As a genealogist, I am particularly interested in the form of Mormon literature which might be called “genealogy miracle stories.” I just finished a collection of them that was compiled by Marilyn Brown and Lee Nelson and published by Cedar Fort, and it was great to hear how things just seem to come together to help genealogists find dead people.
There are collections of such stories that are not particularly LDS, PSYCHIC ROOTS and MORE PSYCHIC ROOTS being two examples, but the emphasis is slightly different in that the source of the “extrasensory communications” is not understood as we understand it, and very different in the reason for the research. As those who attended the fireside with David McCullough at the Conference Center during the week of the National Genealogical Society conference last month heard, LDS people do genealogy as part of our doctrine, and it is a crucial part of our beliefs. So stories about it should be an integral part of our literature.
Reading stories of how God is not only in the details of genealogy and temple work, but also of how the people most directly benefitting from it on the other side are also in the details is an exciting thing, especially for someone who has struggled with genealogical blind alleys and ancestors who just don’t seem to want to be found.
I have heard that the ENSIGN receives far more submissions for the section that is now called “Latter-day Saint Voices” (and used to be called “Mormon Journal” if I remember correctly) than they can publish in their pages. A good portion of them surely must be genealogical miracle stories. Certainly the CHURCH NEWS includes one on the back page every so often. Marilyn Brown and Lee Nelson, in their book, requested similar stories for future collections, and yet, so far as I can tell, their book, FAMILIES LOST AND FOUND is the only one. Couldn’t more of these stories be collected and published? I’d love to see a volume of SUNSHINE FOR THE LDS GENEALOGIST’S SOUL or two, or three or four.
These stories are not what have been called “missionary” stories, except in that they may encourage people to become involved with genealogy. But stories about others’ miracles are not what get people involved in genealogy–success of their own in the research is what usually hooks new genealogists.
These kinds of stories are more of the “home” variety, that support and encourage and share experiences with those already involved, already hooked. And for those who have experienced their own little miracles in genealogy research, they are a fun way to see what else can happen to help the work along.
So this is a call, at the very least, for more collections and publications of these stories, and if publishing more of them is not viable at this time, a request for information about where such stories can be found. Surely someone has a genealogy miracle blog somewhere? It’s a part of Mormon literature that I submit needs more encouragement itself.