I occasionally host summer parties in my backyard. When I am planning, my goal is always the same: provide the best possible experience for my guests. I want them to enjoy the full experience, such as the food (including my own ice-cold, home-grown melons!), the games, the conversation, and just relaxing in beautiful surroundings on a warm summer evening. For me, my guests’ satisfaction is the best reward for my efforts.
Hopefully, the indexing and arbitration experience is satisfying and fulfilling for you (and getting better all the time), but any indexer or arbitrator who hasn’t ventured beyond their volunteer work to enjoy the rest of the FamilySearch.org “party” is really missing out. I’m not trying to talk you out of volunteering, but I wouldn’t be a good “host” if I didn’t invite you to take a break once in a while to enjoy everything else.
- Are you enjoying the fruits of your own labors by searching the indexed records for your own ancestors? More than three billion searchable names have been made available by indexers and arbitrators like you! And now, because of your indexing work, the hinting feature (where the database uses information about your ancestors to suggest other possible matches) will soon be available to make searching even more powerful.
- Have you found photos of your ancestors that you didn’t know existed? If not, you may be in for a thrill! Have you uploaded some of your own photos and connected them to your family tree so others can have a similar experience?
- Have you found and read stories about your ancestors, learned more about their lives, and maybe even learned what makes you who you are? Have you recorded and published your own family stories on FamilySearch.org for others to read and discover?
- Have you tried the new descendancy feature on FamilySearch.org to extend the branches of your family tree, adding sources as you go? The descendancy view can help you identify where people might be missing in your tree and help you find your cousins. Every connection you make to another ancestor or source adds another building block for others who are looking to add branches to their family trees.
Finally, have you used FamilySearch.org to submit the names of your ancestors to the temple? Better yet, have you performed the necessary ordinance work for ancestors you have found, receiving in the process what President Howard W. Hunter referred to as “both halves of the blessing?”
As an indexer or arbitrator, you deserve to enjoy everything FamilySearch.org has to offer. After all, you helped make it what it is today. So finish up that batch you’re working on, go have some fun getting to know your own ancestors, and do something for them that will have eternal consequences.
Then, when you’re ready, come on back to indexing. I promise there will still be plenty of party left when you get back!
– Article by Michael Judson