January is a great time to make resolutions. There are all the usual things we’d like to change: lose weight, eat more healthily, stick to a budget, be a better person, and so on. But what about a goal that looks beyond yourself and reaches into the eternities?
Whether your passion is family history or not—regardless if you are a new convert or a lifelong Church member or if your Aunt Minerva has already done it all—let’s make 2014 a year you take a name to the temple!
The FamilySearch website has some exciting new features, some helpful suggestions, and some easy to use training tools that will get you started. Below are some suggestions that will help you focus on where you can get started to find that one new name to take to the temple:
- If you’re a new convert to the Church, begin by gathering family information from living family members and from records you can easily access from home.
- If your family has been in the Church for many generations, print your four-generation fan chart in FamilySearch Family Tree, and see if there are any blank areas where more family history work can be done.
- If you don’t see blanks in your family fan chart and you feel like you want to do some searching of your own, learn how to do descendancy research. We call it finding our cousins. We have found that this description makes it easier to understand for most people who are new to family history. Descendancy research will open up a whole new world of aunts, uncles, and cousins who you’ll meet for the first time.
- If you enjoy taking family names to the temple, see how many names you can find on your family line that still need ordinance work. Sign in to FamilySearch.org, click the Temple link and then click the Opportunities link at the top of the page. Remember to make sure these names are fully documented and you have checked for duplicate records first before sending them to the temple.
- If you’re a ward family history consultant, commit to take a name to the temple; then prayerfully consider who in your ward you could teach and motivate to do the same. When you’ve identified one or more, offer your skills to help them.
- If you’re a priesthood or other leader, learn how and submit a name, and then challenge your class, quorum, ward, or stake to follow your example.
Let’s work together to make 2014 a year we look beyond our own needs and redeem the soul of a beloved ancestor. In doing so, I testify that you will gain or strengthen a personal testimony of this essential work that blesses our lives today and the lives of our ancestors throughout eternity.
One last thing. As you know, RootsTech 2014 will happen next week in Salt Lake City. I hope to see many of you there! However, if you can’t make it in person, over the following months in over 600 locations around the world, many stakes will have a stake family history fair that will make RootsTech content available locally.
So, if you haven’t registered and want to attend in Salt Lake City, there is still time. And for those with a family history calling, you can register with a discount by clicking https://familysearch.org/blog/en/countdown-rootstech-2014/. If there is a stake family history fair in your area, be sure to attend. Information can be found at www.lds.org/familyhistoryday.
I look forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2014.