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Diane Brear — Stake Family History Director, South Africa

The timing of a call to be of service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is generally unpredictable. A service responsibility may extend for a number of months or a number of years, but although she has served in other callings, Diane Brear of South Africa presently serves in a Church job she thoroughly enjoys as she observes the impact of her service.

Brear is the stake family history center director, a task that since 2009 has given her the opportunity to train other Church members in genealogical research. “Family history has become a passion in my life,” the researcher admits.

“A lot of people are challenged by the technology involved in family history research,” Brear explains, “or they feel overwhelmed at the amount of work involved to identify their family members. I get to help them through these hurdles, and for many the volume of work becomes so exciting. They find family names they are able to take to the temple for ordinance work.”

Brear was baptized as a teenager but fell away from activity in the Church for a number of years. “I just lost interest for time,” she says, “but I finally came back to the Church in 1997 and have held a calling of one kind or another since that time.”

As a single adult and a full-time secretary, Brear also recalls her service as the president of the stake Young Women organization, to the teenage girls in her area. “That too was a challenging calling to inspire those girls and their leaders. I had many amazing experiences and made close friends during that service, but I knew when I was released that it was time for me to learn something new. I never dreamed it would be a calling as challenging and yet rewarding as helping with family history. In our busy world, I can help members see that they can all do something with their family records, even if it’s only a little bit. Those little bits count and they add up. I’ve seen the Lord’s hand in preparing me for this calling. It’s a wonderful blessing in my life to be able to help the members attend the temple and perform ordinances for their deceased ancestors.”

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