Handling and Healing the Skeletons in Your Genealogical Closet
During Bridget's speech she talked about her recent book she co-authored, Shattered Silence, the Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter as well as her other co-authored book, Skinhead Confessions: From Hate to Hope. Each of these books talk about real-life individuals that have had life changing effects because of the power of forgiveness, love and hope.
One of the main points from Bridget's speech is the point that we all have skeletons in our genealogical closet. We all have at least one ancestor that when we are researching we find a document or find an event that made our ancestor a criminal, infamous or something else that our first instincts wants to hide. She explains how these ancestors and the events in their lives are important for us to learn and are chances for growth and learning. As we learn and grow, hopefully our descendants will learn and grow too.
Do you keep a journal? Are you honest when writing in your journal? Do you only write about the good days you have and the fun events in your life? Bridget emphasized the importance of writing about all aspects of your life. The ups and downs make your life interesting. If you were to read a journal of an ancestor and all it contained were their accomplishments, good days and happy times, it might seem like they were "perfect" or it might seem to you like you could never "live the life they did".
By including the trials and heartache in your own history, along with how you were able to overcome them will give hope to your descendants. Maybe one of your descendants will suffer from the same physical, mental or emotional challenges you have to overcome everyday. Your words and testimony can be a great benefit for thousands of people. Write what you know, what you don't know, how you feel, your accomplishments, your shortfalls and everything in between.
Friday night was such an amazing experience to be able to hear from Bridget and how she herself has overcome challenges and trials in her life. She gave much hope and encouragement for us to do the same. I highly recommend reading more about Bridget and her books. The stories told in these books are very motivating and personal. You can learn more about Bridget by visiting her website http://www.mbridgetcook.com/
M. Bridget Cook is an author, speaker, and life coach who has been writing stories of transformation since she was young. Always curious and awed by the extremes of human behavior, she co-authored Shattered Silence, the Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter(Sweetwater Books, Cedar Fort 2009) with Melissa G. Moore, daughter of the infamous Happy Face serial murderer. She also co-authored Skinhead Confessions: From Hate to Hope(Sweetwater Books, Cedar Fort 2009) with former high-ranking white power leader TJ Leyden. In her writing, Bridget loves to inspire and be inspired by people from all walks of life.
In the spring, after leaving Mr. Wells, I went to work for a Mr. Powell, new Sreeveville, three miles above Mount Holly, New Jersey. My work was farm work in the summer and in the winter hauling fencing from the cedar swamps and wood and coal for fuel, and fertilizer for the land. This occupied my time from 4 o’clock in the morning until after dark at night. I lived in a house on the farm, rent free, and received cow feed the year around and $13 per month. January 1, 1842, a son, Andrew was born. In the fall of this same year, while hauling coal, I met a man who lived near Burlington, New Jersey, who told me of a strange people whom he had just visited in Illinois. He had become converted to their faith. His name was Mathew Ivory. His rehearsal of the faith and Principles of their Church gave me peculiar feelings that I could not throw off my mind. I did not believe in any of the numerous sects, although my parents were members of the Methodist Church, and were I believe, honest in their convictions; but there was such a difference in the believe of the different sects in regard to the meaning of the writings in the Bible that I had become almost an infidel.
In a short time I passed Mr. Ivory’s again, and he came out from the field and commenced talking again. He said he had some pamphlets he wished me to read. I told him I would be pleased to read them. He said he would have them in the field when I returned with my load of coal. They were locked in his chest and he dared not let his wife see them or know where they were. She was so bitter against those people and their doctrines that she would have burned the pamphlets had she found them When I returned, Mr. Ivory had the pamphlets ready for me. They were headed “The Gospel Reflector” by Benjamin Winchester. I then learned for the first time that this strange and hated people were called Mormons or Latter-day Saints. I took the pamphlets home and in the evening read while my wife sewed. We were so interested that midnight was upon us before we were aware of it. From that day to the present, I have never doubted the truth of the Latter-day work.
I think it was in December I told Mr. Ivory to send the first Latter-day Saint elder he saw to my house, and he said there would be an elder up from Philadelphia in a few days. Accordingly, he sent Elder Joseph H. Newton to my house.
I engaged the schoolhouse in Sreeveville for him to preach in. He delivered two discourses and I told him we were ready and wanted to be baptized, and on the first Sunday in February, my wife and myself and Thomas Leary, a young man, were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a short time there was a branch of the Church organized with forty members, called the Sreeveville Branch.
End of Peterson Story