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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Role of Family History in Member Retention and Activation

Family history can play a central role in the process of member retention and activation. The main reason it has not been a part of the retention and activation efforts on the Ward and Stake levels in the past, has been because of the limited family history resources available to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The expansion of family history resources in and outside of the Church has only recently created a major opportunity for the members.

The recommended procedures for using family history as an adjunct to missionary and reactivation efforts have only been utilized generally in the Church on a very limited basis. Those procedures are outlined in the Leader's Guide to Temple and Family History Work, To Turn the Hearts on pages 13 - 15. Here is a quote from page 15:
Family history gets at the core of life, and people feel the Spirit. . . . More than half of the adults in our branch are now temple recommend holders who attend regularly. The benefits are worth any effort. The level of unity and harmony among our members has increased. Attitudes have changed. I see more dedication, faithfulness, harmony, and better self-esteem among our members. I can see changes in the relationships among husbands and wives and children. These improvements spread throughout the branch” (Harold St. Croix, in LaRene Porter Gaunt, “Leading the Way,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, 59).
 Here is another quote from page 14:
It wasn't long after my baptism that I was invited to attend the ward’s family history class, and as a result I was able to submit four generations of my ancestors to the temple. It was a moving experience to go to the temple and be baptized and confirmed in their behalf” (Phil D. Reinoehl, in “Becoming Part of the Fold,” Ensign, June 1999, 67).
The Leader's Guide is an important tool in implementing an effective activation program under the direction of the Bishop and the Ward Council. The basic guidelines and procedures set forth in the handbook are a proven way to positively effect the less-active and new members of any Ward.

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