Two family history center directors in Arizona built their own stake discovery trees. Under the direction of local priesthood leaders and following their goals for the stake members, these directors found a very visual way to help members see amazing progress following the principles of “Find, Take, Teach.”
Each director created a large, simple tree outside the family history center where passing members could see it regularly. The goal for each stake was for individual members over 12 to find an ancestor and to take that ancestor’s name to the temple before the end of the year. When a stake member accomplished the goal of finding one or more names and taking that name to the temple, he or she was invited to put a green leaf on the tree. Information about each ancestor was printed on the leaf. To ensure there was plenty of room for all stake members to add a leaf, even if the member made several submissions, they only added one leaf to the tree. Members were finding and taking!
To encourage teaching of the find, take, and teach formula, when a member taught another person to follow the same finding and taking pattern, the member put up a gold leaf with his or her own name and the name of the person he or she taught. Then came the magic! The person who was taught put up a green leaf with the name of the ancestor he or she found and took to the temple!
Leaves multiplied over the weeks. Leaves were limited to one per person, but not so with gold leaves. There were no limits on how many gold leaves a person could add to the tree. For every person who was taught, the teacher could put up a gold leaf. Finding, taking, and teaching became contagious in the stake.
Work with your priesthood leaders, and learn about their stake goals for family history and temple work. With inspiration and with your priesthood leaders’ guidance, you too can encourage your stake members to discover their ancestors and teach others how to do the same.