While only my siblings and I, and our four children and 18 grandchildren share my full family history, and only my wife and her siblings and our four children and 18 grandchildren share her full history, the number of living distant cousins who share portions of this history of 22 families, might be tens to hundreds of thousands.
If we could ever identify all living descendants by carefully working down through the generations, we’d have a real count at a point in time. Appendix A shows an approach to estimating how many now living may have descended from at least part of our ancestry alive when this dispensation began.
Of course, a few dozen couples with descendants now living are a very tiny portion of all who were alive when this Last Dispensation began in 1820.
This effort for our very extended family is just a tiny speck, and just another modest template, for the grander masterpiece to be painted by the combined efforts of representatives of all the families of the earth blessed by the Kingdom of God.
Many of the “now living” descendants of these 1820 ancestors are not now members of the Church. Many who are members are not now active. Some may be at least initially disinterested. Even many who are active are not now participating meaningfully in family history and temple work. So, what an opportunity for improvement!
Following the inviting words of our living prophet, we can reach out to rescue, and turn even more hearts of the children to their fathers, bearing all manner of wonderful fruit!
Many children do not survive to maturity or do not marry and have children of their own during in this life. But every person is a son or daughter of Heavenly Parents who love them so much that They want each child to grow up and enjoy all that is possible for them. Each is known to Them and each will have the opportunity to enjoy the fullness the Father offers His children, subject to their use of individual agency and choice.