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Temple and Family History Callings

Ward Temple and Family History Leader

Find doctrine of family history, an explanation of your role and the organization of the work, ideas for developing a ward plan, guidelines for conducting a coordination meeting, and principles for directing the work.

Ward Temple and Family History Consultant

Find direction from Prophets and Apostles, an explanation of roles and responsibilities, suggestions for best practices, and access to resources.

Welcome to Your Calling!

Ward Temple and Family History Leader

Your Objective

As a Melchizedek priesthood holder, you have been called to coordinate the ward's temple and family history efforts. Your primary objective is to help members invite the blessings of the temple and of family history into their lives and to encourage them to attend the temple as often as circumstances allow—for themselves as well as for their ancestors.

Your dedicated service will bless Heavenly Father's children on both sides of the veil. As President Nelson said, You can be a big part of something big, something grand, something majestic! ("Hope of Israel," Worldwide Youth Devotional, 3 June 2018).

The Lord is hastening His work to gather Israel. That gathering is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty. And if you choose to, if you want to, you can be a big part of it.

Russell M. Nelson

"Hope of Israel," Worldwide Youth Devotional, 3 June 2018

How This Guide Will Help You

The following pages will provide you the following valuable information:

An introduction to the blessings and doctrines of temple and family history work.

Ideas for developing a ward temple and family history plan.

Principles for directing the work of temple and family history consultants.

An explanation of the organization of the work, describing your roles and responsibilities.

Guidelines for conducting a ward temple and family history coordination meeting.

Temple and Family History

Ward Temple and Family History Leader

Gathering Israel

When we engage in temple and family history activities, we discover more about ourselves and our ancestors. We then connect with our ancestors by performing needed gospel ordinances. This discovery and connection is part of the Gathering of Israel. See Ephesians 1:10.

The home, family, and temple are inseparably connected…. Understanding the eternal nature of the temple will draw you to your family. Understanding the eternal nature of the family will draw you to the temple.

Gary E. Stevenson

Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction, February 2019

Organize the Work

Ward Temple and Family History Leader

Temple and Family History Leader Responsibilities

As a ward temple and family history leader, you are responsible for coordinating the ward's temple and family history efforts. You serve under the direction of the elders quorum presidency. In certain situations, you may be instructed to report directly to the bishop.

The high councilor assigned to temple and family history in the stake can also offer instruction about your responsibilities, which include the following:

Coordinate the ward's temple and family history efforts, including the development and implementation of the ward temple and family history plan.

Attend ward council when invited.

Conduct the ward’s temple and family history coordination meeting, and direct the work of temple and family history consultants. Under the direction of the bishop and working with the elders quorum presidency, assign temple and family history consultants to serve in the family history center, as needed.

Direct the work of helping members prepare for the temple, and organize temple instruction, activities, and trips.

Coordinate with members of the ward council, the ward mission leader, and the full-time missionaries to provide family history experiences, especially for those learning the gospel, new and returning members, and children and youth preparing to receive a limited-use temple recommend.

Create a Ward Plan

Ward Temple and Family History Leader

Developing a Ward Plan and Its Purpose

The ward temple and family history plan is developed by the ward council and approved by the bishop. It is intended to be brief and simple. As the ward temple and family history leader, you may be asked by the bishop or by a member of the elders quorum presidency to coordinate the plan's development. A member of the Relief Society presidency may assist you.

Use the plan to set goals for temple and family history work for the year without establishing quotas or reporting systems for temple attendance.

A simple ward temple and family history plan is developed and discussed by the ward council and approved by the bishop. The plan includes ways to lift the ward's overall vision and attitude toward temple and family history work.

Dale G. Renlund

Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction, February 2019

Ward Plan Ideas

A simple and regularly updated ward temple and family history plan could focus on the following:

Encourage family history and temple activities and trips.

Help members enter 4 generations of family members into the FamilySearch Family Tree.

As invited by the bishop, help members prepare to attend the temple for the first time.

Involve new members and children in family history efforts, and encourage them to qualify for and use limited-use temple recommends at the appropriate age.

Coordinate with ward missionary teaching, activation, and retention efforts.

Ward Coordination Meetings

Ward Temple and Family History Leader

Purpose of a Coordination Meeting

To help coordinate temple and family history work, you may conduct a ward temple and family history coordination meeting. The meeting would be held regularly and includes implementing the temple and family history plan.

Attendees include:

  • Ward temple and family history consultants.
  • A member of the Relief Society presidency and a member of the elders quorum presidency attend as often as circumstances allow.
  • On occasion, full-time missionaries could be invited.

With a simple and clear ward temple and family history plan, the coordination meeting should not be long, and those attending can focus on helping people. At times, it might not even be necessary to hold the meeting in person. Coordination can also happen through text messages, emails, phone calls, and other means.

Having a group of dedicated people come together generates enthusiasm for the work and keeps it on the minds of ward leaders as they help ward members.

Dale G. Renlund

Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction, February 2019

Lead the Ward Temple and Family History Consultants

Ward Temple and Family History Leader

Ward Temple and Family History Consultant's Responsibilities

As other sections have mentioned, you are responsible for coordinating the efforts of your ward's temple and family history consultants. To do this effectively, you will want to have a clear understanding of a consultant's responsibilities, which include the following:

Help individuals and families discover their ancestors and gather names for temple ordinances.

Help members prepare to attend the temple and may participate in temple instruction, activities, and trips.

Attend temple and family history coordination meetings.

Provide family history experiences for others, especially for those learning the gospel, new and returning members, and children and youth preparing to receive a limited-use temple recommend.

When assigned, serve in a local family history center.

Welcome to Your Calling!

Ward Temple and Family History Consultant

“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.”

Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 475

Your opportunity is to create inspiring experiences that bring joy to all people as they discover, gather, and connect their family on both sides of the veil.

