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

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Saturday, March 13, 2021

First Presidency announces Salt Lake Temple changes


Quoting from a Church News article entitled, "First Presidency announces Salt Lake Temple changes — increasing capacity, impacting live sessions; Manti temple next for renovation." dated 12 March 2021, 

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday morning modifications to the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, as well as a planned upgrade of the Manti Utah Temple.

The modifications for the Salt Lake Temple include adding a second baptistry and additional instruction and sealing rooms — increasing capacity for the sacred building which was originally dedicated in 1893. The temple cafeteria will be discontinued.

The Manti temple will join the Salt Lake Temple and the St. George Utah Temple as the third pioneer-era temple dating back to the late 19th century to undergo renovations. Plans and a starting date for the renovation will be announced later this year. 

The modifications to the Salt Lake City, Utah Temple are further explained as follows:

While seismic protection is the primary reason for the renovation, the Church also is taking the opportunity to make other improvements and changes, according to leaders.

Recent modifications include the addition of two instruction rooms, more sealing ordinance rooms and a second baptistry, which allow for greater capacity and more temple ordinances being performed; leaders anticipate with the changes the temple will be able to accommodate more than double the usual number of patrons.

When the renovation is completed, the temple will have a total of five instruction rooms, each with a capacity for 150 people. Four instruction rooms will be located on the temple’s first floor, with the fifth on the second floor.

The addition of 10 new sealing rooms brings the total number to 23, with varying capacities of up to 75 individuals.

We haven't been up to Salt Lake City for a while due to the pandemic but we are really interested in seeing the new changes to the Salt Lake City, Utah Temple once the open house is announced.  

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ condemn ‘violence and lawless behavior’


Quoting from the Deseret News article of January 15, 2021:

The two senior leadership bodies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, issued the following statement on Friday afternoon.

Here is the full statement from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who direct the affairs of the global, 16.5-million member church:

“Principles of government that allow God’s children to maintain human dignity and freedom belong to all mankind (see Doctrine and Covenants 98:5).

“With great concern we observe the political and cultural divisions in the United States and around the world. We condemn violence and lawless behavior, including the recent violence in Washington, D.C., and any suggestion of further violence. While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics, we remind our members — whatever their individual political views — to be united in our commitment to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His teachings. As His followers, we should treat one another and all of God’s children with respect, dignity and love. No political or other affiliation should supersede that covenant and sacred responsibility.

“We urge all people to remember the precious and fragile nature of freedom and peace. As citizens of the United States look ahead to the inauguration of a new president, we urge our members to honor democratic institutions and processes, and to obey, honor and sustain the law (see Articles of Faith 1:12).”

I found it interesting to see the comments on the published account. The comments included those agreeing with the statement and those who claimed that there was no problem or that the statement should have been made at some other time. One theme of the comments was conspiracy theories. One notable comment claimed that "no one in his stake believed any conspiracy theories." I am sure he is wrong. I have found many of my friends and neighbors who are caught up in one conspiracy theory or another. 

The General Handbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Section 38.8.45 clearly states the following:

Seeking Information from Reliable Sources

In today’s world, information is easy to access and share. This can be a great blessing for those seeking to be educated and informed. However, many sources of information are unreliable and do not edify. Some sources seek to promote anger, contention, fear, or baseless conspiracy theories (see 3 Nephi 11:30; Mosiah 2:32). Therefore, it is important that Church members be wise as they seek truth.

Members of the Church should seek out and share only credible, reliable, and factual sources of information. They should avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor. The guidance of the Holy Ghost, along with careful study, can help members discern between truth and error (see Doctrine and Covenants 11:12; 45:57). In matters of doctrine and Church policy, the authoritative sources are the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the General Handbook.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

The number of indexed records on grows every week


New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 4 January 2021

Unless you have enabled notifications in your Settings, You may not be getting the emails weekly about the newly indexed records being added to Here is a screenshot of the Notifications page. 

If you begin to realize how many newly indexed names are regularly added, you should also realize that watching the new record hints added to your file would be a good idea. It is also a good idea to go back periodically and search on some of the people who have no sources to see if new records have been added that may not yet show up as record hints. 

