New Tools Make It Easy to Do Family History Work

Contributed By By Paul Nauta, Church News contributor

  • 30 May 2014

Members are being blessed with tools to quickly and easily find cousins and other family members of their ancestors and see what temple ordinances need to be done for them.

Article Highlights

  • All Church members will be receiving invitations for free access to Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com.
  • New tools (puzzilla.org and new descendant view on FamilySearch.org) make it quick and easy to find ancestors.

HENRICO, VIRGINIA

“Family history is more fun if we know why we do it, and the [Family History Department of the Church] gives you the tools you need to have good experiences,” said Dennis C. Brimhall, CEO of Church-owned FamilySearch.org at a devotional on May 7 in Henrico, Virginia.

Brother Brimhall said the first thing he did as the new CEO of FamilySearch two years ago was to study everything he could find in the scriptures, Church history, and doctrine regarding family history. “The first place I found a ‘turning of the heart’ experience was in the premortal existence, where a Father’s heart was turned to His children,” he noted. “What did Heavenly Father want? He wanted [His children] to be happy. He turned to us and created a plan of happiness and taught us what to do to be happy.”

Brother Brimhall reiterated that Heavenly Father is happy when His children come home. He explained the responsibility of the Church is to help members do what Heavenly Father wants them to do to be happy. The responsibility of the Family History Department is to help members fulfill their divinely appointed responsibility to discover their families and ensure that temple ordinances are received in their behalf.

“The one thing I hear more than anything else is ‘all my work is done.’ What does Heavenly Father think when His children say, ‘All the work is done! There’s nothing else to do’? And He looks around and sees His countless children whose [temple] ordinances are not done,” remarked Brother Brimhall.

Illustrating two new tools (puzzilla.org and the new descendant view on FamilySearch.org), Brother Brimhall explained that members are being blessed with tools to quickly and easily find cousins and other family members of their ancestors and see what temple ordinances need to be done for them.

Recently, the Church announced that all Church members will be receiving invitations for free access to Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com. Brother Brimhall said the initiative will give members access to more than 10 billion records—three times more than they have today. The invitations are going out by email over the next five months to all members worldwide.

Brother Brimhall encouraged Church members to use the new booklet My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together and the Memories feature on Family Tree to begin preserving and sharing memories of ancestors. People can use these tools to help their great-grandchildren remember them.