Guest Post by Lizzie Beth Robbins:
I am a girl who loves Jane Austen. I am studying nursing at Utah State University. I am a student of the Gospel. I love being with friends. I love to hike. I am a swimmer. I love Family History. I have 2 rods and 17 screws that cradle my spine. I love the Temple. I am in an all-girl family. I love life.
It was an autumn afternoon in the Logan Temple. I’ll remember it for years to come. It was the day I gained a testimony of Family History. I’m a nineteen-year-old freshman at Utah State College with a full schedule of classes, study sessions, and I work as a CNA. My life was full, but this was the day I learned that I needed Family History as much as Family History needed me. I used to think that Family History was for older women who didn’t have a lot to do. But, I’m here to tell you, Family History is for our generation.
I was rushed into the confirmation room waiting for my turn. I listened to the names, and I heard a voice in my head say, “You need to go next.” Why did I need to? Why was I feeling like I couldn’t postpone this prompting? I went next and was confirmed for a woman named Winnie. At this very moment, I felt the Lord’s love as I was surrounded by the Priesthood and hands were placed on my head.
A few days went by and I was caught up in the realities of life of school. work. and homework. You know how it goes. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the name Winnie. Was there a Winnie on my own genealogical line? Why did I keep thinking about this name?
The Spirit prompted me to another woman named Winnie.
I decided to search on FamilySearch, and this is what I found…
Winnie Pearl Gould. A daughter. A sister to eight siblings. She never received the gospel while she was on this earth, and each person in her family needed their ordinances completed.
The Lord kept pressing this thought of the Gould family in my mind for months. I went to the Family History library and surrounded myself with census reports and research. I searched and emailed people through FamilySearch who were connected to Winnie. I found myself preaching the gospel with every sentence of correspondence. With every passing day, I learned something new about Winnie, about myself, and about the “why” of Family History.
One of the special parts of this story is this- —Both of my sweet grandpas are in heaven. I have never felt their presence as strong as when I was helping the Gould family. Because I was trying to live close to the Spirit during this time of researching and learning, I believe that it was them who brought me to the Gould family. I learned to trust in heaven. I realized that it’s is closer than we think.
About a month ago, I had the amazing opportunity to take Winnie Pearl to the temple to be baptized. I also took Winnie’s oldest Sister, Viola Belle I felt their presence and once again, I realized how grateful I was for the gift of Family History.
I am so excited to meet Winnie when I get to heaven someday. I have this strong feeling that perhaps she has become one of my guardian angels. Who knew that a day in the temple could strengthen my testimony of Family History.
A trip to the temple might bring new heroines into your life who might be able to teach you a lesson or two. Family History might change your life and give you a strong sense of direction. It will give you sweet opportunities to learn more about your ancestors, but I guarantee you’ll learn more about yourself and the power of temples and heaven.
Who are your heroines? Who have you become through the knowledge of your roots?