Find and Perform Temple Ordinances
“For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation.”
Doctrine and Covenants 128:15
Elder Russell M. Nelson: “The purpose of family history work is to obtain the names and data of our ancestors so that temple ordinances can be performed in their behalf”
"As you find your ancestors’ names in original records, read about their lives, or hold the items they once owned, you will create eternal bonds with them. Those you never met in life will become friends you love. Your heart will be bound to theirs forever" (Introduction to Family History. Religion 261. Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1996. Print: Chapter 4, p.29).
- Start gathering information you already know and have, starting with yourself.
- Gather information from family. Find out if your family know other people you should contact.
- Gather information online.
- Visit FamilySearch.org for free access to family history records, guides, and resources.
- Get personal help.
- Visit the Family History Center. The staff may also direct you to other local community resources and public records.
- Call the FamilySearch helpline at 1-866-406-1830.
- "Some families may have all the work done on their direct lines, so start finding a cousin" or also know as descendancy research (Loretta Evans, “It’s All Been Done,” Ensign July 2007, p.79). "Descendancy research is the process of finding all of the descendants of one of your ancestors" ("Easy Steps to Descendancy Research." Free Family History and Genealogy Records — FamilySearch.org. FamilySearch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 Mar. 2014). FamilySearch can help your family with this process.
You can then have members of your family perform the temple ordinances for your ancestors, or you can have others perform them for you.
- Start by recording information you already know. If you do not know exact dates and places, estimate them.
- Contact your family and write down any useful information and stories they provide.
- Enter your information into FamilySearch.org.
President Joseph Fielding Smith: “It remains the responsibility of each individual to know his kindred dead. … Even if the work is done, then it is still each person’s responsibility to study and become acquainted with his ancestors.”
Get to know your ancestors by doing some of the following:
- Check your ancestral records for completeness and accuracy.
- Get copies of your ancestors’ records.
- Find your ancestors in original documents.
- Find out more information about your ancestors’ lives.