The Power of a Locally-Driven Indexing Program
FamilySearch indexing may be one of the most versatile tools that priesthood leaders have to bless the lives of Church members. At FamilySearch, we frequently hear stories from around the world of indexing being used effectively by bishops in the following ways:
- As a measurable work assignment for Church welfare recipients
- As an activity to introduce youth to family history and temple work
- As a way to give callings to members who might not be able to serve otherwise
- As a way to engage less-active members in a Church activity
- As a way to give shut-in or disabled members an opportunity to serve from home
- As a way to engage ward members in a single, unifying service activity
- As a way to help youth interact with older ward members
- As a way to strengthen families by inviting them to index together in their homes
- As a means to engage new converts in family history and temple work
- As a way to bring young single adults together in a fun social setting
One thing each of these applications for indexing has in common is they are all administered on a local level. The most successful indexing programs are those where local priesthood leadership gets personally involved and leads by example, where training and support are provided by prepared ward family history consultants, and where ward members feel connected to one another by their common interest and participation in indexing.
As a Church department, FamilySearch works to provide indexers with the tools, training, support, and motivation to help them feel confident and enthused. But FamilySearch is no substitute for the hands-on help from a familiar ward member or the encouragement of a respected priesthood leader. FamilySearch can never replace the motivation that comes from a friendly Sunday Church hallway conversation or a personal home visit by a knowledgeable ward family history consultant.
Too often, indexing is a quiet, little-known service given by two or three self-motivated ward members when it could be lifting and blessing so many others across the ward. Certainly indexing blesses any who participate, but when it becomes part of a ward’s tradition of giving and serving one another, it can become the catalyst for all kinds of unexpected blessings.
See an example of how indexing blessed one stake. In the future, we will publish other examples of how indexing is blessing other wards and stakes. So, let us know your story.