Family History Consultants The Key to Successful Family History Programs
What We Will Discuss Today 1. Consultants and the Church Handbook. 2. Consultants’ Primary Responsibilities. 3. Additional Ways to Serve. 4. How to Help Members. 5. Help for Consultants.
Purpose of Family History “If temple ordinances are an essential part of the restored gospel, and I testify that they are, then we must provide the means by which they can be accomplished. All of our vast family history endeavor is directed to temple work. There is no other purpose for it. The temple ordinances become the crowning blessings the Church has to offer.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “New Temples to Provide ‘Crowning Blessings’ of the Gospel,” Ensign, May 1998, 87)
Consultants Help Members “You can start searching in the first few generations going back in time. From that you will identify many of your ancestors who need your help. Someone in your own ward has been called to help you prepare those names for the temple.” (Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, “Hearts Bound Together,” May 2005, 79)
Register Online • Family history consultants are encouraged to register online at: consultant.familysearch.org
Why Register? • By registering, you get: • Access to online training for family history consultants. • E-mail updates and information for family history consultants. • Early access to new systems, such as the new FamilySearch, when they become available.
Online Training • Online training lessons on the Church’s Internet Learning System.
Revised Church Handbook • In 2006 the Church Handbook of Instructions: Book 2, Section 9, was revised.
Revised Church Handbook • The revision simplified the family history organization in stakes and wards. • The handbook describes the essential role of family history consultants in the basic family history program of the Church.
Key to a Successful Program • The key to a successful family history program is family history consultants who meet with members individually to help them begin and continue their family history.
Family History Consultants Primary Responsibilities
Consultants’ Primary Responsibilities • Reach out to members of the ward a few at a time, so that over time all members have the opportunity to participate in some element of family history. • Focus on individuals and families suggested by the priesthood executive committee and the ward council. • Help new members identify ancestors and go to the temple soon after their own baptism to be baptized and confirmed for their ancestors.
1. Consultants Reach Out • Consultants are encouraged to reach out to all members in the ward, a few families at a time, to help them begin or expand their family history efforts.
1. Reach Out to Members • The objective is that every member or family in the ward should be contacted by a family history consultant.
1. Reach Out to Members • Be proactive! Don’t wait for members to call you! • Some members may be hesitant to approach you themselves to ask for help. • Members will usually respond positively to a personal invitation from a family history consultant to help them get started.
1. Reach Out to Members • Where possible, visit with members in their homes. • Members usually will have information available in their home to help them get started.
2. Focus Efforts • As you reach out to members, focus particularly on individuals and families suggested by the priesthood executive committee and the ward council.
2. Focus Efforts • Contact these individuals and families and visit with them as soon as possible. • Report to the high priests group leader on your success in contacting these members and the help you have provided.
3. Help New Members • Meet with new members of the Church soon after their baptism to introduce them to the principles of family history and temple work. • Help these new members identify ancestors and go to the temple to be baptized and confirmed for them.
3. Help New Members • New members who have experienced the Spirit when they were baptized usually are excited to provide the same opportunity for their ancestors. • Having the opportunity to go to the temple and perform ordinances for their ancestors can bring great strength to new members.
Family History Consultants Additional Opportunities to Serve
Family History Consultants • The scope of the family history consultant calling has been expanded to include, when assigned: • Serving in a family history center. • Providing training to those with family history callings in the stake.
Teach Family History Classes • You may be assigned by the bishopric, to teach family history classes during Sunday School or other times.
Serve in a Family History Center • You may be assigned by the bishopric or high priests group leader to serve in a family history center supported by the stake.
Provide Family History Training • One or more family history consultants may be assigned by the high council adviser to provide family history training to those with family history callings in the stake.
Help Ward Leaders Teach • Help priesthood and auxiliary leaders teach lessons on temple and family history work. For example: • Quorum and auxiliary lessons. • Fifth Sunday presentations. • Home, family, and personal enrichment nights. • Ward firesides.
Help Youth • Help youth complete family history activities to fulfill requirements for Duty to God, Scouting, and Personal Progress awards. • Help youth and their families find the names of ancestors who need ordinances they can take on temple excursions.
Promote FamilySearch Indexing • FamilySearch Indexing is an excellent way for members, including youth, to become involved in family history. • See www.familysearchindexing.org
The missionary guide, Preach My Gospel, discusses how missionaries can use family history to interest their contacts in the gospel. Family history consultants may be asked to “provide an initial search of family roots” for missionary contacts. Help Missionaries
Help Members • Many members have had little experience with family history. • Members have a variety of family history needs. • Most can be successful if they receive individual help.
Help Members • Those you help may be: • Life-long members who have assumed that a relative has taken care of their family history. • Young families busy with Church callings, work, and children. • New, enthusiastic converts. • Mature members with stacks of paper genealogical forms. • Not interested in doing family history right now.
Help Members • Pray for inspiration and discernment to understand members’ family history needs and how you can help. • The Spirit is essential in the work of family history consultants.
Help Members • Ask questions to understand how you can help them. For example: • How can I help you? • What are you hoping to accomplish? • What family history work have you done before? • What experience have you had using FamilySearch?
Help Members • Members often need encouragement to begin or continue their family history. • Be positive and supportive. • Help members step-by-step, at their own pace. • Prayerfully consider their needs and how you might help. • “Lead me, guide me, walk beside me.”
Discussion • What are some ways you as a family history consultant could help: • A young couple busy with work, Church assignments, and raising children? • A newly baptized, enthusiastic member of the Church? • A less-active member whom the high priests group leader has asked you to contact and provide family history help?
Discussion • What are some ways you as a family history consultant could help: • An elderly member who has stacks of old family history forms and doesn’t know what to do with them? • A life-long member and priesthood leader who has assumed that a relative has done his family history?
Where can I get help? Help for Family History Consultants
Priesthood Leaders Family & Church History Dept. Consultant Help for Consultants Doctrine, leadership, and direction Training and knowledge
Help for Consultants Guidance from Priesthood Leaders
Guidance from Priesthood Leaders • Under the direction of the bishopric, the high priests group leader coordinates temple and family history work in the ward. • Where there is no high priests group leader, a member of the elders quorum presidency fills this role.
Guidance from Priesthood Leaders • The high priests group leader: • Recommends individuals to be called as family history consultants. • Ensures that enough consultants are called to meet the needs of the ward. • Supervises family history consultants.
Guidance from Priesthood Leaders • The high priests group leader may provide consultants the names of individuals and families to contact.
Guidance from Priesthood Leaders • The high priests group leader reports to the bishopric on temple and family history activities • Including reports on the individual work by family history consultants with members.
Guidance from Priesthood Leaders • Family history consultants should: • Seek counsel and direction from the high priests group leader. • Provide the high priests group leader a monthly report of their service.
Discussion • What are some things a family history consultant could report to the high priests group leader?
Help for Consultants Support from the Family and Church History Department
Resources • Family and Church History Department provides publications and other resource materials.
Basic Resources • A Members Guide to Temple and Family History Work. (34697) • Church Handbook of Instructions: Book 2, Section 9. (35709) • How Do I Start My Family History? (32916) • Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (35863) • Training for Family History Leaders DVD. (00140090)
FamilySearch Support • The Church has established FamilySearch Support to help consultants answer family history questions. • FamilySearch Support missionaries and staff are located worldwide. • FamilySearch Support uses an online system to track and to find the answers to family history questions.