Memorial Day Story #1: Loving Those Who Have Gone Before Us

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I never did get any stories up to celebrate Memorial Day the week before last so I am repenting and putting them up now. This one I am about to relate is one of my favorites. It is the story of a young man who found out that he had a great uncle who died in WW2 as a jet fighter pilot during a flight. His Great Uncle Jerry died when he was 20, unmarried and without children. So he had no descendants to leave a legacy to or remember him. Nevertheless, this young man became determined to learn more about him and tell his story. He found his picture in an old high school yearbook and was surprised how much he looked like his uncle. He found out more details of his story and shared them in this article here, from the February 2015 Ensign.

My favorite lines from the article are these:

Those who have gone before us can still greatly bless our lives, but only if we don’t forget them. My great-uncle Jerry has now become one of my most powerful role models.

Like Jerry, many people who lived on this earth never married or never had children. They have no direct descendants to honor their memory. We need to learn their stories so they can be told. Like those who have descendants, they too deserve to be remembered.

Coming to know and love this member of my family has given new meaning to the scriptural promise, “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

As I do family history research and temple work, I love to find those “forgotten people” who had no children. I agree, they deserve to be remembered as well. May we all find them and remember them too. As we do so we are able to draw upon their strengths.

(This is an example of the many stories I have curated in my Celestial Guide to Family Devotionals ebook, which you can buy here for $4.99 before the price goes up to $9.99 on June 6.)


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