All those organizing a family history fair with your stake are encouraged to include a youth offering. As recommended by the leaders of the Church, please call or assign a youth committee to lead, plan, and execute the youth portion of the fair.
Vision and Mission
The goal of the Youth Family History Day is to invite the youth of your stake to engage in a family history activity and receive the apostolic promises given and protection promised by Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Richard G. Scott.
Youth Family History Challenge
Connect with Your Past
Find a name of a deceased ancestor needing temple work from your own family or for someone in your ward and stake.
Document or record a story of one of your family members.
Find, scan, or capture an old photo of one of your ancestors.
Attend the Youth Family Discovery Day
(All youth should bring what they found in step 1 to the local event.)
“Bring a Part of You”: Bring the name you found, your story, or your photo to Youth Family History Day, and take part in a global youth family history event, which includes inspirational speakers, counsel from General Authorities, and a fun, interactive family history activity.
Continue Your Experience
Step 1: Resources
To accomplish one of the three activities with the youth challenge, you may want to organize a set time or pre-event to give the youth of your stake the opportunity to successfully find a name, find a story, or find and scan a photo. You can also choose to give them the challenge individually to accomplish on their own with the help of their family. Before they begin to use any of the resources below, they will be required to register online for their own FamilySearch Account. Contact your church leadership to get the membership numbers for each youth participant before they sign up for a FamilySearch Account. Please use the resources outlined below as potential ways to help the youth be successful:
Challenge Activity #1: Find a Name
Have the youth of your ward, branch, or stake:
- Meet with their family history consultant.
- Visit the local FamilySearch center, and receive one-on-one personal research assistance at https://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator.
- Search their family tree on FamilySearch.org for open temple opportunities.
- Ask parents, grandparents, or their family genealogist for information, and add it to their family tree online.
- Ask to help Church members with their family names from your branch, ward, or stake.
Additional Online Training Resources:
Challenge Activity #2: Document or Record a Story
Capture living memory:
- Record interviews of relatives, and ask questions about their lives.
- Ask some of the oldest living relatives to write or document their personal life story.
- Ask family members if you can transcribe their personal journals.
- Ask relatives about existing life sketches, biographies, family journals, or family stories.
- Scan any existing stories, and upload them to the family tree.
Challenge Activity #3: Find and Scan a Photo
- Ask to see old family photos from grandparents or parents.
- Make a digital copy on a flatbed scanner, or take a picture of the old photos with a digital camera.
- Upload photos to the family tree.
Suggested Event Schedule
2:00 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
The Power of Youth: Making a Difference
Synopsis: The inspirational message of the power of youth and how they are making a difference every day by following the Savior.
2:30 P.M.–3:00 P.M.
Family Discovery Day Youth Committee Members
Youth Leading the Youth: How to get involved in Family History
Synopsis: All from a youth’s perspective_The many ways to do family history and the blessings received by turning your heart to your ancestors. The challenges, successes and blessings by creating meaningful opportunities for youth to serve in Family History.
3:00 P.M.– 4:00 P.M.
Free Time Activity
Find a Name Activity
Photo Scanning Activity
BSA Genealogy Merit Badge Activity
Young Women Values Project
Visit to local historic sites
Visit at a local genealogical society
In-person classes taught by local youth
Lunch or Dinner
4:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Streamed Youth Devotional
Youth Devotional on Family History with Elder Neil L. Andersen
Potential Free Time Activities
Please review the list below and choose an activity that works for your specific area. Most of the suggested activities are primarily dependent on the resources you have at your disposal on a local level.
Find a Name
Finding a name may prove to be difficult for some and easy for others but you may choose to help the youth of your stake find a name with local family history experts. It is recommended that all youth come to the event already having signed up with their FamilySearch Account. This will be vital if you choose this activity. You may hold this activity in your local FamilySearch center or set up a computer lab in the cultural hall. Discuss your options with your local Family History center director. The most important part of this activity is ensuring you have enough family history consultants and experts to assist each youth one-on-one with their research.
Resources: Computers, Internet, family history consultants, or advanced genealogists
Photo Scanning Activity
Photo scanning is a great activity that is easy for most youth to engage in. Invite the youth of your stake to find old family photos and scan them at the event. You will be required to have computers and flatbed scanners sufficient for the expected participants. Once the photos are scanned, they can be put on a thumb drive or be uploaded directly to the Family Tree at FamilySearch.org.
Resources: Computers, flatbed scanners, or cameras
Family history indexing is the simple process of extracting names from digital images of historical documents and creating online searchable indexes from the previously gathered information.
1. For a basic overview of indexing go to: https://familysearch.org/indexing/
And watch the video titled, “Indexing: How It Works”
2. Have each of your youth sign up as an indexer ahead of the event at: https://familysearch.org/register/?lng=en&referrer=FamilySearch%20Indexing
You will need to download the software on to each computer used at the indexing challenge event. You can download it at: https://familysearch.org/indexing/
3. Once the software has been downloaded, have each of the youth sign-in with their username and password and begin downloading “batches” of names and index the records to make them searchable for future generations. You can keep track of how many names have been indexed to reach a specific goal for the event. This is a great way to introduce individuals to records of genealogical importance and is a great service to help people find their ancestors more easily.
Resources: Computers, Internet, indexing software, family history consultants or advanced genealogists.
BSA Genealogy Merit Badge
Download the BSA Genealogy Merit Badge PowerPoint here.
Young Women Values Project
Download the Young Women Values Project worksheet here.
Visit local historic sites or local historic/genealogical societies
Dependent on your local resources, you may search out local historic sites or societies that may of be interest to your youth. Reach out to local historic sites or societies to see if they have activities or events that would be beneficial to your youth.
- In-person family history classes taught by local experts
- Youth or Family Temple Trip
- Lunch or dinner event
Youth Planning Committee
Calling a Youth Planning Committee is a great way to get the youth involved and allow peer-to-peer invitation/involvement. The goal for the creation of a youth committee is two-fold:
- Logistically assist with the planning and execution of the event
- Assist in inviting the youth to accept the family history challenge and attend the event
We recommend calling members from both the Young Men and Young Women organizations. Calling one representative from each class/quorum will help increase your reach and perspective for all youth. We recommend calling one priest, laurel, teacher, mia-maid, deacon and beehive.
- Coordination with event logistics manager to download the streamed sessions (John Bytheway, Youth Committee Members, Elder Andersen Devotional)
- Room/media set-up for the event
- Special activity planning and execution
- Communications for attending the event
Once you have a date, time and location chosen for your event, you should begin the process of promoting it. There are a few ways to invite the youth and promote the event.
- Event set-up on Facebook or other social media sites
- You may choose to set up a Facebook event page for your youth event. You may include all of the event details and details of the challenge. You may also download the invitation video here.
- Youth peer-to-peer e-mail or texting campaign
- Invite the youth committee and others to share the information regarding the event through e-mail or by text
- Ward visits by the youth committee
- Coordinate with each of the wards of your Stake to visit as a youth committee and invite all youth to accept the challenge and attend the event
Sister Elaine Dalton said “When the Lord has something great or hard to do, something that will change the world, He calls upon the youth and He is calling upon you, right now” (The Lord Loves and Trusts Youth, RootsTech 2013).