Record-Keeping is an Inspiration to Young Generation

Record-Keeping is an Inspiration to Young Generation

The Accra Christiansburg Stake Center was filled with the Spirit on Oct 9, 2016, as members gathered to hear from Elder Steven Erastus Snow. Elder Snow succeeded Elder Marlin K. Jensen in 2012 as Church Historian and Recorder, and also serves as the Executive Director of the Church History Department. A combined choir representing Ofankor and Christiansburg stakes provided an uplifting musical prelude. Marcus B. Nash, first counselor in the Africa West Area Presidency, in his welcome address instructed the faithful saints on the role of the Church Historian. He compared Elder Snow to John Whitmer in the Doctrine and Covenants.

“Nevertheless, let my servant John Whitmer (Elder Snow) travel many times from place to place, and from church to church, that he may the more easily obtain knowledge ---preaching and expounding, writing, copying, selecting, and obtaining all things which shall be for the good of the church, and for rising generation that shall grow up on the land of Zion, to possess it from generation to generation, for ever and ever.” (D&C 69:7-8)

Following Elder Nash, Brother Reid L. Neilson, assistant church historian, told us that after seeing the Angel Moroni on top of the Accra Temple, the Holy Spirit had prompted him to focus his words on Moroni rather than deliver his intended remarks. Brother Neilson spoke of Moroni’s important role in the fulfillment of the restoration of the Gospel. In his many visits he taught Joseph Smith about family history and record keeping (JSH 1: 33-35). He also underscored Moroni’s admonition stated in the Book of Mormon in Moroni 1-10 that teaches about Christ, the priesthood, the sacrament, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and his invitation to all to repent and come unto Christ.


Brother Neil (Assistant Historian) gazing upon Moroni through the window

Sister Phyllis Snow lauded the choir during her talk and described how she had felt the spirit as they sang so well. She then humbly charged the church members to write and share their personal stories and individual history for their children and grandchildren. She admonished parents to write about their school life, social life, and most especially their conversion stories, which would strengthen the children to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sister Snow recommended words of Nephi to parents as encouragement whenever they feel reluctant to write personal stories for their generations.

“And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men”.(2 Nephi: 33-1)

YSA Choir IMG_0267 rdcd.jpg

As he began his address, Elder Snow commended the choir and described how he had been inspired as they sang. He then spoke on the importance of record-keeping and emphasized its relevance to generations yet unborn. He stated that recording history is meant to “promote faith and serve as an encouragement. It instills hope in children to overcome challenges, hard times, and to remain faithful in the church as they learn from past mistakes of their parents and grandparents.” Elder Snow promised that, record keeping would be a great treasure for children as they refer to stories about the trials, challenges and temptations their parents and grandparents faced in their mortal journey, and how they overcame such tribulations.

“Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an Elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ”. D&C 21:1 He added, “indeed record keeping serves as an inspiration to the young generation.”

Elder Terence M. Vinson, president of the West Africa area, concluded the devotional by inviting members to raise their hands if they were the first members of their family to have joined the church.

Upon seeing more hands than he could easily count, he counseled them on the importance of record keeping by inviting them to write stories of their dedication to the gospel, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their compassion toward their fellow men as histories for their children. “It is important to communicate what we pass through to our children so they can learn from it and grow in their testimonies and strengthen their faith through histories of parents”.