Everything. We identify ourselves with two simple words and it may seem insignificant but those two simple words represent our person and our family. Our family trees are made up of names and dates that represent people who have physically and mentally contributed to who we are. These names and dates are frequently the only things we know about our forefathers. A name represents a person. And a date gives us the context. But there is so much more to know than just a name.
The other day I had a dream that was very significant to me. I have had a few dreams in my life that mean more to me than just random subconscious cycling of images and memories, and they have offered comfort, direction and inspiration. In this dream I was sitting with my mother who died a few years ago and I asked her to tell me about Thomas Stirland and Rosina Schenck. At this request she smiled gently and became very nostalgic as she began to tell me about them. When I awoke from the dream I remembered distinctly the two names but nothing of what my mother had told me or even if she had told me anything. I recognized the names but I had no idea who they were exactly or if they were even a couple. These two names just kept running through my head. I thought nothing of it as I went about my day until the kids were napping and I sat down at the computer to check my email. Their names came to my mind again and I searched on new.familysearch.org and found out that they were, in fact, a couple and that they were my mother’s great-grandparents. I was intrigued, to say the least, and began researching them and emailing and calling family members to find out more about them.
I am not exactly sure what I am supposed to do for these people but I am in the process of finding out more than just their names and birth dates because I know there is more to them than that.
This dream really motivated me to delve into my family’s past and get to know my ancestors. Because of this experience I have learned several very interesting tidbits of information about various members in my family tree.
I know that each individual that has walked this earth is a child of God and that He loves and cares for each of them. “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10) I am filled with a desire to know more about my ancestors than just their names.
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