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Church to host family history fair Saturday

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For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s all relative.

That’s what they hope to find out, anyway.

“We’re a strong, family-oriented church,” church member Lynn Godek said. “We believe in connecting with our past family members, understanding who they are and where we come from. Part of it is some of our doctrinal beliefs and salvation.”

Tracing back and then carrying on God’s plan for the family is one reason church members use the family genealogy center within the local church, at 20020 Ives St. But it’s the concept of understanding one’s roots in general that has brought church members together to host a free family history fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for the community.

While the church’s family genealogy center is open to the public year-round, center volunteer Lois Hall said it’s not as well used by non-church members as it had been in the past. “We used to be busy, but since there’s so much on the Internet, they don’t come in as much,” she said.

The center is equipped with several resources to help with one’s genealogy search, including books, computers with an Ancestry.com account and microfilm.

Saturday’s family history fair will offer beginning and-advanced-level genealogy classes to help people either get started in their family roots search or get past previous dead ends or conflicting documents. One class also will offer information about the church’s indexing program.

Heidi Beuttenmuller, event organizer and president of the church’s women’s group, the Relief Society, said this is the first family history fair the church has hosted in recent years. “I think people feel better about themselves when they know their history,” she said. “When you know your story and who you’re representing, it helps gives you a moral rudder in the crazy world. The pull for me is my ancestors. They’re the reason I’m here.”

The church’s family history center is open to the public from noon to 2 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, and by appointment by calling Mrs. Hall at 646-1735.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Feb. 8. For more information, visit http://wdt.me/kXNnth.

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