Sep 282017
FamilySearch CEO Steven T. Rockwood: Gatherers in the Kingdom

Today we had Steven T. Rockwood, the CEO of FamilySearch, give a speech during BYU’s Family History Week. Steven T. Rockwood is the managing director for the Family History Department and CEO of FamilySearch. According to Grace Haggard, from BYU, “Rockwood, who previously worked at creating unique service opportunities for MasterCard International, AT&T, Disney, Office Depot, and Citibank international customers, has applied his knowledge and ingenuity to family history and genealogy.”

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I wanted to share just a few highlights from talk so that we all can be edified and motivated by what he shared. Before I do I want to direct you to an article I wrote that shares briefly a little bit about Family History and how it relates to the LDS faith, as this will help put what he says in the right setting.

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Here are his highlights:

There are many blessings that come from participating in family history, which include protection against the adversary, the spirit more in your life and many more blessings promised in the scriptures.

2 Kings  6:16-17

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

  • More with us then there are with them.
    • Why because we are the few gatherers
    • Ancestors are helping and protecting you from the other side of the veil.
  • In future we will have access to more data than we can imagine.
    • Question is going to be what are we going to do with that data.
  • Roles of Each One of Us Concerning Family History
    • Gatherer – Help to locate and gather your ancestors.
      • Need revelation
      • Essential how to ask for and then follow the Spirit in relation to help finding your ancestors
        • Can’t do it without the Spirit
    • Helper – help others and teach them to do family history
    • Enablers – Specific skill sets, which help expand family history
  • Invitation – Don’t major in minor things, don’t minor in minor things
    • Minor in Family History will put you on top because you will know how to gather ancestors and help to make a better enabler with more skills to offer.
    • Have many skills and use these skills to help further Family History research.
  • Family History now is what Computer Science was back in the 80’s.
    • In 30 years Family History will be the BIG thing.
  • Do what you can now and in the future to be an enabler of discovery for all.
  • Use Relatives Around Me feature in the FamilySearch app to help discovery relatives.
    • As enablers we can unify each other.
  • Technological Advances in the Future for Family History
    • Memory cost less which allows us to access and save more documents
    • AI allows us to index records by machine and with human eye – Double efficiency
    • Virtual tour of ancestors hometowns and conversation with ancestors (using memories)

These are the main points I got from his talk to us. It was a very uplifting and helpful experience. FamilySearch is in good hands and is going to be bringing out some huge technology and resources that will make Family History even more amazing.

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