Keep Looking! Find Me Please
Spiritual guidance in LDS family history work
I often feel a great sorrow in my heart for all of the lost children of the world. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to digitize records from the Mesa City Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona.
As I digitized records such as the one depicted above, I was overcome with the feeling that this piece of paper may be the only earthly record for many of these children who died. It is extremely likely that there is no formal death certificate for this baby. Absent some family record, this may be the only record. I could hear them crying out to me and saying, keep looking! find me please.
If we are truly seeking after our dead and listening to the Spirit, we will feel and sometimes hear, these promptings, pleading with us to find our ancestors. Quoting from the The Family, A Proclamation to the World,
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
My personal experiences over the years has shown me without a doubt that this is true and that these promptings of the Spirit come because of this need to have families united eternally. Those who are living in the world of the spirits do not want to be forgotten. President John Taylor, while an Apostle made the following statement in the Tabernacle in Great Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, 11 December 1864, Journal of Discourses, Volume 11, 1867, page 27.
We are preparing ourselves for those mansions, and others are helping to prepare mansions for us who are behind the veil. We shall operate for those who are there, and they for us; for they, without us, cannot be made perfect, nor we without them. We are forming an alliance, a union, a connection, with those that are behind the veil, and they are forming a union and connection with us; and while we are living here, we are preparing to live hereafter, and laying a foundation for this in the celestial kingdom of God.
When we feel the need to seek out to our kindred dead, we need to nurture that feeling by taking action and beginning the work of family history. As we do so, we will receive additional promptings helping us along the way and guiding us with deep feelings that cannot be denied.
Written by James L. Tanner. Used with permission.
Need help finding more records? Try our genealogical records directory with more than 600,000 sources to help you more easily locate the available records.