The Latter Day Saints: A Leap in the History of Genealogy
Genealogy as a field of study has grown much over the past years. Initially concerned with the families of the nobility, it has continuously branched out to cover a broader scope. Today, genealogy is already a thing of the masses. It is not anymore confined within the boundaries of power, wealth, and influence. It has already reached out to the common people. Right now, it is widely used among different groups for various purposes.
Genealogy as a field has its own rich history. As it has evolved over the years, there were various influences, groups of people, and events that brought it to where it is right now. One of the prevailing forces that has contributed much to the growth of genealogy was the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. The Latter-day Saints or the LDS, more commonly familiar to many people as the Mormons, is a church whose origin can be traced back to the year 1830 as established by Joseph Smith. Starting out from a group of six, the LDS has now grown into a denomination with approximately 11 million members. It is one of the few influences which has caused a great leap in the advancement of genealogy.
The Latter-day Saints today actually refers to different groups and denominations, all of which have descended from the one founded by Smith. And though it has now branched into different groups, LDS has left a respectable record in the field of genealogy. LDS was among the forces which pioneered in the copying and preservation of records that had been of great use in genealogy. The group had embarked into an extensive transcription of records into a microfilm during the 20th century, and these records are now highly priced and are considered treasures in the genealogical field.
Ever since LDS started out, it has already promoted the individual maintenance of records among its members. Noteworthy to mention are certain important doctrinal activities like baptism, death, and marriage. Today, the Church of the Latter-day Saints also prides the biggest and most comprehensive international genealogy library. Found in Salt Lake City in Utah, the Family History Library is a vast collection of genealogical treasures.
The precious materials found within the library vary from individual journals, to membership records, periodicals, and even biographies of the various LDS members. Truly, genealogists have so much to be thankful of for this group of believers which has painstakingly recorded history to come up with such useful information.
Genealogy will not be as rich, as important, and as utilitarian as it is today without the various forces behind its development. The Latter-day Saint members, while having their own rich history to boast of, have not only taken part in creating history by simply participating in it, but by actually becoming agents in the preservation of the richness of their own heritage. And in doing so, they have left a worthy legacy into the present era. They have left their own imprint in the history of genealogy.