So, one of the things about this church is that doing family history research is a part of our set of beliefs and values, but why?
Family history is all about finding your ancestors and seeing where you come from, from doing this you can learn allot about your heritage such as where your family comes from and how they ended up where they are today. If you look at the Bible you will see that not only is it a record of what God did with his people but it is also a record of family history. as early as Genesis 4 there has been a record of where people come from.
and than the last two verses in the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6) it says:
5 ¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 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. Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers is what family history is all about.
Finding out where you come from is only part of the reason for doing this, The other part is about salvation through Jesus Christ. This salvation is not just for those that are alive today but for everyone who has ever lived on the earth and ever will live here. 1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And so Paul is teaching here, is asking the question why do they baptize for people who are dead, if we will not be resurrected?
This is because salvation is available to everyone, and baptism is an essential part of us becoming cleansed through Jesus Christ. and so, by looking for our family who have passed on we are able to bring people to Jesus Christ, and provide them with the opportunity to accept his sacrifice. This does not stop them saying no to him of course but it does provide everyone a chance to become reborn in him.