Individuals and couples called to serve in family history callings don’t need to be experienced genealogists or researchers, said the senior vice president over FamilySearch records. Commitment to the gospel, a desire to help others and appreciation for the importance of families and the temple are what matters.
“In just the past five years the number of people participating in family history has tripled,” said Rodney DeGiulio. “Temple and family history work are a family responsiblity. Gathering and sealing multigenerational families envokes family connections on both sides of the veil.”
Leaders who desire to get the work going in their wards and stakes should remember four things, said Brother DeGiulio.
• Understand the significance of the calling of temple and family history consultants, including the recent change in the name. “The recent change in the name is a refocusing to the primary responsibility of helping members gather their families into the FamilyTree and into the temple through temple ordinances. Emphasis is placed on assisting individuals and families on a personalized basis.”
• Study the new family history leadership guide found in the Gospel Library app. Brother DeGiulio said this tool will help those with family history callings at all levels and can be printed out if needed.
• Access a new family history leadership report. “We went out and surveyed hundreds of priesthood leaders all over the world and asked them what they needed to help hasten the work of family history in their area,” said Brother DeGiulio. “I am pleased to announce the availability of a new report that can be accessed by all priesthood leaders.”
The new report shows the number of members in the stake submitting names on a yearly basis and the percentage of members with the first four generations of ancestors completed in the FamilyTree program. It also measures the number of members logging into FamilySearch and number of members participating in family history activities.
• Use the consultant planner available on FamilySearch.org under the help others/get help menu. It gives consultants the current level of family history activity in their ward and stake. It helps consultants research and find ancestors for specific members by accessing available records (currently more than 4 billion).
Consultants can also use the tool to prepare 30-minute personalized lessons when meeting with members in addition to recording all of the notes and progress made during visits, he said.
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