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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Additional Comments on Hastening the Work of Salvation

In a recent LDS Media Talk blog post entitled, "What is "Hastening the Work of Salvation?" by Larry Richman had the following about family history and Temple work:
Family history work and missionary work are really one work with two parts. Both are missionary work when you think of rescuing people on both sides of the veil.

Family history is not your Grandma’s genealogy any more. With Family Tree, you can collaborate online with relatives to tie all family lines together into a single pedigree of mankind. You can upload stories and photos of your ancestors. Indexing has replaced extraction. Missionaries now participate in family history work.

The youth are also getting more involved in finding ancestors and then in performing the ordinances for their ancestors. The youth attend the temple in great numbers to do baptisms for the dead, and many take their own names. Sometimes, youth even become ward family history consultants. The spirit of Elijah is awakening.

Because young women and young men are entering the mission field at a younger age, they are also receiving the temple endowment at a younger age. These young people are arriving at the temple well prepared to make covenants.
Yes, family history work is the same as missionary work but with this caution, in missionary work we don't usually baptize the same person multiple times, as is frequently done in family history work, and count it as real missionary work. Hastening the work does not mean redoing ordinances that have already been done.

There is a pretty standard process for determining whether or not Temple work has previously been done for any prospective ancestor. You simply use the Family Tree link, "Possible Duplicates" to check to see if there is a duplicate copy of the record in the file. In fact, the program is now requiring a duplicate search before any person can be entered into the program and another search at the time ordinances are reserved or cards are printed.

Here is a screenshot showing an obvious duplicates. The arrows show where the entries are showing duplicates:

There are three pairs of duplicates and all of these people have had their ordinance done and re-done many times already. The previous program,, would allow you to easily redo the ordinances. All you needed was a slight variation in a name or date and you could claim that the person was not a match and thereby do the ordinances over again. In fact, the program facilitated finding these duplicates by indicating a potential re-baptism with a green arrow.

The green arrows are back in Family Tree, but they do not mean the same thing as they did previously. If you click on a green arrow family, you are likely to be told to do more research and look for duplicates. Many times, when you search for a duplicate and find one, the potential ordinance work turns out to be already done.

In the instances above, these duplicates involve multiple copies of the same individuals. You can tell there is a duplicate if the ID numbers are different, but it is the same person. There are still ways to get around the system in Family Tree and duplicate the work, but don't expect me to tell you how to do it.

As we hasten the work, let's make sure we are making progress and not just running around in circles and calling it progress.

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