Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Roots and Branches Elder Cook

During the last General Conference, Elder Cook taught us important principles to help us stay out of bondage.  His teaching directly blessed our family in the last six months, as we have applied the principles that he presented.  

This time around, in his talk "Roots and Branches," Elder Cook moved us from avoiding bondage to receiving blessings.  

Elder Cook said, "If the youth in each ward will not only go to the temple and do baptism for their dead but also work with their families and other ward members to provide the family names for the ordinance work they perform, both they and the Church will be greatly blessed."  

We shared this promise of great blessings with our children during Family Home Evening one night, and invited Guy, our resident Indexing guru, to teach his sisters what he does when he is Indexing on the computer.  (Which he was more than happy to do!)

Elder Cook went on to say, "Don't underestimate the influence of the deceased in assisting your efforts..." 

We talked about how there is a special connection between three of the holiest places that exist: between Home, the Temple, and Heaven.  That connection is family, and people in all three places work to bring families together eternally.

We can be sure that while we are typing in names or doing any kind of family history work, there is someone cheering us on from the other side!


As a fun activity for the children, we made Shrinky-Dink charms out of family photos and turned them into quick little necklaces.  

This is so easy to do!  Choose your favorite *light-colored photos*, then make them a lot lighter.  Then print 3x5 or smaller photos directly on the Shrinky-Dink paper like you would photo paper (using a photograph setting on your printer).  They will shrink to 1/3 of the size of your originally printed photo, so keep that in mind.  Cut them out and add a hole with a hole punch.  Cook them in the oven at 300 degrees for about five minutes.  The pieces will curl up, but if you've got your oven at the right/high enough temp, it will eventually uncurl back into a flat, shrunken piece.  (Some of mine didn't uncurl, because we cooked it at the lower end of the temperature recommendations and some of the images were heavy on the ink!)  Next time we'll do better!  And there will be a next time.

The Shrinky-Dink paper (which you can get at craft stores or online) should come with instructions, but I'm just sharing my newfound Shrinky-Dink wisdom with you.  OOOh!

Hopefully when we see our little "family history charms" they will reminds us to do the urgent work of family history.

Now I interrupt this perfectly decent post to bring you this photo of Autumn waiting for her Shrinky-dinks to shrink.  That hideous mess in the background is my office erupting in Mt. St. Kitchen Chaos.  It stayed that way for about a week as I slowly misplaced every important thing I needed to keep track of.  I am sharing this photo because I love you, wonderful blog readers, and I want you to know, this stuff happens over at my house too.  Don't think it doesn't.  It does.

Also, because it's been a long time since I wrote this post, and some of you seem to be forgetting, that just like you, I'm only human.  

Carry on!

Here are the other lessons we've done based on the April 2014 General Conference:

"Following Up" - Elder Ballard
"Spiritual Whirlwinds" - Elder Andersen
"Roots and Branches" - Elder Cook


  1. fun idea for kids. when visiting family last time for James' baptism, we arranged to go as adults to a sealing session for some ancestors I had discovered. What fun to be together in the temple...

  2. Question: my cute Chloe (10) started indexing this summer. It seemed, from looking at available batches, that there were only really difficult ones left in English. I didn't feel like the names were easily readable enough (terrible grammar) to be done unsupervised. Do you have advice about how you've gotten readable ones for Guy or is he familiar enough with indexing now that the harder batches are okay for him?

    1. Hi Julie - Guy only does the very easiest batches. The ones he is most successful at are the death records which are type-written on index cards that only have very limited information on them. I feel pretty comfortable letting him do those. He does not do any handwritten ones, unless we are both working on it together. But he can go to town on the simply typewritten ones. It seems like every time we go on there are different offerings. I put my own settings to the easiest English ones I can find! Since he and I both just started this, and he's so young, I usually am close by when he is working on it. And when it's time to submit a batch, I am always the one who checks what he has done. If the batches are difficult that you are seeing as options, maybe check your settings/preferences. Make sure they are set to beginner and just check back frequently. We haven't had too much trouble finding easy ones...but it depends on the day, I guess! Good luck! And good for you and Chloe!! That's awesome!

    2. Thanks Jocelyn! I'll have to look at the settings. She really wants to be independent with it.

  3. I have really wanted to do shrinky dinks with the kids. Is it really this easy?

    1. Yes!!!! There are just a few things to watch out for and I have listed them in this post!