Dear Family History Center Directors,
Wow! Thank you for all the comments. They are extremely valuable. I am not sure how many of you noticed what happened, but on almost every comment there was a reply to the comment from someone other than an individual from Church headquarters. I find that remarkable. The community of family history center directors is alive and well. Thank you for being so active and helpful to each other. Most times your comments are far better than anything I could come up with.
The Friday prior to general conference, we held our semiannual open house at the historic Assembly Hall on Temple Square. We had over 300 family history center directors in attendance. It was a wonderful event, but we were sad that not all could attend because of distances and other conflicts, so we are in the process of filming what was discussed and will have that online soon for everyone to view. As soon as we have that complete, we’ll send out a link of where to go to view the video.
We recently received a letter from the First Presidency that is to be read in sacrament meetings around the world. Many of you have probably already heard it. This month’s newsletter has an article that will tell you where to go to get the exact letter. This letter emphasizes the importance of both temple work and family history work and how they work closely together. This is a great opportunity for you to be ready and willing to support your priesthood leaders in all that they will do to help members understand the doctrine associated with temple and family history work. I would encourage you to read the letter and determine how you can assist in fulfilling the requests made by the First Presidency. If the letter has not been read in your sacrament meeting, please let that be done first before you do anything else. In the coming newsletters we will provide you with additional information. In the meantime, here is a quote from President Howard W. Hunter to ponder:
“We must accomplish the priesthood temple ordinance work necessary for our own exaltation; then we must do the necessary work for those who did not have the opportunity to accept the gospel in life. Doing work for others is accomplished in two steps: first, by family history research to ascertain our progenitors; and second, by performing the temple ordinances to give them the same opportunities afforded to the living.
“Yet there are many members of the Church who have only limited access to the temples. They do the best they can. They pursue family history research and have the temple ordinance work done by others. “Conversely, there are some members who engage in temple work but fail to do family history research on their own family lines. Although they perform a divine service in assisting others, they lose a blessing by not seeking their own kindred dead as divinely directed by latter-day prophets. . . .
“I have learned that those who engage in family history research and then perform the temple ordinance work for those whose names they have found will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing” (“A Temple-Motivated People,” Ensign, Feb. 1995, 4–5).