Talk:Use the Information

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Some history about the page -- and a justification for its original content[edit source]

Jim Greene removed the header and one sentence in the section titled "Prepare Names for Temple Work." I  used undo and then edited the sentence and added the rest of the section you see there now. It now links to an explaination of why Latter-day Saints do temple ordinances for their dead, and gives brief instructions on how to accomplish this using TempleReady.

When New FamilySearch is announced officially we can change to that submission system.

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

It is important to have a section about temple ordinances because one of the main purposes of the Family History Library is to help members submit their ancestors' names. To avoid the topic is to ignor a primary function of the Family History Library, and of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This topic is handled in several other wiki articles such as LDS Temple Records, Finding temple ordinances in the IGI, IGI Batch Number Descriptions, and Tracing LDS Families so it is not out-of-line to briefly explain it in this article. User:DiltsGD 21:35, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

A response from the Product Manager
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David, I was wanting to discuss this first with Michael Ritchy, but since I have not been able to hook up with him I will go ahead and discuss this here now.

The purpose of the Wiki is to provide research guidance for everyone in the world.  We are using the FHL to help us get the expert content into the Wiki that we need in order to attract a large community.  We will soon post the purpose of the Wiki more prominently, but the purposes do not include doctrinal issues or explaining how to use FamilySearch products.  This is not the venue for that.  We choose to take a neutral stand and to only be a respository for research guidance for family history.

Explaining why we do temple ordinances is not appropriate for this venue.  Explaining how to clear names is not appropriate for this either.  There are other venues and means for both of those things.

Sorry to take a hard stand on this, but if we are to make this a valuable resource for all family historians we need to have these policies.

Jimgreene 21:50, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

A rebuttal from the page's author
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You claim "The purpose [scope?] of the Wiki is to provide research guidance for everyone in the world." Yet the policy you are enforcing inherently discriminates against Latter-day Saint researchers, or anyone who wishes to use our Wiki to learn how to use FamilySearch products.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that separate is inherently unequal. Banishing research guidance for Latter-day Saints, and banishing how-to articles about FamilySearch products to a separate unnamed venue is far from neutral.

The research guidance article on which you are enforcing this policy is titled "Principles of Family History Research" and the subsection title is "Use the Information." Is it not a principle of family history research to use the information? And is not one of the best uses of that information to prepare names for proxy temple ordinances? Doesn't the whole genealogical community including "everyone in the world" benefit from the use of the information in that way when the data shows up in the International Genealogical Index (Oops, that probably comes too close to a verboten explanation of how to use a FamilySearch product.) Wouldn't somehow explaining this on our Wiki make it a more valuable resource for all family historians?

Heaven help you on enforcing this policy with anything connected to the Tracing Latter-day Saint Ancestors. It is probably a minefield of these kinds of verboten Wiki materials.

I thought my explanation of using family history information for temple work was pretty low-key doctrinally. Apparently not.

Other than griping about the policy, my goal is to get you to allow in this article some kind of link to whatever venue you deem allowable, and hint in some way to the Latter-day Saint part of the genealogical community that an appropriate use of family history information is for temple work. Please help me find an acceptable way to put this concept at or near the point I had it in this article.

The next step is to get someone (you?, Michael Ritchey?) to clearly define exactly how far we can and cannot go mentioning FamilySearch products, LDS temples, and temple ordinances. It is pretty tough to completely avoid those topics when providing good research guidance. So please give us scripture and verse with plenty of examples of how far we can and cannot go.

User:DiltsGD 06:22, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Articles about the IGI and other FamilySearch products[edit source]

The International Genealogical Index is a lineage-linked database created by FamilySearch. It has been ruled that the wiki will not contain articles about how to use FamilySearch products. Therefore, articles about how to use the IGI will be deleted from the wiki. Although IGI data is related to LDS temple submissions, it is genealogically valuable to people of all faiths. So it's okay for a wiki article to recommend searching the IGI, but information about how to search it should appear on the Help Center (the Product Support page on, not the wiki.

Not every power-searching process known to expert genealogists is found in the Help Center. Therefore, experts will want to post such items on this wiki. However, we don't want to endorse a model whereby Headquarters staff would have to search two different databases (the Help Center and the wiki) when they need to answer a product support question. We also don't want support staff to be sending customers answers that conflict because they were written on separate databases with redundant articles that cannot be maintained in tandem. So for now, the answer our executive sponsors have given us is "If the article is about how to use a FamilySearch product, delete it."

