Last evening the Valley Forge 1st ward Young Women's and Primary organizations met to participate in a family history activity sponsored by the Relief Society. The activity was very well attended, with great representation from all the auxiliaries.
Kim Wilson started the evening off with a lesson on how to begin your family tree, with a special presentation by Ana Wilson (Primary) on the "My Family" booklet available for download, purchase, and for completing online at the www.familysearch.org/campaign/myfamily website. In addition, Sr. Wilson directed us to a quote about family history from Elder David A Bednar's October 2011 conference talk (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-hearts-of-the-children-shall-turn?lang=eng&query=david+bednar+family+history)
"And I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives."
Emma Behunin of the Young Women's organization gave a wonderful talk about the blessings of baptism for the dead and expressed gratitude for her opportunity to participate in this special temple ordinance for those who have gone on before.
Marie Tiller gave a mini-lesson on how to perform research to identify relatives to include on a family tree. Information was given on the new arrangement with Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com to provide free access for members of the LDS church; how to use the Family History stake library; paleography; and how to use internet searches to look for relatives without falling into a 'rabbit hole' and spending hours watching videos of cats (not that there's any thing wrong with watching cats dressed in shark costumes riding around on a Roomba; cats teasing dogs; cats swimming; talking cats . . . we're not judging anyone here). Lots of interesting questions were asked, and some of them were even answered.
Following the activity, everyone descended on refreshments of strawberries, crackers and cheese, and blueberries covered in (unfortunately) dark chocolate. Everyone knows that milk chocolate is far better.
The evening was filled with learning, laughter, and love, and provided a great kickoff for the stake's "Hearts Knit Together" initiative.