In response to Elder David A Bednar’s counsel found in his talk given in the October 2011 General Conference, The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn, many Family History Centers now have youth consultants called by stake and ward leaders. Centers are reporting that the youth are great assets to their staff and to their wards and stakes.
Elder Bednar said,
“It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been traisned to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.
Parents and leaders, please help your children and youth to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah. But do not overly program this endeavor or provide too much detailed information or training. Invite young people to explore, to experiment, and to learn for themelves.
Parents and leaders, you will stand all amazed at how rapidly your children and the youth of the Church become highly skilled with these tools. In fact, you will learn valuable lessons from these young people about effectively using these resources. The youth can offer much to older individuals who are uncomfortable with or intimidated by technology or are unfamiliar with FamilySearch.”
You may find that youth are working on Indexing initiatives for your stake, or helping other youth to find and prepare family names to take to the temple. Some wards are using youth to train their own priesthood leaders on how to use FamilySearch!
Once a youth consultant is called, give them some guidance, but as Elder Bednar said, do not over program this endeavor with too much detailed information or training. Let the youth explore and experiment. Let them index to learn about records. Guide them into having a temple experience with their own ancestors. Allow them to let the Holy Ghost teach them how to best help the youth and adults in their own wards. They will rise to the occasion!
Rely on Elder Bednar’s counsel to these young people:
“You have been prepared for this day and to build up the kingdom of God. You are here upon the earth now to assist in this glorious work. I know the youth of the rising generation have a key role to play in this great endeavor.” Ward and stake leaders can play an important role in helping youth act on this invitation and secure the blessings promised to them.