Should be registered at lds.org
Family History & Temple
Responsibilities (See Video)
Bishop and His Counselors
The bishop directs the work of salvation in the ward, which includes
temple and family history work. The bishop and his counselors set an
example for ward members by teaching the doctrine of temple and family
history work and testifying of the blessings that can come from this
work. They position the high priests group leader as the coordinator of
the ward council‘s temple and family history work in the ward.
Below is an example of how family history is organized at the ward
How the Ward Council Strengthens the Ward through Temple and
Family History Work
The ward council uses temple and family history work to bring joy and
spiritual growth to those they serve.
Temple and family history work can help the ward council in the many
aspects of the work of salvation. Members of the ward council develop a
plan to help individuals build testimonies, receive saving ordinances,
keep covenants, and become consecrated followers of Christ (see Moroni
The work of salvation includes member missionary work, convert
retention, activation, temple and family history work, and teaching the
gospel (see chapter 5 of Handbook 2: Administering the Church).
Family history allows Church members to share a gospel topic in a
nonthreaten-ing way. Most people have a natural interest in families.
Member Missionary Work (See
Handbook 2, 5.1)
The hearts of millions of people have turned to their ancestors. … The
ward mission leader works closely with full-time missionaries, ward
missionaries, and the ward council in considering other means of using
family history in missionary work (see Preach My Gospel, 163–165).
Convert Retention (See
Handbook 2, 5.2)
Temple and family history work is an effective way to aid new-member
The family history consultant or the home
teacher or visiting teacher establishes friendships by assisting new
members with their family history.
New members can be ? nourished by the word
of God (Moroni 6:4) when they receive the Member’s Guide to Temple
and Family History Work, attend a family history class, learn the
doctrine of temple and family history work, and experience the joy
of doing temple work for their ancestors.
The new member is given opportunities to
serve by obtaining a limited-use recommend and performing baptisms
for the dead or participating in FamilySearch indexing.
Handbook 2, 5.3)
As ward council members prayerfully identify less-active members who are
most likely to return to activity, they assign dedicated home teachers
and visiting teachers to minister to them. These home teachers and
visiting teachers, with the assistance of family history consultants,
can use temple and family history work to “be the means of bringing
salvation unto them” (3 Nephi 18:32). As their hearts are turned to
their deceased relatives in need of ordinances, they will be motivated
to obtain a current temple recommend and go to the temple.
Temple and Family History Work (See
Handbook 2, 5.4)
Under the direction of the bishop, the ward council discusses and
develops a plan to encourage members to participate more fully in temple
and family history work. The high priests group leader coordinates the
efforts to determine specific ways that the work can strengthen all
members — adults, youth, and children.
Teaching the Gospel (See
Handbook 2, 5.5)
The ward council assists the bishop in ensuring that the doctrines,
principles, and blessings related to family history and temple work are
taught regularly in ward meetings. They encourage members to receive
their own temple ordinances and actively participate in family history
and temple work.
Each family can receive the Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History
Work to use in the home and in conjunction with family history classes
Holding a family
history class is a
good way to increase participation and interest in family history. The
class can also be used as a tool for activation, retention, and
missionary efforts. Anyone, including those determined by the ward
council, can be invited to attend the class.
The class is taught by an effective instructor who may or may not be a
family history consultant. The class may be taught during Sunday School
or at another time that is more convenient for members. It is taught
under the direction of the bishopric rather than the Sunday School
Lessons are generally conducted as workshops in which members actually
complete their own family history work, either on the computer or on
paper. Where feasible, class participants should have access to
computers. Many meetinghouses are currently being equipped with wireless
Internet. Consultants can assist instructors as needed by providing
personal help to participants during the class as well as after the
class in members‘ homes or family history centers.
Resources available for the class include the Instructor’s Guide to
Temple and Family History Work and accompanying Temple and Family
History Course DVD and the Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History