RootsTech Conference Encourages Families to Find, Take, Teach

Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer

  • 19 February 2015

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his family on the stage during Family Discovery Day at RootsTech, February 14, 2015.

“Celebrating Families across Generations” was the theme of this year’s RootsTech 2015 held February 12-14 in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, presented by FamilySearch International, the Church’s Internet family history service.

Nearly 22,000 attendees registered for this fifth annual RootsTech, making it the largest genealogy conference in the world. This year, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, comprising hundreds of societies across the United States and other nations, linked its own conference with RootsTech.

Dennis C. Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch International, kicked off the conference by introducing the audience to the new interactive Family Discovery Center that opened on Temple Square on February 11.

(From left to right) NBC Today Show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, former first lady Laura Bush, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Sister Barbara Perry.

More than 21,000 people from the United States and overseas gathered in Salt Lake City February 12-14, 2015, for RootsTech, promoted as the largest family history conference in the world.

American Idol finalist David Archuleta performed during RootsTech 2015.

The RootsTech audience was instructed, entertained, and motivated.

The One Voice Children's Choir performed during RootsTech 2015.

The RootsTech attendees were largely Church members, more than 20,000 of whom gathered February 14 for Family Discovery Day, a track of sessions expressly for Latter-day Saints and presented by two members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and 10 other General Authorities and Church leaders.

Some sessions of Family Discovery Day were streamed live and are currently archived at in 10 languages. And stakes in various parts of the Church will be staging similar events locally with content recorded at RootsTech and provided to them by Family Search. Learn more.

In the opening Family Discovery Day session, Elder Neil L. Andersen added a teaching and sharing element to the temple challenge he issued to youth at RootsTech 2014, when he admonished them to prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms they perform in the temple.

“And help someone else do the same,” he added this year.

In a leadership session at Family Discovery Day, Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy announced the institution of a “family temple time” at LDS temples that makes it easier for families to attend the temple and perform baptisms together.

At the closing session of Family Discovery Day, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles emphasized the theme that had been repeated throughout the day, the “find, take, teach” process of family history and temple work.

Keynote presenters over the three days included Dennis C. Brimhall, president and CEO of FamilySearch; Laura W. Bush, former first lady of the United States, and her daughter, Jenna Hager, a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today Show; and Donny Osmond, 50-year veteran of show business and a member of the internationally famous LDS family the Osmonds.

Studio C, a popular sketch comedy troupe from BYUtv with millions of social media followers, and David Archuleta, pop music star and returned LDS missionary, were featured at the closing event on February 14.

In his keynote address, Brother Brimhall said family history is in effect creating a “Museum of Me.” He spoke of the recently opened Family Discovery Center, an interactive, high-tech activity center at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City that helps people connect with their individual family legacy.

For additional coverage of RootsTech and Family Discovery Day, see the following articles (additional articles will be added to this list as they are published).

RootsTech 2015: Elder Andersen Adds to Temple Challenge

RootsTech 2015: Gathering, Healing, and Sealing Families

RootsTech 2015: Give Loved Ones Time, Donny Osmond Says

RootsTech 2015: Innovator Showdown Winners Announced

Family History Creates a “Museum of Me,” Says FamilySearch CEO

New Policy Prioritizes Family Time at Temples

Families Central to God’s Plan, Says Elder Cook


The final keynote address was by entertainer Donny Osmond, who has worked in show business for the past 50 years and who is an avid genealogist.



Tan Le, technology innovator and founder of Emotiv Lifesciences, was one of the keynote speakers at RootsTech.

The RootsTech logo on display at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Searching one's ancestry is akin to being like the legendary Sherlock Holmes.

Author A. J. Jacobs spoke about his work organizing a global family reunion that will be held in New York City on June 6, 2015. Jacobs claims we are all cousins to one another. Audience members held up signs that said “I am a cousin!” to welcome him to the stage.