As a member of the Lord’s Church with a family history calling, you have the charge to help members fulfill their divinely appointed responsibility to find ancestors and take their names to the temple. President Howard W. Hunter taught, as was quoted recently in a talk by Elder Richard G Scott of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, this is coming to know “the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing.” Here are some simple fundamentals to help you succeed.
Priesthood leaders, along with those who have a family history calling, are greatly benefited in magnifying their calling by being involved in this great work themselves! Though this may sound like a simple concept, leaders and consultants will find an even greater spirit and dedication to family history if they, too, join in the work. We encourage you to also accept the challenge to take an ancestor’s name to the temple each year!
This can be best accomplished by recognizing that getting involved in the three areas of family history will bring a more complete fulfillment of your calling. We encourage you to be actively involved in:
- Indexing records to assist others in finding names
- Researching to find names and taking them to the temple
- Teaching others how to do family history work
We could easily label these three efforts as, “The Three R’s of Being a Consultant: Records, Research, and Reaching Out.”
Leaders and consultants should be regular indexers and arbitrators. Most of you probably don’t recognize that this is an important part of any family history-related calling; that is, indexing is an indispensable and vital part of what we do. It should be understood that in addition to your calling, you can and should participate regularly in transcribing records. The promises for doing so are astounding—that is according to Elder David A. Bednar of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who recently said this, “As you respond in faith to this invitation, your hearts shall turn to the fathers. The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be implanted in your hearts. Your patriarchal blessing, with its declaration of lineage, will link you to these fathers and be more meaningful to you. Your love and gratitude for your ancestors will increase. Your testimony of and conversion to the Savior will become deep and abiding. And I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives.”
Over the past year FamilySearch has released some remarkable new features on the website to enable users to more easily search for ancestors’ names, find records to make valid conclusions, attach sources (documents, photos, and stores) directly to FamilySearch Family Tree, and take names to the temple. These tools include Family Tree, Memories, Hinting, Descendancy, and the My Family bookletjust to name a few. We encourage you to get familiar with these new features and tools.
In addition to finding names and taking them to the temple, one of the most rewarding things you can do as a family history leader is to teach what you know to others! Once you’ve learned how to find names, check for duplicates, and submit names to the temple, make it a point to teach everyone you can about this process and how they can find the success you have achieved.
As we all work to index, find and take names to the temple, and teach others the skills of family history, we will truly be part of the hastening of the work that most certainly is happening all around us. May you continue to be blessed as you do so.