2 Why do I write about my ancestors???
I have been asked so many times about why I have a web site dedicated to some of the information I have on my ancestors, that relatively speaking (no pun intended) no one cares about but such a minuscule few, (and even many of them don’t know or care about it either.) The same question has been asked now many times about this blog.
I will deviate from what others post have been about being on an individual or a few, to talk about them in the whole.
ONE REASON: I do it because I love to learn about them and get to know them better, and then I want to share if by chance anyone else may care too. If so, that is just a bonus. I have learned of family now living I knew nothing of because occasionally someone reaches out to ask a question or share some other info. It is great.
ANOTHER REASON: I do it because WE SHOULD ALL CARE about our past and the history of what got us to where we are as a person, family, community, country and world. The stories of societies, families and individuals DO impact who we are and what we are. The good, the bad, the indifferent MATTERS! It matters to each us individually and collectively. You may deny or reject it, but it is true and history bares out the fact.
What one individual did 100 years ago, 300 years ago, 4,000 years ago impacted me as an individual today, good and bad. Knowing as much as I can about what got me to where I am today, can impact me. And the decisions I make affect me and countless individuals that I cannot comprehend going forward.
I read in a recent study that, “Like silt deposited on the cogs of a finely tuned machine after the seawater of a tsunami recedes, our experiences, and those of our forebears, are never gone, even if they have been forgotten. They become a part of us, a molecular residue holding fast to our genetic scaffolding. The DNA remains the same, but psychological and behavioral tendencies are inherited.”
It is a study of EPIGENETICS. I don’t know if I buy into the impact on DNA, but the philosophy is true. If your grandmother was adopted by nurturing parents, you might be enjoying the boost she received thanks to their love and support. “The mechanisms of behavioral epigenetics underlie not only deficits and weaknesses but strengths and resiliencies, too. And for those unlucky enough to descend from miserable or withholding grandparents, emerging drug treatments could reset not just mood, but the epigenetic changes themselves. Like grandmother’s vintage dress, you could wear it or have it altered. The genome has long been known as the blueprint of life, but the epigenome is life’s Etch A Sketch: Shake it hard enough, and you can wipe clean the family curse. This is from Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes By Dan Hurley.
So, knowing what has happened, what great people lived and struggled and were amazing people to help me have the opportunities I do IS IMPORTANT to me and should be to us all.
Why, because things we face today are not new and it is a reminder to me as to what choices I may make that impact me, my kids, and countless generations, as well as those around me potentially and their countless generations.
Paul B. Pieper accurately points out, “each choice you make is important. Seemingly small, insignificant decisions will impact past and future generations, as well as your own life.” We make choices constantly that generations past, present, and future will be blessed or suffer because of. While your personally religious beliefs may not lead you to believe we can bless past generations or not, that we can bless or curse present and future is undeniable.
The history of the world is full of individuals and societies that made good or bad choices, or took no action that led to consequences, which impact us all today.
The impact of moral discipline is not new to the last 100 years. The issues we face today on murder, crime, drugs, sexual immorality, families, etc. are NOT new. They have been faced before and the result on individuals and societies speaks for itself. We must learn and know and stand for what we know regardless of popular opinion of the day. So researching and learning and knowing about our ancestors DOES MATTER for this reason too. We can choose to learn from our own genetic history to impact our present and future generations, because not learning and not doing is as impactful as intentionally choosing the bad.
Harold G. Hillam gave a recent speech about this. One example he gave on something as seemingly insignificant as church attendance illustrates this point on a religious nature but applies to all cases. He told of a women who told the following, “My great-grandfather,” she said, “left church one Sunday with his family, and they never returned—no indication why.” She then said, “In my research, I have found that my great-grandfather has over 1,000 descendants.” And then she said, and this is the part I have not been able to forget, “Of those 1,000 descendants, I am the only one active in the Church today.” The spiritual influence that family might have had on their neighbors and friends did not happen. None of his sons nor any of his daughters served as missionaries, and those they would have touched with their testimonies were not baptized, and those who were not baptized did not go on missions. Yes, there are probably many thousands who are not in the Church today, and not in this very meeting, because of that great-grandfather’s decision.
We MUST ponder the effects of our thoughts and our actions? And knowing about those in our past and the world’s past will help us in TRULY seeing what impact we can have.
D. Todd Christofferson has said, “Moral discipline is the consistent exercise of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard. …the right to make choices and the obligation to account for those choices” is “self-discipline“ and ” has eroded and societies are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion.”
He points out a very crucial and impactful point, “The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments. … gentlemanly behavior [for example, once] protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior. …
I have heard a few parents state that they don’t want to impose the gospel” or any other crucial behavior “on their children but want them to make up their own minds about what they will believe and follow. They think that in this way they are allowing children to exercise their agency. What they forget is that the intelligent use of agency requires knowledge of the truth, of things as they really are.” “Without that, young people can hardly be expected to understand and evaluate the alternatives that come before them. Parents should consider how the adversary approaches their children. He and his followers are not promoting objectivity but are vigorous, multimedia advocates of sin and selfishness.
We cannot presume that the future will resemble the past—that things and patterns we have relied upon economically, politically, socially will remain as they have been. Perhaps our moral discipline, if we will cultivate it, will have an influence for good and inspire others to pursue the same course. We may thereby have an impact on future trends and events. At a minimum, moral discipline will be of immense help to us as we deal with whatever stresses and challenges may come in a disintegrating society.”
The last paragraph is VITAL to this whole discussion. Why do I write this blog and share some of the info on my web site, for me and others and to motivate others to learn their own past, so that “Perhaps our moral discipline, …will cultivate … influence for good and inspire others to pursue the same course. We may … impact … future trends and events. … to help us as we deal with whatever stresses and challenges may come in a disintegrating society.”
That we may be like and INDIVIDUAL from history or an ancestor in our past that has a lasting impact for good and not for bad that can effect unfathomable thousands in the future. Because each choice we do make DOES matter going forward.
I have shared and learned of many of my ancestors that changed course of direction in employment, religion, and moral discipline that shows that what I have so carried on about is true. Deny it if you wish, IT DOESN”T CHANGE THE TRUTH.
So that is why I do all this, LEARN, BE WISE, regardless of political and social pressure to compromise. Societies and families have gone down these paths before. What change do you want to make to, standard to uphold, liberty to defend because it is RIGHT! Do it for the countless future generations even if won’t do it for yourself. There is not an issue we are dealing with we can’t learn from our own personally family histories for many generations past and from the history of the world that doesn’t help us KNOW what we must do.