In 1779, English clergyman John Newton published the lyrics to the now-famous hymn, “Amazing Grace.” When I listen to this song, the phrase “I once was lost but now am found” always strikes me, and I can’t help but think of the many who have lived but who are now “lost” from memory.
Of course, they are not lost to our Heavenly Father. He knows them and wants to bless them with the ordinances of the temple, but He has given us the responsibility to search for the records that document their lives and then submit their names to the temple.
That process used to be very difficult and laborious. Now, thanks to computers and indexed records, the work is becoming much easier and faster, and millions of additional names are published each week for people to find. But there are billions more individuals waiting in the spirit world for someone to index their information and make their records findable to their living family members.
In his October 2012 general conference address, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve said, “This work is a spiritual work, a monumental effort of cooperation on both sides of the veil, where help is given in both directions.”
Many indexers have felt this influence from beyond the veil as they spiritually prepare themselves and diligently work to type names and other information from historic documents. A powerful example from Sister El Stone of the Sacramento California Stake illustrates this blessing. While participating in a stake challenge to index one million records in a single month, she one day had the following special experience.
“When I first started, I was so conscientious, trying to get everything right and not make a mistake,” she said. “I got going and got faster, of course, and I was pretty proud of myself. I had entered in everything, and it all looked great. Just as I was getting ready to hit the submit button I heard, very clearly, the voice of a young girl, who said, ‘I am not a son.’ And there was a 13-year-old girl, named Ellen, and I had marked her as a son.”
Elder Scott said further, “Anywhere you are in the world, with prayer, faith, determination, diligence, and some sacrifice, you can make a powerful contribution.”
Indexers know the powerful difference they make in the lives of those living on both sides of the veil. To illustrate this blessing, FamilySearch has produced a short video called, “Indexing Is Vital.” The name is taken from the First Presidency letter dated February 29, 2012, which states: “Members are encouraged to participate in FamilySearch indexing which is vital to family history and temple work.”
We encourage you to watch the video and freely share it with your family and ward members. To view this video and download it for your own use, click here.