Sunday, May 16, 2010

Photographic Memory

Today while I was in my Family Search, Family History Sunday School class, someone asked if images could be posted on the New Family Search.

The answer was, "Not yet."

Then I got to thinking about the photo pedigrees my mother-in-law has put together for her children - all those pictures of grandparents and great-grandparents etc. etc. 

And how stressed she gets if she can't find a photo of someone in the family.

My thought is that obviously there will come a moment in time when photos won't be available because there just wasn't that technology way back when and then well,  the photo pedigrees will just have to be a pedigree.

And then I thought about Joseph Smith.

Right before his death there was a daguerrotype made of him. (A daguerrotype was the early method of photography). It is the only "real" image we have of him, as historians believe.

Then my memory went to my mission.  We had flip charts back then and one of them was an artist's depiction of The First Vision.

And when we got to the part of sharing our thoughts and testimony about Joseph's prayer in The Sacred Grove, more often than not the person hearing the story for the first time would ask, "Is that a photograph of him seeing God?"

Back then, I found that question a bit amusing and confusing.  Didn't they hear that the year was 1820 - not 1920?  1820 was so non-technological. . .

So back to the question if images could be posted into New Family Search (I really am trying to bring this full-circle), my thoughts came to the fact that we have a photograph of every. single. Latter-day. prophet. with Joseph's being the only one with disputes (whether or not it looks like the death mask etc. etc. etc.)

But the point I wanted to make is, the WHOLE, ENTIRE, story of the Restoration - from Joseph's First Prayer to his death - requires complete faith in the God to know that these things are true.

No one was with him the that grove of trees that spring morning of 1820.  No one took a photo of him coming out of the grove.  No one could vouch that he was even there . . .

But anyone can know if these things are true.  Anyone can know the Joseph Smith is a prophet.  And they can do it without seeing a photo of him - by the POWER of the Holy Ghost.

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