News Release

Stories of Our Past Brought to Life

Stories of the past were enthusiastically brought to life by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Kuching District in East Malaysia on April 2nd. Wearing colorful traditional dress, these members shared the courage, faith and real life challenges of their ancestors in an evening devoted to sharing family history and culture through stories, dance, skits, music and food. The response was overwhelming!  More than 230 members and friends participated and enjoyed the highly successful cultural event.  It will likely become an area annual tradition!

Advertising for the event began in earnest several months in advance. Flyers in English and Malay were distributed to branches in Kuching, Batu Kawa, Samarahan, Sentosa, Matang and Stampin.  All were invited to share a story or testimony about family history. Table displays, musical numbers, dances, skits, stories and traditional foods were joyfully prepared.  

The day of the event finally arrived. Excitement and anticipation filled the District Center as people arrived, set up, and changed into costumes.  Family pictures, heirlooms, baskets, food and clothing were proudly displayed to represent different races and cultures from Malaysia.  Costumes and native dress were worn by many who attended, showing Govin (India culture), Lebanon (Bidayuh culture), Iban, Chinese and U.S. Mormon Pioneer clothing.

The event opened with remarks about the purpose of the event and the importance of these stories. These stories contain the Spirit of Elijah, which turns our hearts to them (our ancestors) so we have a desire to help them receive the saving ordinances of the gospel.  

One way to make ancestors real is to tell their stories.  Through lovely and graceful dancing with fans and scarves, a heritage was depicted. While drums beat in the background, a clever skit was played out on stage, telling a family story with fake weapons for props. Through flavorful foods, cultural preferences were shared.  The audience was captivated. Stories of the past were brought to life!

"When children know who they are, where they came from, why they are here and where they are going, their lives take on a sense of purpose, enabling them to grasp tightly to truth," said Rosemary M. Wixom, former General Primary President, at the 2016 Family Discovery Day. 

The importance of Family History and continuing traditions of righteousness were illustrated in this activity.  Mormons believe that "The family is ordained of God...Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." (The Family:  A Proclamation to the World.)  Those from East Malaysia who attended this family history event learned something about who they are and where they came from.  

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