Sunday, February 24, 2008

I will keep my Book of Remembrance

So while Joy's visiting teachers were over, I took some extra gospel study time (after reading in The Book of Mormon and preparing for the next time I teach Friday Forum, probably in April) to type up some quotes I liked into my Inspirational Material file. Tonight I was including quotes about the temple that our temple president gave us last week in church and some notes from a talk Elder L. Tom Perry gave at BYU in 1997.

Elder Perry said:
In 1966 the Church announced a priesthood genealogy program and counseled members in this way:

The family books of remembrance in Latter-day Saint homes today should rate in importance second only to the standard works. These family records are supplements to the scriptures, aiding in teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the posterity of faithful members of the Church. A knowledge of the written testimonies and spiritual experiences of family members and of the proved genealogies of the fathers serves to bind the hearts of the children to their fathers and helps them to understand the doctrines that pertain to the exaltation of the family. . . .

Every faithful family should be diligently compiling a book of remembrance. In it should be found the story of the family, especially the story of its spiritual life, written by inspiration. It should also contain a genealogy of the family so that the children may have an opportunity to acquire knowledge of their fathers. ["Genealogy: The Book of Remembrance," Improvement Era 69, no. 4 (April 1966): 294­95]


As I copied that in, I remembered how a few years back I had really been touched by something President James E. Faust had said about remembering not just dates of birth and death, but stories and who the people really are/were. I decided then that I wanted to get some stories from my grandparents while I still had them and wrote to my grandmothers for their remembrances.

I took inventory tonight of how many ancestors we have testimony/conversion story/other spiritual history material for so that I can start working on compiling a short pamphlet with a little bit of our spiritual heritage in it that we can use in future Family Home Evenings.

I've got me and my parents in an IM conversation somewhere on my computer. Grammy (Dad's mom) was kind enough to write me a fairly detailed account of her childhood, conversion, and life story, including a bit about Derrill One and her parents. Grandma (Mom's mom) wrote Mom once upon a time about her testimony and incidentally some of her parents' as well. Mom thinks she can find a tape with Grandpa's testimony in a radio program he did once. That and some pioneer information is about it for my side.

Joy has a journal her dad wrote to her with some spiritual thoughts in it, and then we went searching through her gigantic Book of Remembrance for information. We have his mother's testimony in poem form and we have Joy's mother's family for two generations back because they've been big family history compilers. We have a whole book just on A.P. Clark and family (grandson of Alma Porter, our common ancestor) and we know the great conversion story for the other side of the family who came over from Holland.

So all in all, I think we've got most of the raw material. It'll be my job to get it into shortened format, translated from handwriting into legible computer, and then preserved. Should be a good project.

And that's wat's on my mind tonight:

Grammy and
Derrill Watson I

Ione and Arthur Watson

Mom's Dad in 1978 and
her family way back when:

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