For Temple and Family History Callings—FAQ about Ordinances Ready

September 7, 2019  - by 

If you’ve tried Ordinances Ready or have been asked about it by members of your ward, branch, or stake, you may be looking for answers about how this feature works or why it works in certain ways.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions from temple and family history consultants and others with temple and family history callings around the world. We hope these answers will help you in your calling as you help others have inspiring temple experiences.

Click a Question to Find the Answers Below

Have a question you don’t see here? Make a comment below, or visit the Help Center on FamilySearch.

Q: What is Ordinances Ready?

A: Ordinances Ready is a FamilySearch tool that simplifies finding names for the temple. It helps you find available ordinances and reserve them, learn more about the person you are doing ordinances for, and print reservation cards. You can find it on the Family Tree app and on FamilySearch.

Learn more about how to use Ordinances Ready.

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Q: How can I help others use Ordinances Ready?

A: One of the best ways to teach others about Ordinances Ready is to encourage them to try it. That way, they can reserve the names for themselves and feel confident that they can do it again for their next trip.

Youth group going to the temple with temple names.

Helper Mode for Ordinances Ready

Ordinances Ready also has a helper mode available for consultants. To access this mode, sign in as a helper first (using an email address or helper number). Then go to the temple tab on FamilySearch to use Ordinances Ready. When you are done, the ordinances will be reserved in the name of the person you are helping.

To learn more about how to use Ordinances Ready and how it reserves ordinances, take a look at these resources:

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Girl using Ordinances Ready on her phone.

Q: Can I use Ordinances Ready to reserve all the ordinances for a person?

A: The Ordinances Ready feature finds enough ordinance reservations for one temple session (4–5 baptisms, 1 endowment, and so on.)

If you reserve one ordinance for an individual with Ordinances Ready and would like to reserve others as well, you can tap on the person’s name to find out more about the person in Family Tree. From Family Tree, you can reserve other ordinances that may be available.

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Q: Does Ordinances Ready check for duplicates?

A: Yes. Ordinances Ready checks for duplicate profiles on the names it finds, unless the reservation comes from your personal reservation list (in which case, the required check should have already been completed). Profiles that come up as having possible duplicates with a high-confidence match will not be shown in Ordinances Ready.

In some circumstances, a duplicate profile may have been added to Family Tree after a duplicate check has been done. If you find this sort of situation with your reservations, you can merge the duplicate profiles to ensure that the vicarious ordinances are performed just once.

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A: When Ordinances Ready is not able to find a temple opportunity for one of your relatives, it helps you prepare for your next temple trip by finding reservations that other Church members have shared with the temple.

The Ordinances Ready feature looks for temple opportunities in this order:

  • Your personal temple reservation list and reservations you have shared with the temple.
  • Reservations for your relatives that have been shared with the temple by others.
  • Related persons in your line (or tree) who have the requested ordinances available.
  • Reservations other members have shared with the temple.
Two teenagers taking a picture outside the St. George temple.

If Ordinances Ready doesn’t find a related family name for you, you can try some of these steps to find out more about your own ancestors and discover if they have enough identifying information for their ordinance work to be completed:

  1. If you have not connected yourself to your ancestors in FamilySearch Family Tree, Ordinances Ready may not have been able to find your ancestors. Learn how to fill in your family tree on FamilySearch.
  2. Explore your family tree on FamilySearch, and look for orange temple icons. These icons show your ancestors who still need additional information added to their profile before ordinances can be requested for them. You can use record hints and basic research techniques to discover more about these ancestors and fill in needed information.
  3. Perhaps some of your ancestors are missing from your tree? You can use the fan chart view to easily spot places (up to 7 generations) where you may have gaps in your tree. Learn how to add your first four generations to the tree, or fill in gaps farther back by locating elusive records.

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Q: Can Ordinances Ready help me to know my ancestors better?

A: Using Ordinances Ready and FamilySearch, you may be able to see a life history, stories, life events, and even photos for the person for whom you are completing vicarious ordinances (depending on what has been added in Family Tree). This means you can get to know these people whether they are your relatives or a name that someone else has shared with the temple. Here’s how you do it:

After you tap the green Ordinances Ready button, the feature will give you a list of persons for whom you can reserve ordinances. Tap View Relationship below a name to see how you are related, and tap View Person to look at life events, memories, and photos in Family Tree.

