Oakwood Cemetery

The focal point of our mission is institute.  The Institute of Religion program of the church benefits young people ages 18-30.  We love everything about institute.  We love preparing to teach, learning, teaching, and attending.  Most of all we love the young adults who attend with us and share with others their testimony of the restored gospel.

We try to share, both written and visually, what we love in this blog.  Up to this point we have not shared much about institute, especially with pictures.  The problem is obvious. Surely the spirit would disappear if I stepped to the front of a class taught by Sister Ware and, with a flashed from the camera, captured a photo.  You get the picture.

Well, this week we took some photos at institute.

That is because institute this week was a field trip.  This summer we are studying Introduction to Family History in an evening class.  Attendance has been good and the discussions are great.  There are 12 lessons in the manual and there are 15 weeks in the summer, so we did some supplementing.

Getting organized for an institute at Oakwood Cemetery

Getting organized for an institute at Oakwood Cemetery

Some of the most dependable students began to arrive at the appointed time and it took us a minute to get something to eat and get organized.  With a rousing outdoor version of “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet”, an opening prayer and a spiritual thought, we were ready to get to work.


Documenting those who have gone before us at Oakwood

The app BillionGraves is linked to FamilySearch, the church website for family history. BillionGraves provides a unique way to add sources to your family history.  Here’s how it works.  The students downloaded the app to their phones and the app finds their location and recognizes they are in a predetermined cemetery.


S.B. and R.G. document a headstone

This night we used the app to take pictures.  The pictures are stored and their exact location is recorded through the phone’s GPS.


J.H. and C.H add another photo


Documenting headstones. Good project. Good company. Good exercise.

Sister Ware gets into headstone documentation

Sister Ware gets into headstone documentation

On this trip we took pictures of about 1,000 headstones.  The pictures are then uploaded to the BillionGraves website.  At the website or on the app you can next transcribe the information, making the data searchable.  With the link to FamilySearch headstones from BillionGraves can be attached to ancestors and used as a source of information. Documenting makes our work in family history reliable.

Happy with our work in family history

Happy with our work in family history

It was another great Institute of Religion class.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6

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