'Think Celestial, Thank Celestially: Showing Gratitude to Our Ancestors through the Power of Family Roots'

'Think Celestial, Thank Celestially: Showing Gratitude to Our Ancestors through the Power of Family Roots'

Have you ever wondered about the very beginnings of your family roots, the traditions that fostered your beliefs, or the rich stories that define your family heritage? In an amazing age of new technological improvements and expanded data connections, the passion for ancestral knowledge has seen an extraordinary surge in recent years. People are not only searching for answers about their relatives of the past but are also discovering incredible answers to their questions and sense of purpose and connection in the process.

In his October 2023 General Conference address, President Russell M. Nelson, beloved prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in his 100th year emphasized the concept of 'Think Celestial,' encouraging individuals to explore their roots, connect with their ancestors, and understand their divine heritage. This eternal concept is not just about tracing one's family tree but learning and remembering that our connection to our forebears is a spiritual one, rooted in love and unity.

This push and desire to trace one's family history is not a mere fad. It's a powerful impulse which has taken roots in a big way over the past two to three decades, connecting people across continents, transcending time and location. In Barbados, there’s been an equally growing number of family history enthusiasts who have begun their genealogical journeys and discovered some interesting stories and profound connections to their past family members.

There are many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Caribbean area (numbers, wards, stakes would be good here), who volunteer their help with Family Search and other genealogical activities, embracing the importance of understanding their roots. They understand the scriptural truth that 'the hearts of the fathers (and mothers) are turning to their posterity.'

FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plays a pivotal role in its operations. Over 6.1 billion records have been indexed by volunteers, including many from the Church, resulting in more than 134 million users worldwide. The Church's extensive Family History Library is renowned for its genealogical resources, reflecting its deep commitment to family history research.

This attraction, thanks to the new helpful resources, to finding your ancestry is irresistible. Family Search, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and various other genealogical providers are helping the public take action toward the magnetic appeal many of us feel toward our forbearers. Our ancestors' stories become our stories, their triumphs and trials shaping our character.

As President Nelson pointed out, “…this deep connection with our roots is not just a personal endeavor; it's a spiritual one. It's about turning our hearts to our families, living and deceased, and finding the sacred ties that bind us”.

This sense of “Where I came from” is a strong yearning for most individuals and searching one’s roots seems to help to begin to address that desire to embark on your journey of discovery. Interested parties can explore the links to FamilySearch, Ancestry, and MyHeritage, and dive into the wealth of information that connects you to your past, your legacy. In doing so, you will not only “think celestial” but will also find profound reasons to thank celestially, as you uncover the power and purpose of your family roots. As you embrace this opportunity to connect with your ancestors, you may find greater meaning in your own life.