Blessings to the Living through Family History

Elder L. Whitney Clayton, Elder Allan F. Packer, Elder Kent F. Richards, and Sister Neill F. Marriott


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The blessings to those who participate in family history are far reaching. The most important thing for leaders to do is to find your own names to take to the temple yourself and then teach others to do the same.

Leaders can increase family history activity by harnessing the power of the rising generation

  • Challenge the youth to:
    Take their own names to the temple.
    Add a story about an ancestor to Family Tree.
  • Invite the parents to participate in the goals.
  • Call youth as family history consultants to help others learn how to use the technology.
  • Invite the youth consultants to train the bishops.
  • Encourage bishops to make regular assignments in ward council and follow up with progress.

This process leads to more people getting involved in family history and temple activity, and the motivation and enthusiasm of the youth extend to their family members and other adults.

That is what we mean by find, take, and teach! That is the power of the rising generation.

For leaders who feel stretched in too many directions

Family history is a vital part of the work of salvation. Some newly baptized members don’t yet have a lot of friends at Church. They may know the missionaries and the bishop but not many of the ward members. Family history is a powerful tool for retaining them.

They meet a consultant, who becomes a new friend, and they receive a meaningful responsibility—to take the names of their ancestors to the temple for baptisms. Getting involved in family history has a real impact in helping new members feel the Spirit and building a stronger foundation in the Church.

Family history can be a means of strengthening new converts and activating members who have slipped into inactivity. Anything that helps people feel the Spirit and work toward a goal will help strengthen their testimony and commitment to the gospel.

Final advice

Organize your youth and ward council to focus on family history. Make it a priority to help youth find their own names to take to the temple. Call young men and young women as family history consultants. Aim for at least three. Assign them to focus on helping new converts and recently reactivated members with their family history. But don’t just make the assignments and then leave the consultants alone—make sure the high priests group leader and ward council follow up with consultants regularly. If you do this, you will see how the Spirit of the Lord will bless those you serve.

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