On Sunday, January 24, 2016, the Glenwood Ward, in the Cardston Alberta Stake held a fireside to welcome a 'new stake' to the Church. The walls of the cultural hall were lined with 1200 white paper people, and each of those paper persons had one or more temple ordinance cards pinned to them showing the temple ordinances that had been done for those individuals. In 2015 ward members had done enough genealogy and temple ordinances for the individuals and families that they found through their research to have created a stake. In all there were 3017 cards pinned to those paper figures, a large stake indeed!
What is it that has brought them to this point?
A Stake challenge started in January of 2015 for all the youth to learn Family Tree and find three names to take to the temple by April 25th. They were asked to do at least one hour a week on some form of family history work or indexing. This provided an excellent follow-up to the research they had done to prepare for Trek. It was fun to be listening to this group as they searched for their names. A young lady would call out “I found a boy” and the boys were calling out “I found a girl”.
Our wards theme for 2015 was “Rescue”, and the adults in the ward were given the challenge to match the youth in preparing the name of at least one ancestor that they could take to the temple.
It was also discovered that there is an elderly sister in our ward (she turned 94 the day after the fireside) who has five binders of family group sheets who needed help with completing the temple work and finding those who were still missing. The work of her lifetime in gathering these names provided a great many of the names for the new stake. She has been very active in doing family research for over 60 years.
The youth started doing baptisms on a regular basis. Initiatory packets were prepared and ward members completed the initiatory work. Work is ongoing to complete the endowments and sealings.
Helping this sister, and the youth challenge has stirred excitement for Family History work in the ward. Many ward members have contacted the ward Family History Consultants to learn how to find their family members that need their work done and to prepare to take those names to the temple.
The program had the primary children sing three very appropriate songs, all from The Children’s Songbook. The Opening Song was #260, “Hello Song”. Later in the program the children sang #92, “The Hearts of the Children”, during which four of the children were dressed up as the prophet Malachi and the prophet Elijah, restoring the sealing keys to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The lyrics to this song, which fit the occasion perfectly, are:
The hearts of the children turn to their fathers.
Malachi prophesied the hearts shall turn.
Elijah fulfilled the prophecy.
And families can be sealed for eternity.
President Lybbert, the Stake President of the Cardston Alberta Stake, praised the ward members for this wonderful accomplishment. He quoted part of Doctrine and Covenants which states: 'While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death...,'(Doctrine & Covenants 138:18) and then mentioned that if the ward members who had participated in doing this Family History work listened carefully to the spirit, they could hear their ancestors rejoicing.