News Release

Elder and Sister Soares Featured at RootsTech 2022 Family Discovery Day

Family history conference attracts participants from every country and territory

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Hundreds of thousands of family history enthusiasts from every country and territory around the world attended RootsTech 2022, which wrapped up on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

“All of this is to build a bridge,” said Jonathan H. Wing of FamilySearch International, sponsor of the world’s largest family history event. “We want that message — and what RootsTech and FamilySearch stands for — to resonate in the hearts of everybody.”

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The three-day annual family history conference was all-virtual again this year due to the pandemic.

The crowning event of RootsTech was a Family Discovery Day keynote presentation from Elder Ulisses Soares, an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Rosana.

Elder and Sister Soares shared family experiences in Portuguese from their homeland of Brazil. Both were raised in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city.

Part of the presentation included a video of Elder and Sister Soares walking through the new Rio de Janeiro temple, which will be dedicated soon. Elder Soares said that everything that happens in temples focuses on helping people return to Heavenly Father.

“My brothers 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.

One of RootsTech’s keynote presenters was veteran film star, writer and director Matthew Modine, who crossed paths with FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood while in New York City, Modine’s adopted hometown. But, as it turns out, Modine’s ancestors were among New York’s early settlers.

“We really are just kind of like mayflies in the grand scope of things. We [are] just here for a moment, and for me it signifies and magnifies the responsibility that we have to leaving the world a better place than the way we found it,” Modine said.

“You have to go on the journey. You have to go out and find yourself in others to understand that we share this common thread,” he added.

Other featured speakers included Argentine singer Diego Torres and Ghanaian boxing legend Azumah Nelson.  

“I pray my words inspire you to connect with your roots,” Nelson said.

Event directors like Wing and Jen Allen of FamilySearch have created an original music and dance production for the event that captures the spirit of choosing connection, harnessing the thematic postwar era beginning in the 1940s, when the world found a way to renew itself from its greatest strife by connecting and healing together.

“This is such a fun production to be a part of again — to see dancers, there’s dancers from all sorts of genres. We just knew right from the beginning that it was going to be something special,” Allen shared.

“Music definitely has a way of connecting people. It is like our one language that everyone knows, and we all can share it. Music definitely speaks to the soul in a way that words can’t sometimes,” vocalist Aaliyah Rose said.

“The unity is there. People are still choosing to connect,” Wing said.

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