We’re excited to announce that the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched a new family history product that allows patrons to engage in family history without the need for technology. This new product is an easy-to-use, highly visual booklet titled My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together. It is offered in 24 languages to anyone who can benefit from a paper-based family history experience.
This booklet is an easy and effective way to introduce family history to youth, Church members who may have limited or no access to the Internet, those who are new to technology, and others who are more comfortable with a traditional pen and paper approach. This booklet guides everyone through the process of gathering stories, photos, and other information about their families and helps them get started right away with big success.
According to Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch, this booklet fills a huge gap in recording family history and then documenting it. “Currently, 95% of all grandparents of members of the Church have not been added to Family Tree at FamilySearch.org,” Brimhall stated. He added, “This booklet is a way for everyone to immediately reach out and start talking to parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends; to gather family photos and stories; and then have ward family history consultants help them enter this precious and priceless information in a place where it will be archived free and for generations to come.”
FamilySearch is doing several things to support the release of the booklet:
- My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together landing page. The landing page provides guided instructions on how to enter information from the booklet into FamilySearch Family Tree. The landing page is accessible right from the FamilySearch home page. Once you have this page open, click Get started to begin.
- A printable guide for Consultants. Consultants can help ward members enter information from the booklet into the tree by clicking Help others on the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together landing page. Print the 2-page handout for instructions on how to help ward members enter information from the booklet.
- The ability to print or save a Fan Chart. Fan charts, like the one shown, are useful because they can easily show where gaps exist in his or her family records. Consultants can now help ward members print and save a fan chart and help them identify those gaps.
- Consultants can now print a Family Ordinance Request (FOR) on behalf of ward members. Ward members can then take the FOR to the temple to print the blue, pink, and yellow temple cards.
- Combined Sunday Lesson Materials. There are materials for a combined Sunday Lesson: Family History Stories for stake, ward, and youth leaders to teach this simple and effective new way to get started and to testify about the truth of this great work. Many wards in the U.S. Southwest have been pilot testing this with great success.
The booklet is easy to use, and, as the title implies, the process starts with gathering family stories. To view and print a 2-page handout on how to use the booklet, click here.
As youth and other Church members talk to their relatives about family stories, histories will be recorded, families will be strengthened, and members will be better able to fulfill their divinely appointed responsibilities in behalf of their ancestors. To see an inspiring video of how the booklet works, click here.
In summary, family history consultants and other ward and stake leaders will see how they can help members get their family information from their booklet on to the Family Tree website by visiting the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together home page on the FamilySearch website. This is important to know since it is a necessary step for entering names for temple ordinances. So, meet with members, enter their user name, their helper number, enter booklet information, print a fan chart, and print an FOR.
Additional copies of the booklet (item number 10974) may be ordered for your ward or branch from a Church distribution center or online at store.lds.org.
If you have any questions, please visit contact.familysearch.org. We would like you to comment on this blog on how you are implementing this booklet in your calling, what you learn, and what others can learn from you! We will share some of your stories in future blog posts.