“Web Site Provides Family History Tools for Priesthood Leaders,” Ensign, Aug. 2006, 77
The Church’s Web site now has new resources available to help priesthood leaders administer family history to Church members. The “Administering Family History” section of www.lds.org (found at the link “Serving in the Church” and “More Callings”) offers priesthood leaders two lessons that give guidance in overseeing the family history organization in stakes and wards.
“Priesthood leaders play an important role in helping members fulfill their temple and family history responsibilities,” the Web site states. “Leaders teach members the doctrines of temple and family history service. They encourage members to identify their ancestors, link them into families, and provide temple ordinances for them.”
The first lesson, “Administering Family History Work,” gives leaders an overview of the stake and ward organization for family history work, explaining roles and responsibilities of key priesthood leaders and members with family history callings. The other lesson, “Encouraging Members to Participate in Family History Work,” gives priesthood leaders tips on getting members involved in family history work in wards and stakes.
“This lesson on encouraging members will help priesthood leaders … focus on the important role of family history consultants [and also learn] other ways in which they can encourage members to participate in family history work,” says Fred Graham, instructional designer in the Worldwide Support Services Division of the Family and Church History Department.
This lesson includes interactive scenarios to guide leaders on calling and training ward consultants, tips on identifying members to help with family history work, and interactive scenarios for reaching out to Church members through family history.
In addition to the Web version, the lessons can be printed as hard copy.
The Web site also offers leaders links to General Authority talks on family history work.
“In many ways each of us is the sum total of what our ancestors were,” President Faust said in 2003. “The virtues they had may be our virtues, their strengths our strengths, and in a way their challenges could be our challenges. Some of their traits may be our traits. I noticed a while ago that one of my great-grandsons, a toddler, seemed to have an interesting kind of a walk. My wife said, ‘He walks just like you do!’ Now I wonder from whom I inherited this characteristic.
“It is a joy to become acquainted with our forebears who died long ago. Each of us has a fascinating family history” (“The Phenomenon That Is You,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 53).
“Why all this interest?” Brother Graham asks. “Because members are blessed as they participate in family history. Members are strengthened. They increase in spirituality. They achieve all of the wonderful blessings of not only family history work but going to the temple to provide ordinances for their ancestors. …
“As priesthood leaders help encourage members to participate, they help strengthen the members of their congregation so they individually can receive of the Spirit and be blessed.”