In February 2018, Elder Bradley D. Foster spoke to temple and family history consultants during the family history leadership session at RootsTech 2018. The Executive Director of the Family History Department had great insights to share about how to make the service of consultants more effective and meaningful.
“Everyone deserves to be remembered,” he said. He taught how blessings of healing and peace are waiting for those who gather and connect their ancestors, and he promised divine help to those who help others.
A Unique Opportunity
Early in his talk, Elder Foster explained how Heavenly Father wants all His children home again “in families and in glory.” He asked temple and family history consultants to consider for a moment the unique role they play in accomplishing this great work. “I’ve learned that if you want to endear someone to you, do something nice for their children,” he said. “Imagine how Heavenly Father will feel about you as you’re doing something nice for His children.”
“Think of how parents and grandparents on the other side of the veil will feel about you,” he continued, “as you help their posterity discover them.”
Moments of Discovery
One of the most important things a temple and family history consultant can do is to create personal moments of discovery for the people they help. To illustrate, Elder Foster told a story from the Book of Mormon about the prophet Lehi. After Nephi had obtained the brass plates, Lehi studied them and discovered his family’s genealogy recorded there. “At that moment of discovery,” Elder Foster pointed out, “[Lehi] was filled with the Spirit and his heart was turned to his fathers.”
Elder Foster then said, “You, as temple and family history consultants, will strive to help all members have their own moment of discovery.” The spirit they feel as they experience these moments will propel them to the next step—which is to gather and prepare names for temple ordinances.
“This family effort connects and binds us together in love on both sides of the veil,” Elder Foster explained. “It heals us and ultimately seals us for eternity through the covenants and ordinances of the temple.”
Following the Savior’s Example
“Temple and family history consultants,” Elder Foster said, “Heavenly Father wants you to follow the Savior’s example as you work with these you’ve been called to help.”
He went on to explain how during Jesus’ visit to the Nephites, everyone who was present was invited to come to Him—one by one—so they could know and bear record of Him.
“The Savior made sure they had their own individual experiences,” Elder Foster said—including children—so that they could all testify later of what they had seen and felt. His actions are a model for everyone to follow, of course, but especially for those engaged in helping others discover, gather, and connect their families.
Angels Standing By
Before concluding, Elder Foster encouraged consultants to take advantage of the many resources available on FamilySearch.org to help them in their callings. In addition, he made them a special promise: “Under the direction of your priesthood leaders, as you minister to those you are called to help, angels will accompany you and them,” he said. “As one of 81,000 temple and family history consultants around the world, this is the privilege you’ll have in this one great work.”