A New Approach to Temple and Family History Consulting

January 4, 2019  - by 

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.

FamilySearch helps people find their ancestors.

Resources Available

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!

Use Simple Activities to Create Personalized Family History Experiences

Try these simple activities using FamilySearch resources to become closer to your ancestors and heritage.

a girl teaches a boy on his ipad.

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Comments

  1. You are missing out on an opportunity to truly teach these Consultants how to find some “heads up” opportunities quickly and efficiently just by using the planner. Please publish something for ALL Area, Stake and Ward Consultants to this effect. We have consultants from all over the globe emailing us for a copy of our “Cheat Sheet” which helps them get through the first one on one without anxiety. They are new, they don’t know how to research, this truly helps people. Here are some hints from it: INTERESTING THINGS TO SHOW IN THE PLANNER:

    1) LOOK FOR DATES BY COLOR, IF YOU SEE BLUE IN AN ALL GREEN SECTION, YOUR DATES MIGHT BE WRONG.
    2) LOOK AT YOUR RELATIVES BY COUNTRY. IF IT SHOWS SWEDEN IN 1700, UNITED STATES IN 1800 AND HINTS, SWEDEN IN 1900, YOU MAY HAVE WRONG INFORMATION.
    3) CHECK HEADSTONES ARE GREAT PLACE TO GET YOUR DEATH INFO;
    4) RECORD INFO: THE MORE YOU HAVE, THE MORE CORROBORATED EVIDENCE YOU HAVE. RECORD HINTS – IN ANCESTRY, LOOK AT THE BIRTH YEARS OR OTHER FACTS. MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS IN ORDER. MOTHER BORN 1850…DAUGHTER BORN 1832…SON BORN 1845? NOPE!

    5) PIONEERS – VALUABLE INFORMATION – SOMETIMES YOU GET TO SEE PEOPLE’S NAMES WHO WERE PIONEERS! AND YOU DIDN’T THINK YOU HAD RELATIVES IN THE CHURCH! HOW FUN IS THAT? You belong!

    6) HEROES OF AMERICAN WARS – READ ABOUT THEIR HEROISM
    HOURS OF FAMILY NIGHT FUN, SEE YOUR GGGRANDFATHER’S HANDWRITING AND WHAT HE LOOKED LIKE by looking at his WWI draft card

    7) TEMPLE READY – IT SAYS IT IS READY TO RESERVE, BUT CHECK THESE THINGS: A. HAS THE WORK ALREADY BEEN DONE? DOES IT NEED TO BE MERGED? ARE THEIR DUPLICATES? DOES IT HAVE VIABLE DATES AND PLACES?- WE LIVE IN A TIME WHEN DATES AND PLACES SHOULD BE IN THE FILE

    8) OCCUPATIONS – THEY USUALLY DON’T CHANGE EVERY 10 YEARS – CHECK YOUR CENSUS DATA FOR ACCURACY – YOU MAY BE ATTRACTING RECORDS FOR MORE THAN ONE PERSON.

    1. To Ted and Karen Meyer: My husband and I are Stake Temple and Family History Consultants–Lead as well as Family History Center Directors. Just about everything we have learned about this calling we have gleaned from visiting with other FHC and their leaders. We love having people share their ideas and helps for their consultants. Would you mind sharing your entire “cheat sheet” with us? We would appreciate it very much. hendusue@gmail.com Thank you!!

      1. Hey – so sorry – I just saw this by googling to see if our Pinterest account was working correctly! I’ll get it off to you right away – we can be reached at naswfamilyhistory.blogspot.com or naswfamilyhistory@gmail.com We believe in helping anyone who wishes help.

      1. Hey – so sorry – I just saw this by googling to see if our Pinterest account was working correctly! I’ll get it off to you right away – we can be reached at naswfamilyhistory.blogspot.com or naswfamilyhistory@gmail.com We believe in helping anyone who wishes help. I need your email

    2. I just got called as our ward family history consultant and would love a copy of your cheat sheet as well. Thank you for providing some great info!

      1. Hey – so sorry – I just saw this by googling to see if our Pinterest account was working correctly! I’ll get it off to you right away – we can be reached at naswfamilyhistory.blogspot.com or naswfamilyhistory@gmail.com We believe in helping anyone who wishes help. However, I need your email

  2. I forgot to comment on the original article. Please forgive me! While it is very inspiring and reminds us to do this “new approach,” as leaders we could use some suggestions on how to get our staff (at the FHC) as well as ward consultants to
    1) come to our training meetings to learn about it. Our Staff members do well but other ward consultants don’t even show up!
    And this has been going on for our whole calling–2 years. We live in an area where the stake is spread out but we have 7 ward in the same town with the Center, where we hold our meetings. Any suggestion of how to get them commit and to realize attendance is part of their calling? We have asked the bishops to inform them of what the calling entails when they are called–even giving the bishops a written out calling description to go with it–but it hasn’t made any difference.
    2) Even though we have taught this to our staff, who are all ward consultants too, we don’t get much feed back of any consultants using this “new approach” which has been around for almost a year now, if I remember correctly!

