Sunday, December 30, 2012

Re: Why I'm Starting a Blog.

Let me share an experience I had while I was in the Carolina's for Grandpa Garner's funeral. At Grandpa's viewing and funeral service, all the extended family members and my mom and her siblings had unique perspectives of Grandpa. They shared several family stories that I had never heard before, and I knew that I might never hear them again. I doubt that my siblings/cousins knew any of them, and it would be just a matter of time before all this information was lost. If only I could write these experiences down! But the stories were coming out so quickly and I didn't have a pen and paper on hand. Pretty soon, my mind was a big jumble of names and dates, and I couldn't keep straight who was connected to who. My brain felt like a tangled up ball of yarn with a couple of loose ends sticking out...but the task of unknotting the whole mess was daunting, to say the least.

I started thinking, "There's too much information to manage. It's a herculean task to collect and share all the names, dates, stories, photos of my family. And you just go back one generation and the amount of information explodes! And then you try including family that married into my tree and their kids/ancestors. It's impossible!" I was discouraged to say the least. I felt like throwing up my arms and saying "never mind, I can't do this. It's too much."

While driving with my Mom, she read out loud a chapter from the Book of Mormon. The words she read from Jacob 4 were exactly what I needed to hear.
1 Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain; 
2. But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers- 
3 Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents.
This undertaking, to record the stories of my fathers, is difficult. But if it doesn't happen, their stories will perish and vanish. I can write only a few of their words, giving future generations just a small degree of knowledge. But in this I can rejoice, and so I must labor diligently to accomplish this. We don't like to be neglected, and neither do our ancestors. It is really an act of charity to learn about them, to say "you are important, you are loved, and you are not forgotten."



1voice said...

Thank you for capturing that moment in the car, Bryan. It was a special one -crystallizing both the love we have for our family members, living and dead, and witnessing, once again, that the Book of Mormon is full of REAL people whose words were meant to counsel and guide us today.

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