05 February 2013

These are issues that effect our families, our history, and us

In a recent post on the FamilySearch Blog I read the words: "Hooray for immigrants!" This was an encouraging note for volunteers and potential volunteers of a FamilySearch Indexing project to type the names of roughly 500 million immigrants. Besides the fact that all Americans have an immigrant ancestor, how does this apply to my life today?

My wife and I are in two different countries due to compliance with current immigration law. She is in Mexico preparing for her immigrant visa interview with the US Consulate there. We have been apart for four months that have felt like an eternity and do not know when we will be reunited.

In this situation, I began to ponder: How does this all fit together? As genealogists, do we need to be involved in modern day issues? A powerful, motivational answer for that question can only come from each of us as individuals.

Is a genealogist a politician? Is a genealogist a lobbyist? Is a genealogist a dreamer, a lover, a faithful idealist? Is a genealogist a member of a family today, here and now? In my not so humble words: Of course! Of course, we must be involved. We must open our eyes and see our individual lives and families within the context of an eternal family chain. As genealogists, we should be able to see this eternal perspective more clearly than most. We are not confined to dark corners and dusty books. We are not constrained to the technology which facilitates our search for data.

We must "arise and shine forth." We are the salt of the earth, each of us. Everyone who has a desire to serve is called to the work. Let us more often put aside our individualistic natures. Let us more often live in the present. Let us share what we have. We can share our beloved genealogy. We can write our legislators in support of open records legislation. Can we not take the beckoning call to do more, to be more? We have the power to change the world.

We are changing the world. We are enlightening our friends and family with a glimpse of eternal perspective, a feeling of belonging within a larger family, a feeling of belonging within the human family. This understanding hopefully leads us to greater love for all humankind, and a deeper desire to live today--in our families, in our communities, in our work, and in all ways--to be all that we can be. Let us always be involved.

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