Elder and Sister Bushman currently serve in Daphne, Alabama, as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Florida, Tallahassee Mission. One way they share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Daphne is by introducing people to the family history center nearby at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s church building.
Elder Bushman said a lady who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, but who used to live in Daphne, asked them to visit Juanita. She knew Juanita and said 81 year old Juanita was very interested in genealogy. Elder and Sister Bushman stopped by Juanita’s house one day, explained who they were, and asked Juanita if she would like them to take her to the family history center.
“She was so happy we invited her!” Elder Bushman related, “One of her greatest desires was to find and print off her family history information to give to her grandkids.”
After spending some time working on Juanita’s records at the family history center, Elder and Sister Bushman took her on a tour of the church building. She was most interested in the baptismal font, saying the Baptist church had a similar one.
“I asked Juanita if we could go by her home and tell her why we do family history work. She said she would like that. When we visited Juanita, we talked about the purpose of the temple and God’s plan of salvation for all people—that we lived with God before we lived on the earth, that there is purpose to this life and that through Jesus Christ’s Atonement, we can live together as families after we die.”
Juanita has found many of her ancestors’ names on subsequent trips to the family history center.
Milton is the maintenance person at the Bushman’s apartment complex. One day, while Milton replaced the fan in their bathroom, Elder Bushman struck up a conversation with him about being a missionary. During the course of the conversation, Milton mentioned that he had been to the Church’s family history center a long time ago to research his family.
Elder Bushman invited Milton to visit the center again with him and Sister Bushman. Milton agreed to go with them and spent an evening searching for his ancestors. He hasn’t had the same success in finding his ancestors as Juanita has, but Milton hasn’t given up on his search yet!
The Importance of Families
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the importance of families, and understands the personal yearning of the human soul to know its history and feel connected to his or her past.
An Equal Chance for All
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that everyone is a son or daughter of God. As a loving Heavenly Father, God seeks our best interest and desires to bless us richly. Promising to be just and merciful, God provided a plan of salvation, where every soul could learn of the Savior Jesus Christ—whether in this life or the next. The Church of Jesus Christ’s large missionary force focuses on sharing the gospel of Christ with every interested person. The Church of Jesus Christ also believes that every soul who lived on earth without the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ has that opportunity after death in the spirit world. One reason Latter-day Saints search for their ancestors is to perform individual ordinances (like baptism) for deceased ancestors in the temple. Of course, the ancestor has the opportunity to accept or reject the ordinance, but Latter-day Saints feel it is an important obligation and duty owed to their ancestors. Ultimately, Latter-day Saints believe that missionary work and temple work provide every single person who has lived on the earth access to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Discover more reasons family history work is important to Latter-day Saints on the Family History page at mormon.org.