Temple and family history work can be fun. And why shouldn’t it be? When we feel a real connection with our family (living or dead) we are energized, and we gain a clarity and purpose that shines a light on the joy inherent in the plan of salvation.
Many people believe that family history is difficult to do, that it is overly technical, or that it is only for an older generation. You have the opportunity to change this mindset as you help others experience the simple joys of family history and partake of its many blessings. Many new resources are available that can help.
Family History Activities for Families
The Family History Activities for Families page includes a series of simple activities. These activities can help people learn about themselves, their families, and temple service.
The activities are a great way to help youth and children understand more about their heritage and family. They can work as a great introduction to family history during personalized family history experiences or as part of a Sunday lesson. Most require no research time or skills.
Finding Temple Opportunities
The new Ordinances Ready feature in the FamilySearch Family Tree app and on FamilySearch.org helps people find ancestors awaiting ordinances. It can at the same time provide a discovery experience. The feature allows members to see their relationship to their ancestor and view available photos and stories. Ordinances Ready is a simple way to introduce members to the joy of family history, which may instill in them a deeper desire to connect with their ancestors.
What Ordinances Ready Searches
Ordinance Ready searches the following resources in this order:
- The member’s reservation list.
- Ordinances that have been shared with temple from the member’s reservation list.
- Ordinances for the member’s ancestors that have been shared with the temple by relatives.
- Ordinances available from the person’s tree (showing with the green temple icon).
If no ordinances are found in the sources listed above, Ordinances Ready retrieves available ordinances that have been submitted to the temple by any patron. These ordinances from the temple inventory will be provided in the same order they were submitted to the temple. Through Ordinances Ready, Church members can perform ordinances that have been submitted to the temple by others, whether or not they are directly related to the individuals for whom the ordinances are performed.
Photos and Stories
If you are new to family history research or if the person you are helping is just starting out (as in the case of a new member of the Church), it can be helpful to use personal photos, stories, and other heirlooms to create a family history experience. Here are some ideas of what you can do:
- Help someone discover more about his or her family’s story. The more people discover about their family’s story, the more they learn about themselves. Discoveries go beyond names and dates and can help them see their ancestors as real people. They can also make the history, traditions, and culture of someone’s ancestral homeland personally meaningful. FamilySearch has simple discovery resources that interact with Family Tree.
- Use the past to bring families together. Members can strengthen relationships with living family as they discover their heritage. See “Connect with Your Family: Past, Present, and Future” for ideas on how to involve families in family history.
- Invite members to share memories. When the person you are serving shares his or her feelings and memories about an ancestor, it can promote individual discovery. The FamilySearch Memories mobile app provides a simple way to preserve and share stories, photos, audio files, and images of important documents and heirlooms.
- Use simple resources to capture stories. My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together is a booklet that helps people organize their family history information and preserve stories and memories about their first four generations. Learn more about the booklet.
Pick one of these activities that might work for the family or individual you are serving, and try it out! Each one is a great way to create a fun family history experience that can connect others to their ancestors.
Learn more about creating personalized family history experiences.