The Church News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been running full page (or more) articles on family history based on presentations at RootsTech 2014, the very large conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah in February. This week there is an article by Church News Staff Writer, Ryan Morgenegg published on 15 March 2014. The article is entitled "RootsTech 2014: Family history consultant training."
The article reports about a special session at the Conference led by Todd Jones, Family History Department product manager and Shipley Munson, marketing manager for FamilySearch. The presentation outlined four core responsibilities of family history consultants of all levels of experience. The four core responsibilities were:
- Help members feel the Spirit: When family history consultants prepare to visit members, it’s important for them to realize that people respond the best to family history work when the Spirit of God is present to influence them to take righteous action.
- Minister with other ward leaders: Instruction in the class encouraged family history consultants to look for opportunities to teach with members of the ward council, auxiliary presidents or other teachers.
- Get the help you need. The Church provides an array of information, training and help for family history consultants. “An important thing for consultants to do is dive in and experience the available family history tools themselves,” said Brother Jones. “A consultant can even submit a new ordinance request online.
- Teach patrons to fish. Family history consultants are quite often challenged to get new ideas to motivate members and keep the family history work in the ward moving forward. However, nobody can answer every question or be present when members hit brick walls in their research. Therefore, it is important that family history consultants take the time to teach other members how to figure out their own challenges.
The article contains several additional suggestions and ends with this admonition:
Never forget to follow spiritual impressions. Family History work is all about doing work for those who have passed on to the world of spirits. Teach members how to increase their opportunities to receive spiritual promptings. Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that the spirit of Elijah is “a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family” (“A New Harvest Time,” Ensign, May 1998, 34).I would add that there is a wealth of additional online sources directed at the Family History Consultant. For more information see the Family History Topics page on LDS.org.