With life being what it is, we can sometimes lose sight of our place in the Lord’s kingdom. Sometimes our calling seems so small that it hardly matters at all. If you have ever had those feelings about being a stake indexing director, maybe something I say here will help to change that perception.
Indexing Is Vital
A letter from the First Presidency in early 2012 said, “[Church] members are encouraged to participate in FamilySearch indexing, which is vital to family history and temple work” (First Presidency letter, February 29, 2012; italics added).
That word, “vital,” is an interesting choice. You might think it means “essential” or “important,” which is true, but other meanings include “energetic,” “vigorous,” and “vibrant.”
Indexing energizes family history and makes it vibrant and lively. It can put instant, monumental family discoveries at the fingertips of every person, even if he or she has never participated in family history research before.
Think of all the people who are having heart-turning experiences (see Malachi 4:5–6 and Doctrine and Covenants 2:1–3) when they search and see, many for the first time, actual historic evidence of their ancestors’ lives. Can you remember the thrill you felt the first time you saw an image of a census or marriage record containing the names of your ancestors? Indexing makes this instantly possible for thousands of people around the world every day.
Such heart-turning experiences lead us to want to know more, to actually know our ancestors. For Church members, it motivates us to serve our ancestors in the temple so they can become part of our eternal families. Indexing is largely responsible for providing this spark of desire to want to know more and do more.
Lump of Coal or Shimmering Diamond?
If that were all of the blessings of indexing, it would be enough, but our loving and wise Heavenly Father planned indexing to be one of those “gifts that keeps on giving.” If you’ve been involved in indexing for any length of time, you know what I mean. Even as it blesses those who are searching for their ancestors, indexing blesses the lives of those who give service as indexers and arbitrators and turns their hearts to family and the temple.
Who but our Heavenly Father could have devised such a tremendous gift to bless His children? And the ironic thing is, to those who have never done it, indexing looks like common data entry work. Leave it to our Heavenly Father to disguise a shimmering diamond as an ordinary lump of coal!
So does your work as a stake indexing director matter? You better believe it does! The Lord needs you to help the members of your stake recognize this diamond we call indexing and receive the blessings that it offers.
Indexing is vital. And you are vital to this work. You help peoplehave these experiences. You help lead them to the ordinances of the temple. And in so doing you are helping our Heavenly Father to accomplish His sacred work to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).
May you find joy in your faithful efforts to magnify your important, special calling.
Latest posts by Dennis Brimhall (see all)
- Family Stories Cut to the Heart of Family History - August 7, 2015
- A New Year’s Resolution Worthy of All Acceptation - January 12, 2015
- Making Your Temple Experience More Sacred When You Find and Take Names to the Temple - November 7, 2014