With the invention of the home computer, the internet, scanners, relatively inexpensive cameras, digital media files, DNA research and more, the world of family history has completely taken off!
Finding out where you’re from is so very cool and has never been easier! Spending just one hour stumbling around using free online tools can produce at least one new fact about someone in your family who’s been in the world before you and given you something to stand on today. This fact gives you a connection, a closeness, and…dare I say it, a spark… of a relationship.
Feeling connected to someone or something larger than us can create a sense of gratitude and desire to live purposefully so that we can leave a solid foundation for those coming after us. Not only that, that connection gives us the feeling of having an identity, a belonging to someone, an inherent value that we are loved and we are known.
Through my research, I have found that children who have been adopted, crave this belonging to someone because it’s a central need. The adopted child wonders a lot about their parents, what they’re like, who they are, what they inherited from them, and the child ends up growing into an adult that always wonders where they came from and who they really are. This is often what sends them out looking for their biological parents. They know in their head that they’ve been protected and cared for by their adoptive parent(s) but they have a need to belong, to know who their people are. It’s a burning question and they feel a deep desire to come to understand who their parents were so that they can create an understanding of who they are. Understanding our parentage creates a border or a frame for us to live in. We can become, when we understand who we are.
The more time I spend learning about my ancestors and where they have come from and what they have overcome, the more I come to appreciate what I have and what I can overcome. If my Irish ancestors lived as colonist slaves to the English, living on nothing but rotting potatoes, only to be shipped off to America to die when nothing more could be squeezed out of them, I can do hard things too. When I read about how they didn’t die, they thrived and built lives, homes, families, and love in America, I feel so grateful to them and for their part in founding our nation. Many of them letting their voices be heard wherever possible in the communities they lived in. They learned from their trials and they grew stronger from them, just like I can. I have a Jewish line, a German line, a Swedish line, all of these people emigrated and adapted and became Americans through trial and error and faith in the Lord.
While this is cool, and honestly, very helpful motivation for me, even cooler still is my understanding that there’s only one generation to divinity in my spiritual heritage. I don’t have to trace through lines and lines of people to find my heavenly parents and neither do you. One generation, that’s it! Us to our Heavenly Father. This information opens worlds to me as I consider what kind of frame I can build my life inside with what I know about my Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father is the maker of all, the giver of every good gift, the creator, and we’re his spirit children. Think of what we can overcome with that understanding in our back pocket! There is not a problem the Father cannot solve. There is not a soul that he cannot love. There is not desire that he cannot fulfill. There is always purpose, love, and trust in his every act. He is fun and funny, I mean, look at things like flamingos, hammerhead sharks, and stick bugs, oh and those birds that can mimic any sound they hear. How cool is that? He is all and has it all and we’re related to HIM!
Every quality we have is inherited from him, we are made after his image. So, if you want to get to know your Heavenly Father better, so that you can understand yourself better, so that you can build a life in a perfect frame, study who he is. How? We are supposed to study Jesus Christ and his life, after all, he said that he came to this Earth to live so that we could know the Father while we were on the Earth. Also, talk to him (Heavenly Father) and listen to what he says back. He may not be able to speak directly to you but he does provide his Spirit so you can come to know him because his Spirit is always in line with him.
Belonging to someone is valuable. Understanding that we belong to God -always have and always will- is critical in understanding our worth, purpose, and direction for eternity!
If you find yourself feeling low or down, circle back to who you are, either mortally (after all, there must be at least one person you belong to or have belonged to), or, even better, spiritually, because as we all know, there is frailty and inequality, and injustice, and imperfection in this fallen world that can lead to an imperfect frame to live in. If we decide to focus spiritually and figure out who we are Spiritually, we’ll never need to put our entire value in human hands. You can be at peace knowing that you’re going to be ok in the hands of the Father.
Related Talk – The Savior of You found on ChurchofJesusChrist.org