With a new year just around the corner, our thoughts turn to fresh starts and new beginnings. January is synonymous with goal-setting—dreams of finally losing those last few pounds or of learning to speak French. But before we join the gym or sign up for a language course, consider the words of our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, when he said, “I invite you to prayerfully consider what kind of sacrifice—and preferably a sacrifice of time—you can make to do more family history and temple work this year.”
He admonished, “I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy.”
If you aren’t attending the temple regularly, set a goal to do so. If you already perform ordinances monthly, increase your visits to once a week. Do what it takes to keep your appointment.
Invite a friend to go with you or decide to become a faithful supporter of your ward temple night. Take a family name which will enhance the experience. Clear your schedule of distractions, and when you arrive at the temple leave your mental to-do lists at the door.
Much has been spoken by our church leaders about the blessings of family history work. Finding time for it may take planning and prayer, but there are many things we can do that require mere minutes a day. For example:
- Upload a picture to FamilySearch Memories or tag one already uploaded.
- Send an email or text to an older relative with a few questions about their life.
- Complete a FamilySearch Recommended Task (these show up on your homepage).
- Create a timeline of your life with just a few points to start, then add to it every day.
- Google a historic event that took place during your youth and record your personal memories.
Temple attendance and participation in family history work don’t just bless those whose names we find and whose ordinances we perform, they bless the living. Our prophet noted the power of this great work to change us. He said, “While temple and family history work has the power to bless those beyond the veil . . . it has a refining influence on those who are engaged in it.”
As we set goals for the new year and consider the changes we would like to make in our lives, let us listen to a prophet’s voice when he calls, “I plead with you to take a prayerful look at how you spend your time.”
“Generations Linked in Love,” April 2010
“Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” October 2018 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/10/becoming-exemplary-latter-day-saints?lang=eng