    How do we get consultants to “DO IT NOW” as Pres Kimball would admonish?

    1. I have same issues in my Stake. You are not alone. I have asked the Ward Leaders to call new consultants with these expectations. Existing consultants are more comfortable with technical family tree exercises.

  3. Somewhere, a clarification was made (in November or December 2018) that the “Temple and Family History Consultant – Lead” can be a sister or a couple. I cannot find that anywhere on the website. Can you clarify if that clarification exists or did I make that up? Thanks you!

    1. Ward Temple and Family History Leader is final change and must be a priesthood holder same as a Ward Mission Leader

    2. The -lead was deleted to make it easier for FS to get messages out to the Consultants as quickly as possible. Also some clerks were really creative with titles. We are Area Temple and Family History Consultants as well as Stake Temple and Family History Consultants. We get the same messages as Ward or Branch Temple and Family History Consultants. Check your title in the LDS tools. If it is different than what you see here, please have your clerk use the drop down menu so that you are able to get the same messages quickly and efficiently. For instance, if you have that correct title and not something which has been written in like FHConsultant Lead, or Co-FH Committee Member, you should have received an email stating that on August 10, 2019 was finally finished for the update to Handbook 2 was for May 2019. If you didn’t get that, something is amuck – you need to opt in as well to all messages from Family Search.

    3. It was in the October 18, release. We put a copy of it on the Temple and Family History Consultants facebook page. Basically, it introduced the idea that Elder Renlund really wanted to stress that each ward, where possible have a Temple and Family History Leader which is a Melchizadek Priesthood Holder. This can be a gentleman under the EQ President or the Counselor under the EQ President over Family History. Sisters have not been released as Leads – just the “-Lead” has been eliminated to make messaging more efficient in getting from FS>Consultants. A Sister or a Brother can still be considered a Lead by their Bishop or TFHLeader, as their expertise in helping him with Family History knowledge will be invaluable but the title will not be replicated in the MLS system as a Lead. We are ALL Temple and Family History Consultants at every level. naswfamilyhistory@gmail.com

  4. Question: We have Stake Temple Family History Consultants and Ward Temple Family History Consultants. Also I teach the above to Stake Temple Family History Consultants. Which ones are Temple Family History Consultants is my question

    1. We have one Stake Temple and Family History Consultant supporting the assigned Temple and Family History High Councilman. The Stake Consultant is also responsible for monthly Stake training for the Ward Temple and Family History Consultants. The Stake Family History Center is staffed using Ward Temple and Family History Consultants. Temple and Family History is implemented at the Ward level.

      1. This is the way it should be! Get those Ward TFHC under the wing of a good Stake TFHC and they will be learning how to do presentations, and conducting classes in no time. The best service a TFHC can do is to represent their Ward or Stake by creating a Community Event which is open to the public. Genealogy is the 3rd most popular hobby in the world – what an awesome missionary opportunity. We have a fun way to host an event and it is very easy – check out our youtube for How to have the Perfect Family HIstory Event… It’s so fun! Get your Stake and Area people to help man the booths. We use the Family Search ideas and links to even help you advertise the event.

    2. All are Temple and History Consultants – see my reply above. If you were formerly a LEAD, your Bishop or STake president may still consider you a lead, but it will not be delineated in the MLS system so that we all get the same messages from the Titles which are approved. Join our facebook page as well for Temple and Family History Consultants – it is well attended by over 4,000 others and we all help each other.

    1. Every Ward Temple and Family History Leader is using his priesthood powers to discern the correct Ward Plan. We have one on our youtube which is just an excel workbook for annual planning with each quarter rolling data to the annual page. It has no quotas or names of anyone when they attend the Temple, yet it helps other auxiliaries to plan with links to phenomenal ideas from Family Search, without overlapping events with Primary, Young Men/Young Women, Relief Society, or Ward Family History Events. Email us for the excel sheet – glad to help. If you feel inspired that this will help you, please do! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk8vGUOoWZ8 naswfamilyhistory@gmail.com

  5. It was in the October 18, release. We put a copy of it on the Temple and Family History Consultants facebook page. Basically, it introduced the idea that Elder Renlund really wanted to stress that each ward, where possible have a Temple and Family History Leader which is a Melchizadek Priesthood Holder. This can be a gentleman under the EQ President or the Counselor under the EQ President over Family History. Sisters have not been released as Leads – just the “-Lead” has been eliminated to make messaging more efficient in getting from FS>Consultants. A Sister or a Brother can still be considered a Lead by their Bishop or TFHLeader, as their expertise in helping him with Family History knowledge will be invaluable but the title will not be replicated in the MLS system as a Lead. We are ALL Temple and Family History Consultants at every level. naswfamilyhistory@gmail.com

  6. I’m looking to find my 1st cousins mother leonra Hanover as we call her needs to find her mother being a is an out 84 years old we think she is from Iowa my sister had her do a DNA that’s how we know she is a cousin but we can’t find any record of her life in Iowa at one point we thought she was a half sister please help us God bless Victoria smith