Genealogy has long been the most popular hobby in the world. It’s a fascinating study of the lives of the women and men who married, had children and grandchildren, and who will always impact the identity of each of us. One of the greatest things our society could do now days to strengthen the family as well as to encourage children to respect their families and find meaningful purpose in life is to study the history of their families.
Our family loves family history. For years we have been trying to weave clumps of time into our regularly busy lives. Life gets crazy. It’s hard to fit in all the good things. But, I suggest to you that some of the good things could possibly benefit the family more than others.
I have long known that when a family teaches their children to think generationally by re-telling stories from their ancestors, the family is more united, more purpose filled, more harmonious, and more focused on morals, principles, and virtues. This vital teaching turns the hearts of the children to their fathers and creates great personal change for them as well as societal change.
Since age twelve family history study has been a passion of mine, but I haven’t always had time to do it. Over the years I have comforted myself by thinking that this phase of life wasn’t my proper season for doing my family history study that I felt so impressed to do. As the years have gone by I have wondered when the genealogy season would come.
Then, last year my then eleven year old daughter asked if we could schedule a day to do something just for the two of us each week. We chose to do family history study. This time with my daughter is priceless.
Starting at about age eleven my husband and I always arrange for personal relationship building time with our children of the same sex. This strong, purpose filled friendship at this time of life offers strength and confidence for the youth as they transition through the most difficult phase of development; the teen years.
Doing Family History In A Minute
After months of researching names and happening upon new interesting facts about the lives of our ancestors I realized that there was one part of family history study that didn’t need to take long. In fact, I realized that we could do this genealogy as a family each day in just a minute or two. “Family History Minute” is what we call this special family history time of day.
Each day, after we say our family prayers and read scriptures and work on our family weekly memorization we take a few minutes to read a part of a written history of one of our ancestors. Some times we read a paragraph and ponder and discuss, and sometimes we read a couple of pages in wonder and amazement.
The stories are filled with adventure, hardships, love, priorities, fame, sickness, death, births, and lives. Some of the ancestors have been prize fighters in England and some have been farmers who invented farm machinery but didn’t want to take credit for it because they felt that all glory should just go to God, not himself. There are women who lost children and spent their days serving others instead of mourning. The short paragraphs and pages are truly inspiring and life changing for our whole family.
Just the other day in the car, I heard my children recounting one of these heroic family history tales to their friends. The story was spoken of with wonder and awe. The children praised the heroes and reiterated the virtues learned from the ‘real life’ tale.
We Need These Stories
I don’t know if there ever was a time when the history of the past has felt so far away from the minds of the people. There is so much innovation, so much new, that the past seems to fade away. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and love innovation. It’s just that the focus now days isn’t on families, and it isn’t even on relationships for many people. The focus is on “the self”. Each person thinks of what they want and what will make them feel good, and then they find ways to meet that need. The self has become the ultimate judge of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, as well as what is true and what is false.
It is true that each person must choose for themselves what they will believe and do, but it is false to believe that a man or woman’s choice makes something right or wrong. If we subscribed to this philosophy we would be making ourselves gods.
In order to keep God’s laws and the divine purpose of families in the hearts of my children I have found that it doesn’t take more than a minute a day.
If you have a stack of family histories or life sketches sitting in a book, box, or on a shelf somewhere, pull them out, make your children a few copies and read them together each day. See, with me, how your family will fall in love with the past, your ancestors, and each other through the process.
This is the best thing we have added or our family culture and homeschool this year!
Speaking of family fun…don’t forget to join us for a Fun Family Night With The Peck Family this coming Monday night. We will be sharing our favorite family fun things to do and will be having some fun with you too. Details here! Sign up! It’s a FREE webinar!