“Genealogy Seminar Draws 2,700,” Ensign, Oct. 1973, 89
Nearly 3,000 Latter-day Saint priesthood leaders and genealogy workers from throughout the Church recently gathered at Brigham Young University to promote the “spirit of Elijah,” to be instructed in their responsibilities in priesthood genealogy, and to improve their research skills. At the eighth annual Priesthood Genealogical Research Seminar, sponsored by the Priesthood Genealogy Committee and BYU, they attended classes in every phase of genealogy.
Ways to implement the priesthood genealogy program were explored by participants under the direction of Elder Theodore M. Burton, managing director of the Priesthood Genealogy Committee and an Assistant to the Twelve. Also participating were Elders Howard W. Hunter and Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve.
Highlight of the week-long seminar was a banquet for all participants where President Harold B. Lee told them “not to neglect the living while doing vital work for the dead.” He stressed the importance of the family unit and termed family home evening an important part of Church genealogy work.
Also speaking at the banquet was Dr. James O. Mason, commissioner of Health Services for the Church. Speaking on the influence of heredity, he said:
“Genetics helps us to understand that we indeed are of one flesh and that our heritage and blessings are literally related to our progenitors. Our rights, privileges, and blessings as bearers of the priesthood, subject to our individual worthiness, is through a literal or adopted lineage back to Father Abraham.
“What a tremendous obligation is therefore upon us to be noble and valiant in keeping with our heritage.”
In attendance at the seminar were representatives from 105 of the 139 branch genealogical libraries located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, representatives from 15 areas seeking approval to become branch libraries also attended.