Today we held the first meeting of the Early Saints group, hosted by the BYU Center for Family History & Genealogy. We were pleased to welcome more than 15 scholars and several student research assistants; it seemed that many of the participants were surprised to see so many like minds! A recurring theme of the discussion was the value of detailed data collection, not only for scholarly research, but to help descendants and the general public gain an appreciation of the heroic lives of these early saints. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard someone bear their testimony about a database before 🙂 . There seems to be a common vision of one day having a single portal where you can go to get all kinds of information about a particular person in church history, perhaps collecting it from a number of scholarly databases. Looks like we have our work cut out for us.