Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Celebration of Family History

A Celebration of Family History I mentioned yesterday that the highlight of the NGS conference for me came in the middle of

A Celebration of
Family History
Woven Generations

Welcome: Jay Verkler
Chief Executive Officer of FamilySearch

Invocation: Reverend France A. Davis
Calvary Baptist Church

Woven Generations
Film (Watch)

“Wayfarin’ Stranger”
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Orchestra at Temple Square
Mack Wilberg, conductor
Richard Elliott, organist
(Listen to a clip)

Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Henry B. Eyring based much of his remarks on a circular printed in 1846 by the New England Historical and Genealogical Society stating that “the minds of men are naturally moved to know something of their progenitors.”

He went on to praise the genealogical community. “You have built and preserved a community where the mentor that helps those less skilled is revered,” Eyring said. “It is rare in history for such a community to emerge. It is rarer still for such a community to sustain itself.”

Letters from Estonia
Film (Watch)

“Morning Has Broken”
Choir and Orchestra
(Listen to a clip)

Searching for Emma
Film (Watch)

Clan McCloud
Film (Watch)

“Amazing Grace”
Choir and Orchestra
(I want to comment before giving you a link.)

David McCullough
Author and Historian

McCullough told us of his wonderful childhood where his family would gather around the dinner table and talk—talk about substantive matters.

“We should never say ‘gone, but not forgotten.’ If they are not forgotten, they are not gone. They created the society, the values, the experiences we all live by. We must not lose sight of them.”

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Film (Watch)

“Battle Hymn of the Republic”
Choir and Orchestra (Listen to a clip)

Conference Highlight

So what was the high point of the conference for me? “Amazing Grace.”

In the video that proceeded it, “Clan McCloud,” a father of Scottish descent related the story of his son, Jared. At age seven Jared announced his desire to learn to play the bagpipes.

“If you’ve ever heard bagpipes in a confined space, you’ll know why we’ve created basements,” quipped Jared’s father. As a result of Jared’s interest in his Scottish roots, and despite the cacophony, the entire family reconnected with their Scottish heritage.

And Jared did, eventually, learn to play the bagpipes, as we can attest. For as the lights came up, there was Jared and three additional pipers, standing amidst the choir. The sad, soulful strains of the pipes filtered through the large hall like the mournful cries of the lost.

In its turn, as if falling into the march behind the pipers, the orchestra joined in, soothing the cries of the pipes with hope that dangers, toils, and fears could be relieved.

As the men of the choir joined the march, we heard in words our hopes secured: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”

Then the women added a descant, lifting us heavenward. “The Lord has promised good to me…”

Now all in unison. “…I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.”

Finally in full voice with majestic orchestration: “…Bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…”

Surely God was in the moment. It is never to be forgotten.

(Watch on YouTube)


  1. Little known fact -- The pipers with Jared are the same ones heard on the "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" CD. There is also a rumor that one of them knows the insider and is an insider too....

  2. Awesome! Just clicked through from here to watch the McCloud movie. Fun, that. So glad glad to see what we call "The Loud McLeod" tartan (also known as the bumblebee tartan). Was a bit taken aback by the name spelling (McCloud is an alternate adaptation of McLeod).

    I wrote a post a while back about my family's "honorary" McLeod heritage. The traditions are there, but (truth be told), the blood is not. But there's a photo of Dunvegan Castle there -- home to the Chief of the Clan McLeod. The post was my entry in a carnival of genealogy entry devoted to genealogical myths or somesuch.

    Hold fast!*


    *The Clan McLeod motto


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