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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Family History in the Stakes and Wards

I had a question posed to me recently about how to promote family history in the Stakes and Wards. The inquiry suggested that perhaps someone could be called to as a Church Service Missionary to work with the Ward and Stake members. There is a tendency to view the solution to a perceived problem is best addressed by adding programs or revising the existing system. In fact, the solution to most of the world's problems lies in implementing and utilizing existing systems and programs. This is certainly true with regard to family history in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The most recent guidelines from the Church on family history refer directly to the Leader's Guide to Temple and Family History Work, To Turn the Hearts, the manual for family history in the Church. Here is a link to the most recent publication called "The Great Latter-day Work of Temples." This two-sided handout summarizes the Leader's Guide as follows:
Teaching Others 
1. Teach those holding keys their role in leading the work. 
2. Invite priesthood leaders to teach and testify of the doctrine and of their personal experience. 
3. Utilize stake and ward councils to set goals and create plans that lead to an increased number of submitters and families doing this work together, and help wards and stakes progress toward temple self-reliance. 
4. Provide one-on-one assistance to help individuals and families find, take, and teach.
The key here is personal involvement. When Priesthood leaders become personally involved in family history, they can teach and testify with power and help others to also become involved.

The Stake organization is rather simple. Here is the diagram from page 6 of the Leader's Guide.

This says what needs to be done. Remember Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107: 99-100
Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. 
He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.

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