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I just received the following e-mail from FamilySearch:

First Presidency Letter Gives Important Priesthood Direction

On October 8th of this year, a letter from the First Presidency was sent to stake and ward leaders that was to be read over the pulpit. This letter instructs leaders to:

  • Encourage members to submit their own family names in order to make their temple experience more sacred.
  • Encourage the youth and young single adults to seek out their own ancestors to take to the temple or use family names from ward and stake members.
  • Priesthood leaders should ensure that young people and their families learn the doctrine of turning their hearts to their fathers and the blessings of the temple.
  • Encourage members who have reserved large numbers of temple cards to release those names to the temple or share them with the youth and other ward members.

Priesthood leaders should ensure that the doctrines of temple and family history are taught to the members of their stakes and wards. The responsibility of family history consultants is to be a resource to their leaders to accomplish the points outlined in the First Presidency’s letter.

We encourage you to visit The home page currently highlights the Church’s focus on the relationship of family history and the temple. This page serves as the entry point to the Family History pages where leaders, consultants, and members can learn about Making Your Temple Experience More Sacred. These new pages are there to teach members, leaders, and those with Family History callings what they need to know and do. Please become familiar with them.

The Family History page and a few other pages discussed below introduce you to 4 basic areas of focus as you learn how to teach members. These include the following:

1.    Learn the Doctrines of Temple and Family History Work. This web page provides scriptural citations and quotes from the Brethren explaining the basic principles of why members of the Church do family history research and temple work.  There is also an excellent video titled The Turning of Our Hearts that helps explain what can happen when these principles are applied.

2.    Learn how to reserve your own family names in FamilySearch. Then learn how to teach others to do the same for their own family.

3.    Learn how to use the temple management lists in FamilySearch.

4.    Learn what your resources are, besides those mentioned above. Others include:

The resources outlined above will help each of you carry out the points highlighted by the Brethren in their First Presidency letter.

You could suggest that these resources would make an excellent 5th Sunday combined meeting lesson, and even volunteer to teach it.

Thank you for your dedication to the work.

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