FamilySearch Leadership and Consultant Training
In recent newsletters, we have been focusing on principles found in the Leader’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work: To Turn the Hearts (available here). This guide is an excellent resource for ward and stake councils and includes examples of how ward councils have used temple and family history work as a resource to bless lives and further the work of salvation. Family history and temple work is unique primarily because of the spirit inherent in the work—the manifestation of the Holy Ghost in what is called the Spirit of Elijah. It is also a way to personally participate in the work of salvation for one’s own family.
Important Principle for Ward Councils: Strengthening Youth and Young Adults through Temple and Family History Work
(See To Turn the Hearts, pages 3, 14, 15, 18)
An important emphasis in the leader’s guide is engaging youth in temple and family history work. As it says on page 14 of To Turn the Hearts, “Participation can build youth and young adults by giving them service opportunities, positive activities on which to spend their time, and opportunities for spiritual growth. Youth often have technical and social networking skills that are well suited for this work. The family history skills youth develop will serve them during their full-time missions and throughout their lives.”
Suggestions for ward council members and youth leaders:
- Encourage youth to help others learn how to use familysearch.org for a Duty to God or a Personal Progress project.
- Encourage youth to make goals to find an ancestor’s name and be baptized for that ancestor in the temple.
- Find ways to teach the doctrine of family history and temple work during youth and ward activities and conferences.
- Create activities, games, and projects designed to help youth learn about their ancestors.
- Assign responsible young men and young women to help others use family history technologies. For example, young men could assist those families they home teach and thereby magnify their calling to teach, expound, and exhort (see D&C 20:42).
The family history consultant met with the Young Women president, who expressed her concern for her young girls. She felt they were being assailed on all sides by negative influences, and she was wondering out loud what she could do to provide positive influences to them to counterbalance the negative. The consultant went home and prayed about how she could be of assistance and fulfill her calling by helping the Young Women president with hers. The inspiration came to point the young women toward the temple and to help them have a unique temple experience by performing ordinances for ancestors that they themselves found and cleared on the Church’s FamilySearch site or for ancestors of their fellow young women if they were unable to find their own. The consultant went to the Young Women president and suggested an activity where the young women of the ward could assemble with their own laptops or use computers from the family history center, learn a few tips on where to do the Internet searches to find their ancestors, have refreshments, and spend an hour or so socializing while they looked for names to take to the temple. The consultant offered her services to train and then assist them as needed. The end goal was a trip to the temple to perform these ordinances for ancestors they had found and learned about through their activity.
The Young Women president took the idea back to her presidency, and the activity was approved. The consultant helped them plan and run the activity. It was a very successful evening—both fun and spiritual as the young women were opened to the Spirit of Elijah. The young women loved the fact that their pink temple cards all had their names on them, listed as the submitter. The trip to the temple was the most spiritual they had ever experienced, and was different than prior trips to the temple. The young women all requested that they repeat this activity on a regular basis. The Young Women president felt that her prayer had been answered, and she saw temple and family history as a wonderful resource to bless the lives of her young women.
What Do Children Think of Genealogy?Click here to see.
Family History Centers
Church Headquarters continues to field questions about closing and phasing out Family History Centers. Perhaps these rumors are fueled by consolidation of centers in Utah, or by the online technology trends of FamilySearch. We can unequivocally state that there are no plans to close or phase out Family History Centers. They remain a vital part of the overall plan to use family history as a resource to bless lives and further the work of salvation. While it is true much research can be done online away from centers, the centers remain a place for receiving guidance, and assistance. Also, in many parts of the world access to computers and the Internet is only available in Family History Centers. Their role may be changing but their need has not diminished.
Missionary Training and Family History Centers
New lessons for teaching missionaries to use family history as a missionary tool have been released. Newly called missionaries are being asked to come to the MTC with their four generations in hand. Because of this Family History Centers may be seeing an increase in traffic from missionaries. If consultants and Family History Center Directors want to learn more about missionary work and family history the new lessons can be found at http://familysearch.org/serve.
If you like to keep track of the latest FamilySearch news, be sure to check FamilySearch News and Press weekly. You will find summaries of new collection updates, indexing progress, and FamilySearch news releases. Go to https://www.familysearch.org/