Regional Family History Meeting at South Stake
Rainbow in the Pocono Mts of Pa. taken by Bishop Bob Wooley 2013
Last Sunday, September 15th, all the Family History Consultants, High Priest Group leaders, High Councilmen, and anyone interested in Family History work were invited to attend the Regional meeting, and the place was packed. Brother Abram who is the Area Family History Advisor was there, as well as Brent Summerhays from FamilySearch. Brother Summerhays is the Area Manager for the Church in the North America Southwest area. Summerhays was the main speaker and his presentation was very interesting and uplifting. He was followed by the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Temple President, Don Hanson.
Brother Abram's said that they hope we would all come away from this meeting more determined to be involved in family history. He quoted D&C 110, Vs 13; "Behold the time has fully come..." and said that was a very historic time and that the time has fully come for us all to do the sacred work spoken of in that chapter. He said " Just imagine when you get to the other side of the veil that our ancestors will either greet us with arms thrown around our necks and with tears of thanksgiving, or with looks of disappointment because we gave up and did not do their work."
Brother Summerhays talked about the purpose of the meeting, which was " Members with Temple Recommends and Family History responsibilities are now invited to become ambassadors for change in the work of Salvation." The work of the Lord is hastening, we need to do this work, it is our responsibility.
He presented a very nice power point program and video presentations to support the changes in Family History and the new direction it is going. But, he said first we need to turn the hearts of the people we help, let them learn the stories of their ancestors, then produce the charts. Some of the recent changes in FamilySearch that he briefly talked about are listed below. To learn more about how to use the new features come to the Family Search Center and talk with one of the trained Family History Consultants. They will show you how to get into your Tree and add names or Photos or Stories.
- Include Photos and Stories of you Ancestors. It is easy and fun. They will be preserved in your tree.
- Family Tree display - easier to move around and see who needs Temple work completed
- Interactive Fan Chart - you can change the person in the #1 position and see what lines need more work
- Beginner Help - Five new excellent videos and instructions to get started. A resource Guide for the Tree, in PDF format
- Turning Hearts without Technology - a new booklet called " My Family, stories that bring us together" which is free if ordered through LDS.Org and will be passed on to the youth as well as those who lack computer skills.
- Calling Youth to be Family History Consultants (FHC's)
- High Priest Group Leaders deciding whose members home the team of FHC's should go to and help with their family history. This unifies families and brings them to the Temple to do the work for their ancestors.
- Use of the Member's Guide to Temple and Family History Work be used in Ward Council meetings.
- High Priest Group Leaders should meet regularly with each Family History Consultant in Ward.
- All of the largest Regional Family Search Centers are, eventually, going to be transformed into Family Discovery Centers. [Read earlier blog to see what they will include]
All of these things are pointing toward Family History being done at home, on your own computer or with help from a friend with a computer. The youth are feeling the change in their hearts and are embracing family history work.
President Hanson of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Temple said that in eight years we will have 200 Temple, and with the infrastructure in place to hasten the work, that we really need the conversion of the hearts of the members. He stated that only 3% of the Church membership have ever turned in their four generation charts.
President Henry B Eyring said that we need to rise to our call. That your calling as a family history consultant [and Indexers or Arbitrators] has eternal consequences and that we do not work alone, the Lord is with us.
All of these things are happening because we have a terrific force of Indexers and Arbitrators who are helping move this work along. Thank you to everyone involved in Family History work in our Stake. We are doing a great job with eternal consequences and blessings.