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

Monday, April 17, 2017

Temple and Family History Callings: Innovators to Laggards
As with changes in technology, when a new program or change is announced by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the are "early adopters" and then other who tag along later. There is actually a well established analysis of this adoption process that began with Everett M. Rogers' theory called the Diffusion of innovations. From Wikipedia:
Everett M. Rogers (March 6, 1931 – October 21, 2004) was an eminent American communication theorist and sociologist, who originated the diffusion of innovations theory and introduced the term early adopter. He was Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico.
His theory can be graphically represented by the following graph:

The diffusion of innovations according to Rogers. With successive groups of consumers adopting the new technology (shown in blue), its market share (yellow) will eventually reach the saturation level. In mathematics, the yellow curve is known as the logistic function. The curve is broken into sections of adopters.

Genealogists or family historians seem to be particularly subject to this distribution. But even those who are not particularly interested in a particular announcement or innovation fall into these categories. Back in February of this year, the First Presidency approved a change to the names of all family history callings in the Church. The change in names was accompanied by a change in the structure of the way that family history is being done in the Church. The change in names was automatically applied by the computer programs of the Church in many instances, but the organizational changes are following this curve almost exactly.

From my own personal observations as I travel around and visit different Wards and Stakes, I am seeing that, as yet, only the "Innovators" have begun using Stake and Ward Temple and Family History Consultants as outlined in the online instructions and resources. Here are three more links from that talk about this newly organized program. The links are in the captions to these screenshots. If you are someone who is part of this family history organization, you may wish to send a copy of these links to everyone who may be interested in these new programs.

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