The website is constantly changing. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Why aren't the Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint fully open to patrons?


Provo, Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

There is an obvious answer to the question posed in the title of this post. The temples are only partially open because of the pandemic. Perhaps there is a more serious reason. One of the biggest concerns I have had, if not the biggest concern, during this time of the pandemic, is the closure of the temples. But then, a question was raised by one of the BYU Family History Library missionaries lately that asked why we expected the temples to open if we weren’t doing our temple work? I have seen a huge drop in family history activity in my own Ward which is not surprising at all. This year, my own Ward has seen the percentage of members submitting a name to the temple drop from around 30% to the present number of about 17% and from my own experience, 17% activity is relatively high for most wards. 

In some areas of the world, the temples are open to regular patrons. What is not that the case here in Utah Valley? I live about half a mile from the Provo, Utah Temple and could walk there in about 10 minutes. But close proximity to the Temple does not seem to promote an increase in temple activity in our area. Why did family history activity drop when so many people could not attend church meetings or participate in their usual activities? That is a very good question. 

President Russell M. Nelson, the President, and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has repeatedly said, quote:

Our message to the world is simple and sincere: We invite all of God's children on both sides of the veil to come unto their Saviour. 


Most members of the Church can fully understand what President Nelson is saying. But understanding and doing are two different things. If we are going to extend the blessings and ordinances to those on the other side of the veil, we need to make the effort to search out our relatives and make their names available so they can choose to have their ordinances done. 

But here we are back at the beginning. If the Temples are closed, how do we do the ordinance work for our ancestors? So, do we stop searching? Do we stop adding names to the temple reservation list? My answer is no. We continue to do our part to identify and reserve the names of our relatives even though we cannot physically enter the temples to participate in the physical ordinances on their behalf. 

It seems to me that it is as simple as that. As a missionary assigned to the Brigham Young University Family History Library, I am ready and able to help anyone who asks with searching out their family history. As this post is written we are in the middle of the University's Christmas break. Because of the pandemic, the BYU Family History Library is not open and will open again on January 11th. The missionaries will be online to help anyone who needs help. Here is the contact information for the Family History Library that will reopen on :

Family History/Religion Help Desk

For general reference questions and scanner reservations.*

Contact the Help Desk

Email:, Phone: (801)-422-6200

Chat: See link in the left sidebar.

*Scanning equipment is currently only available for BYU student and faculty use. 

Family History Assistance (Missionary Volunteers)

For family history help by email or phone, or to schedule a virtual family history consultation or group instruction.*

Email:, Phone: (801) 422-3766

*Although we cannot currently host groups in person, we can schedule YSA or other groups for virtual classes or other group instruction.

Meanwhile, if you need help, you can contact me directly. You can find me by email at or by Facebook at or in a hundred other ways. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas on Temple Square Performance Collections


Social Sing and Serve: A Christmas on Temple Square Performances

Every evening during the month of December so far, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has presented an hour-long musical concert of groups and individuals from around the world. Here in the Mountain Standard Time Zone, we have enjoyed these concerts at 6:00 pm. They have been a wonderful part of overcoming the challenges of a Christmas season overshadowed by a pandemic. In addition, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon MST, there is an organ concert called Piping Up. You can see the concerts and the recordings on the Tabernacle Choir YouTube Channel. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Family History Guide adds new videos to its YouTube Channel for #RootsTech Connect


The Family History Guide YouTube Channel

The Family History Guide is getting ready for the 2021 RootsTech Connect virtual conference from 25th to the 27th of February, 2021. In conjunction with the Conference, we will be adding a number of new videos. During the Conference, we will also be in the Virtual Exhibit Area. So far there are over 150,000 people registered for this world-wide online conference. 

The Family History Guide will have a dedicated webpage for RootsTech Connect and will be available to answer questions online for the Conference. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the new videos on our YouTube Channel

Remember, The Family History Guide is sponsored by The Family History Guide Association, a 501 (c) 3 corporation. The Family History Guide website is entirely free due to the donations of people like you. You can also select The Family History Guide as a charity on and your holiday purchases will help support this fabulous website.