In my Family History Class, I ask everyone to write for at least 8 minutes each day and to send at least one or two personal history stories to me so I can share them with the rest of the class. Hearing others’ stories helps us find our own. During this last month, a couple of stories have come in every day or so, and I’ve compiled them into one big long document of wonderful stories, almost 70 pages long so far. Every so often I send these stories out for all to read and enjoy. They are fascinating, funny, thought-provoking and best of all, SAFE.
I was thinking about all of these stories today, feeling happy that they are safely recorded so they might be shared in their families. I feel a great sense of relief that these words are captured and now preserved when they otherwise might have been lost.
Donald Davis was here a couple of weeks ago, teaching a 2-day workshop at BYU. We got permission for all of my class members to attend and I asked anyone who took notes to send them to me to share with everyone else. One thing he said that almost everyone recorded was this: “We are what we remember. If we don’t remember something, it’s as if it never happened.” Wow. That’s powerful and frightening.
When we record our stories, we are literally Saving Lives–the lives of those who live in those stories. When the memory is gone, it’s as if those events never happened, or those people never lived. We must save these lives, ours and those who have gone before us.
Ian Frazier, author of Family, captures the haunting feeling of loss as he describes his thoughts at his mother’s deathbed:
“Soon all the people who had accompanied me through life would be gone, too, and then even the people who had known us, and no one would remain on earth who had ever seen us, and those descended from us perhaps would know stories about us, perhaps once in a while they would pass by buildings where we had lived and they would mention that we had lived there. And then the stories would fade, and the graves would go untended, and no one would guess what it had been like to wake before dawn in our breath-warmed bedrooms as the radiators clanked and our wives and husbands and children slept.”
Let’s each determine to preserve and save lives so they are not forgotten.
Could this be a small part of what is meant by being “Saviors on Mt. Zion?”