A screenshot on how to navigate the new Family Tree program.

Trying new things seems to be a hallmark of those willing to foray into the digital world. Take these three examples:

Family history: A new post by the blog Keepapitchinin contains a wealth of information about Family Tree, a new service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Indeed, Keepapitchinin's “In Which We Bid Farewell to NewFamilySearch and Welcome Family Tree” is filled to the brim with useful tips and tricks to navigate the new program.

Genealogists are hailing the service as a welcome change.

“I have been using the tree and absolutely love it,” says the blog. And “I’m going to concentrate on what Family Tree does that NFS did not: There is a heavy emphasis in Family Tree on providing sources and explanations. It will take a lot — a LOT — of work to add that material to my messed up family lines, but once it’s there, that will help cousins recognize the right dates and know to rely on this claim instead of that one. That’s a tremendous contribution, maybe more important than adding new records, for the time being.”

And after looking through all the outline steps (which are nicely illustrated with screenshots), the original blogger gives this caveat “It may sound complicated with all those steps, but it isn’t, really. On Sunday I had my husband source and correct his grandfather’s entry, and it only took about 15 minutes. (It’s a great Sunday activity, and it’s easy enough that kids can help, too.)”

World traveler: Meet Clarence Sharp Barker. Unfortunately, you can no longer meet him in person, but this enterprising young man, born in 1903, went completely "Around the World in 1200 Days" as part of his missionary service. And one enterprising member has taken the pictures and text from his life and utilized blog technology in a brilliant way so we can all virutually follow in his amazing journey. Start in Hawaii, then on to American Samoa, over to Australia, then to Africa and up to the Holy Land and then over to Europe. Whew! Click in to follow along and see some amazing photos from a bygone era.

Visiting teaching: A blogger on LDS Women of God takes the occasion of the new year to outline new ideas for achieving visiting teaching success. Included by blogger Jtolman are ideas for goal setting, an outline for supervisors, and this list of some good attitudes about visiting to share with sisters:

• I need to gain a testimony of visiting teaching.

• Think: I am no longer filling slots, I am incorporating women into a sisterhood.

• Not all sisters have “problems,” but all sisters need help. How can I help?

• Consistent teaching is better than consistent nagging. Or in other words, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” (Joseph Smith)

• Visiting teaching is the crux of the gospel in action. There is no room for last-minute visiting teaching if I want my sister to understand that I truly care.

• I am training sisters for a lifetime of visiting teaching service. Visit the blog for this detailed post if you need any nudges to reimagine your visiting teaching program.

Now let me spotlight other innovative Bloggernacle posts:

Power pick: “It was a bicultural and bilingual experience, Mormons and Catholics, Anglos and Hispanics gathered together as one, unified by the common anguish we all felt at a beautiful life extinguished too early," writes BYU professor George Handley. "Something there is about the early departed that brings us up short and causes an intensification of appreciation for one another and a determination to live life more deliberately, more lovingly, and more gratefully.” Oh, please read a masterful and raw personal essay on “The Tragic Death of a Young Boy” from Handley. It completely took my breath away.

Techie tip: LDS Tech, part of, needs you. Yes you. As the title of its new post says, “Directory 2013 (is) Ready for Beta Testing.” So "we need your help to test out all the new and existing features to make sure the directory functions correctly across all the varieties of browsers, units, locations, languages, and computers. You can view the directory 2013 test site at The directory beta site contains a recent copy of real data. You're encouraged to explore, play around, test, and experiment in the beta site as much as possible. Any changes and photo uploads you make on the beta site will not be permanent and may be reset or removed at any time as new versions are pushed out.” Cool. Check it out for all the information and help the LDS online ward directory become more user friendly for everyone.

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. Email: [email protected]