A Photo, a Sketch, and a Story

“A Photo, a Sketch, and a Story,” Ensign, Dec. 2007, 67

A Photo, a Sketch, and a Story

If compiling your life history seems too daunting, consider writing short experiences instead. Then share them with relatives. A few years ago my husband and I received such a gift from our daughter. She gave us a three-ring binder with a slip-in front cover that reads, “Stories from Our Family Trees.” Inside are five wonderful stories, each page preserved in a sheet protector. The stories relate interesting events about our living relatives and our ancestors and are written in language simple enough for our grandchildren to read. We recognized three of the stories from our family history books, but two were new to us. Each Christmas thereafter we received a few more stories to add to our book. This quickly became our favorite, most anticipated gift.

I decided to join in the fun by helping my busy daughter research the stories. We supplement each one with a photo, appropriate picture, or simple sketch. We hope that the easy, short format will be more interesting and less intimidating to read than a lengthy family history book. Now in my 80s, I have a growing posterity, so we send a set of stories to each of my grown children. They are encouraged to photocopy additional sets for their children, and so on.

We encourage our family to share these wonderful experiences in Church talks and lessons, at family home evening, or at bedtime. What a great blessing it is to share meaningful, true accounts from our family tree, accounts that often focus on gospel principles and courageous lives.
Fay Rich, Utah