Ordinances Ready: FamilySearch App Feature Helps Find Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors

September 17, 2018  - by 

For Church members, the ultimate temple and family history goal is to provide saving ordinances for their ancestors.

This can happen whether you are able to serve as proxy for an ancestor in person or if you share the ordinances with the temple for someone to perform in your (and your ancestor’s) behalf.

But, for various reasons, it can sometimes be difficult to identify an ancestor needing ordinances.

The new Ordinances Ready feature in the FamilySearch Family Tree app can help. Here’s how it works:

Ordinances Ready searches FamilySearch Family Tree, as well as temple reservation and shared lists, to find available ordinances for people you are related to. It verifies that the person:

  • Is related to you.
  • Was born at least 110 years ago.
  • Has chronologically consistent birth and death dates as compared with family relationships.
  • Is not a duplicate, based on the information available in the tree.

If it cannot find a family name for you, the Ordinances Ready search will expand to include ordinance reservations from the temple inventory, ensuring that anyone that uses it will be able to find and request ordinances to perform in the temple.

A Boost for Consultants

Consultants can use Ordinances Ready to help the members they work with find temple ordinances for ancestors. It also provides the ability to see the family relationship and to access any photos and stories for the ancestor. 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.

Give it a try, and see what it finds for you.

How to Request Ordinances Using an iOS Device

Using your iOS device, download the FamilySearch Family Tree App, and sign-in. From the bottom of the home screen, tap the Temple icon.

FamilySearch temple ordinances on apple

Ordinances that are already reserved will appear as a list on the Temple screen. If no ordinances have been reserved, you’ll see: “You have no reserved family names. We will find some names for you.” To search for available temple ordinances, tap on the green Ordinances Ready button. Then pick which ordinance type you’d like to search for.

FamilySearch request temple ordinances
FamilySearch find names for temple ordinances

The Ordinances Ready feature will generate a list of available ordinance reservations for you to reserve and take to the temple. From there, you will be able to print temple cards or write down a Family Ordinance Request (FOR) number. Note: Temple workers prefer that patrons bring in printed cards if possible, but the FOR number will help them print the ordinance reservation cards if needed.

How to Request Ordinances Using an Android Device

Once you have downloaded the FamilySearch Family Tree App on your android, open the app. Sign in, and in the upper left corner, tap the menu bar. From the drop-down options, select Temple.

FamilySearch family tree temple ordinances
FamilySearch ordinances ready for the temple

If you already have reserved ordinances, you will see that list appear on the Temple screen. If not, your screen will say “You have no reserved family names. We will find some for you.” Either way, tap the green Ordinances Ready button.

Now select an ordinance type so that FamilySearch can create a list of ordinance reservations for you.

FamilySearch find temple ordinances
FamilySearch requesting temple ordinances

Once you have your list, you will be directed to print the cards for your relatives or write down a Family Ordinance Request (FOR) number for each reservation you take to the temple. Again, keep in mind that temple workers prefer that patrons bring in printed cards if possible. If not, bring the FOR numbers to get help printing ordinance cards at the temple.

If no ordinances are found in the sources listed above, Ordinances Ready will retrieve available ordinances that have been submitted to the temple by any patron. These ordinances from temple inventory will be provided in the same order they were submitted to the temple. You can perform ordinances that have been submitted to the temple by others, whether or not you are directly related to those individuals.

Ordinances Ready Can Also Be Used on a Desktop

The new Ordinances Ready feature can also be used on a desktop computer, where the interface is very similar to the mobile app interface. To try it out, go to the Ordinances Ready web page.

The Power of FamilySearch Family Tree

Ordinances Ready is fueled by the family information found in the branches of FamilySearch Family Tree. Every time you add to the tree, you not only preserve part of your family story, but you may also be directly helping someone else gain the blessings of family history and temple work. Here are some simple ways you can make Ordinances Ready and the Tree even more powerful for yourself and others:

  • Discover new persons to add to the FamilySearch Tree by talking to (or texting) relatives or using record hints.
  • Help with indexing to make vital records available for families with gaps in their family tree. Indexing makes record hints possible.
  • Search out stories and photos from living family members, and add them as memories to people in the FamilySearch tree.

Tips for Using Ordinances Ready

  • If you request ordinances using the new feature, be sure to take them to the temple on your next visit or give them to family, friends, or ward members. Under certain circumstances, ordinance reservations might expire after 90 days or longer.
  • The Ordinances Ready feature will help generate just a few ordinance reservations at a time to make them easier to sort through and use for each new temple trip. If you need more ordinance reservations than you find on your first search, consider encouraging others try the feature for themselves for a fun family history experience.
  • The first step when using Ordinances Ready is to select the ordinance type you are looking to perform. Notice if the results include other remaining ordinances for that person. Depending on the circumstances, these other ordinances can be shared with a family member or the temple, so others may do them. You can also unreserve the ordinances to make them available in Family Tree.

