Monday, January 23, 2012

FamilySearch’s Shipley Munson

Shipley Munson sings with the Tabernacle Choir on 15 January 2011Note: This article will be of interest mainly to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Please skip today’s article if you are not interested.

How apropos it was that we listened to a recording of the Tabernacle Choir as we assembled to hear Shipley Munson, FamilySearch marketing director, at a recent seminar in Riverton, Utah. Munson has extensive marketing experience, two degrees from Harvard, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and speaks seven language.

Shipley Munson sings with the Tabernacle Choir on 15 January 2011And he is a member of the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

“My family likes to play “Where’s Waldo?” he said. Then he showed us a picture of the entire choir with his tiny figure circled. There was an arrow pointing to it. The arrow was labeled “Me!”

Munson asked family history consultants in the audience what problems—in their Church responsibilities as consultants—“kept them up at nights.” Some wished Church priesthood leaders would better support family history activities.

“Priesthood leaders will engage in Family History,” said Munson, “when they gain a testimony of its power to solve their problems in furthering the work of salvation, not our problems in furthering the work of family history.” 

Munson then asked a Church leader in attendance what kept him up at night. He mentioned several concerns, such as helping members of his congregation to understand the operations of the Holy Spirit.

Munson showed a 20 minute video composed of interviews recorded in congregations in Springfield, Illinois. Church congregations were helping members experiencing various life challenges such as marital problems and deaths of loved ones. The video demonstrated how family history activities and temple worship helped Church members having a variety of personal and family problems. “If you forget yourself in the service of others,’ said one, “you will find yourself. And family history is a vehicle to accomplish that.”

“It has turned our hearts to Heavenly Father.”

Family History Consultants can view the video for themselves at