Indexing Is Vital to Family History and Temple Work

Members are encouraged to participate in FamilySearch indexing, which is vital to family history and temple work.

First Presidency letter, February 2012


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Indexing gives computers the ability to search and instantly provide information to Church members about their ancestors. As more records are indexed, more Church members will find their ancestors and take their names to the temple. In addition to instant searching, indexing makes powerful tools like record hinting and descendancy research possible.

What Is Indexing?

Indexing is typing information about deceased individuals from historical documents. This work can be accomplished from nearly any computer with an Internet connection. In addition to instant searching, indexing makes powerful capabilities like record hinting and descendancy research possible.

Since 2007, well over one billion records have been indexed and made available to family history researchers. Even with this progress billions of records still wait to be indexed. The need for more indexers is great.

Indexing Is a Powerful Tool for Priesthood Leaders


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Indexing can help members to better use their time on electronic devices as they prepare records that allow the work of salvation on the other side of the veil.

Organizing Indexing in Your Stake or Ward

Indexing is a priesthood-directed activity. Stake presidents and bishops may organize indexing as they feel inspired. Each stake is invited to call a stake indexing director and one or more stake temple and family history consultants. These individuals should be utilized as trainers, called to teach others the particulars of using the indexing program, and how to index various types of historical records.

Experience has shown that indexing is best accomplished when priesthood leaders:

  • Learn to index and gain a testimony of its power to bless lives.
  • Personally encourage members to do the same.
  • Make training resources available at both the stake and ward levels.

Greatest Need: Language Indexing


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Indexed records are scarce in places where English is not the primary language. To increase the number of indexed records in all languages, Church leaders are encouraging:

  • Native speakers of non-English languages to index records that are written in their native tongue.
  • Returned missionaries and others who have developed proficiency in a non-English second language to index records in that language.
  • Members who speak only English to consider learning how to index specific types of non-English records. Training tools, including instructional videos, recorded webinars, and printed guides are available online.

To learn more about this need and how members can assist, visit