Consultants are skilled teachers who work and communicate well with others. While consultants need not be experts in family history research, they should be comfortable using the resources at FamilySearch.org and helping others use them. These FamilySearch resources include family pedigrees, historical records, and the FamilySearch indexing program. Youth can be called to serve as consultants when their technology skills can be helpful in assisting others.The Leader's Guide states that the bishopric and the high priests group leader determine how many family history consultants are needed in the ward. The high priests group leader directs their efforts. The Leader's Guide goes on to say:
Some consultants have experience and skills that particularly suit them for additional tasks, such as:
By virtue of my service at the BYU Family History Library, I am also a Ward Family History Consultant.
- Serving in family history centers.
- Assisting members and other consultants in more advanced research efforts.
- Training other consultants.
So what are the Family History Consultants supposed to do? They work with the leaders in the Ward and with the members. Here is what the Leader's Guide has to say on the subject:
Working with Leaders Consultants help ward leaders learn about family history so they can share it with those they serve. Consultants take the initiative to reach out to leaders by:
- Helping them work on their own family history so they can perform temple ordinances for their deceased relatives.
- Demonstrating how family history can help them in their calling to minister to those they serve.
Working with Members Consultants take the initiative to reach out to members, especially those who are not comfortable using technology, by:I hope all of this sounds really familiar to anyone called as a Family History Consultant. If you have such a calling in the Ward, perhaps you should answer the following questions:
- Helping a few individuals or families at a time to work on their own family history so they can perform temple ordinances for their deceased relatives. The most effective place to do this is in members’ homes. The ward council could determine specific individuals or families for the consultant to work with. The high priests group leader assigns these families to the consultant.
- Answering family history questions from ward leaders and members.
- Are you teaching Ward leaders and members by "helping them work on their own family history?"
- Are you helping your Ward leaders understand how family history can help them in their callings?
- Are you visiting members in their homes and teaching them so they can perform temple ordinances for their deceased relatives?
- Are you receiving direction and assignments from the Ward Council through the High Priests Group Leader?
- Are you busy answering questions from ward leaders and members?
If you cannot answer all of the above questions in the affirmative, who is responsible to do the things outlined? As the hymn says,
Then wake up and do something moreLDS Hymn Book, Page 223.
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
During the past week, for example, I have taught and assisted five members of my Ward either in my home or in theirs with their family history. I do not say this to boast at all, but simply to illustrate that this is the work of the Family History Consultant. You need to make yourself available and answer questions. Do you even know who is working on family history in your Ward? I will not write about topics I am not willing to do myself.