In October 2012 the First Presidency issued a letter calling for members to use their own family names for temple work and outlining five main points to help members find greater fulfillment in doing family history and attending the temple.
Members can respond to the call to find, prepare, and share names for the temple by utilizing the tools and resources offered on LDS.org and FamilySearch.org. The points outlined in the First Presidency letter are:
1. “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.”
On LDS.org, learn more about why we are asked to prepare names from our own families to take to the temple by clicking on Resources, Family History, and Why should we do temple work for our own ancestors? (video located under Why Do We Do Family History Work?).
2. “Members with limited ability to do their own family history research are encouraged to perform vicarious ordinances with names provided by other members or by the temple.”
Members are asked to do what they can—whether by pursuing family history research or by taking the family names of other members to the temple.
At lds.org/temples, Find a Temple can help you prepare for your next temple visit.
3. Youth and young single adults are especially encouraged “to use for temple work their own family names or the names of ancestors of their ward and stake members.”
“Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life?” Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked. “Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names … and then go to the temple” (“The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 94).
Also in the Family History section of LDS.org, under Getting Started, find five steps to prepare family names for the temple.
4. Priesthood leaders should ensure that all members “learn the doctrine of turning their hearts to their fathers and the blessings of temple attendance.”
Ward and stake leaders can play an important role in helping members secure the blessings promised to them. Explore leader resources on LDS.org by clicking on Resources, All Callings, Family History, and Leader Resources.
5. Those with “large numbers of family names reserved [are encouraged] to release these names in a timely manner so the necessary ordinances can be performed.”
Currently, 12 million names on FamilySearch.org have been reserved by family members who intend to perform their ancestors’ ordinances themselves. Many names, however, have been reserved for years.
In the Getting Started section mentioned above, under I Want to Share Names with Others, click on Watch Video, and watch Releasing Names for Temple Work for information about sharing reserved names.