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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Green Arrows in Family Tree are not really green

In many countries throughout the world, green means go. Unfortunately, adopted a marking for its Family Tree program that uses a Green Arrow. This "Green Arrow" does not mean what it seems to mean. Here is a screenshot showing a "Green Arrow."

The connotation here is that the Green Arrow means go ahead. In this case, as a carryover from the now Read Only, program, the Green Arrow was used to indicate that LDS Temple Ordinances were available to be performed. However, in many, many cases the ordinances had already been performed previously and clicking on the arrow resulted in duplicative ordinance work.

Now, in the present Family Tree program, the Green Arrows appear once more. But this time, the meaning of the arrows has changed. Now they indicate questions to be resolved not just ordinances that need to be performed. This is explained in detail in a recent blog post from FamilySearch entitled "Follow the Green Arrow...With Caution." Quoting from that post,

A common mistake that many people make is assuming that a green arrow means that the person’s name ready to take to the temple. I have heard people tell me, “But the system printed out an ordinance sheet for me to take to the temple so it must be OK!” That is not true! Using the green arrow without carefully and thoroughly reviewing the record first often results in unnecessary duplication. President Hinckley stated that one of the two primary goals of the FamilySearch program is to reduce unnecessary duplication. As a family history consultant, it is our job to help church members reduce the amount of ordinance duplication that is taking place.
 In the case above in the screenshot of the Family Tree showing my Grandfather, the arrow definitely does not show any ordinances available. In fact, the arrow does not point to anyone who had not already done their own Temple work during their own lifetime.

As the post from FamilySearch indicates:
Before submitting a name for temple work, you should first do the following:
  • Check to make sure that the information on the person’s record is as complete as reasonably possible, correct and reasonably documented with accurate reliable source(s). This ensures that ordinance work is being done for the correct person.
  • Click the Possible Duplicates link to see if this person has a duplicate record somewhere in the system. In many cases, the temple work on a duplicate record may have already been submitted and complete.
This is extremely important. If you are tempted to go through the Family Tree and harvest a few Green Arrows, remember where these names came from. Most likely, they came from other Church members who already did the Temple work.

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