Man looking at his ancestor's photo at the Switzerland temple.

Note: Once you tap Continue in Ordinances Ready, or if you already have ordinances reserved, you can tap a person’s name in your reservation list to learn more about the person on FamilySearch.

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Q: Why did Ordinances Ready give me names of people with no sources?

A: Ordinances Ready uses the official temple reservation standards. Before temple ordinances can be reserved for a person, enough information must be added to the Family Tree to uniquely identify the person. A name, standardized date, standardized place, and other information must be present, but a source is not required.

Woman leaving temple after a session.

Note: In some places in the world, paper and digital historical records were not regularly kept. A care for accurate and complete information should always be taken before doing ordinance work, but correct identifying information is sufficient.

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Q: Can an estimated date be used when reserving temple ordinances?

A: When an exact date for one of a person’s vital events (such as birth, marriage, and death) is not known, an estimated date can be entered.

Q: Won’t estimating dates cause inaccuracies?

A: While historical documents, journals, and other sources can help identify a specific date, these resources aren’t available for every ancestor. When reserving temple ordinances, you can take steps to estimate accurately.

When you know enough about ancestors to uniquely identify them but do not have specific dates, FamilySearch allows you to add an approximate date and type “before,” “after,” or “about” with the date to indicate that it is an estimate.

When estimating dates, use what you can find or already know about your ancestor to get as close to the correct date as possible. Here are some tips on how to estimate a date with the highest accuracy.

Woman leaving the Boston temple after doing vicarious ordinances.

Q: When is it appropriate to estimate a date?

A: For help on knowing when dates should be estimated and how to enter an estimated date into Family Tree, read this article.

Q: How will estimating dates affect searching for duplicates?

A: The FamilySearch Family Tree treats estimated dates as a range. For example, “about 1880” will be interpreted as 1 January 1880 to 31 December 1880. In this example, FamilySearch would look for duplicates that match that date range.

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Q: Do all ordinances obtained through Ordinances Ready expire in 90 days?

A: Ordinances that you reserve using the Ordinances Ready feature generally expire in 90 days. This reservation period includes ordinance reservations retrieved from the temple inventory (sometimes called temple names) and ordinance reservations your relatives may have shared with the temple.

When Ordinances Ready finds temple opportunities in your family tree and helps you reserve them, these reservations expire in 2 years.

When ordinance reservations are made outside of Ordinances Ready, different expiration dates may apply. Read more here.

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Q: How far in advance will I receive a message that an ordinance is expiring?

A: Three weeks before a reservation expires, FamilySearch will send a message reminding you about the expiration. You will receive another message after the reservation has expired. If you also want to receive these notifications in an email, turn on the Messages option in your FamilySearch notification settings.

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People walking into a Latter-day Saint temple

Q: How do I renew an ordinance reservation that is about to expire?

A: It is important to complete ordinances you have reserved in the time allotted if you are able, rather than reserve the ordinances again. If you cannot complete the ordinances, you can share them with the temple to allow others to help provide these blessings.

When you are closer to a date when you can attend the temple, you can then use Ordinances Ready again to find a reservation for a relative or someone else who needs ordinances completed.

Note: When an ordinance reservation expires, it is not lost. The reservation is shared with the temple so others may help complete the ordinances. You can unreserve an ordinance and reserve it again, but there is a chance the ordinances will no longer be available.

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  1. The pictures are lovely, but take up so much space when printing for reference. Is there any way to print just the information?

  2. I asked Ordinances Ready to give me Sealings to Parents and it gave me 10. When I checked the ordinances of the parents, I found that in 6 of the 10 cases, the parents had not been sealed as spouses. I don’t want to seal children to parents who haven’t been sealed to each other!R

    1. Wish I could reserve at least 5 names for endowments so I could share with others or do multiple names without having to use the app after every trip to the temple.

  3. I am a Temple Sealer. I use Ordinance Ready weekly. But I wish Ordinance Ready could give me my female Ordinances as I can get others to take care of or perform the Sealings myself. This is a great tool. Thank You

    Female Ordinances I can take care of as a Sealer or ask someone to complete the Ordinance such as Female Initiatory, etc. I know I can go to Task Lists, Fan Charts, etc. but Ordinance Ready is such a powerful and timely tool.