Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made an inspired suggestion in April general conference for all families in the Church.
“Families could hold a ‘Family Tree Gathering.’ This should be a recurring effort. Everyone would bring existing family histories, stories, and photos, including cherished possessions of grandparents and parents. Our young people are excited to learn about the lives of family members—where they came from and how they lived. Many have had their hearts turned to the fathers. They love the stories and photos, and they have the technological expertise to scan and upload these stories and photos to Family Tree and connect source documents with ancestors to preserve these for all time. Of course, the main objective is to determine what ordinances still need to be done and make assignments for the essential temple work. The My Family booklet can be utilized to help record family information, stories, and photos that can then be uploaded to Family Tree.”
Using the information above, plan a Family Tree gathering using the following steps:
- Send out call for existing family histories, stories, and photos. Most family members have valuable photos and stories. Encourage them to bring these cherished possessions and to share them. Not all family members may be able to attend, but through FamilySearch Family Tree, all may enjoy the benefits of having these items accessible online from their homes.
- Look for ways to involve young people and to take advantage of their technological skills. The youth of today are remarkably gifted with using tools of technology, social media, and the Internet. Allow them to feel the Spirit of Elijah as they become involved in preserving their family histories and feel a change in their lives.
- Gather stories, photos, and family information to upload to the FamilySearch Family Tree. Stories and photos can communicate through time from generation to generation when they are uploaded to Family Tree; on Family Tree, they can be shared, enjoyed, and preserved for generations to come.
- Determine what ordinances still need to be done, and make assignments. Billions of people have lived and died without essential ordinances that are critical for exaltation. Discover which deceased family members need temple ordinances, and coordinate with family members to make assignments. In this way, all family members can be saviors on Mount Zion.
- Set family history commitments and expectations to nourish precious roots and branches. Setting expectations and commitments as a family helps all involved to feel they are contributing and accountable. Through this process, all family members will be nourished as they work together in assisting their ancestors.
Watch Elder Cook’s complete conference address here.
FamilySearch has created great tools to help your family preserve, discover, and share your unique and cherished family stories. We pray that you are blessed as you use these tools, along with great suggestions from Church leaders, to bring your family closer together.