“Hispanic Saints Gather at Family History Conference,” Ensign, Jan. 2006, 78–79
Close to 200 Hispanic Latter-day Saints gathered at the Church’s Family History Library on October 15, 2005, for the eighth annual Hispanic Family History Conference.
The conference, cohosted by the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy and Legado Latino, is held each year to help Hispanic members learn what resources the Church has made available to them and help them conquer any fears that keep them from doing their family history.
“The Church has put a lot of effort into providing family history resources,” said Carlos Alvarez, president of Legado Latino. “But many people don’t know anything about what’s available to them at the library, Family History Centers, or on the Internet. We try to be a bridge to show them what’s available.”
Brother Alvarez said it is important for members to understand that they don’t have to live in Salt Lake City to have access to Church family history resources.
“Family History Centers are critical to the Church’s family history program. If I can get to a Family History Center, I’ll find missionaries or members trained to be consultants, printers, and film readers. They help with the equipment, Internet access, and the Church’s FamilySearch™ and TempleReady programs, and they have the ability to request microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City that I can keep for up to three months.”
Members who attended the conference could find classes on how to prepare names for TempleReady, how to use a census, how to use Personal Ancestral File, what is available on the Internet, how to interest youth in family history, how to use civil records, and how to breathe life into family histories.
The Family History Library maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources with vital records from more than 110 countries. There are more than 4,000 branches of the library, called Family History Centers, in more than 70 countries.
“I really believe that by knowing where we came from, we gain a sense of who we are. And that means something,” said Brother Alvarez.