I have been thinking about RootsTech this week because our stake is had a family history fair last Saturday. Rock volunteered in one of the booths for a little bit. He was asked to be youth family history consultant and has taken this assignment quite seriously. Well as seriously as a pre-teen can take anything. So I decided to finish up this post from my RootsTech series.
The last and final day of RootsTech was also the FamilyDiscovery Day, specifically organized for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can watch all talks here. The amount of people that participated in addition to the regular RootsTech participants was staggering. I had great seats and only a minor casualty of a broken camera lens. I had also forgotten to charge my phone so photos are limited.
Al Fox Carraway was the first speaker and this is the first time I had heard her speak. She did not disappoint. It was beautiful inspiring and poignant. (Her talk is not yet available to view, but it says coming soon so be on a look out.) Her conversion story, estrangement from her family, is heart-wrenching and inspiring. She has experienced really hard things and yet she is filled with great love, hope and peace. A few things I want to remember:
- After meeting the missionaries, "“I didn’t want the gospel to be true, at all — not even a sliver of it, because if it was true, I would have to change.”
- After making the decision to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost she said, “I physically felt that gift. The contrast is huge. The difference is real. I finally had a true and lasting happiness.”
- "Every day I had to make the decision to put God first...I just wanted people to know that I was trying. I had a major decision. And that was to choose to get mad, choose to get bothered or offended, or choose to not. It was choose to keep going, choose to have faith, or not. What it came down to, and what it will come down to every single time, is choose God.”
- “Hard times will consistently be there, but so will Christ. Do not let giving up be an option.”
- “What you are involved in is real. This is the greatest thing you could ever be a part of. And I love that. Forget not why you are here. Forget not what you should be striving toward.”
- The heartache she experience and shared on stage, but also in the sofa chat (see this post) as a result of the hurtful things people have said to her because of her appearance (the tattoos specifically) broke my heart. Another reminder to see people's hearts.
Nicole Pikus Pace is next to speak (her talk is not yet available). I didn't know anything about her before she came on stage so I had no prejudices and her speech was inspiring. She is very goal oriented and driven, asking "What am I will to sacrifice?" She encouraged us to be intentional with our habits and practices. The main theme of her talk was about the three areas of ancestry: the past, the present, the future. A few quotes I want to remember:
- “I want to stress the importance of today. Each of us have stories to tell. We each have stories of laughter and sadness, ups and downs, tragedy and triumph. We have each had experiences, big and small, that have shaped us into who we are today, but if they don’t get written down, who will ever know about them? Who will ever learn and grow from them?”
- After telling a story about her ancestors she said, “But if they have never been written down,” she said, “who will know about them? Who will ever learn and grow from them?”
- “Make the necessary changes today to improve your habits for your life and for your tomorrow." She talked about what our personal progress is and how it's not too late to become the best person possible and that our habits shape who we will become.
- "Who you are today and who you are becoming shapes not only your future but the future of your posterity, those related to you and those who are simply acquainted with you. Ancestry is tied together by the future, the past, and the present.”
Seeing one of my favorite journaling quotes by President Kimball on enormous screens:
"Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there. … Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available. … What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity. … Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your going and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events. ... This is what the Lord has commanded and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance their daily lives." ( President Spencer W. Kimball, "The Angels May Quote from It", New Era, Oct. 1975)
“Just like climbing a mountain, this work requires stamina, patience and diligence. As with anything important, there will be discouragement, disappointment and setbacks but there will be glimpses of eternity never before imagined. As you do your best, you will feel your abilities grow and your desire to advance this work will increase.”
As I contemplated what to quote or what I loved best it would be too hard. There was so much to love and so much to think about. I knew that the majority of the next few talks would be recorded and that I would be able to go back and study their words so I stopped taking notes. My phone was dying, I was getting tired and I just wanted to enjoy so there is very little from the next few hours of RootsTech.
A few of the talks do not have transcripts and I've had a hard time finding time to watch everything again. So yesterday I finally decided that I would make my own transcripts and share them in case you are like me and want the written quotes. I didn't include everything from all the talks, but almost. I have learned that transcribing is not a job I am good at or enjoy. So please excuse the myriad of mistakes that you will most likely find. I have watched the talks several times and tried to be as accurate as possible.
You can watch this session featuring Elder Bradley Foster, Sister Linda K. Burton, Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Sister Carol McConkie, Sister Neill Marriott here. There is so much to love about the words of wisdom they offered. I'm so inspired to incorporate more family history into our lives.... more about that to come.
You can also watch:
What an amazing weekend! I was inspired in ways I never anticipated. I never considered myself an genealogist and technically I'm not, but I am a family historian and my small efforts are linking generations.
You can find more about my RootsTech series: