Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are finishers. Mormons are a fully invested bunch, serving full–time missions, paying a full tithe and striving for the full and abundant life. But there’s one aspect of gospel living many Church members are doing only halfway.
“Temple and family history work is one work divided into two parts,” Elder Richard G. Scott said.“They are connected together like the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Attending the temple is great, but bringing the names of deceased family members to the temple allows Church members to fully participate in all the blessings of the temple. If you’re not sure how to go about preparing names for the temple, here’s how in five easy steps. (For more detailed instructions, see this resource from LDS.org.)
1. Identify your ancestors
First, identify the names of ancestors who have not yet received all their temple ordinances. (Photo courtesy FamilySearch.org)
This is the first and most difficult part of the process. Genealogical research can be complicated and time-consuming, but resources like FamilySearch.org and Provo-based Ancestry.com can help.
But before you jump into piles of census records, check your existing family tree. Your family members may have already done the hard part for you. Many family trees have people identified who are waiting for someone to do the temple work.
Log on to FamilySearch.org using your LDS account, then click on “Family Tree.” As you add people to your family tree through your own research and browse through previously identified names, look for the green arrow pointing to the temple icon on FamilySearch.org’s Family Tree. This means the names are prepared for temple work.
(Note: You can also click “Temple” and check the “Opportunities” tab for names that are ready.)
2. Reserve temple ordinances
(Photo courtesy FamilySearch.org)
Click on the green arrow to open the “Reserve Temple Ordinances” page. Here you will be able to review what ordinances need to be done and whether there are any possible duplicates.
Work from this screen to resolve errors and duplicates before you proceed. Press “Continue” when you’re ready.
When you do, you will notice a statement of Church Policy. Review this page carefully before proceeding to ensure you are in compliance with Church guidelines. Church members are discouraged from submitting the names of people they aren’t related to, including the names of famous people, Jewish Holocaust victims or names gathered from unapproved extraction projects. If a person was born within the last 110 years, special permissions are required. When you are sure you are in compliance with Church policy, check the box indicating so and continue.
3. Choose cards you’d like to print
(Photo from FamilySearch.org)
On the next page, choose which ordinances you’d like to reserve by checking the boxes next to them. By doing so, you are taking responsibility for their completion. Only choose as many ordinances as you can be sure to finish in a reasonable amount of time. Click “Print.”
4. Print Family Ordinance Request form
(Photo by FamilySearch.org)
You will need Adobe Reader to print the request form. Choose ordinances you’d like to print and check to make sure they are included in the form that comes on the screen. When you’re sure you have all the ordinances listed, print the form.
5. Go to the temple
Bring the printed Family Ordinance Request form with you to the temple. Take the sheet to the Recorder’s office, where temple workers will print pink, blue or yellow ordinance cards for you to take as you stand proxy in the ordinances.
If you have a lot of cards, you can distribute these cards to family members or request that the temple distribute them to be completed by patrons.
As Church members bring their own names to the temple, they more fully participate in the blessings that come from temple worship.
“When we research our own lines we become interested in more than just names or the number of names going through the temple,” said President Boyd K. Packer. “Our interest turns our hearts to our fathers—we seek to find them and to know them and to serve them. In doing so we store up treasures in heaven.”