I’m a beginner like many of you. When I started indexing, I wanted to have a firm testimony of why we we’re doing indexing and why it is important to the Lord. I studied diligently every scripture and any article written in the Church magazines that had anything to do with family history and “turning the hearts of the children.” We are children of God, and this is the work that has been assigned to our dispensation by the Lord. I have a strong testimony of this work. I know anyone involved with this work will have the Lord watching over them. This is a service that we do for generations who are waiting for us to do their temple work.
When I met with the stake presidency, I was able to bear a strong testimony about the importance of indexing. I would ask questions about what I knew we should be doing. It is important to realize that every priesthood holder has a right to personal inspiration for his responsibility in his stake or ward. I was able to share with the stake presidency the activities that other stakes had tried that had worked successfully. I made suggestions, and then they would take that information to the stake high council and discuss it.
As we approached the new year, the stake presidency felt strongly about having a stake goal, but each ward had to figure out how their ward was to contribute to this goal. Once the goal was set, it was mentioned in stake conference as well as ward conferences. Our goal is to index and arbitrate 1.5 million records this year. The visiting authority found out that we had an indexing goal and actually shared an experience over the pulpit about his experience with indexing and told our stake that our goals could be reached, especially considering the size of our stake. The word has slowly spread, and I’ve seen a consistent growth of new indexers since the beginning of the year. We’ve gone from 200 to 450 indexers, and we are still growing.
I have felt a change in the priesthood leaders’ support of indexing as they have felt the Spirit of Elijah. Before our stake indexing goal was announced, I felt as if I were pushing ideas on the priesthood leaders. Now I’m receiving ideas from the priesthood leaders on activities that we could schedule to increase the number of indexers and train and motivate our stake.
My advice to other stake indexing directors is to be patient. I know that the Lord’s hand is in this work. Share your testimony in every opportunity you get, and celebrate every small victory. This isn’t a race. Indexing is a great opportunity for stake members to feel the Spirit of Elijah. Once they have felt it, it will change them forever. They will feel the same urgency to know their kindred dead. The Lord loves all His children, not just the ones who are still living.
This story was submitted by Kris J., a stake indexing director
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