Begin at the Beginning: Helping Others to Love Family History


Helping others to engage in family history work is an easy way to fill both of your lives with the Spirit of Elijah. But not all consultant visits are created equal. In this video, we discuss some early steps you can take to make sure that the Spirit is with you as you teach. We also meet Emily, a typical member who has done some indexing, but she hasn’t experienced much success finding ancestors that need temple ordinances in her tree. By following some simple steps, she and I have an experience that shows the power of family history to connect the generations.

Download:  Small (360p) |  Medium (720p)

The workshop, filmed as part of the LDS track at RootsTech 2016, is based on some basic ideas and examples for how to help someone new to family history to begin to love it.

  • Prepare spiritually. Seek to be worthy of the guidance of the Spirit, and ask the Lord for help as you prepare to meet the needs of the family.
  • Discover family goals. Ask the family what they would like to accomplish during your visit.
  • Review their tree. Help the family set up a FamilySearch Account, and then request access to explore the family’s tree. If desired, use partner resources to make your search more efficient.
  • Prepare and deliver a personalized lesson. Prepare and deliver a plan to help the family accomplish their goals and feel the Spirit.
  • Consider how to help the family take names to the temple.
  • Find Others to Teach. After the lesson, ask the family to think of others who would enjoy a similar experience. Invite the family and teach them.

To help you make the most of each member visit, we’ve prepared a lesson plan worksheet for you to fill out before each session. You can download a PDF of the worksheet to store on your computer for easy access. Here is the completed lesson plan for my visit with Emily that was captured on the video (click on the image to enlarge).

Ultimately, one of your main purposes as a family history helper is to provide those you help with experiences that deepen their conversion to the doctrines associated with temple and family history work. This happens as you prepare to receive and act on impressions from the Spirit, and then invite those you serve to feel that same Spirit, part of which is the spirit of Elijah.

As those you help act in faith in response to your preparation and invitations, great blessings will pour out on them and you (see D&C 50:22). See yourself as a missionary, leading families to the blessings of this work by providing them with spiritual experiences that connect them to their extended families and motivate them to engage more regularly in this work. 


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