Fortify Your Home: Plan Tangible Activities

August 29, 2017  - by 
Focus one day a week on family history to form lifelong habits.

Many of us already appreciate our ancestors and have a basic knowledge of their stories. But that connection can become stronger and more profound as we make family history a part of our daily lives. In a 2011 talk, Elder David A. Bednar promised that by doing family history, “your love and gratitude for your ancestors will increase.” You don’t have to dedicate hours of your time each day to receive that promised blessing. There are simple ways to make family history fit into the routines you’ve already established for your family.

Discover How Family History Fits Your Routines

Every family is different, and an approach that works well for one family might not be right for yours. Try a few different ideas, and see what fits your schedules and routines. If you need to, don’t hesitate to adapt these suggestions for your family’s specific needs.

  • Choose one day each week to focus on your ancestors and their stories. It could be part of your Sunday activities or a designated time during the week. Over time, it will become a habit that helps you keep the spirit of family history in your home.
  • Find stories on under the Memories tab, and read them together as a family. FamilySearch Memories can be a great source of information about your ancestors and their lives.
  • If your Memories tab is looking a little empty, try asking your oldest living relatives to share some of their favorite family stories. Reach out to your great-grandparents, a great aunt, or even family friends, and record their stories to upload to your ancestors’ FamilySearch profiles.
  • Make family history a part of your next family road trip. Before you hit the road, check if you will be passing towns where some of your ancestors were buried. Visit the cemeteries as part of your trip, and take a few minutes to find your ancestors’ headstones.

Savor Your Family History

There are so many ways to incorporate family history into our lives, even in a simple conversation over breakfast. I have ancestors from Scotland, Alexander Hill and his wife Elizabeth. In return for his service in the Scottish navy, Alexander was given land in Canada. He moved his entire family from Scotland to Canada, where they became maple syrup farmers. Now in the morning whenever we have pancakes, we talk about Grandma and Grandpa Hill and their maple syrup, and we love sharing their stories. I’m so thankful that these stories have been shared, but not only shared—preserved. As Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Seventy observed, “Family histories, family traditions, and family ties help us savor remembrance of things past while providing future patterns and hope” (“Always Remember Him,” Ensign, May 2016, 108).

Find ways to enjoy doing family history work.

These tips were presented by Risa Baker during a class titled “Grandma’s Syrup: Fortifying Your Home with Family History,” at the 2017 RootsTech family history conference.

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