Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Rosana Soares, shared a RootsTech presentation from their homeland, Brazil. Their keynote speech aired on Saturday. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — A three-day online RootsTech family history conference hosted and run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Family Search ended on Saturday with Family Discovery Day.
For the Family Discovery Day portion of RootsTech, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, went to Brazil to talk about their past, and how culture, heritage and traditions contribute to understanding who we are, and “whose we are.”
“You cannot fully understand the breadth of who you are, without understanding whose you are. Do you understand that you are literally a child of God? Have you discovered what that divine heritage means for you?” Elder Soares asked.
Elder and Sister Soares spoke in English and Portuguese as they recounted parts of their own personal history and talked about how their history and heritage brings them closer to Jesus Christ.
Although RootsTech ended on Saturday, the videos and information from the conference will be available online all year.
Elder Soares and his wife talked about the growth they have seen in the church in Brazil throughout their lifetimes. They were both raised in São Paulo and served missions in Rio de Janeiro. Elder Soares said that he is in awe that Brazil now has 281 stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and 39 districts, which are groups of congregations smaller than stakes. He said he can remember when the first stake in South America was organized in São Paulo when he was 8.
Part of the presentation included a video of the couple walking through the new temple that will be dedicated soon in Rio de Janeiro and talking about their experiences in temples. Elder Soares said that everything that happens in temples is focused on helping people return to Heavenly Father.
“My brothers and and sisters, it is in the temple where you can not only discover who you are and whose you are, but also who you are meant to become,” he said.
The couple discussed how temples allow people to not only help their posterity, but to help their ancestors as well through temple ordinances.
“He’ll take you the way you are and as you come unto (Jesus) and learn of him, you can and you will become even more like him. Part of that becoming includes joining the cause of the gathering on both sides of the veil,” Elder Soares said.
The couple said that their family makes memories around the dinner table, and part of the Family Discovery Day showed Elder and Sister Soares at the table with family members connecting by talking about their lives and the gospel.
“Remember, family history isn’t all about the distant past. You can look to your own recent experiences and stories or history as it unfolds right here, in the present. You can establish your own traditions. It is a combination of the past and the present that makes you uniquely you,” he said.
Sister Soares said that each person has the ability to build the next generation by passing down their stories.
“We each play an important role in passing down our family stories, heritage, culture and traditions. We are each a link connecting the past and present to the future and passing on these important aspects of who we are, and whose we are, can fortify the rising generation in a time when they most need it,” she said.
Elder Soares added to that the importance of also passing down testimonies of Jesus Christ. He said that coming to know Jesus Christ can add perspective even when times are hard.
“Coming unto Christ is the sure way to bring back even a flicker of light that can grow within you, little by little … and in time, lead to hope and healing,” he said.