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No Record Was Kept

No Record Was Kept

For my twelfth birthday my mother gave me a little diary with a tiny lock and key. I was delighted with my gift and wrote in it every day. Seeing how much I enjoyed writing in my diary, the next year I was given another diary, and I kept a written journal throughout my teenage years.

When I married and began having children, I became too busy to write much in my journal. As the children grew and I became busier, I wrote even less, but I did remember the Lord’s instruction to Joseph Smith to keep a history and a record of all things that transpire in Zion (D&C 85:1). I remembered how Jesus taught the Nephites to keep a record of important doctrines and events (3 Nephi 23: 6 – 13). Because of these scriptural teachings, I made sure that I recorded the important events in my children’s lives, particularly when they received priesthood ordinances.
When my son, Alexander was 13 we moved to a new ward. At the time of his 14 th birthday he was ordained to the office of a teacher in the Aaronic priesthood. The diligent ward clerk wanted to give me a certificate for his ordination, but wasn’t able to track down his records. He contacted our previous ward, but they didn’t have any records for Alexander’s ordinances, so the clerk asked me for his certificates. I searched through the few which I had and discovered that I had none for Alexander.

Various offices were contacted, such as those in Johannesburg and Salt Lake City, but no one had a record of Alexander’s ordination to the Aaronic priesthood two years previously. In fact, there was no record of his baptism! And I had no certificates for any of these ordinances. I hadn’t received any from my previous ward, and hadn’t noticed that they didn’t give me any after the ordinances were performed.

The clerk and I were perplexed as to what should be done. He asked me if I remembered the dates of the baptism and ordination, but I could only figure out the year. Then I remembered that I had recorded all of the children’s baptisms and ordinations in my journals. I was able to search through them and find the exact dates of everything, so that the clerk could make sure that all the records were in order, and he made out all the missing certificates.

After that experience, not only did I make sure that I always got the necessary certificates when ordinances were performed, but my testimony of keeping a record of important events in the family was greatly strengthened.