A great way to engage others in temple and family history work is to help them have experiences with their own family history that are meaningful to them personally.
This kind of interaction, called a personalized family history experience, is an informal get-together that takes place in the home or another convenient location where the Holy Ghost can be present. When you set out to create this type of experience, the goal of the meeting is simple—to help others increase their love of family and build connections to their ancestors and our Heavenly Father.
Principles of Personalized Family History Experiences
A successful consultant ministers as the Savior did, one on one. While each experience will be unique and specific to the person or family involved, the following principles are important for temple and family history consultants to follow:
- Pray to Be Led by the Holy Ghost. Before you meet with people to help them have a personalized family history experience, have a brief conversation with them. Find out what ancestor or ancestral homeland they are drawn to, and determine if they have any specific family history goals. Then, as you prepare a personalized family history experience, pray for guidance. Pray that both you and them will be led to ancestors who have accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and are awaiting their temple ordinances to be completed.
- Prepare a Personalized Plan. Use the Consultant Planner to study the person’s family tree and look for ways he or she can discover more about family members. Remember to keep the person’s goals in mind. Take advantage of online resources such as FamilySearch.org, FamilySearch partner sites, the FamilySearch Research Wiki, Google, and other research sites to add fun and excitement to the experience.
- Minister One-on-One. When you share what you have found, teach following the example of the Savior, line upon line and precept upon precept. The experiences you share should be tailored to the participants’ level of understanding of family history, and you should be considerate of their time.
- Invite Them to Act. After you have shared what you found, invite the person or family to act on what they have learned. If electronic devices are used during the experience, always invite people to use their own. After all, the more people do on their own, the more likely they are to know what to do in the weeks and months that follow.
Consultants have lots of great resources to help them build meaningful experiences. You can read about a few simple activities here. Many family history activities can be quite simple, can require little or no research, and can avoid specialized terms or computer functions that some members of the Church may be unfamiliar with.
Remember, the goal of being a temple and family history consultant isn’t to teach someone everything there is to know about temple and family history work. Rather, it is to craft an experience that leads to a connection and that invites the Holy Ghost.
Even something as simple as inviting people to learn about their name—where it came from and why it was given to them—can make a powerful impression and turn their hearts toward their ancestors. This is what the personalized family history experience is all about!
Try these simple activities using FamilySearch resources to become closer to your ancestors and heritage.
Latest posts by David Nielsen (see all)
- Free Cloud Storage on FamilySearch.org for Saving Your Most Important Family Photographs - February 11, 2021
- Mark Your Calendar: 2021 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction - December 30, 2020
- What Did the Pilgrims and Native Americans Eat at the First Thanksgiving? - November 23, 2020