In October 2012, the First Presidency wrote a letter to the general Church membership that said, in part, “When members of the Church find the names of their ancestors and take those names to the temple for ordinance work, the temple experience can be greatly enriched.”
Anyone who has had a chance to follow this counsel can testify that it is true; when we complete temple ordinance work for our ancestors, we feel added strength and a closeness to generations gone by. This direction from our priesthood leaders for how to participate in temple and family history work can be summed up in three simple steps: Find, Take, and Teach.
The first step is finding ancestors in your family tree that still need temple ordinances. Here are a few ways to get started.
- Use the FamilySearch website or the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet to identify one or more of your ancestors missing from Family Tree.
- Check your temple opportunities to see if you can find any ancestors’ names that need ordinances there.
- If your direct lines seem “done,” try searching for cousins using Descendency Research.
Once you have identified ancestors awaiting temple blessings, use FamilySearch tools to print out family ordinance cards to take to the temple.
- Log in to FamilySearch. Go to Temple in the top navigation, and then choose All Reserved.
- Check the box next to the name of the ancestor.
- Select Print (blue button) in the navigation above your ancestor list and then Print Family Ordinance Cards. Print cards on standard white office paper, cut them out, and bring them to the temple.
The blessings of temple and family history work are available to all who participate. Show your family and close friends the resources available on FamilySearch and how to use them. Here are some you might start with.
- Use the Find Your Family Names: A First Time Guide to identify where they should begin.
- Find talks from RootsTech that you can use to teach and inspire others.
- Help them discover photos and stories that may already be on FamilySearch.