New Youth Site Announced to Help Teens Start Family History
Philip M. Volmar, Church News and Events
The Church has created a new section on youth.lds.org to help the rising generation turn their hearts to their ancestors.
The FamilySearch Youth and Family History website, first announced by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in his October 2011 conference address, aims to help youth discover family history and serve their ancestors by seeking out their records.
“I invite the young people of the Church to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah,” said Elder Bednar in his address. “It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies.”
The new website, a part of the larger youth.lds.org site, is the Church’s first family history resource designed specifically for youth.
The site features resources that teach teens how to get started with genealogy by using FamilySearch, including video tutorials narrated by youth. In five simple steps, youth are taught how to research their family tree, make family records, and prepare names to take to the temple.
The site also includes ideas on how classes and quorums can use family history as a means to serve others.
For example, Elder Bednar said in his conference talk to youth, “I urge you to help other people identify their family histories.” One of the tutorial videos, “Youth in Service Help Others Digitize Records,” shows how teens can help seniors who may not know how to scan old family photos and records.
Youth with an LDS Account can also log in to share their own experiences with family history.
One such youth is Nick Bartley, a 15-year-old first-generation American Samoan member who said that researching his family history and taking names to the temple evoked “one of the most amazing feelings” he has ever experienced.
“My only recognizable sense of feeling at the time was just peace,” he said in his story, featured as a video on the new site. “It was just me and the Spirit.”
Youth ages 12 to 18 may log in and post their experiences after signing in.
“Many of you may think family history work is to be performed primarily by older people,” continued Elder Bednar in his address. However, he said, there is no age limit to starting out with family history. “You need not wait until you reach an arbitrary age to fulfill your responsibility to assist in the work of salvation for the human family.”
The new website is currently available in English and Spanish and is located at LDS.org/familyhistoryyouth. Additional languages will be available for the site and its videos in forthcoming months.