Family History and Temple Work—The Ultimate Mission Prep

June 23, 2015  - by 

During Family Discovery Day at RootsTech 2015 Elder Neil L. Andersen challenged us to “prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple, and help someone else to do the same.” As part of his missionary preparation, Sam Hepworth accepted Elder Andersen’s temple challenge. What happened next had eternal consequences for Sam and his family, as well as for the families of two of his friends.

It’s Your Turn

Follow Elder Hepworth’s example by finding names of your own ancestors that are waiting for temple blessings. FamilySearch can help. Choose from the following activities and you’ll soon be on your way to the temple.

Hey Cousin!

If your direct family lines seem to be pretty well researched, give Descendancy Research a try. Focusing on the extended families of your direct line ancestors—your cousins!—can open up entirely new avenues of research.

Here’s a video to help you get started

Grow Your Tree

People from families that haven’t done much family history, are in a great position to find ancestors awaiting temple blessings. Get started by visiting FamilySearch Family Tree and entering names and dates you know or can easily get from relatives. Many of those you add to the tree will not have had temple work done yet, and can be added right to your temple reservation list. For those without regular computer or Internet access, My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together offers an offline way to capture and preserve your family tree.

Visit FamilySearch Family Tree
Order My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together

Calling all Ancestors

If you’ve entered in all you know into your tree, it could be a good time to try looking in historical records to try and fill in some gaps. The Search page at offers an easy way into an expansive collection of family history information online. Enter names, dates, and places as best as you can and see what we can find.

Try a Search

About Family Discovery Day

Family Discovery Day was held February 14, 2015, as part of the annual RootsTech family history conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Church leaders shared inspiring messages about how you can find ancestors, take their names to the temple and teach others how to do the same. You can watch recordings of the messages to learn how family history can bless your family on both sides of the veil.

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  1. This is a wonderful information ,and a great tool to help ancestors and descendants to receive their temple work. I am planing to print this page and make copies to be distributed to the members of my ward.
    Sister Lopez
    WNY, NJ Ward

    1. Be sure and look for Hermana Bentley in the New Jersey, Morristown Spanish Speaking Mission! She is my daughter!

  2. “Our great and growing missionary program among mortals is the most extensive it has ever been in this dispensation as we preach, teach, and baptize tens of thousands of our fellowmen. However, missionary work is not limited to proclaiming the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people now living on the earth. Missionary work is also continuing beyond the veil among the millions and even billions of the children of our Heavenly Father who have died either without hearing the gospel or without accepting it while they lived on the earth. Our great part in this aspect of missionary work is to perform on this earth the ordinances required for those who accept the gospel over there. The spirit world is full of spirits who are anxiously awaiting the performance of these earthly ordinances for them. I hope to see us dissolve the artificial boundary line we so often place between missionary work and temple and genealogical work, because it is the same great redemptive work!”
    -President Spencer W. Kimball
    The Things of Eternity-Stand we in Jeopardy? Ensign January 1977

  3. Could you please make this video downloadable, so I can save it and show it to the youth in my ward? Thanks!