The Second Day of the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy
Those involved in family history and genealogy are familiar with charts: names, dates, places, and relationships all displayed in an organized fashion. Some have these charts in files, others have published books, and others have charts hanging on the walls of their homes. They provide a sense of knowledge about oneself and those from whom one descends.
Yesterday Elder Allan F. Packer extended “an invitation to shape the future” to an overflow crowd at the BYU Conference Center in Provo, Utah. He asked us to get involved, to become “change agents,” in the field of family history and genealogy. He listed fun and fulfillment as the top reasons for the need for change in the number of people involved in this work. Greater unity in [the] family and society, the doctrine [of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], population growth and record-keeping were other points he mentioned.
And then he suggested “specific things [we] can do.” First on his list was to start with the youth. (This conference hosted about 70 youth yesterday. I had the opportunity to pop-in to their sessions, filled or almost filled, to capacity throughout the day. Will the youth have their very own conference in the near future?)
He also asked us to “change the sequence of how we introduce people to family history, help them to discover themselves, use stories and pictures, and simplify.” He stated that “family history is more than genealogy.” He encouraged us to “discover the history of the past, create history by living in the present, and shape the history of the future by what we do now.”
During his address Elder Packer reported that the participants of this conference came from 6 countries, 24 states, 89% of the participants were under the age of 60, and 75% of conference participants were female. Of this last point he said that this must change :-)
In the past, transcripts of the keynote addresses were made available on the conference website. I will keep you posted as to their availability this year.
Today Dennis Brimhall will discuss, “Not Just a Chart, But the Heart.” As you know, he is the Managing Director of the LDS Family History Department. After the keynote address there will be 40 classes for participants to choose from divided into 8 tracks. There will be a track for Beginners. Southern U.S. Research and Irish Research will have their own series of classes. Internationally, Canadian, French, Jewish, and Japanese Research will be addressed. Ancestry.com will be presenting a series of classes as well. DNA Research, the FamilySearch Family Tree, and FamilySearch Compatibles round out today’s offerings.
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