The purpose of this lesson is to motivate Church members to make family history part of their worship and to use the Sabbath day to accomplish family history work as a family. This lesson is designed to help class members further discover their eternal families. Regardless of age or marital status, everyone is part of Heavenly Father’s eternal family.
This Sunday family history lesson is intended to be taught under priesthood direction. The lesson can be taught in a Sunday School class, priesthood quorum, Relief Society class, or combined group of youth and adults.
Before teaching this lesson, you should do the following:
- Find the name of an ancestor, take that name to the temple, and teach your family to do the same. Be prepared to share your experience with your class, and encourage families to work together whenever possible to find and take family names to the temple.
- Review the activities and resources provided in the lesson, and select those that are appropriate for your class. Order the following print materials in advance:
- Church members can find the names of ancestors in a variety of ways, depending on the size of their family tree. Review the three different paths for finding the names of ancestors with the class, and encourage them to select the path that work best with their unique family tree.
- Download lesson videos, and print any additional materials you may need for your lesson in advance. If you are unable to order the resource card, you can download the online version.
Show “Make the Sabbath a Delight by Finding Your Ancestors” (2:56). Ask the class how they have used or might use family history work as part of their personal or family worship on the Sabbath.
Show “Find, Take, Teach” (1:17). Share with the class your experience of finding a name and taking it to the temple. Ask class members to share their experiences as well.
Explain that the purpose of this class is to help all class members further discover their eternal families by following the steps to find, take, and teach.
Find a Name
Introduce class members to the Find Your Family Names: A First-Time Guide resource card. Briefly explain the three different paths to find names.
Find out which path each class member should use by listing the three paths and asking class members to raise their hand when you read the path that best corresponds with what their family tree looks like. You may also ask how many are unsure of what their tree looks like and encourage them visit familysearch.org after the lesson to find out.
Explain that most family trees are not symmetrical, so class members may need to follow more than one path to expand the different branches of their tree. Encourage class members to prayerfully seek guidance from the Spirit on where to start.
On this path, none of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents appear in the family tree. It is rare to have a completely empty tree, but if that is the case, the easiest people to find are those in the first four generations. Living relatives often remember these family members.
Share a story of one of your ancestors, or ask a class member to share a story. Ask class members how they feel as they listen to or share family stories. Sharing family stories is one way to begin participating in family history.
Introduce the class to the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet. Explain that all three groups can fill out either the paper booklet or go to FamilySearch.org/Find-Take-Teach to fill out the electronic version. Use the booklet to preserve family information such as photos, names, dates, and precious family stories. Show “Using the Booklet My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together” (2:00) to learn how to enter information from the booklet into familysearch.org.
Invite all class members to write down or upload a photo or story of an ancestor.
On this path, where much of the work has been done back to the early 1800s, you can often find success in looking for descendants of an early ancestor.
Ask a class member to share a personal experience finding a family name using descendancy view, or show “Finding Our Cousins: Descendancy View” (2:23) to learn how to find family names using this strategy.
Invite class members to take the Find Your Family Names: A First-Time Guide resource card home, and then they can go to FamilySearch.org/Find-Take-Teach and follow the steps on the resource card to find a family name. Encourage them to find names as a family when possible.
On this path, some of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents appear in the family tree. To expand the tree, class members can use Landscape View on FamilySearch.org to expand their tree and look for green temple icons. To get started, go to FamilySearch.org/Find-Take-Teach, and follow the steps on the resource card for this path.
Class members with a partial tree can also follow either of the other paths, depending on which branch of the tree they are working on.
Ask a class member to share a personal experience finding a family name on his or her tree.
As you conclude the lesson, we encourage you to extend an invitation to the class to take the Find Your Family Names: A First-Time Guide resource card home and use it to find a name. Then they can take the name to the temple and teach their family and others to do the same.
Remind the class of the blessings that come through family history, and encourage the class to do family history work with their immediate and extended family members. Regardless of membership status or activity level, all family members can enjoy the blessings of family history. Assure the class that there are consultants who can help them, no matter their tree status.