A couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity to learn more about my great grandfather James Jordan. I had never known very much about my great grandfather so I was compelled to discover more about the story of his life. I was also curious to see what would happen in my own personal family history journey as I focused my own family on the stories of my ancestors.
I started by asking my Dad to bring some photos and stories of my great grandfather and share them with my family at family home evening. I was surprised to learn a lot of very interesting things about him. For example, I learned that he was the first person to own a car in his town, that he died at a fairly young age, and that he was always very nicely dressed—maybe that trait was why I decided to work for the Church and wear a suit and tie everyday!
I was even more surprised that my five young children were glued to the words of my father and remained extremely attentive during family home evening as they listened to these stories. My Dad then proceeded to show us several pictures of James and his family. It was extremely impactful to put a face to a name.
A few days later I felt impressed to upload and share these pictures on FamilySearch.org/photos. After adding each of these photos to the website I then tagged and linked them to FamilySearch Family Tree. One particular image included many of my direct line ancestors on the Jordan line—it was thrilling to see them all lined up in one grand picture! However, it felt like a daunting task to tag each of them and link them to the tree. I felt impressed on multiple occasions to tag this photo so I decided to stay up a little later on a Sunday evening to finish what I started—I will never regret that inspired decision.
As I tagged this particular photo, I quickly learned that five of the ancestors were not yet added to FamilySearch Family Tree. After spending a few minutes confirming these relationships with online records on FamilySearch.org, I added them to the family tree. These were direct relatives that not only needed to be connected to our family tree, but I also discovered temple work that needed to be done. Furthermore, as I looked at the records, I found yet another eight people who needed to be added to the tree and who also needed to have saving ordinances completed!
Long story short, because of one question and one photo, the lives of my ancestors were forever changed—and so was mine. After devoting just a few hours to learn about my ancestors, I have come to a greater personal understanding of the power of stories, and more importantly, the how it builds upon the principle of turning our hearts to our ancestors. If you haven’t added a photo or story to FamilySearch Family Tree, you won’t know just how far into the eternities it will take you.