My father's full name was James Nickell, but everyone called him, Jim Nick, even his kids. Jim Nick died in the year 1970. That was the year I decided I would get serious and do my family genealogy and write the family history. I was living in Las Vegas at the time. One night, I was awakened by my mother and she spoke to me and told me she and my dad had gotten together and talked and he had asked her to be sealed to him. I said, " he did?" I was surprised because they had been divorced for years before either of them died.
The second night I was in the spirit world with my mother. Angels were gathered around her curling her hair and fitting her with a beautiful white dress. She was preparing to go to the temple. She was so happy
The third night I was in the spirit world with my father and my older brother, Clifton. I could see a temple across the street from the big building we were waiting in. My dad said, "hell! I wouldn't know what to do without my kids!" So, they were sealed in the St. George Temple and the serious part of the family genealogy work began.
It was my dad's birthday and I was on my way to the temple to celebrate his birthday. It was raining and suddenly a huge ray of sunshine hit the dashboard of my truck. I ducked my head and looked out at the sky and there was Jim Nick in the clouds. I saw so much in those clouds in the years to come.
My genealogy soared into doing temple work for thousands of family relatives. I'd go to the temple once a month and do ordinance work for as many as 400 family members in two days time, many times over. Often, coming home from St. George I would come upon a beautiful cloud sitting in the road waiting for me. It was a very exciting time in my life.
One night I awoke to see multitudes of angels gathered around my bed. Walls of the house had disappeared and I could see angels for two miles down through the valley. I could hear the voice of a man talking and he was saying, "God has told us now is the time to get the family history written and I know she will do it!" I knew they were talking about me. The man turned towards me and it was non-other than Jim Nick. He told me exactly what I was to do with the book right down to having it bound in red leather.
I started the history by going to the big library in Salt Lake City. There I learned Jim Nick's descendents came from Russia. These people knew Christ was coming for the second time and they started on the move to where they thought that place would be. They moved by caravan to England, then to Ireland and ended up coming to America. In America they settled in Virginia and Kentucky. That was pretty close. Almost the bull's eye where the Saints were. They met the missionaries in secret and they helped my dad's family move to Vernal, Utah. My dad missed the murder of Prophet Joseph Smith by about 10 years. This is where I came in. Even as a little girl, I'd hide behind my mother's chair and listen to the older parents and what they had to say about the family. I remembered what they said with clarity. My brothers and sisters and cousins would be outside playing Cowboys and Indians and whooping it up. I'd be inside getting filled with knowledge of my family.
I've been working steadyily for the past 45 years on the family genealogy. My Book Of Remembrance is a big one. I am up to 100,000 names I've done the temple work so far. I can't carry the book anymore it is so heavy. One day I had a call from Mick, my faithful genealogist. He said, " Lela, I think you have done enough genealogy. Why don't you quit?" I thought about it for a moment and then I answered, "I think you are right. I'll quit." That night I found myself in the spirit world. People were gathered all around me. One young woman was crying and screaming, "YOU CAN'T QUIT! YOU QUIT AND THEY WILL NEVER FIND ME!" I thought of what she had screamed to me and I knew there will never be a "quitingtime" for me. I told the young lady I wouldn't quit. I would keep doing my genealogy work 'til I died.
In a couple of months, Mick sent me a batch of names. Among the names was a Craig family. As I was preparing the cards to take them to the temple, I was sitting a lone at my kitchen table and a man with a gruff voice spoke to me, "PAY ATTENTION!" I looked and I was holding a card of a young women born in Virginia in 1830. I had the strange feeling this was the young woman I had hoped for. Since then, all has been quiet. I've never had an experience like that before nor since..... .......