A few weeks ago I was watching an afternoon talk show and the topic was about couples who had made the decision to be childless. How sad, I thought. Sure, having kids is the hardest thing I have ever done and there are many days when I feel completely overwhelmed and discouraged -- and I only have one right now. The thought of having three under the age of 18 months is absolutely terrifying. But, my children are truly a joy to me and I find comfort in knowing that we are keeping the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. I am so grateful that despite our infertility mysteries we have been able to achieve pregnancy and have these beautiful children through the miracles of modern medicine.
There was one couple on the talk show who married in their early to mid-thirties. They are both only children in their family and will not be having offspring of their own. They, in particular, have haunted me over the days. Basically, their family lines will end with them -- they are headed toward extinction. Seriously tragic.
I had a thought this weekend during general conference that Family History was the answer. I love the show, "Who do you think you are?" where celebrities research their family story and learn where they come from. At the end of their journey every one of them is anxious to return to their parents, siblings, and children to tell them what they learned. It got me thinking that the purpose of family history is not only to link our past but to link our future. (I realize that is totally obvious when you are doing the work to prepare for temple ordinances but maybe not so obvious when you are just looking into it as a casual hobby.) There is a special spirit about genealogy that helps us understand where we come from and gives us the desire to pass along those stories to our own posterity. Truly, it is the antidote to thoughts about childlessness and will help us understand the importance and significance of having a family.
Besides, who can resist a little kid as cute as this?