Hebrews 12:1-3 Amplified Bible
1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also it’s Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
3Just think of Him who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
So, my husband and I have performed vicarious ordinances for our kindred dead. It has been a learning process. Even when we both had received our own endowments, and when we were sealed for time and eternity, the magnitude of this gift, did not register with us. My husband and I, we need a “Dummies” book every now and then. And not to make light, but sometimes just going to the Temple, and for us just learning what it is we were supposed to do, can be daunting.
I would refer to my husband and myself as orphans. And indeed, according to some state laws, we are. Both our parents have passed, gone too soon, so lucky us, no in-laws. We have brothers and sisters, an extended family unit, but not a lot of cohesion. So in 2009 I started to work on our “Family Tree”. It has been a journey in darkness that has finally surfaced into light. Armed with fleeting memories, a few well worn stories, and hardly any names, we started with our closest kin, our moms and dads, even our brothers and our grandparents. We thought, what an accomplishment, we know these people. But then, the memories of their children, our uncles and aunts, and even cousins. Who were these people? Some uncles we knew only by nicknames, others just a fleeting memory of times shared. Who were these people?
We both have cousins who have “the family chest” of pictures and names and memories, but they refuse to share, even refuse to talk about them. As if they were the guardians of their memories. So in my heart, I constantly ask, how can I find a name when I don’t know what it is and then, what about all the other vital info? Who is their mom and dad, etc? The more I participate in these sacred ordinances, the more I can feel a sense of urgency, of a group of people being gathered. What was once a puzzle is now revealing clues and what was once, in-cohesion, has started to order itself. We (finally) performed the sealing ordinance for my husband’s parents and my maternal grandparents. What a long road to that room that day. So many obstacles in our way, most of them self inflicted. Even on the day of the event, we almost talked ourselves out of it. But the blessing in that event was that it was not in vain. The Lord was mindful of us and our presence there and He was mindful of our family. The Sealer spoke a word of prophecy to us; he commented that the Spirit of my husband’s father was there and strong. We could all feel it. He told us that what we were doing was so very important and that we should continue in this good work.
But wait; there is more work to do. My husband has amnesia when it comes to remembering any family data, and I have never met any of his older relatives or even heard their names. He calls them Nana and Pop Pop. (Seriously).
So last Saturday evening, I was checking my emails and of course the green leaf from Ancestry.com was again waving at me. We have clues for you, they said. So I opened the email and two names were waiting for me. My mother and father-in-law. I wondered what else I could glean from those two. I was directed once again to the 1940 United States Census. I saw my mother-in-law's name and then I saw her mom and dad (Nana and Pop Pop) and her brother and sisters. I heard something in my heart like “Well looky there!” So clicked on to her mom and dad and then another group of people showed up, great grandma and grandpa, more aunts and uncles appeared. But wait here was a tender mercy, my husband’s parents were high school sweethearts, and even when they were little kids, they lived on the same street. I really need to do a commercial for Ancestry.com
So I clicked on to my father in-law, and again I was lead to the 1940 U.S. census, and this time, I was introduced to his mom and dad and sister. Who knew? So the in-laws came to visit this past Saturday night. The Lord is ever mindful of his children.