“A Box of Pictures,” Ensign, Oct. 2013, 79
Several years ago my husband and I were dumping a load at the local landfill when I noticed one of the ladies who worked there picking up a box to put into the incinerator. Suddenly the box broke open, and some photographs fell out.
As I watched, I had a strong impression to go and get that box of pictures. I jumped out of the car to help pick up the pictures. The lady and I both felt that the photographs had been thrown out by mistake, and I convinced her to let me take the pictures to try to find someone who would like to have them.
Sifting through the hundreds of photographs in the box, I found an envelope addressed to someone in Warburg, Alberta, Canada. Over the next several years, I wrote a few letters to people with the same last name, but I never got a reply.
After my family got access to the Internet, I discovered that there was a historical society in Warburg. I asked if anyone who worked there recognized the names I had found on the back of the pictures.
One month later we received a call from a man who had been contacted by the historical society. He said his sister lived close to us, and he asked if she could see the pictures. Of course we said yes.
The next day, Floyd and Beth Hawthorn, both Latter-day Saints, came to see the pictures. When I opened the box, Brother Hawthorn said, “Well, there he is,” pointing to the picture on top. It was a picture of Sister Hawthorn’s grandfather.
As they picked up picture after picture, Brother and Sister Hawthorn told us stories about the people in each photograph. The Hawthorns doubted that they were related to the person who had discarded the pictures, and they had no idea why the photographs had ended up at the landfill.
I feel strongly that Heavenly Father helped me return the photographs to the Hawthorn family. I testify that family history work is one of the most important works to be done. If we are willing to do the work, the Lord will help us do it.