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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Family History Resources for Priesthood Leaders and Ward Councils

Lance McIntosh of FamilySearch made the following statement at a RootsTech 2016 Workshop concerning implementation of the family history program, "Find, Take and Teach."
Overall, the keys to the success of this stake were leaders who went out and found their own names and gained their own testimony, said Brother McIntosh. Another key was making sure others had quick success when starting to look for names. And the final key was going out and teaching others how to find names.
The Workshop entitled "Family history resources for priesthood leaders and ward councils" was printed in the Deseret News for February 18, 2016. The article cites several success stories from Stakes around The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lyon France Stake President Roland E. Lepore, who helped his stake move from a submission rate of 4 to 10 percent made the following comments:
“I put together ten things that were critical to us in the Lyon stake for family history work,” he said:
1. The conviction of family history work is at the center of salvation.
2. It needed to be in the stake goals.
3. Use the network of people and resources already in place.
4. Share personal experiences.
5. Extend personal invitations to members. Have them report back.
6. Invite every future missionary to do a name submission and indexing.
7. Hold stake youth events.
8. Plan family history workshops in conjunction with stake conference.
9. High councilors participate in the work and share experiences with others.
10. Challenge recent converts to participate in family history work.
“How sweet it is to hear about the wonderful experiences members are having doing family history work,” said President Lepore. “I know we are making progress because we went from 30 indexers doing 30,000 names to over 250 indexers doing over 500,000 names.”
Brother Merrill White of FamilySearch quoted President Robert L. Davis of the Laguna Niguel California Stake.
“ ‘I’ve got to have this protection for my youth,’ ” said Brother White quoting President Davis. President Davis started a stake family history committee led by the high councilor. He then called a stake mentor. The committee met once a month with the ward consultants and high priests group leaders. “All they did was share best practices,” said Brother White.
“From there it started to spread,” said Brother White. “Here are a few things that they did.”
• Made individual in-home visits.
• Kept it simple.
• Taught people, not lessons.
• Family history themed youth conference.
• Called youth as family history consultants.
• New converts took names to the temple.
“We remain committed to this work,” said President Davis. “We devoted our stake conference to family history.”
Over one year later the number of people in the stake submitting names rose from 7 to 29 percent, said Brother White. “We are all entitled to the Spirit for the role in which we are engaged. I invite you to take that inspiration and use it in your ward and stakes,” he said.

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