Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Role of the Ward Family History Consultant

In visiting various Wards around the United States, I see a common theme. In each Ward I visit, I usually ask if they have a Family History Class during Sunday School. I takes a while to find the person who knows the answer but commonly, the answer is that the class is not being held. There are exceptions. But for the most part, Family History is viewed as an occasional subject for review from time to time. The basic issue here is that the calling of a Ward Family History Consultant is viewed as merely a responsibility for holding this occasional class without any further activity. Nothing could be further from the reality of the calling.

If you go to and sign in, you can see a long list of resources from a link at the menu at the top of the startup page. Among those resources are those for family history. If you review the resources for family history, you will also find a link to resources for Family History Callings. Here you will see training for a Family History Consultant as well as the following:
If you take the time to review the online resource for Family History Consultants, you will soon see that the calling involves much more than merely holding a Sunday School class once or twice a year. The resources are mostly short videos in the following categories:
  1. Understand Your Calling
  2. Work with Members
  3. Work with Leaders
  4. Prepare Names for the Temple
  5. Do Your Own Family History
Clear back in 1995, President Howard W. Hunter said the following in the Ensign:
There are some members who engage in temple work but fail to do family  history research on their own family lines. Although they perform a divine service in assisting others, they lose a blessing by not seeking their own kindred dead as divinely directed by latter-day prophets. 
I have learned that those who engage in family history research and then perform the temple ordinance work for those whose names they have found will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing.
President Howard W. Hunter, “A Temple-Motivated People,” Ensign, February 1995, 4–5 
In order for the Temple and Family History work to proceed in any Ward, it is necessary for the Family History Consultants to learn the entire responsibility of their callings.  

1 comment:

  1. Amen to your post. My wife and I are Family Search Missionaries in the LV Family Search Library. In our Ward, we "try" to hold a class each Sunday, but due to poor internet connections (we have made several attempts to get it "fixed") we can't show or present the great FamilyTree videos. We are now going to put to ether an ongoing class on "Personal Histories", inviting couples specifically to the class and assist them in beginning their personal histories, or their parents histories. Helping with specific research should be done with individuals personally, not during a class. I think you "lose" the rest of the class when you focus on one individual's research challenges.
    Don McClelland