News Release

Miracle Helps Chinese Australian with Ancestral Research

A year ago, Emily Kwok visited the cemetery of her paternal grandfather and left with a burning desire, a message from her grandfather she believes, to find her Chinese ancestors.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that saving ordinances of baptism and marriage, performed in various temples around the world, can be performed vicariously for the dead. They believe that these ceremonies are binding covenants that last through eternity.

Collecting family names and histories is a pastime or hobby for many people but for Mormons like Emily Kwok it is a driving force.

While determining choices for her holiday in 2011, Emily's ancestors in China kept coming to her mind. She told her mother she was going to China. "Which part of China?" her mother asked. "I don't know. But I am going," was Emily's reply.

Family History consultants from the Church told her not make a trip to China yet, but to speak with the oldest remaining member in her family. Emily then made plans to visit Hong Kong where her grandmother lived. She felt impressed to stay at the Hong Kong Temple housing and visit the Family History Centre there as well as visit her grandmother.

On the afternoon before she flew to Hong Kong, Emily's brother asked her what her plans were regarding how to find their family history. With family history work being so foreign to her, she admitted, "I have no specific plan, but I know I will be directed."

Emily relates, "On my first morning in Hong Kong, I returned from my jog and saw a lady preparing food at the temple housing. As our conversation quickly unfolded, we discovered that her late husband shared my surname and she was 'the' member in the Church who dedicated herself to entering the "Kwok" family history into the New FamilySearch programme. I spent the next hour or two at her feet, being taught about my ancestors – their names, employment, origin, travels, and migrations. I took notes as she gave me phone numbers and addresses in China for where I could look for my ancestors. We discovered that my grandfather and her father-in-law were related!"

"What a humbling experience to witness The Master Engineer at work! Was it a coincidence that Sister Kwok came one day earlier from China to Hong Kong before her companions? I think not. Because of this small miracle, we met and exchanged future contact details and I have direction for my future adventures in Mainland China."

"One of us comes from a small province of China and the other one from Sydney. We both went to Hong Kong at the same time, both stayed at the temple housing and met at just the right time. One was seeking to find the 'Kwok' family record and the other, an unknown relative, was the holder of such records."


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