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How can I teach others how to do family history work?

The Lord has prepared remarkable technologies in our day to enable us to learn about our ancestors and perform ordinances for them in the temple. In a similar way, He has prepared the youth of this generation with the ability to learn how to use these technologies so that they can contribute to this important work. In addition to researching our own family history, we can help others who are less familiar with family history resources. In this way, we help them feel the spirit of this important work and we help bring salvation to their deceased ancestors.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the resources below. What do you feel will inspire the youth to help others learn about their family history?

D&C 128:16–18 (Ordinances for the dead create a welding link between generations)

D&C 138:46–48 (A great work is to be done in the temples in our day)

Russell M. Nelson, “Generations Linked in Love,Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 91–94

David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 24–27

Videos in the “Serve” section of the Youth and Family History website

Video: “Sharing the Temple Challenge”

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between things they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Invite the youth to share experiences they have had applying something they learned in a previous lesson.
  • Invite the youth to share experiences in which they have helped someone learn how to use technology (such as a computer, a cell phone, or a similar device). Share the following statement from Elder David A. Bednar: “Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends” (“The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 26). What are some ways the youth feel they can use their familiarity with technology to help others do family history work?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth learn how to help others participate in family history work. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Show the video “Sharing the Temple Challenge.” Invite each youth to think of a friend they would like to share this challenge with. As a class, brainstorm ways to share the challenge. You could also invite the youth to choose a family history activity that they could share with their families during family home evening. See for ideas.
  • Invite the youth to read the section titled “An Invitation to the Rising Generation” in Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn.” Ask them to find places in the talk where Elder Bednar invites the youth to help others with family history work. What impresses the youth about these invitations? As a class, make a list of ways the youth can respond to Elder Bednar’s invitations, and invite them to choose something from their list that they can do as a class. For example, the youth could use “Find Your Family Names: A First Time Guide” as a simple way to teach someone how to do family history.
  • Show the youth the list of titles of the videos in the “Serve” section of the Youth and Family History website. Ask them to select one they would like to watch to learn how to help others do family history work. Watch the video as a class, and ask the youth to think of people they could help in the ways described in the video. Encourage them to make plans to help these people and discuss their plans as a class.
  • Invite the youth to imagine that they are helping someone who has never done family history work before. Divide Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Generations Linked in Love” among the youth, and ask them to read their sections, looking for things they could share with the person they are helping learn about family history work. What scriptures might they share? (For examples, see the scriptures listed in this outline.) Ask them to share what they find and to think of someone they could help get started working on family history.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to help others do family history work? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

Ask the youth what they feel inspired to do because of what they learned today. Encourage them to act on these feelings. Consider ways you can follow up.