Photo illustration by Lori Dickman
Sister El Stone had never even heard of FamilySearch indexing when her stake president asked every member of the stake, 12 years of age and older, to index 1,000 names in one month’s time. Indexing makes it possible for Church members and others to search through millions of historic records online in seconds, uncovering information that was previously unknown or hidden.
The busy mother of six children says she wasn’t very enthusiastic about taking on the project. “Nevertheless, I did it out of sheer obedience. I was just going to bust out these 1,000 names and be done with it.”
The Stone family had to share one computer for the indexing project, and El says what started out as a tedious task began to change the feeling in their home. “I could feel myself changing and my heart softening towards issues that were heavy on my heart. The feeling in the room changed while we were indexing. The Spirit was tangible.”
Following the stake president’s counsel, El began every indexing session with prayer and tried to see the names on the screen as members of a family. “It became a very emotional project for me, filled with sacred experiences.
“One morning I started indexing a batch. After I had entered everything in the computer and was getting ready to hit the submit button, I heard very clearly the voice of a young girl, who said, ‘I am not a son.’ It was a 13-year-old girl named Ellen, whom I had marked as a son instead of a daughter. I’m sure that Ellen will thank me someday for correcting that mistake. I have a testimony of how actively inspired this work is from beyond the veil.”
El’s advice? “Just start. It’s easy! You have to do your best, but heaven’s help will come.” All you need is desire, a computer, and access to the Internet. Training is available online or through your stake indexing director.
Every name indexed represents another chance that someone will find a missing ancestor and provide the ordinances of salvation for that person.
Cooperation on Both Sides of the Veil
To watch a video about El Stone’s experience with FamilySearch indexing, go to lds.org/go/indexingE315.
Decide to Take a Step
“[Family history] does not require a large block of time. Just a little time on a consistent basis will yield the joy of the work. Make the decision to take a step.”
Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventy, “The Book,” Ensign, Nov. 2014, 101.
Get started: Visit familysearch.org/indexing, sign in with your LDS Account, and follow the steps on-screen.
Index a batch: It usually takes 30 minutes or less to index a batch of 25–50 records, ultimately making them searchable for others.
Invite others: Invite your family or ward members to index with you—share the experience!