In a move that has been years in the making, the Family History Department has announced the release of TempleReady™ software, a new edition of the International Genealogical Index™ (IGI), and a new guide to temple and family history work.
TempleReady is a software program that enables members of the Church sitting at a computer in their own stake meetinghouse to verify in moments whether or not temple ordinance work has been done for a particular ancestor. If temple work is needed, the software can help members prepare a diskette which they can either take or send to the temple where they wish to perform the necessary ordinances.
“This is a significant change,” explained Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and a member of the Temple and Family History Executive Council. “Previously a member of the Church would have to send this information to Church headquarters, where it would be approved and then forwarded to a designated temple. TempleReady puts the decisions in the hands of the members of the Church, eliminating weeks—and sometimes even months—of turn-around time.”
A few days are still required for temple workers to process the information and make it available in a member’s family file, he noted, but the waiting time has been significantly reduced.
TempleReady has been tested in more than two hundred stake family history centers around the world for the last few years. In addition, it has been used at Church headquarters.
“It has taken years and an enormous amount of work to prepare this program,” noted Elder Nelson. “It is a remarkable achievement. For instance, consider just one of the feats the program is called on to do—match my rendering of an ancestor’s name with others in the index that might be spelled quite differently.”
To compensate for possible changes and misspellings, the software was designed to consider other similar names and variations. In addition, geographic locations and sites were correlated, as well as changes in location names during the last several centuries.
The availability of the 1993 compact disk edition of the International Genealogical Index is tied closely with this new TempleReady software. “The TempleReady system checks for information found in the index,” noted Elder Monte J. Brough of the Presidency of the Seventy, executive director of the Family History Department. Until recently, the index included temple work completed since 1970. However, for six years now, members working in Family Record Extraction have been entering older information, temple ordinances completed prior to that date.
“The new index will include over 200 million names, compared to only 147 million names on the 1988 version,” Elder Brough said. “And although the new index contains more names, it will be issued on fewer compact disks because of new technology which allows more information to be packed into the same space.
“The 1993 index does not include all of the pre-1970 temple ordinance information,” he continued. “However, it does represent about 70 percent of the people for whom ordinances were performed. We plan to release additional disks in the future. This hastens the day when members will have access to a single record of all temple ordinances done in this dispensation.”
A twenty-page booklet, A Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work, has been released. This booklet replaces Come unto Christ through Temple Ordinances and Covenants and gives a succinct explanation of the doctrine relating to temple and family history work. It also outlines members’ responsibilities in this area, and it contains specific instructions on how to begin providing temple ordinances for your own ancestors and how to use TempleReady to accomplish that.