I would say that the Spirit of Elijah and I have only been what I would call “casual acquaintances” the last 20 years or so. I always wanted to feel it like I knew others did. I just – didn’t.
For the last two decades I have devoted Friday mornings to family history work. I just self-taught myself how to stumble around on familysearch.org and ancestry.com and I did what I could. Sometimes I devoted that whole time to just learning, watching videos and reading about how to do the work. Other times I would really buckle down and try to delve deep into the research.
I always felt good while I was doing it. I was, of course, thrilled when I found a family member and took them to the temple. But still, I never really looked forward to Friday mornings and I always watched the clock, to see when I could feel good about stopping. I wouldn’t exactly consider that having a strong relationship with “the Spirit of Elijah”. Casual acquaintances? Yes. Having my heart turned toward my fathers? Not really. I just did it to be obedient.
Things are so different now! Something has completely changed. I feel a 180 turn from where I was – and it is to my ancestors! It is real. It is part of me now. I now feel like I actually have the Spirit of Elijah as a part of me and a part of my testimony.
It’s about time!
Here’s how it happened…
All it took was one lesson in Sunday School. We had a special 5th Sunday presentation on family history work. It was a lesson prepared by the Church, delivered by my good husband, to show us how simple and how important this work is for us.
I’m glad I was in church that day.
My husband gave the lesson as it was outlined, and he handed out booklets called “Find Your Family Names, A First-Time Guide”. Then he outlined the steps to finding our cousins on the descendency view in familysearch.org.
When we came home, I opened that little booklet up. Followed the simple steps….and I was changed forever.
I could actually do this!
It seems the Lord has provided a way to make taking an ancestor to the temple so easy, a child could do it.
I really couldn’t believe it was this easy!
That first day I sat down and followed the simple steps, I probably found 50 people who were ready to have their ordinances performed! 50!! Before, on my Friday adventures, I would feel good if I found 1! And my line has supposedly all been done?
But it didn’t stop there. This was so easy, and fun, and I was submitting so many names for temple work, that I couldn’t stop! I didn’t want to leave anybody out who had a little green temple next to their name! I started sitting down for just a few minutes at a time, and every time I did – I found someone – or 9! or 50!
Seriously, on average, after just 1 or 2 minutes – I found someone who was ready for the temple.
I had the “Descendency View” in running/searching while I boiled the potatoes. I checked the search during commercials as I watched an evening TV show. No longer was I almost dreading this work on Friday mornings, but now I was searching for times I could find just one more ancestor!
I still reserve my Friday mornings for more in-depth research, merging duplicates and fixing data problems, but now it’s different. I’m different. The Lord has helped me discover the true blessings of family history work, and I am so grateful.
I feel like I am finally friends with Elijah.
To learn more about using the descendency view to locate ancestors who are ready for temple ordinances, click here. Or watch:
“This restoration was accompanied by what is sometimes called the Spirit of Elijah—a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family” (Russell M. Nelson, (“A New Harvest Time,” Ensign, May 1998, 34).
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