To you, this may look like a simple Snickers bar. But looks can be deceiving.
I remember going on vacations and finding myself at some cemetery in the middle of nowhere. I’m pretty sure I made things a little difficult for my mom, as bored and miserable as I’m sure I acted.
Over the last few years, family history research has skyrocketed in its popularity. Shows like Who Do You Think You Are and The Generations Project have shown us how exciting it can be to learn about our past. Websites like FamilySearch and Ancestry.com have made historical records of all kinds easily accessible to everyone with a computer nearby.
Through FamilySearch.com, volunteers can help the family history effort by “indexing” names. This “allows researchers to more quickly find records for specific individuals; without them, researchers might have to look through hundreds or thousands of records to locate an individual record.”
Which brings me to the candy bar. We were issued a challenge at church last month. As a ward, we set the goal of indexing 25,000 names by the end of November. I signed up to index 500. A number that I thought was realistic. In September I indexed a mere 47 names—extremely insignificant compared to the more than 50,000 my ward had done by the end of that month.
As an incentive to get going, every Sunday the people overseeing the indexing hand out candy bars to those who’ve indexed 250 names or more the previous week. And week after week, I sit there thinking, “DANG IT! That should be me!” Now, I know that I could easily go to the store and spend 79 cents and get any kind of candy bar I want. But that's not the point. It's what it represents.
This last week I carved out some time to ignore kids, the dog, and Rick, and I indexed over 500 names. And when they read my name at church, I was proud. Proud that I had met my goal, yes. But even more proud that I helped free those names from their digital prison. Because it’s not just a name. There’s a person attached to it. And his ancestors are searching for him. And her great great great great great great granddaughter wants to do her temple work. And they’ll be found now. And this will be the sweetest candy bar I’ve ever eaten.