I fondly remember when I was a young boy my mother saying, “It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3!”
Reflecting back, I believe that by saying that, she was trying to keep my young life both simple and doable. I am certain, as she did this, she would no doubt leave out steps to keep my chores and tasks within her formula. Yet, it was good, sound counsel. In a very complex life, it is easy to feel that things are indeed overly complicated.
You may feel the same way about your family history calling—that it too is complicated. There are a lot of messages, many from the Family History Department, that may cause you to ask, “Just what do you want me to do? Can’t you just make it simple!?!”
To find a simple answer in a complicated world, it might be good to remember a statement by the late Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy, who said, “Everything in life is interesting, but only a few things are important.”
The most important part of your calling as a family history consultant is to help Church members enable the salvation of their ancestors, primarily by providing for them the saving ordinances of the temple. Yes, there are lots of other interesting elements of family history work, but the important part is helping members find their ancestors, linking them into FamilySearch Family Tree (which qualifies them for temple ordinances), and then taking or sharing the names of those ancestors for temple blessings.
As I’m out and about giving firesides and talking to Church members, I am often asked by new family history consultants, “Just what is my job?” This is very natural for new and even veteran consultants. I often respond by saying it is as simple as “1, 2, 3!” So what is the 1, 2, 3?
In my mind, the three steps are these:
- Using the FamilySearch website or the booklet My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together, find one or more of your own ancestors or their descendants, and submit their names for temple blessings.
- Next, take those names to the temple, or share the name with others so they can take the names to the temple.
- Then, teach someone else to do the same thing.
Now, I realize that there are other activities, including indexing, teaching doctrines, collecting and sharing family photos and stories, and more. But all of these are a means to an end, even important means. The end, however, is turning our hearts and blessing our ancestral family forever! This blessing happens in the temple.
Thanks for all you do, thanks for adjusting to all the changes, thanks for learning new things, and thanks for making your calling as simple as 1, 2, 3! Find, take, and teach.