Every year or so I cleaned out my basement, and every time, I came upon boxes of my father's news clippings, pictures, family heirlooms, etc. Each time, I came across a little colored shoe box which had some of Dad's little notebooks.
I'd glance at it, then almost throw it away; but something would say, "Don't throw that away." I'd toss it back in the pile until the next time.One day in 1992, some 30 years after Dad died, I cleaned out the basement, and there was that colored box. I decided to take another look before throwing it out at last. I dumped the contents on the floor.
I was amazed to find in the bottom of the box some old letters dated 1933, from Dad's cousin in England, and nine family group sheets.
On each sheet Dad had filled in the headings and all that he could remember of his cousins in England. Then he mailed them to his cousin, Elizabeth Francis, for her to fill in all the missing dates, marriages and additions. She had filled them in and returned the sheets to my father.
Dad, being old, must have put the sheets in his box and forgotten them, at least until he was in the spirit world. I suspect every time I cleaned out the basement and was about to toss the box away, he was there saying, "Joe, don't throw away that box." This time it registered. Here were family group sheets full of information.
I went to the Family History Library for new forms onto which I transferred the information. I then mailed them to Church headquarters to be checked to see if the temple work had been done.
Two months later I was in the Idaho Falls Temple picking up an endowment name when the sister at the desk said, "Brother Oborn, don't you want one of your names?"
Those names that my dad had taken pains to get ready for temple work had been cleared, and here they were in the temple already.
What a thrill it was to watch my children and grandchildren participate in baptisms, initiatories and endowment sessions for their ancestors. Later, we all went to the temple to complete the sealings.
I'm surely glad I didn't throw away that little colored shoe box. - Joseph A Oborn, Pocatello 8th Ward, Pocatello Idaho North Stake
(Another in a series of "Family History Moments." Illustration by Deseret News artist Reed McGregor.)