- Helps maintain identity
- Promotes solidarity- Fosters faithfulness
In their search for personal identity, Latter-day Saints need not look beyond their own ancestry to find "wonderful role models whose high standards are more than adequate," Elder Monte J. Brough declared at the priesthood session Saturday evening.
Quoting President Howard W. Hunter, Elder Brough of the Presidency of the Seventy said, "The greatest search of our time is the search for personal identity and for human dignity."
The search for personal identity, Elder Brough continued, "is essentially a search for role models that become instructive in the conduct of one's lifestyle."
As an alternative to the often disappointing icons in athletics, entertainment or commercial music, he recommended a "modest search" into the lives of one's ancestors to find role models.
Sharing a few stories and examples from ancestors' lives, Elder Brough said, "These are a few great examples of role models which are available to all of us as we learn of our own family history."
He told of meeting with an executive of a large entertainment corporation, a woman of Jewish ethnicity. She had toured the Church Family History Library and asked Elder Brough why the Church is so interested in genealogy.
"I responded, `Let me answer you by asking you the same question: Why are Jews interested in their genealogy?'
"She answered, a little surprised by my query: `Why? It is of ultimate and profound importance. It is how we obtain and maintain our identity. It is how I know who I am. The history and lives of our ancestors are the glue that holds the entire Jewish community together.' She concluded, `How else would you know who you are?'
"I responded to her, `That is one of the reasons why our Church is interested in genealogy.' "
Elder Brough asked, "My brethren of the priesthood, how do we answer this centuries-old question: Who am I?
"First of all, we are sons of God created in His image. We are members of the Church. . . . Our connection and identification with the Church has been maintained by many of our members for more than a century and a half. Without question, the environment of our homes and families is the single greatest influence in our identity as individuals. This was true of our parents' families and their parents' families before them. We need not look beyond our own family to find wonderful role models whose high standards are more than adequate in our search for personal identity."