“New Temple, Family History Handbook Published,” Ensign, Mar. 1993, 79
The Church has recently published the Temple and Family History Leadership Handbook. This new handbook replaces three publications: Instructions for Priesthood Leaders on Temple and Family History Work, Providing Temple Ordinances for Our Ancestors, and Guidelines for the Sunday School Family History Course.
In a letter from the First Presidency, local Church leaders are told that “Melchizedek Priesthood leaders have a key role in supporting and directing temple and family history work. To help leaders and others better understand their responsibilities, the handbook provides a clear, simple summary of this work.
“Members of the Church should participate in temple and family history work throughout their lives. Priesthood leaders should use the programs and resources described in the handbook to help members receive temple ordinances for themselves and provide these sacred ordinances for the dead.
“Copies of this new publication are being sent under separate cover to stakes and wards. Priesthood leaders should distribute these copies as described in the handbook. Additional copies are available from Church distribution centers.”
Elder J. Richard Clarke, executive director of the Family History Department, explained that the handbook “provides priesthood leaders with a clear, brief overview of temple and family history work. In just a few pages, they can review the doctrine, members’ individual responsibilities, priesthood leaders’ duties, and the resources available to help members accomplish the work.”
The twenty-page handbook also discusses some of the opportunities members may have for serving in these areas as full-time or part-time missionaries.
In addition, the handbook serves as a guide for stake and ward family history consultants, describing their responsibilities, their work with members, and their relationship with priesthood leaders.
In addition to this handbook, a guide for members provides specific instructions about temple and family history responsibilities and explains how we might fulfill them. This guide, titled Come unto Christ through Temple Ordinances and Covenants, is available through distribution centers.