Illustration by Jim Madsen
In October 2011, my bishop heard a talk by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about the Spirit of Elijah and the responsibility the youth have to serve through family history. My bishop was inspired by this talk and decided to have the bishopric youth committee watch it in their meeting. He asked the youth what they wanted to do to follow Elder Bednar’s instruction, and they told him they wanted to set up a summer indexing project. Together with the bishop, they set a goal of 50,000 names and invited my whole ward to help with the project.
I was asked by Brother Watts, a member of our bishopric, to serve as an indexing specialist. I accepted, but I had no idea what indexing was or how to do it. I was very confused and just a little bit nervous.
Brother Watts showed me how to use the indexing program on FamilySearch.org. He told me that he was absolutely confident we were going to reach our goal. Even though it was my first official assignment as a young woman, I was determined to learn how to do what I was asked to do by my priesthood leaders, no matter how hard it was.
I soon learned that indexing is part of family history—typing people’s names from records into a database so their family members can find them. I knew this effort was important, and so did my whole ward, especially my bishop.
To serve in this project, I showed many different people how to index and contribute names. By the end of the summer, the youth alone had finished 25,000 names! Before we knew it, we met our goal 100 percent.
I know that every one of my leaders is called of God to serve and direct the Church, and that when I listen to them, I’m not only doing what they ask me to do but also what God asks me to do. When I listen to and follow my leaders, I’m serving too—participating in the work of the priesthood, the work of salvation.