In a recent general conference address, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve said, “Brigham Young chose the beehive as a symbol to encourage and inspire the cooperative energy necessary among the pioneers to transform the barren desert wasteland surrounding the Great Salt Lake into the fertile valleys we have today. We are the beneficiaries of their collective vision and industry.
He noted, “The average hive of 20,000 to 60,000 bees must collectively visit millions of flowers and travel the equivalent of two times around the world. Over its short lifetime of just a few weeks to four months, a single honey bee’s contribution of honey to its hive is a mere one-twelfth of one teaspoon”(“Be Anxiously Engaged,” Ensign or Liahona, October 2012, 29).
FamilySearch volunteers who index records can be compared to honey bees working together to accomplish great things. Thousands of indexers work diligently to contribute their time and energy by volunteering for FamilySearch indexing. Indexers and arbitrators from approximately 134 countries around the world, working tirelessly, have contributed an average of 1.2 million indexed records each day.
Because of industrious volunteers like you, FamilySearch recently celebrated a monumental achievement of a billion records indexed since FamilySearch indexing was launched online in the fall of 2006. Our first billion previously took 80 years to accomplish. The second billion took just 6½ years. This remarkable feat was possible through the efforts of many volunteers. Thank you for contributing to such a great cause. Because of your efforts, researchers have more records freely available to use as they seek out and find their ancestors on FamilySearch.org.
Like honey bees, we haven’t finished our work. FamilySearch has been dedicated for over 100 years to gathering and preserving vital records from around the world. Preserving records is a continuing endeavor here at FamilySearch, and thus the cycle continues. We have a monumental task before us; stored in the Granite Mountain Records Vault are 2.4 million rolls of microfilm and one million microfiche waiting to be indexed and published, with more records being added every year.
With many hands working together, we can continue to make a difference. Together, we will make history as we continue in this great work—one batch at a time. Let’s see how swiftly we can complete our next billion indexed records.