The Recipe is in the Details
Part 1 of a 4 part series

By James W. Petty, AG®, CGSM

Mmm… Chocolate Cake.  I love Chocolate Cake.  Grandma used to make what was called “Wacky Cake” which was chocolate sheet cake with a moist rich chocolate center.  It was to die for.  German Chocolate Cake…”Yah.”  Dark Triple Chocolate Cake… be still my heart.  Even those little round cakettes (I suppose you could call them)… How does that song go?  “Someday they’ll find me all stretched out on my bed, with a handful of Pringles potato chips, and a Ding Dong by my head.”

Yes, I do love chocolate cake; but I don’t know how to make it.  Oh, I love to cook; but for some reason, (perhaps it was a natural survival instinct), I never learned to make cake.  If I had, you could tip me over and roll me down the street.

But now you ask “What does this have to do with genealogy?  With making a Record Worthy of All Acceptation?”  Most people do genealogy like I might make chocolate cake.  Let’s see, first I picture a chocolate cake in my mind.  The initial ingredient… chocolate, of course.  Probably lots of it.  Some oil, some sugar, some flour.  Salt?  Do I need salt?  I’m not sure, after all this is cake; why would I need salt?  Eggs, what about eggs?  Do I need one or ten?  Do I need to separate them?  You know, lay them out on the counter, two inches apart.  Not too much butter, I don’t want to get fat.  Let’s see… I’m forgetting something.  Oh yes, liquid.  Do I use water or milk?  I’m experienced enough about cooking scrambled eggs to know you use water.  But in cake???  Boy, doesn’t this sound delicious?

Ask yourself, “Is this a recipe worthy of all acceptation?”  Would you want a piece of this cake for yourself, much less, offer it to the Lord when he comes?  We have been asked… no, commanded, to prepare a record of our ancestors worthy of all acceptation, to present to the Lord when he comes to his temple.  And with records as with chocolate cake, the recipe is in the details.

Family genealogy is published today in a variety of media.  It may be presented as a family history book, or presented on an Internet web-page; it can fill a space of data input as a pedigree, or appear as a lineage for a society or association.  Genealogy information may be the framework for legal or probate casework; and details about the origins of a family can be the foundation of medical and scientific discoveries.  Genealogies are studied and reviewed by a vast number and variety of readers, be it for secular or religious reasons, all of whom are hoping to find correct and useful information.   This desired goal is for a record worthy of all acceptation.

(Part 2 to follow)