Mormons think as hard as, probably harder than, anyone else in the world about what it means to keep facts alive, or at least to keep them accessible to the living, and the phenomenon they have built out of granite, microfilm, machines, and software is as mind-bogglingly ambitious for our century as the flying buttresses and gargoyles of Notre Dame were in the twelfth century.
Even as a large branch of American genealogy sheared off at the turn of the twentieth century into a mad eugenic scheme to reshape the human race, the Mormons got on with their mission to gather and share records.
He surely speaks the truth, because some of the Mormons I met in Salt Lake City were the friendliest people I have ever come across, respectful and polite to a most disarming degree.
Over the last ten years Marshall Duke, a psychologist from Emory University, has explored the value of family history in the lives of children.
Overall the data the Mormons have gathered is equivalent to thirty-two times the amount of information contained in the Library of Congress—and the church adds a new Library of Congress’s worth of new data every year.