I was being set apart for a new calling in the ward. [Translation for those who are not LDS: Several priesthood brethren lay hands on one’s head and pronounce a blessing to help carry out responsibilities in a new assignment].
At the time, I had been very actively pursuing my French Canadian ancestry via letters to parish priests in Quebec. I wrote to a church in St. Henri, Levis, Quebec seeking the children of my great-great grandfather, Benjamin Halle. The family story was that he had two wives, with 9 children from each wife, and I was attempting to confirm that oral tradition. I got a letter back from him with the list of baptisms for 9 children from one wife and 8 from the other. I thought, “So close! It was just easier to say 9 + 9, but in reality there were only 8 from the other wife.”
Then I was called as a counselor to the Primary President (children’s organization at Church) and went in to be set apart. Brother Abell set me apart, then proceeded to give me a blessing. Partway through he hesitated a moment, then began again by saying, “You will received some exciting news that will help you make progress with your genealogy in the near future…” Just that one line, then on to other topics of the blessing. It caught my attention at the time but I didn’t understand what it meant until it was fulfilled a few days later. In the mail I received another letter from the parish priest in St. Henri. On his own accord, he had gone back to the register and looked again at the information I sought. This time he found another child he had overlooked the first time, bringing the numbers up to nine for each wife.
I could imagine Heavenly Father, having inspired the parish priest to check again, and knowing this was happening, being excited for me, anticipating my joy and wanting to be a part of that good news. It certainly wasn’t any insight from Br. Abell, as he didn’t know me or my activity with genealogical research.
For another example of a spiritual experience associated with genealogy work, see an earlier post here.