Family history moments: Making a difference

A couple of months ago I decided I would finally start indexing and began working on the 1940 Census. I did this in the front room where my mother-in-law sits.

My mother-in-law, Caroline Christensen, who turned 88 on May 14, said to me, "I think I would like to have you buy me a computer and teach me how to index."

I responded by saying that I would sit down with her and show her how to index on our computer and, if she liked it, then we would buy her a computer. (She had never used a computer in her life.)

Within a couple of days, I sat her down at the computer and had her index a census record.

Because of arthritis, she is only able to use her right hand. After a couple of hours, we had completed only a few lines, but she was excited. She told me that she had always enjoyed extraction and, basically, this is what indexing is, except it is on the computer.

That evening she told her son (my husband), Mike, that we needed to buy her a computer and the next morning she told me the same thing. So, we decided to purchase a computer for her.

Since the computer arrived in early May, Mike or I have spent about two hours each day helping her index. She has completed five batches so far and loves it.

Although my mother-in-law is home bound and unable to attend Church, her mind is still active. She knows she is doing something productive and serving the Lord. I have seen her countenance change since she has been indexing, and it has become a real blessing for her.

A few weeks ago our bishop stopped by and she was telling him about her indexing. He suggested that they make it "official" and he called her to serve as an indexer. On May 20, she was sustained in that calling during sacrament meeting. Caroline is making a difference, rather than just sitting in her chair all day.

— Sidney L. Christensen, Blanding 1st Ward, Blanding Utah Stake

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed