Consultants take the initiative to reach out to members, especially those who are not comfortable using technology, by:If a "class" is going to be held, the Guide counsels us to do the following:
- 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.
Lessons are generally conducted as workshops in which members actually complete their own family history work, either on the computer or on paper. Where feasible, class participants should have access to computers. Many meetinghouses are currently being equipped with wireless Internet connections.This is how teaching family history is best accomplished. I teach a lot of classes, but I am most careful to teach people, individually, whenever possible.
If you are called as a Ward Family History Consultant, you should be contacting Ward members directly and offering to help them find their ancestors. Let's suppose that you were called but no one bothered to tell you what you were supposed to do or how to go about being a Family History Consultant. The simplest way to "get trained" is to go online and carefully study the following guidelines, manuals and lessons that are aimed specifically at training Family History Consultants. You do not need to wait until the Bishop or the Sunday School or whomever "schedules a class." You do not need to have a dedicated space in the building for Family History. Notice what it says above, "The most effective place to do this is in members’ homes." All you have to do is start offering to help.
The first place I suggest going is to carefully read the Leader's Guide to Temple and Family History Work, To Turn the Hearts. A PDF copy is on LDS.org. Read the entire Guide and study the scriptures quoted.
Next, go to LDS.org and sign in and go through this entire section: Family History Topics. Pay particular attention to the section on Family History Callings. Carefully review all of the videos especially for Family History Consultants. There is a link here to the Leader's Guide. If you want to be an effective Family History Consultant and be able to help people go through all of the FamilySearch Tree Training in the FamilySearch Learning Center.
Now, for instructions on FamilySearch.org and how to do research, go to TheFHGuide.com. This new website will provide you with an excellent understanding of how to go about teaching family history and give you the tools to do so.
If you want to magnify your calling as a Family History Consultant, you will have to use your own initiative. You can call on your local Family History Center and others for help, but you need to take matters into your own hands and do your job. Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do. That may never happen. Get busy and do it.
If you are reading this blog post and know a family history consultant, you just might want to give them a copy of this post. It might help to know where the instructions are located.