More about the FamilySearch Family Tree app

To learn about more FamilySearch Family Tree App features, see the following articles:


Amie Tennant

Amie Bowser Tennant is a genealogy researcher, writer and presenter.She writes blog articles and other content for many top companies and societies in the genealogy field. Her most treasured experience is working as a consultant for family history. Amie lives with her husband and three children in Ohio, surrounded by many of her extended family.

Latest posts by Amie Tennant (see all)

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  1. My 16 yr old son passed his one year to have his work done. I’ve filled out all the information and it’s showing temple ready but I cannot request his work to print out a card. I want to print it out to send to my brother who can do the work as soon as temples hit phase 3. Help

    1. Hi Jacqueline! Thank you for your question. First you will need to check with the company that makes Family Tree Maker 2017 to find out how to generate a GEDCOM from that software. Please check out the following Help Center articles for how to upload your GEDCOM into Genealogies and then if you desire to then manually match that GEDCOM to every matched record in FamilySearch. Most users find that their family is already in the FamilySearch Family Tree after a couple of generations and find it much easier to manually add those generations and then connect up with the larger tree already in Familysearch.
      How do I upload my GEDCOM file?
      How do I copy information from my GEDCOM file into Family Tree?

  2. Can I confirm how ordinance submission works? Once ordinances are ready (and green) in FamilySearch, you first click the “Request” button. If you’re not able to do the work yourself and don’t have anyone to share it with, you can then click the “Share” button and select “Share with Temple.” (There’s no other way that the temples will get these names to have the ordinances completed, if you don’t start by clicking the “Request” button.) If you’re able to do some of these ordinances in the future, and they haven’t been completed yet (and it’s within the 2-year timeframe of when you first reserved/requested them), you can click the “Share” button again and then select “Unshare with Temple”. Is this all correct? (It can be a little confusing.) Is there anything else I should know? I have dozens and dozens (maybe hundreds) of names that are “green” in FamilySearch and ready to go, I just want to make sure I handle them properly. I think I need to go through the process outlined above. Could you please confirm? Thank you!! -Julie

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you for your questions. You should reserve only the amount of ordinances that you can personally do within a few weeks. You can share additional ordinances to the shared temple file. You can un-share those ordinances at any time, unless they have been printed by another user (using Ordinances Ready) or the temple. In these cases they are locked from being un-shared as they are in the process of being completed. Any ordinances you have reserved need to be completed either within 2 years (original reservation) or within 90-days (if you have printed an ordinance that was shared to the temple file by another user). You don’t need to gather up from the Tree and share ordinances (green temples) to the shared temple list. The Ordinances Ready feature and the temple software can find these ordinances in the Family Tree as needed. I hope this helps answer you questions.

      1. Thanks for your help! I’ve been working on my great-great-aunt’s second husband’s family (his first wife and her family and their children, his parents and his siblings). Since this is a distant branch of my family tree, I’m not sure if the ordinances will come up in Ordinances Ready when I try to use it in the future. Also, I’m not sure if this branch has any descendants that are church members. You’re saying that I don’t need to share these names with the temple, because the temple can pull them when they need names? I’m certain this family needs their temple work completed; I won’t be able to do all of these names in a timely manner, and I don’t know enough people to share them with who could also get them done in a timely manner. It’s really okay to “leave them alone” and let the temples pull these names whenever they get to it?

        1. Hi Julie! Thank you for your question. Yes, you can just leave them in the Tree and the temple work will be completed for them. Also, it sounds as though you are researching people who are not directly related to you. Your great-great-aunt’s second husband’s first wife and her family and their children/siblings are not related to your great-great-aunt. You can do the research for them, but you are not related to them for the purpose of submitting temple ordinances.

      2. I forgot to ask, when is it appropriate or helpful to share the names with the temple? If the temples can get the names anyway (when they’re “green”), why or when should you share the names?

        1. Hi Julie! Thank you for your question. Many patrons research and add many relatives to the Tree to whom they are directly related to. They may want to do all the temple work themselves but have too much to do. So they share with the shared temple file so that others can help them and so they can un-share and do some of the work themselves at a later time. They also could just leave these in the Tree and use the Ordinances Ready tool at a later time as well.

  3. I would like to get the Temple ordinances performed for my deceased Brother-in-law but reqire his family approval.
    How is this acheived. Is there a form for the family to sign, or is an email address or phone number required so their approval can be confirmed?