Your Family History for Posterity

Some of my ancestors - personal file REK
Some of my ancestors - personal file REK

“Elders keep track of where the edible plants are, and they can recall natural disasters of long ago that may have affected the distribution and safety of local resources. The wise elder had her synapses and priorities straight.” Taken from Woman, An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier

On one occasion, Confucius said, “It is not the Way that broadens people, but people who broaden the Way.” The Way is our passage through life, the road we take. Our forebears mapped out their way and built their roads, and in so doing, have provided a bearing for succeeding generations. They have given us the culture and institutions that structure our lives and give them value and meaning. But each new generation must be road-builders too, and continue the efforts that have gone before. Found in Introduction to From Words to Live By (Tsai Chih Chung) by Roger T. Ames, Director, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Hawaii.

Newspaper article with my mother in it. REK
Newspaper article with my mother in it. REK

“The Hawaiian stands firmly in the present, with his back to the future, and his eyes fixed upon the past, seeking historical answers for present-day dilemmas. Such an orientation is to the Hawaiian an eminently practical one, for the future is always unknown, whereas the past is rich in glory and knowledge. Taken from Native Land and Foreign Desires by Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa

Home where my grandmother raised five children. Rek
Home where my grandmother raised five children. Rek

“Therefore, though we have rightly applauded our ancestors for their spiritual achievements (and do not and must not discount them now), those of us who prevail today will have done no small thing. The special spirits who have been reserved to live in this time of challenges and who overcome will one day be praised for their stamina by those who pulled handcarts.

Those who were righteous in other ages, when the gospel light was snuffed out, will one day commend the current members of the Church who so live that the gospel light increased in its incandescence. Those of ancient Israel who saw many signs and yet episodically relapsed will one day praise those in this dispensation who have believed "because of the word" without being compelled to be humble. (Alma 32:14.) The Lamanites who were righteous in earlier times, especially, will praise their present posterity whose righteousness is bringing a blossoming of their seed. Thus the contemporary righteous will earn the esteem of their admired predecessors.

Finally, if we are faithful, even the righteous of the city of Enoch will fall upon our necks and kiss us, and we will mingle our tears with their tears! (Moses 7:63.) Let us, therefore, notwithstanding our weaknesses, be reassured that the everyday keeping of the commandments and the doing of our duties is what it is all about.” from Neal A Maxwell

Share your records at family reunions. Personal photo REK
Share your records at family reunions. Personal photo REK

I believe that these four quotes have similar messages. They point out the importance of history in our lives and how much we can learn from the past. Those that have lived before us had experiences that they learned from and we can take from that reservoir of knowledge. That is our legacy and responsibility to honor those that have gone on before us. It reminds me that I have a responsibility to seek out my ancestors and learn from their lives and not take any of them for granted and do our part while it is our turn on earth.

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© 2014 Elayne

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Comments 8 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 24 months ago from Rocky Mountains Author

I'm sorry about your family, but we all have weaknesses. Judging too fast can keep you from knowing the best part of them. Best wishes!

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 24 months ago from Rocky Mountains Author

I knew you must have some brilliant individuals in your family! Perhaps if you dig deep enough you can find plenty of weirdos, too. I know I have a few of those colorful people in my family history.

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 24 months ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thank you DDE. I'm glad you enjoyed my family history hub.

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 24 months ago from Rocky Mountains Author

If you give it a chance, DealForALiviing, you may discover how much you like family history and have a new hobby!

Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

I kept a regular journal for over 20 years. I am now rather sporadic about it, doing so only when I attend snowboard camp.

My family is extremely dysfunctional; I haven't even met most of them, and it's just as well. A valuable lesson that can be learned from them is what NOT to do.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi: You and your family would be of interest to many due to the Island connection I imagine. But digging up the ancestors and the family tree to me was only mildly interesting - no pirates, murders, or grand literary figures with the exception of Turner Tennyson, the Bard's half brother, who "turned" out to be one of my ancestors. And our family invented the process known as "Mercerizing" to hold colors fast in dyed cotton, etc., oh, yes, and the naturalist, Grandpa Day who put jam on his arms and let wasps feast on it.

I guess there was a bit going on back then!


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A great idea and so informative.

DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

Thank you for writing this hub! Maybe I can convince someone else in my family to take on the hard work of putting together the family history.

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