“Bring forth the record which ye have kept…”

The Book of Mormon records the account of the Saviour reviewing the written record of his disciples in the Americas. He asked why certain events had not been recorded and asked if those events did, in fact, occur. His disciples acknowledged that they did occur and were remembered. Jesus commanded that the account be written, and it was done.

This was a common thing in religious practice over the centuries–called “visitation” by the Anglican Church, the Bishop of the Diocese reviewed the records. The Church wardens were required to certify that the parish record was complete and each year they signed their names at the end of the entries.

The Quakers in America sent two of their members to review the records of the congregation for content and completeness. These visits are recorded in the minutes of the meetings. And sometimes you will find two companions who sought the permission of the meeting to travel out of state or district to visit the local congregations, with one of their purposes to review the records that were kept.

I have found this policy comforting. All records are subject to errors–they are kept by human beings. Yet, church policies provided for review. Bee of good cheer! While record loss is a fact of life in genealogy, it is not as wide-spread as you might fear. Search the surviving records–and  where evidence clearly shows that official changes were made in the records, investigate what happened to the records that appear to be gone.

Be of good cheer! Records. long thought destroyed, are still being discovered. Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS Utah has broken all records for temperature this year. It is still unseasonably hot, with no let up in sight. No rain either. Thank goodness for irrigation water available in reservoirs.

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