Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 14, 2017
Genealogical bug may bite you once you get started

Editor’s note: “Matters of faith” is a column that provides local religious leaders a place to write about how their respective faiths provide hope, courage and strength in these modern times.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” — Mark 10:9

Mormons believe Jesus spoke those words, recorded in the New Testament, while he taught the higher law of marriage to his disciples on the coasts of Judea.

Among the beliefs that distinguish Mormons from other Christian faiths is families can be united in the eternities.

The doctrine is not entrenched in Biblical scriptures, but rather in modern day revelation. At the heart of the belief is this verse from the last section in the Doctrine and Covenants:

“Foreshadowing the great work to be done in the temples of the Lord in the dispensation of the fulness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the sealing of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming.”

In an effort to move the work of sealing families together forever, a five-hour family history fair is held in Tooele each November. After all, who wants to be smitten with a curse or utterly wasted?

If you have even an inkling of family history or genealogical interest, you will want to circle the morning of Nov. 11 on your calendar. All of the fair’s classes are at the LDS Stake Center, 751 N. 520 East in Tooele.

Since the classes are free and open to all levels of interest, chalk this column up as an unpaid, non-political advertisement.

There are few people in Mormon history more controversial and colorful than Orrin Porter Rockwell. Dr. Michael Rockwell, a direct descendant of Porter, will be the fair’s guest speaker at 8 a.m. He will share stories about the “Destroying Angel of Mormondom” and his adventures in the Wild West — perhaps even some with a Tooele County twist.

Whether you are at step 1-A or have been digging for decades, there are classes at the fair that will interest you. The 50-minute classes are all taught by volunteers and include a wide range of topics.

Topics include basic indexing, becoming a search engine specialist, using available tools, solving DNA puzzles, researching British records, and many others.

There are classes if you have interest in getting started, learning the next research step, or working with Ancestry.com. Hint: It is unnecessary to stay for the entire five hours.

Warning: Once you start snooping around and researching your family history, the genealogical bug will bite you hard.

Hopefully, that will lead you to seek your ancestors and help bring all of us a step closer to Christ and our Father.

Charlie Roberts is a former LDS bishop of the Tooele 6th Ward.

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