After the RootsTech family history event in February, BYU-Hawaii students said they are excited and more involved in family history. The success they have achieved has helped them realize the joy of families, they said.
Nick Fox, a sophomore studying accounting from Arizona, said he did not have much interest in family history until a ward family history activity. “My ward started the activity one Sunday where they had the entire ward do family history together. That was the first time I found my own family name in the records. It was pretty exciting,” said Fox.
Fox said the sacrifices to do family history are worth it. “There was one day when I had a lot of things to do and had tests I needed to take, but I decided to take a break and do family history. I only spent an hour, but I felt calm and relaxed. I felt like it was not much of a sacrifice. I think the more time we give, the more time we find for ourselves also.”
One of the interesting things he said he found out was one of his ancestors was an orphan. “We were able to find his biological parents and also his parents who raised him. That was pretty cool.” He said he has a greater desire to find even more names and do endowments for them because of that experience. “I felt a connection while doing their temple work. It was different when I went to the temple [for myself]. I focused more on their names than I normally do.”
Choi said one of the miracles from doing family history work happened while he was attending a ward family history activity. “About two weeks ago, I was able to find the name for one of my ancestors from approximately 300 B.C. When I found it, it gave me goosebumps.”
Choi said it is truly a blessing to know his existence comes from the long line of his ancestors as Choi. “It makes me really grateful for my ancestors and my family, because without them I would not be here.” He added how knowing his family history has helped him feel a greater sense of responsibility and duty to preserve his family line.
“Luckily, I am from Korea where we have a really good genealogy system. My family have been working on family history, so as I get involved in it I find myself enjoying doing that. I would feel a sense of accomplishment and joy as I take the names to the temple and do the work for them,” said Choi.
Brittney Prince, a freshman studying history from Qatar, said she mainly does her family history work because “it’s a promise that if you do family history work, adversary has no effect on you.” She said some students are tied up with schoolwork, which is why she thinks they don’t participate in family history work even though they are interested.
Prince said, “My advice is to do it on Sunday. It’s a day of rest that is supposed to be centered around Christ. That’s like a perfect day to do it!” She said the names we find will have a great impact on our lives.
“One of the first names I took to the temple had the greatest impact on me,” said Prince. “When I finally found the name, I was so happy. It was only one name. I took only one name and did only one baptism, but the Spirit was so strong and I felt it all around me and I was crying in the font. I knew that the person was grateful.”
Prince said said her mom went to RootsTech these past two years. “It’s a three day convention where different family history organizations all come together to tell us what it’s about and how they can help us do family history work.” She said Taysom Hill, an American football player, attended this year’s event.
More information on RootsTech and family history work can be found on rotstech.org and familysearch.org.