Don’t be fooled! This lesson plan can be a real challenge. I think that more often than not, an almost automated response to this lesson is to ask whoever is serving as the ward or branch genealogy specialist to teach this lesson. And likely, this person will be a genealogy bug and will swirl rings of testimony about how “easy” doing the admin side of genealogy is, topped with a dose or two of guilt for not doing the work, thereby paining us with reminders of our duty to those who have gone before us.
So. To be clear, I want to do more genealogy and family line temple work because I have a testimony of it. But I have deep empathy (and experience!) in not feeling motivated to do the work because of raw and aching relationships with genetically or legally “close” family members whom either I, or they, do not seek an ongoing familial relationship now— much less in the eternities. It seems I am not alone in this feeling. (plus, I thought the intro in the lesson seemed a bit pompous. I think that Joseph Fielding Smith’s story was never intended to be pompous—but rather a revelling in the miraculous. But still. The story did not address the real issue of apathy or even hurt in regard to dealing with the closeted skeletons of family history and temple work.) Therefore, as I am wont to do, I re-angle the lesson for those of us (ME) who have family issues.Read More