For Beginners: 3 Steps to Performing Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors

January 16, 2014  - by makes it easy for you to perform temple ordinances for your ancestors. Below are 3 simple steps that you can use to easily find family members to do temple work for.







The overall process has just a few simple steps:

  1. Find ancestors who need temple ordinances. You can do this in two ways:

Look on your Temple Opportunities list. If your Temple Opportunities list contains ordinances for you to do, the Temple tab will show a small red icon.

Temple List 1




If your Temple Opportunities list does not contain ordinances that you can do, look in Family Tree. Look for individuals whose records show the temple icon with a green arrow. This green arrow does not mean that a name has been cleared for temple work. It simply indicates that this person is missing temple ordinances and may qualify for temple work with a little more information. Before submitting a name to the temple, be sure to double-check and use reliable sources to document that the information about this person is accurate.

Temple List 2

2.  Request the ordinances. As you begin clearing a name for ordinance work, it is important to check to see if the work has already been done. You can do this by first checking if there are duplicates records for this person. Sometimes you many find that someone else may have already created a record for the same person and provided him or her with temple ordinances. When that is the case, two or more records will appear for your individual. Check for duplicate records, and see if the temple ordinance information already exists for him or her. If that is the case, do not resubmit the name for temple work.

Remember that when you request ordinances, you commit to seeing that they get done. Reserve only the number of ordinances you can get done in a reasonable amount of time.

3. Take the name to the temple. If you are going to do the ordinances yourself or give them to someone else to do, follow these steps:

  • Print the Family Ordinance Request.
  • Take the Family Ordinance Request to the temple, where workers can print the family ordinance cards for you.
  • Do the ordinances. The information about the completed ordinances is automatically added to Family Tree.

If you want the temple to do the ordinances for you, you can share the ordinances with the temple or reserve them for other family members to do.

For more information about preparing names for temple ordinances, see the following:


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  1. The Quick Video about how to prepare names is 4 years old. That’s an eternity in tech terms. It needs updating. Otherwise, I love this blog because it reaffirms what I believe. The process is more complicated than Find, Take, Teach, and we must teach correct actions and principles, as your blog indicates. Thank you!

  2. This doesn’t tell me anything about submitting ancestors from my tree. What if I want to upload a GEDCOM (Yes, I’ve tried manually entering it into tree before and it takes 10 to 20 times longer than just adding), except that each time I’ve added a GEDCOM also, I’ve had 1/3 of the family disappear, 1/3 disconnected, the other 1/3 OK. Also, on our Iranian relatives, which are not supposed to be viewable by anyone but me, I find when I submit over again (FS told us we had to do this since it was a restricted locality. Crazily enough, the system recognized 100 of the 400 people, 100 of them were not available for temple ordinances, and I can’t remember what happened to the other 200. It’s too bad. I was into genealogy from 1983 and AF and the IGI and the computer algorithms used to make them run made for fewer names duplicated (every day on my line I get new people pop up like Orson Pratt’s kids and say they need their work done, even when I’ve got the temple date and name in my own records (most of which, on this line, are taken from the old “Archive” folders the FHL had before they filmed and got rid of them. For examples with their algorithms, in the old AF, I’d never type up Steve Christensen and get Billy Bob Rasmussen. I search for people I know I’ve submitted and done temple work for years ago and can’t find them in the system, even when I just do something like a single name and that approximated. About all of people who have been using the system more than a handful of hours have begun to be unraveled. One member computer programmer from St. Louis told me if he wrote code like that and turned it out to be used by the public, he’d be fired. The biggest problem the department (FH) has is that they fired or got rid of through attrition, all their professional genealogists, both in the library and cataloging and replaced them with volunteers. No matter how much I love the volunteers, it’s still not like one didn’t put me on a wild goose chase that cost one of my clients a whole day’s labor and expenses. I used to work in cataloging (wouldn’t go back for a million though) and we were all shoved into early retirement, etc. The guy who replaced me wound up doing all the things I told the bosses to do, but was told no, it costs too much. What really costs too much are redoing all those records (especially the thousands of hours of patrons who will waste those hours going on a wild good chase). If I saw a tiny “ev.” at the top of the record book, I could know, if I was cataloging a Catholic book, that all or at least some of that volume are of Lutherans. A $20000 employee would never catch something like that. But I could. The thing the FS computer guys (those who rule the dept. now) don’t realize is that they need their heads to become a little less big, humble themselves, and ask some questions, not just come manhandling the place and destroying out precious software! Do you know what Jay Verkler (the one who started this “computer exclusively” thing back in the late 90’s) told me when I said, “Christ says in the scriptures this should be a book worthy of all acceptation”. That means as quality-oriented as we can be, not just chuck it out. I should know. I was there. I asked JV, “so, how do you get to New York by driving to Phoenix?” (i.e., how do you get to quality by firing all those good people or put them in do-nothing jobs I saw happen too much?). He just looked at me and said, “well, we’re preparing “the Foundation of the Book”.” That said it to me all there. I heard the cataloging dept. would not be reduced by David Rencher and here it is 18 years later, nonexistent. Hey, I’m sorry, but I’m not the one who lied. I’m sorry to ramble. It’s just that horrible things have happened to my beloved family history to the point the computers won’t do it any more. I’ve heard the “it’ll be better next year”. Well, we’re going on 19 years now and it seems to have gotten worse. The more they try to restrict the patrons, the worse the problems become.

  3. Still working on one single person I wanted to add by gedcom. so far working on her 2 hrs. the fs person could only ask me to redo it (as the last 3 times) manually so it would work. Definitely not impressed with the program.

  4. I submitted a request for permission to do my Aunt’s work (with permission from her daughter) does anyone know about how long it takes to get approval with the new requirements?

  5. How to get sealed to your own deceased parents?
    We have an endowed member and she was able to print and do the sealing for her parents but not to seal herself to them.
    What do we need to do?

    1. I would assume this is something you may need to go to your bishop or ward clerk for since the ordinance is for a living person.

  6. How long does it take for requests to do work for a loved one to be approved? This family member has not been deceased for 110 yr. We have verbal approval from the closest living relative. We just filled out the form and are going to the temple tomorrow.