Follow the Green Arrow . . . With Caution

Green Arrow icon

There is a useful feature commonly seen on Family Tree called the green arrow. Many of you have seen it. It’s found on the Traditional View of Family Tree. The green arrow is located above a person’s name and has an icon of the temple located next to it.

The purpose of the green arrow is to indicate that a person might have temple ordinances that need to be done. The key word in this last statement is “MIGHT.” It does not mean that every person with a green arrow icon on their record is ready to take to the temple.

Don’t Misuse the Green Arrow

A common mist

ake that many people make is assuming that a green arrow means that the person’s name ready to take to the temple. I have heard people tell me, “But the system printed out an ordinance sheet for me to take to the temple so it must be OK!” That is not true! Using the green arrow without carefully and thoroughly reviewing the record first often results in unnecessary duplication. President Hinckley stated that one of the two primary goals of the FamilySearch program is to reduce unnecessary duplication. As a family history consultant, it is our job to help church members reduce the amount of ordinance duplication that is taking place.

The green arrow is used to alert users that a name might be ready to submit to the temple, but it should be checked first to ensure that the work has not already been done.

Before submitting a name for temple work, you should first do the following:

  • Check to make sure that the information on the person’s record is as complete as reasonably possible, correct and reasonably documented with accurate reliable source(s). This ensures that ordinance work is being done for the correct person.
  • Click the Possible Duplicates link to see if this person has a duplicate record somewhere in the system. In many cases, the temple work on a duplicate record may have already been submitted and complete.






Below are two links to a presentation on how to properly use the green arrow. One is a Prezi presentation while the other is in Power Point format. They both provide the same information but the presentation is a bit different. Please take a few minutes and review this presentation. This is a good training tool to help Ward Family History Consultants train ward members about how to make the most of the green arrow on their own Family Tree.

The green arrow can be a powerful tool to ensure that an ancestor’s temple ordinances have been completed. But like all tools, it must be used correctly and carefully. The Lord’s House is a house of order. The careful use of the green arrow will help ensure that ordinance work is done in an orderly way.

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