RootsTech day one was FANTASTIC!
First, I must applaud the amazing RootsTech crew for their awesome response to feedback from last year. Registration this year was a breeze. The classrooms are much larger, and, mercifully, cooler in temperature. There are so many volunteer staff members EVERYWHERE with shirts that read, “Ask Me Anything”. And they mean it – they are ready for our questions. It has been so calm, smooth, and welcoming. A+ from me so far.
Also… I woke up to an email letting me know that I have the opportunity to serve as an Ambassador for RootsTech London in October. Hooray!!!!
That was such a great way to start the day, but it just got better. I loved the classes I chose and really loved connecting with friends, old and new. But then the keynote?
So many great moments and inspiring messages. But this moment right here…
…was so incredible.
The man in the center is Elder David A. Bednar who is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The man to his right is Michael B. Moore, the President and CEO of the International African American Museum. The mission of the IAAM is incredible. From their press release today, they shared this:
“Once built, the IAAM will be a world-class museum, memorial and site of conscience presenting the history, sacrifices and contributions of Americans of African descent. It will be built on the former Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina. Nearly half of all enslaved Africans forced to North America arrived through Charleston, and the majority disembarked at Gadsden’s Wharf, taking their first steps into this country at the future site of the IAAM. The museum will contribute to a more complete and honest articulation of American history that will resonate with both national and international visitors.”
That photo up there was taken just before Elder Bednar announced that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is donating $2 million dollars to the IAAM’s Center for Family History. Elder Bednar stated this, “We pray that through this donation and our continued relationship that millions and millions of God’s children will be blessed.”
What followed was a lovely, long, tearful standing ovation from a room filled to the brim with genealogists who understand well the impact that this will have on generations of people as they seek to understand their family’s story better.
The entire keynote was amazing and you can read a handful of quotes from the various speakers that I shared here.
After the keynote, I had the distinct privilege to stand with a group of other Ambassadors and participate in a panel interview with this incredible group of men:
Guys!! Up there are two Apostles – Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Gary E. Stevenson, Thom Reed – a FamilySearch legend, Michael B. Moore of IAAM, AND Martin Luther King III.
I was so in awe.
I was able to ask one question of Elder Bednar. I asked, “Elder Bednar, your ministry has focused very much on one-by-one. How is this partnership a reflection of God’s love for all of his children as individuals?”
He shared this lovely response, “Family history is one of the ultimate examples of one-by-one. We find names one-by-one. For those who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we perform the ordinances one-by-one. So you cannot find a more pervasive or practical application of one by one than family history.”
After the interview, I was able to speak with Elder Bednar for a moment and share with him a sweet story of a time that he was able to have a “one by one” moment with my marvelous middle boy when he was just five years old. What a privilege to meet him, to speak with him, and to be able to thank him for being a blessing to my family
RootsTech, day one was amazing my friends.
If you want to catch the live stream sessions tomorrow, you can learn more about that here.
Happy Wednesday night, I hope some genealogy goodness will fill you up today. It’s a wonderful feeling. xoxo