Last week I discussed our need as LDS singles to make conscious choices to nourish ourselves. We need to fortify ourselves against the storms of life that will surely beat upon us — and not because we’re single (although being single in a family-centered culture is its own special trial) but because we’re eternal beings having a mortal experience.
I discussed in some detail the four aspects of ourselves (the spirit, the heart, the mind, and the body) requiring nourishment. For some reason, the idea of nourishing our heart through family history work impresses me particularly. Maybe it’s just the idea I should be nourishing my heart this way.
I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I need to do more in that area. That’s pretty easy to say about anything, though, true as it may be.
Maybe it’s because this time of year I normally have a trip with my dad. That annual tradition we started not that long ago petered out this year. That meant we didn’t get to spend the quality time together we anticipated.
Maybe it’s because RootsTech 2016 just took place last week, and I didn’t get to go. Missing that annual jaunt to the hive nest of Mormondom wouldn’t be so disappointing if it weren’t for what I would be missing with it. Attending the largest family history conference in the world fills the air with a certain excitement. And the presentations in the past have been outstanding. One of them gave birth to Joy In The Journey Radio.
Seeking quality time
RootsTech has traditionally offered a wide spread of session offerings to cater to many family-history-related interests, providing my father and I with some quality father-son time. We have some overlapping interests but many diverse interests.
So we would share our lists of the sessions we wanted to attend. Often only one of us would attend a session interesting us both in order to allow the other to attend another session. We would then swap notes later in the evening while partaking of the downtown Salt Lake dining scene.
That’s part of the excitement I missed this year. I’ve always believed that family history, a work done for families, should be done by families. Attending RootsTech with my dad and engaging in discussions resulting from the presentations we each saw made being a part of that work more alive to me. And just having that time with my dad made it all the more special.
Missing the tradition
RootsTech 2016 happened, but not for my dad and I. We ended up not going this year. Looking at the offerings, I didn’t feel any special pull to attend the sessions. Many of their offerings seemed pared down in comparison with past years.
I also knew my mother (who no longer drives) would be more likely to let my dad go if I were to stay home with her in case she needed anything. So I volunteered to stay home. It was just as well because I had tons of work I ended up taking vacation in order to complete.
But the final word from my mother didn’t allow my father to go out of town and leave her. So my dad didn’t get to go either. I thought perhaps we might watch some of the sessions online. RootsTech broadcasts parts of the conference via live streaming on their website. I didn’t get to watch anything, though, as I had too much work calling my name.
Following the promptings
Replaying these memories, I realize what’s working inside of me. Partly it’s a longing for the anticipated yet absent quality time with my dad. I need to make some arrangements to do something else with my dad to compensate.
But it’s also the spirit of Elijah. For some reason, I need to increase my participation in this work. The Lord has promised added protective power to those who participate in this work, and perhaps this is why I’m prompted in this direction. It could very well be something else. I don’t know. And I don’t have to know to follow the promptings.
Family history work is for everyone. We LDS singles should be a part of this work. However the Spirit prompts you to participate, follow those promptings. The Lord is trying to bless us, and as we follow the promptings He provides, we can have joy in our journey regardless of our circumstances.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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