Adam Rounsville is a 12-year old in the Enchanted Hills Ward, Rio Rancho Stake, New Mexico. Adam excels in many areas of his young life, including recently earning his Star rank advancement in scouting. Yet, perhaps what is most exceptional about Adam is his love and dedication to finding and taking his ancestors to the temple.
Adam has been involved in family history for several years; his father and sisters get credit for getting him started. His involvement in family history is multidimensional. He loves learning about the past, learning about his ancestors, preparing names, taking his ancestors’ names to the temple, and helping others find ancestors by indexing records.
About one year ago, Adam started using the free access to Ancestry.com that FamilySearch offers to members of the church. He uses his father’s Ancestry.com account as he isn’t yet old enough to get his own (accounts are for ages 13+). With the additional trees, records, and tools that Ancestry.com offers, Adam said, “We found tons of information, including stories about ancestors and family lines that we didn’t have already.” One of the ancestors he found using Ancestry.com was Nathan Mosher, who was born in 1836 in Tioga, Pennsylvania. He also learned about his ancestor Daniel Burbank who was a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River. While his boat was being repaired in Nauvoo, Daniel met the prophet Joseph Smith and felt the spirit so strongly that he was baptized the following day. Without access to Ancestry.com, Adam and his family wouldn’t have known about the rich and fascinating legacy of several ancestors.
Adam added his ancestors, record sources, and their stories to Family Tree and then prepared their names for the temple. Soon afterwards, he went to the Albuquerque, New Mexico temple with his family with the names of his ancestors. He has attended the temple several times with his family and with youth from his ward. Every time he has taken the names of several ancestors with him — he knows “both halves of the blessing” (President Howard W. Hunter, “A Temple-Motivated People,” Ensign, 1995). He recommends that everyone take family names to the temple, especially those going for the first time, “even if you can find only one name.” He knows that when we take family names to the temple, we feel the Spirit more strongly.
What additional advice does Adam offer? “Don’t give up. It may take days before you find just one name. I didn’t give up and eventually found over 50 names. It is like being a missionary—don’t give up.” He also cautions, “You might think it’s boring at first, yet once you get started [finding ancestors] you can’t stop.”