Last February I was home in Nebraska with a tanning membership and a Netflix account when my grandma invited me to come with her to visit my great-grandma. So, after the uneventful flights to Eugene, Oregon, we were picked up by my great uncle and taken to Corvallis, where Grandma Ona lives. At the ripe old age of 94, Ona, or as Grandma calls her, Tooty, can be quite sassy. Tooty isn’t LDS and nor are any of my grandma’s family. They love Mitt Romney and bloody marys, just not at the same time.
When we made our cross-country journey it was mainly for the purpose of helping Ona and my great-uncle, both of who were experiencing some minor health issues. Being in a home with no wifi where everyone is over the age of 65 is not the typical definition of “good time” for an internet addicted millennial, but I was able to read the entire Divergent series, as well as start and finish a game of Pokemon Emerald. Overall, it was a productive week. Being with two grandmas meant I was being spoiled, of course. Junk food was available for everyone, great home cooked meals were made and served, cheese and crackers were a staple in the afternoon, and Fox News was on 24/7.
The most memorable part came when my grandma and I made a lunch date and went to Buffalo Wild Wings. We were waiting for our wings when I remembered that her brother had died a few years earlier. My parents had taken care of some of the work on that side of the family, but hadn’t don’t anything in quite a few years. I asked if she had ever gotten around to doing his temple work. She said she hadn’t looked into it. So, being the tech savvy person that I am, I whipped out my iPhone and logged into FamilySearch.com. I found her brother, reserved his temple work, and was even able to link him to the rest of her family who’s work had already been done.
In one short lunch date with my grandma, I was able to extend my family tree and connect to more of my ancestors. It’s things like this that are just amazing. We are truly living in an amazing time.
We live in a day and age when the thing in our pocket, our Instagram camera, our snapchatter, our link to Twitter, Facebook, and a world of information, is also our door to helping others receive salvation. Browsing through family trees in search of names for the temple is easy enough that it can be done on commutes, during nap times, and even, as I have proven, in a Buffalo Wild Wings.
The question I want to ask everyone is this: Are you owning up to the stewardship you’ve been given? We have all these capabilities, but are you using them to their full potential? Are you hastening the work through family history when it’s this easy? Are you being worthy to attend the temple and do the work for the names you find? I’m of the opinion that this generation needs to waste less time picking Instagram filters, and spend more time picking names from our family trees. By doing this, we assure ourselves a wonderful welcome by loved ones we have helped progress on the other side.