I am afraid the recent statements made by FamilySearch representatives come very close to throwing out the genealogical baby with the bathwater. In this case, the issue is the lack of involvement of a huge majority of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in assisting their ancestors to obtain the necessary Temple ordinances, i.e. doing their family history or genealogy. Recent statements and training from FamilySearch and other Church representatives, would lead some to believe that genealogists were part of the problem rather than part of the solution. There are some statements that come close to blaming genealogists for the lack of interest of the general Church population. So the new programs, while laudable, are presented in a way that makes many of the long time, dedicated family historians think they are being denigrated and are no longer encouraged to assist in the work. In making this statement, I am not going to quote any one person or presentation, but the effect of the statements has been mentioned to me by many very hardworking and dedicated genealogists.
Do they want us all to quit and in essence throw us out with the change to "new emphasises" and "newly introduced programs?" The dichotomy is that the 'bad" genealogists are the only ones supplying the names. On the other hand, it is obvious that the technological advances of the just the last few years have allowed those of us who have some genealogical skills to do our work more efficiently and more accurately. The ability to merge and thereby eliminate duplicate records in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree is a temendous step in opening up whole avenues of research to dedicated genealogists who want to do accurate, well-documented work for their ancestors.
Implicit in the new programs is the idea that people will "mentor" members who want to "take a family name to the Temple." Who is teaching and mentoring the mentors? Some of us have even been directly told that we should not participate in the new programs because we are "too experienced" in the "old way" of doing genealogy and we might discourage the newcomers.
From my own personal standpoint, I spend all the time I can muster helping people achieve their goal of discovering their ancestors. I surely understand the emotional impact of stories and photos. But where do these stories and photos come from if there are no competent researchers finding them?
There certainly is a need to include a larger number of people in the genealogical process, but this is not going to be accomplished by getting rid of the existing corp of competent researchers and replacing them with those who lack the skills necessary to do competent research.
I may sound like I am repeating myself in this post, but I keep getting emotionally charged messages that imply that my services are no longer needed in this new world of instant family history.