous unto our Father in Heaven (see D&C 25:12).