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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Who teaches the teachers in family history?
The newly designated Temple and Family History Consultants need to be trained and taught. That teaching should be done, as referenced above, in the Savior's way. The manual, Teaching in the Saviour's Way, ought to be the basis for the interaction between the Temple and Family History Consultants and those who they are called to teach.

For the past few years, as I have been traveling around the country and while teaching family history in Mesa and Provo, I have talked to a very large number of "Family History Consultants" and Family History Center Directors. Generally, the underlying theme of my conversations with this wonderful, dedicated members is their lack of support and training. Many of the Consultants were given no instructions at all when they were called. Some of the Family History Center Directors (now Temple and Family History Consultants -- Directors) have had little or no consistent contact with their sponsoring Stakes. Previously, there was little general availability of the guidebook for family history and there were few other supporting materials.

During the past few months, there has been a revolutionary change in the availability of training materials and guidance for all levels of those serving in family history callings. The most dramatic change has been in recognizing that those involved in family history are essentially teachers and missionaries. Over thirteen years ago, when I was first called as a Church Service Missionary to serve at the then Mesa Regional Family History Center, I received some brief orientation and almost no training. Fortunately, I had some really good examples in the other missionaries that helped me learn the basics and start my progress towards being able to help the patrons. Over the years, both the now, Mesa FamilySearch Library and where I now serve at the BYU Family History Library, newly called missionaries receive extensive training and support.

However, I have not yet seen that same level of training and support extended to newly called or designated Temple and Family History Consultants at the Ward and Stake level. However, there is now really no excuse for this lack of training. The newly instituted program provides for the Area Temple and Family History Consultants to train the Stake Temple and Family History Consultants. These Area Temple and Family History Consultants are being trained by both Priesthood leaders and designated FamilySearch representatives. They have been involved in both the spirit and practical application of the now vast family history resources available online for teaching and training about family history. If the Stakes call willing Temple and Family History Consultants at the Stake level and then call upon the Area Consultants for training, then the Stakes will have a sound basis for the Stake Level individuals to train the local Ward Temple and Family History Consultants.

If you are a Ward Temple and Family History Consultant you should be looking to your Stake leaders for training and assistance. If you are called at the Stake level, then you need to look to your Area Temple and Family History Consultants for support and training. If you do not know about these support levels, perhaps you should be asking why they have not contacted you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi James! I just wanted to agree with you 100# about training in the past. It was catch as catch can and learn on the run in the 1970s when I started all this. We are now Area TFHC serving the Scottsdale Coordinating Council and spend a lot of time training others. We have found the site to be a comprehensive invaluable tool which takes you from non computer literate to Advanced Researcher or Consultant. I would highly recommend it for anyone needing a boost in self esteem as it even has a proficiency section so you can judge your progression. We have suggested to our Stake Presidents to make their people aware of this and are seeing an insurgence of interest in learning more. Have a great week!
    Karen and Ted Meyer