"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
January 31, 2016
A Voice from the Valley of Decision
by Kathryn Grant

Some years ago BYU hosted a "Last Lecture" series where speakers were invited to give a message as if it were their last chance to do so. I feel a little like that now, as I write my last Nauvoo Times article: in light of our focus on family history in this column over the last year, what is the most important thing I could leave with you?

As I ponder this question, a stirring scene comes to mind from the visions of Joel in the Old Testament. In the latter days he saw "multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near."

I believe we are part of the multitudes Joel saw. The day of the Lord draws near. So these are the final words I want to share: Make a prayerful decision about how you will be consistently and diligently involved in family history and temple work.

Your involvement will likely change over time, and that's to be expected--but make a decision to do something starting now. Will you devote a certain amount of time each Sunday to family history work? Will you start sorting through that box of family history papers you got from your mom or uncle? Will you take a class? Will you make a goal for regular temple attendance?

Decide now how you'll be involved. It's never too early and it's never too late. Start where you are. Find encouragement in these words of Elder Dallin H. Oaks:

In the work of redeeming the dead there are many tasks to be performed…. All members should participate by prayerfully selecting those ways that fit their personal circumstances at a particular time. This should be done under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord and with the guidance of priesthood leaders who issue calls and direct the Church-administered portions of this work.

Our effort is not to compel everyone to do everything, but to encourage everyone to do something. ("Family History: 'In Wisdom and in Order'," Ensign, June 1989.)

Will you face challenges as you follow through on your decision? Of course. But you can overcome these challenges with the Lord's help and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

The blessings that come from family history and temple work are too precious to be without, especially as the world grows more wicked before the Savior's return. These blessings include increased faith in Jesus Christ, greater testimony and conversion, spiritual protection from the adversary and evil, a more meaningful temple experience, and help from our loved ones beyond the veil. (See "Blessings of Family History for the Living" and "The Promised Blessings of Family History" on LDS.org.)

Decide now to bring these blessings into your life. Decide now to help your ancestors by doing something for them that they cannot do for themselves.

Decide now.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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