Am I Good Enough
Family History

More Than Enough: My long journey to self-worth through family history work

“Why didn’t you try out for the team?” the coach asked me one afternoon, as I was playing a game of volleyball with some friends in the high school gym. “You’re better than most girls on the team; we really could have used you this year.”

My heart stopped. 

“Oh, I don’t know,” I replied, resting the volleyball on my hip, “maybe I’ll try out next year.”

“I hope so,” she said, then turned and walked away.

THUD! I hit the ball across the net. 

The game continued on as before, but my thoughts were elsewhere. 

All I could think was, “I’m good enough. I can’t believe I’m good enough.” 

* * * * *

I was raised in a loving home with family who loved me—unconditionally. 

I had numerous friends with whom I made lasting memories.

My life as a child was idyllic, for which I’m grateful.

Nevertheless, the message that I was “not good enough” was ever present, with TV, magazines, school, peer groups, prevaricators, all whispering the same thing:

“You’re not enough.”

“You will never be enough.”

Not smart enough. Not thin enough. Not funny enough. Not pretty enough. Not spiritual enough. Not good enough. Ever.

My biggest regret in life is that I listened. 

* * * * *

Fast forward 25 years.

I went to college, served a mission, got married, and had three beautiful children.

I have a good life. 

Yet I still often feel like I’ll never be good enough.

Not a good enough wife. Not a good enough mother. Not spiritual enough, creative enough, or smart enough.

Feelings like these are hard to erase. They are written in permanent marker on my heart.

Day and night I hear the soft whisper of “not enough”. 

I shrug off what negative feelings I can, and blame the rest on Pinterest.


* * * * *

Somewhere between dishes and laundry and reading to the kids I find time to sit down at the computer and enter a few of my grandpa’s experiences onto familysearch.org.

I pause for a moment and look around the room.

It almost feels as if he is there with me, looking over my shoulder, with his rident smile, and his eyes crinkling at the outside corners like they always used to do.

I think I hear his voice, resonating and deep,

“You’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work.” 

The words, though not audible, echo in my heart.

I smile and continue typing.

* * * * *

Because today’s world is filled with temptation, we need to fortify ourselves to stand strong. Elder David A. Bednar has testified that family history work is one way to bring that strength and to protect us from the world. He said, 

“The Spirit of Elijah is the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of Elijah will influence anyone who is involved in this work. That, for a young person in the wickedness of the world in which we live today, is one of the greatest safeguards against the temptations of the adversary. The Spirit of Elijah will not only bless you, it will protect you” (“The Time Is Now,”lds.org/fhy).

That promised protection is one reason our family is focusing so much on family history work right now. 

However, I have received an unexpected blessing from doing this work. The taunting whisper of “you are not enough” is quickly being replaced by the loving assurance that I am “more than enough”.

I am more than enough when it comes to doing the things that matter most; 

more than enough to be able to fulfill the mission I was sent on earth to do; 

more than enough to do family history work by going to the temple, indexing online, entering stories and photos onto familysearch.org, and many other family history related activities; 

more than enough to help build up a righteous generation;

more than enough to help prepare the earth for the second coming of our Savior.

Doing family history work is blessing my life more than I ever anticipated.

In his book, The Holy Temple, Boyd K. Packer said:

“Brother Widtsoe reaffirmed that ‘those who give themselves with all their might and mind to this [family history] work receive help from the other side. Whoever seeks to help those on the other side receives help in return IN ALL THE AFFAIRS OF LIFE.’”

Family history work not only has the power to save us from the world, it has the power to save us from ourselves.

Family history work works miracles.

* * * * *

I believe my ancestors love me unconditionally. 

As I learn more about them and perform work for them that they are unable to perform for themselves, my unconditional love for them grows as well.

Somehow, through this process of “turning the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers”(Malachi 4:5-6), I am learning to love myself unconditionally. I’m learning to believe that I’m enough—that I am MORE than enough. 

I have more power and potential than I ever imagined. I can be a savior on Mount Zion* for those in need. 

There is a unique feeling that comes from doing family history work. 

It’s a feeling that has to be experienced to be understood.

* * * * *

As for volleyball?

I never did try out for the team, so I’ll never know if I would have been the asset to the team that the coach thought I’d be. 

But that no longer matters.

Regardless of my volleyball skills, be they good or bad, I know that I am MORE THAN ENOUGH.

And guess what?

So are you.


(Seems the marker isn’t so permanent after all.)

* * * * *

 

What efforts have you made this past month to connect with extended family? To view documents and photos, and read stories about family members, visit www.familysearch.org.

 

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* The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that Latter-day Saints are to become saviors on Mount Zion. He explained:

“How are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances … upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them” (History of the Church, 6:184; see also Obadiah 1:21).

 

Am I Good Enough

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