Monday, September 12, 2016
Do You Really Want to Take a Family Name to the Temple? Here's How - Part One
Take the name to the temple.
Teach someone else to do the same.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have been encouraged to Find, Take and Teach concerning taking one of our own ancestral names to the Temple. The first part of this injunction involves finding someone who is not presently in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree or who is in the Family Tree but has not yet had his or her ordinances completed. As outlined in the Find Your Family Names, A First-Time Guide, the process starts with signing in to FamilySearch.org and going to the portion of the website dedicated to "Find Family Names for the Temple." (https://familysearch.org/findnames). The instructions involve following the steps set forth in the Guide.
The key to this process as outlined is that people fall into one of three different research tracks: those with apparently no names in the Family Tree, those with some names in the Family Tree and those with many names in the Family Tree. In the first two categories, there are abundant opportunities depending on where the ancestors lived or if they were immigrants from a country with available family history resources.
You might note that the objective of the first page of this handout is the acquisition of a "green temple icon." What are these? Essentially, they are indications that there are ordinances possible for an individual. If they are found and validated, then there is usually a name to take to the temple. What do I mean by validated? Well, much of the time, the existence of a temple opportunity is contingent on resolving a duplicate record or doing more research. If FamilySearch finds a needed ordinance but there is insufficient information about the person to perform the ordinance, then the temple icon is yellow or gold colored. If there is a possible duplicate, then when you click on the icon, there is a warning notice saying that a possible duplicate exists.
In either event, how do the icons get into the Family Tree? You might note a lot of purple (dark blue whatever) temple icons. These indicate that other family members have already worked through the possible green icons and reserved the names for temple work. What if you don't find any green temple icons? That is the real question.
Green temple icons are not manufactured by anything FamilySearch does with or to the Family Tree. They are the product of people, like you and I, doing additional genealogical research and adding names to the Family Tree. No research = No Temple Icons. It is that simple. If you do find a green temple icon, as shown in the handout, by all means take the opportunity to click on the icon, reserved the name for temple ordinances and go to the temple. But once you have clicked on a green temple icon, it is essentially gone. Unless you or someone else does some additional research, that is real research into historical records, no more green temple icons will magically appear.
But there is a more important question. So you found a green temple icon, how do you know you are related to the person with the icon? Is all the information and connections between you as an individual and that person correct? Does it matter if you aren't related? Those are the questions I will address in Part Two of this post.