Each month, FamilySearch publishes a list of new changes and updates to the FamilySearch.org website. This list includes changes to Family Tree as well as other parts of FamilySearch.org. In some cases, these changes will also be published as individual articles where the need to do so exists.
Use Mobile Apps to Reserve Ordinances for the Temple
You can now use the mobile app to reserve ancestors’ ordinances for the temple. For anything you do with ordinances (such as reserve or share), you will need a live connection to the Internet. This ensures the integrity of the data and verifies that the temple ordinances are still available.
The recent enhancements to the mobile apps should greatly increase your ability to find ancestors and reserve the temple ordinances for them.
New Memories Feature
When you add photos from a person’s Memories page, Family Tree automatically adds a tag to the photo. You usually have to adjust the position and size of the tag, and you may want to add a description or add tags to other people in the photo. That’s easy if you add one photo at a time.
Many users prefer to upload several photos for a person and then adjust or add the tags. You had to go to the person’s Memories page, open one photo, adjust or add the tags, and then return to the person’s Memories page to open the next photo. You had to go to the person’s Memories page between every photo. Users have asked if we could simplify the process. So we did.
Arrows have been added to the page where you tag the photo. Open one photo, adjust or add the tags, and then click an arrow to go to the next or previous photo. You no longer have to go to the Memories page between each photo.
FamilySearch works with a variety of partners to provide you with as many ways as possible to find, add, and share information about your ancestors. If a product or feature is listed as “FamilySearch Certified,” it means the product is compatible with FamilySearch.org and has features that conform to our strict standards of quality.
To see new and existing partners and certified products, see www.FamilySearch.org/apps. New partners are added as their products are certified.
New Icon Colors
For consistency, the color of available ordinances have changed from light blue to light green . This makes the temple icon, the ordinance status icon, and the ordinance fly-out the same color. The color of an ordinance that is In Progress and is printed is now dark green.
Here is the legend for the current colors:
Unreserving Ordinance Reservations after Two Years
In the next few months, FamilySearch will begin unreserving temple ordinances if no ordinances have been done for the person in the last two years. This applies only to members living in the US and Canada. If you have reservations that you haven’t been able to complete, now is a good time to share them with family members through email or to share them with the temple.
Please keep the following in mind:
- If you share the reservations with the temple, the ordinances will not be unreserved. The temples will ensure that the ordinances are completed.
- Reservations for a deceased person will only be unreserved if the most recent ordinance was completed more than two years ago. (So the name will be unreserved if it has been more than 2 years since an ordinance was done for the person.)
- Unreserving inactive temple reservations has become a priority due to the large number of ordinances that have been reserved for more than two years, and also to comply with instructions from the First Presidency to ensure that temple work for ancestors is completed in a timely manner. This will also allow more members to participate in the temple work for their own ancestors.
There are nearly 12 million ordinance reservations held by FamilySearch patrons in Family Tree. Amazingly, about 5% of FamilySearch patrons hold 60% of those reservations. Users with large reservation lists will be alerted to this upcoming change through email and postal mail where possible.
What You Can Do
If you have a large reserved list, there are things you can do to help ensure that the work for these ancestors is completed in a timely manner. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
- Review Your Temple Reservation List – To see your temple reservation list, sign in to FamilySearch.org, and click the Temple tab at the top of the screen. To sort the names by the date you reserved them, click Date Reserved. The system rearranges the names and puts the ones that have been reserved the longest at the top. Decide which ordinances you will be able to do yourself and which ones you could share.
- Share Ordinances with Family Members by Email –You can use email to share temple ordinances with family members and friends. This is a convenient, “cardless” way to share the blessings of doing temple ordinances.
- On the reservation list, click the box next to the ancestors you would like to share with a family member or friend. (The system puts a check mark in the box.)Tip: To remove the check mark, click the box again.
- Click Share, and in the drop down list, click Share with Family or Friends.
3. Enter the name and email address of the family or friend you are sending the ordinances to, add a short message if you want, and click Send.
On your temple reservation list, the names you have shared will be marked with an envelope icon. The names remain on your reservation list until they are accepted by your family or friend. When the names are accepted, the names disappear from your reservation list and appear on the temple reservation list of the person you shared them with.
If the names are not accepted in 2 weeks, the share envelope icons are removed, and you can print the family ordinance request, share the ordinances again, or unreserve the names.
Share with the Temple
If you don’t have family members or friends who are able to perform the temple ordinances, you could share the ordinances with the temple. This is a great way to ensure that the ordinances are done in a timely manner. Members all over the world who attend the temple can help complete the ordinances.
Unreserve the Ordinances, and Reserve Them Again
In a few cases, an ordinance may have been on your list for two years, and, for special reasons, you need to continue to reserve the ordinance on your list. (For example, some families hold the ordinances for a deceased father until a son is old enough to do his father’s ordinances.) You can unreserve the ordinance and then reserve the ordinance again to keep it on your list for another 2 years. This should only happen in rare instances because holding names leaves the ancestors waiting for the temple ordinances and keeps others from participating in providing the ordinances.
A final option is to just do nothing. The uncompleted ordinances that qualify will be automatically unreserved, and other family members will be able to reserve and do the ordinances.
If you don’t have names on your temple reservation list that will be unreserved, you can still benefit from this feature. Watch for ancestors who might be coming off one of your relatives’ lists. You can reserve the ordinances and help complete the temple work. Don’t reserve more names than you can reasonably do in the near future. If you can’t get them done soon, please allow others to reserve and do the temple work.
We’re excited about this new development and know that it will lead to many more of Heavenly Father’s children receiving the saving temple ordinances.
More Color and Icon Changes
We will be making more changes to the colors and icons in the next month.
- For temple ordinances, “Needs More Information” will go from orange to purple.
- “Record Hints” will be changed to a bright orange with an image that looks like a record.
- “Research Suggestions” will change to an image that looks like a sign post.
Here’s an example of the new icons and colors on a Descendancy view.
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