Computer Technology Given to Mankind for Temple Work
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve gave the devotional address at the beginning of Education Week at Brigham Young University today. Deseret News reported on his talk.
His talk was mainly about gaining knowledge through a lifetime of learning, especially spiritual knowledge. He used the example of Michael Phelps Olympic gold records were only possible by building on previous accomplishments.
One of the points he particularly noted was that by increasing our knowledge and capabilities throughout life, we can bless the Church and its work. He gave an example of family history work. Deseret News reports:
In the 1970s, Elder Theodore H. Burton presented the concept of computers being used for family records and research. “He was even bold enough to teach and proclaim that the computer technology was given to man for his use to hasten the day of family history, genealogy and temple work.”
His proclamation was met with reservations about the size and expense of computers for personal use and how few Latter-day Saints would be able to afford or operate them. Other concerns were the complexity how to make them compatible with temple records.
“All seemed to be reasonable reservations for their time,” he said, yet “today, we are embarking on a new era of family history computer technology.”
He then related details about the New FamilySearch which is being put into place as we speak, and is currently available in half of temple districts around the world.
The lesson in that story is simple, he said. “Never dwell or hold on to the past or attempt to protect your comfort zone against the inevitable changes that will be required to meet future advancements. … Our endings only usher in our new beginnings. The ending of one era ushers in a new era. Lifelong learners do not dwell on the past.
“Past learning creates a valuable foundation of experience upon which to build, not a comfortable place to dwell for a lifetime.”
He then said some valuable words to mothers, that they too can be lifelong learners. I recommend you read the story at Deseret News. I look forward to a transcript of his talk.
[Update 8/20/08: An mp3 (audio) format of his talk is now available here.]
[Update 9/8/08: A video (wmv) format of his talk is now available here.]
[Update 11/17/09: Here is the transcript of his talk.]