What do you know about your family history? How far back have you traced your roots? Have you found what you have in common with ancestors in your family tree? President James E. Faust once said: “In many ways each of us is the sum total of what our ancestors were. The virtues they had may be our virtues, their strengths our strengths, and, in a way, their challenges could be our challenges” (Ensign, Nov. 2003, 53-56).
Family discovery day is an experience designed to help individuals discover more about who they are and where they came from and simultaneously help their ancestors progress on their path to receiving vital saving ordinances. It’s a day to learn, make connections, and celebrate the joy of belonging to a family.
The Following Are Ten Things You Might Not Know about Family Discovery Day
1. You can host your own family discovery day. It’s fun, easy, and rewarding. President Russell M. Nelson described it this way: “When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves. Our inborn yearnings for family connections are fulfilled when we are linked to our ancestors through sacred ordinances of the temple” (Ensign, May 2010, 91-94)
2. The largest family discovery day is held every year in Salt Lake City in conjunction with RootsTech—the largest family history event in the world.
3. Hosting a family discovery day invites the spirit of Elijah. Blessings come as you help provide others the opportunity to be touched by this spirit—a spirit that influences the connecting, healing, sealing, and strengthening of families.
4. Many resources are available to help you organize an event. The most successful events are activity based and are designed to help attendees learn the concept of “Find, Take, Teach,” which—at a family discovery day— translates into finding ancestors' names, preparing those names to be taken to the temple, and then teaching others to do the same.
5. Family discovery day events can be large or small and can be held at any level: stake or district, ward or branch, quorums, various auxiliaries, families, and even in smaller groups.
6. Family history is best done as families, young and old together. All ages are welcome at a family discovery day. Your event can be tailored to suit the needs and interests of the individuals who will attend.
7. Individuals that are new to family history are encouraged to participate. You don’t need to be a family historian to enjoy this experience. We’re all part of a family, and there’s something for everyone.
8. Modern prophets and apostles have promised that specific blessings will come to those who participate in family history and temple work, such as increased faith in the Savior and protection from the influence of the adversary.
9. Have you heard of the “Temple Challenge”? Apostles often present unique challenges to members at the annual Family Discovery Day in Salt Lake City. These challenges bless those who choose to participate and can be incorporated into local family discovery day events. Get involved at #templechallenge.
10. Participating in a family discovery day is a unique way to partner with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in their work of saving and exalting the human family. As you do so, you will feel their love for you and for those you serve.
To learn more about what tools and resources are available and to sign up to hold a family discovery day, visit www.lds.org/hostfair. Remember, every effort you make is worth it. “Family is the center of life. It is the key to eternal happiness.” (L. Tom Perry)