110 Year Rule:If you work with patrons at a major Family History Library or Center as I do, you will quickly understand the need for such a rule. Many times, people who are unrelated to the deceased person will find the availability of the ordinance work and perform the ordinances. This often causes extreme emotional distress to the close relatives who cannot understand why someone who was unrelated or even only distantly related would do the Temple work for someone else's father or mother, brother or sister, etc. Unfortunately, in the scramble to find "Green Arrows," the Rule is frequently ignored.
To do ordinances for a deceased person who was born in the last 110 years, the following requirements must be met.
Verbal approval is acceptable. Family members should work together to determine when the ordinances will be done and who will do them.
- The person must have been deceased for at least one year.
- You must either be one of the closest living relatives, or you must obtain permission from one of the closest living relatives. If you are not a spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the deceased, please obtain permission from one of the closest living relatives before doing the ordinances. The closest living relatives are an undivorced spouse (the spouse to whom the individual was married when he or she died), an adult child, a parent, or a brother or sister.
At the recent RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, there was an undercurrent of discussion about this subject. I find this the topic of discussion constant among Church members as they focus on doing their family history. In fact, I was asked a question about the Rule just last night at a presentation my wife and I did in a ward here in Provo.
I have heard that the standards for complying with this 110 Year Rule may be tightened considerably by adding the requirement that the permission required be in writing and submitted for review before the work can be done. In addition, the identity of any person violating the rule will be available to FamilySearch and follow-up discipline may be imposed for any violation, including cutting off access to FamilySearch.org.
From my standpoint I certainly agree that more stringent measures should be taken. I have personally had to deal with grief-stricken members whose own parents' ordinances were done without permission and only shortly after death. I laud any efforts to tighten the requirements and impose penalties for violations.