In the future, the solution should look like this: When we find wiki articles about using FamilySearch products, we should:

  1. Search the Help Center to see if the answer is already there.
  2. If so, delete the wiki article or redirect it to the Help Center article.
  3. If not, we should submit the wiki article to the Help Center so they can add it, and recommend they do it quickly so we can delete it from the wiki.
  4. In addition, when we recommend the article, we should link to it on the wiki and ask that when FamilySearch Support adds the article to the Help Center that they add a note to the wiki article's Discussion tab to alert the wiki author.
  5. When the wiki author gets the notification, he can edit the article, removing any content except a line that redirects users to the new article on the Help Center. 

Unfortunately, this add-to-the-Help-Center functionality isn't in place yet. So again, this is a possible model for the future based on functionality that is inherently available in the backend of both systems. Ritcheymt

Ritcheymt 15:53, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Pages about LDS temple records
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Pages about temple records don't usually contain doctrine. So normally there's no need to delete them. However, one exception did emerge -- an article that will be deleted not because it references temple records but because it references a research service that no longer exists. Temple Ordinance Index Requests is an article about a discontinued service which some customers still request. The requests are few, and to some extent the act of talking about a discontinued service on a public site raises new requests for the service. Therefore, we've decided to delete that article once we have placed it on an internal database that our internal research support staff uses.

Ritcheymt 17:22, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Doctrinal pages
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I had a nice talk yesterday with one of our executive sponsors regarding some pages that dipped their toe in LDS doctrine and probably needed to be redirected. Some of the pages strive to talk about why LDS folks do genealogy:

  1. Why do members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do genealogy handles the topic nicely – it links to an article in FamilySearch.
  2. Why is Church Involved in Genealogy? was deleted because it's redundant and because anyone searching for terms in its title should be directed to the article above.
  3. Why does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do this... and why for free? was also redundant, so it was deleted.

Ritcheymt 17:22, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

More from the Product Manager[edit source]

Here is the problem that I have with the page this document is attached to:  It listed the steps involved in doing family hisotry work, and one of the steps is preparing temple ordinances. I am ok if we want to make this a comment, but making it one of the steps means that it is really written to the LDS audience, and that is not the correct audience to direct a page to.  Pages should be directed to everyone interested in family history work.

Would this be satisfactory?

So what do I have to do to make it a "comment" so you won't discriminate against LDS researchers and delete it?

Would you be satisfied if I created a link titled For Latter-day Saint Researchers that said "Latter-day Saint researchers click here for an additional way you could use information about your ancestors" and then linked to a separate hidden or non-wiki page that had no other connection with the main article?

But even that is harmful to the logic of the article because many non-LDS researchers submit names for temple work just so they can get them added to the IGI. Whether you accept it or not temple submission IS a step in the research process, even for many non-Mormons. And many a researcher has found new ancestors thanks to contact made with others who found their temple submission in the IGI. You guys are threatening to cut off your nose to spite your face.

User:DiltsGD 22:54, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

David, I am sorry that I have upset you.  I am afraid that communicating this way is not very good, or at least it would appear that I have not adequately described the process and the alternatives.  I am not wanting to be discriminatory nor heavy-handed, I want to make sure that we have a way to guide people in the processes, and the tools to use.  We will have a large toolbox and the Wiki is just one of the tools in the tool box.  How did they get this information before the Wiki existed? Is that way still not available? I think we should probably meet to discuss this.

Problems with explanation of proof and with use of terminology
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This article may need some minor revisions. Beginners can be easily confused when the terms source, information, evidence, and proof are used incorrectly. The phrase "preponderance of evidence" should be avoided.

For more information, see these references:

  • Leary, Helen F.M. "Evidence Revisited: DNA, POE, and GPS." OnBoard 4 (January 1998). Reprinted online : accessed 24 July 2009.
  • Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2007. Chapter 1. See especially, sections 1.5 and 1.14.
  • Board for Certification of Genealogists. "The Genealogical Proof Standard." : accessed 24 July 2009. Sorry, I don't have my printed copy on me.

Robert 17:41, 30 July 2009 (UTC)