September 18, 2018

The FamilySearch Approach to Church History

Use this new classroom help to engage your students in their Church history studies.

Understanding history can be challenging: events seem abstract, people become characters, stories feel like fiction, and it’s hard to see the real people who went through real struggles. However, when we have a personal connection to an event, person, or story, we have more interest in learning more because we see how we fit into the larger picture.

Helping students find personal connections can be challenging, so we found a way to help engage your students in Church history and gathering Israel on both sides of the veil. We have found an ancestor for each of your seminary or institute students. This ancestor may have been a part of Church history, helping move the work of the Lord forward, or lived where the Restoration of the gospel began. This personal connection will help you illuminate the stories, topics, and doctrine you are teaching in your classes.

How can I use these emails in class?

These emails can be a tool to help engage your students and give them a deeper connection to your class material. By showing your students how they fit into history, you can tailor an in-class experience that may also become a personal, testimony-growing experience for your students outside of the class. As they try to more deeply understand and relate to Church history, they will further develop their testimonies and strengthen their faith.

When will the emails be sent?

Emails will be sent out four times throughout the academic year to correspond with a particular time in Church history, such as when the Saints were in New York, Missouri, Nauvoo, or the West.

The emails will be sent at the end of October 2018, the beginning of January 2019, the end of March 2019, and the beginning of May 2019.

What will be in the emails?

Each email will contain the name of a student’s ancestor who lived during the early Restoration of the Church. Students may then explore FamilySearch and learn more about that ancestor.


How can my students receive their email?

Students will receive their email through FamilySearch. Please encourage your students to create a FamilySearch account. If they already have a username and password for their account, they can log in to FamilySearch with the same account information. If a student does not have an account, they can register for a FamilySearch account by following these steps.

Having a FamilySearch account will not only help your students receive these emails, but it will also give them access to family names that they can use to help move the gathering of Israel forward. Each student should have a FamilySearch account and actively participate in family history service.

What if my student doesn’t receive an email?

Students in the U.S. and Canada who have an account and a FamilySearch account should receive an email. In the event that one of your students does not receive an email, encourage your students to continue to do family history work and discover more about their ancestors. Finding connections and learning about family history will help students gain a deeper appreciation for the work of the Lord and help them find their place in the gathering of Israel. Encourage your students to find family names and help with the gathering of Israel on both sides of the veil.