In 2014, I ventured into the world of family history and quickly became passionate about seeking out my ancestors and performing their temple ordinances. Attending the temple became increasingly meaningful as I spent time working on behalf of my own family, people I had come to know and love through the process of researching their lives and families.
I loved every part of the work, but I especially loved the moments when we could seal whole families together for eternity. During a few of these sealings, I had the distinct impression that someone was missing and that I needed to find another member of that family. In each instance, when I went back to search for another person, I found a young child or baby, or sometimes several, who were missing from the family records. It used to be common for families to lose babies or young children to illness, and I’ve found that often the little ones who are missed in a census record get lost in family history. I’ve since made it a mission of mine to seek out these missing little ones. I haven’t kept track of how many I’ve found, but it has been at least a few dozen.
In 2018 I had a miscarriage, and the pain of losing a baby who I hadn’t even yet met was excruciating. A few days after the miscarriage, my husband and I attended the temple for an endowment session, seeking peace and comfort for our grieving hearts. At one point in the session, I felt overwhelmed with sadness and could barely control my sobs.
In that moment of intense heartache, I had the distinct impression that all of the women for whom I had found lost babies and children were coming to encircle me in their arms. They understood completely how I was feeling, and it was as if they were saying, “We know. We know how hard it is. We’re here for you, and it’s going to be ok.” I felt loved, understood, and comforted by these women whom I hadn’t met but with whom I felt a deep connection, a connection that deepened that day and over the following months during my moments of grief.
I know that they without us cannot be made perfect, but even more so that “we without them cannot be made perfect.” I firmly believe that in the temple we can draw closer to our own family members who have gone before us, especially as we seek to serve them through performing ordinances on their behalf.