This guide will help you succeed in your calling by providing you with the following:

  • Direction and counsel from Prophets and Apostles.
  • Explanation of the roles and responsibilities of temple and family history callings.
  • Suggestions for best practices.
  • Easy access to additional resources.

Temple and family history is not a task. It’s a journey, one that begins in the home, where we learn—perhaps for the first time—the stories of our ancestors, and ends in the temple, where we perform the ordinances of salvation in their behalf.

Your efforts will bless generations.

While temple and family history work has the power to bless those beyond the veil, it has an equal power to bless the living. It has a refining influence on those who are engaged in it. They are literally helping to exalt their families.

President Russell M. Nelson

Generations Linked in Love April 2010

Temple and Family History

Ward Temple and Family History Consultant

“The home, family, and temple are inseparably connected. One leads to the other. In no other work are we more home-centered than in temple and family history work. It connects to the fact that we are trying to be more home-centered, Church supported.

“Understanding the eternal nature of the temple will draw you to your family. Understanding the eternal nature of the family will draw you to the temple.”

Elder Gary E. Stevenson, Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction, February 2019

Family history is about finding inspiration in a family’s story, both past and present. It includes discovering and sharing interesting details about your family, homelands, and traditions.

When we engage in family history, we discover more about ourselves and our ancestors. We then connect with them by performing needed gospel ordinances. This discovery and connection is part of the Gathering of Israel.

Ephesians 1:10
When we speak of the gathering, we are simply saying this fundamental truth: every one of our Heavenly Father’s children, on both sides of the veil, deserves to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They decide for themselves if they want to know more.

President Russell M. Nelson

Hope of Israel,” 3 June 2018

Finding Joy in Your Calling

Ward Temple and Family History Consultant

Principles for Helping Others

Following fundamental gospel principles will help you succeed in your temple and family history calling:

Pray

Prayer leads to inspiration and is an essential component in every aspect of the experience. Pray as you prepare to meet the needs of the individual or family. Pray to be led to ancestors who are waiting for their temple ordinances to be completed. Consider inviting those you are helping to pray and seek inspiration as well.

Prepare

Preparation builds confidence in yourself and trust between you and those you serve. It also contributes to an effective experience. In preparing, you identify opportunities in advance and how to share them. You also identify pitfalls to avoid and successes to celebrate. Be sensitive to difficult family relationships or complex family trees. When possible, create opportunities in temple and family history service that family members can enjoy together.

Minister One-on-One

To minister is to focus on creating an experience that brings joy to others. We show great kindness when we listen to and care about “the one.” Experiences should fit the individual’s knowledge of family history and should be considerate of his or her time. Seek opportunities to show increased love for those you are helping.

Invite

Personalized experiences should include an invitation to learn by doing. Temple and family history service provides opportunities for individuals to participate in the plan of salvation and receive spiritual strength. Our invitations to act are intended to be simple and achievable.

Video Resources

Pray to Be Led by the Holy Ghost

6:04

The Power To Heal

4:25

One Great Work of Salvation

3:56

Discover, Gather, Connect

Ward Temple and Family History Consultant

Temple and family history is about connecting with past, present, and future generations. The more people discover about their family’s story, the more they learn about themselves. Discovery goes beyond names and dates. A true discovery moment adds color and detail to an ancestor’s history, traditions, and homeland. Discovery inspires a desire to learn more and gather information into Family Tree. This gathering leads to creating eternal connections through sacred temple ordinances.

Recently, Prophets and Apostles have emphasized helping new Beehives, deacons, and recent converts.

Personalized Family History Experiences

A good way to engage others in temple and family history is through personalized family history experiences.

A personalized family history experience is a meeting between a temple and family history consultant and an individual or family where the consultant shares an activity or family history information prepared especially for that meeting. This can take place in a home or another convenient location that is conducive to the Spirit.

These resources and suggestions can help you create personalized family history experiences that are joyful, that include discovery, and that lead to the temple:

  • Use the Ordinances Ready feature in the FamilySearch Family Tree app and on FamilySearch.org to help members find ancestors needing ordinances.
  • Strengthen relationships with the living by presenting activities that involve the entire family.
  • Capture stories and photos, and record and preserve audio files in the FamilySearch Family Tree and FamilySearch Mobile apps. Learn more about the mobile apps.
  • Help individuals organize their family history information and capture stories and memories about their first 4 generations using the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet. Learn more about the booklet.
  • Add details to a family’s story, and explore possible ancestor matches through Record Hints.

Personalized Experiences in a Group Setting

Sometimes meeting in a group setting can be helpful, such as when participants need to use technology at the Church meetinghouse. However, group meetings should still maintain the one-on-one pattern for personalized experiences. One helper should be assigned to each participant.

When conducting personalized family history experiences in a group setting, confirm in advance that the internet and all related devices are ready to use. Consider beginning the session with prayer and a brief spiritual thought.

Resources for Your Calling

Ward Temple and Family History Consultant

Helper Resources

The purpose of the Helper Resources is to gather into one place communications and resources needed to fulfill temple and family history callings. Key elements in the portal include quick access to:

  • Calling information and important communications.
  • What’s New at FamilySearch.
  • The Planner: This tool personalizes resources, highlights noteworthy aspects of a person’s tree, and provides directions or paths to which the Spirit may guide you. The Planner also allows easy access to ancestor information in Family Tree and provides a way to keep and organize notes. How to use the Planner.
  • FamilySearch community pages.
  • Family history activities.
  • Additional Resources such as media assets, policy statements, organizational structure, plus additional tools to support you in your assignment.

Getting Help from Others

As a helper, it is not possible to know all the answers when it comes to assisting others. When you have questions, consider one or more of the following possible solutions:

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