"Discover, Gather, Connect"

A Fun New Approach to Understanding Family History Work

At RootsTech 2018, the church discussed a new way for families to focus on temple and family history work, called "Discover, Gather, Connect". The emphasis of temple and family history work has been pushed to the next higher level. There are so many different ways that we can engage in family history work. Please break out of the mindset of family history as being "genealogy", or "research". It has become so much more with this new program! Click on the different areas to get some ideas about how to have some fun activities with you family members.

Explore the evolution into this new approach below:

  1. Through "Discovery Experiences", we discover new facts, stories, photos, etc about our ancestors and collateral line cousins, both deceased and living.
  2. Discovery helps us to better understand the lives of our ancestors. We may begin to realize that their life challenges, their interests, occupations, etc are not all that different from our own lives.

There are 4 principal ways to gather

Preserve Your Heritage of Photos, Stories, & Documents

Ancestral Stories

It is those stories of our ancestor’s lives that we need to carefully preserve. Our ancestor’s also experienced their set of life challenges, resourcefulness, successes, along with their sad and lighter moments in their lives. It is those stories that we must preserve. Their life experiences can also strengthen us as we go through our own challenges in life.

Ancestral stories come down to us in many different ways, through photographs, old family movies, old family letters, their oral histories recorded on tapes, journals, and such.

Our Stories

We also have our own heritage, our life challenges and successes that we need to share with our posterity. We should be active in preserving our photographs, journals, home movies, and our thoughts and testimonies for our posterity to remember us by.

There are so many ways to preserve these things such as through scrapbooks, family blogs, family newsletters, etc. Just be sure that these forms media are going to be preserved for posterity to also benefit from them.

Explore tutorials on preserving photos, audio, video, and documents by clicking on the button below!

Add New People To Family Tree

One of the most satisfying aspects of Family History work is finding new family members through research efforts. Researching has become significantly easier with the help of multiple search services, "Record Hints", and such. So many different types of records are on-line now, such as Census Records, Military Draft Records, City Directories, Probates & Wills, birth, marriage, and death certificates, obituaries, and more.

Doing research is like putting a puzzle together. Try it with other family members. New information is added often, so please check back periodically.

Feel free to explore the activities by clicking on the button below.

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Find New People By Indexing Digitized Records

View the videos below to better understand why indexing is so important.

Indexing is a great way to get involved in doing family history. Indexing is the process of taking old digitized records from all over the world and converting them into readable and searchable text that others can more easily find. When individuals are more readily discovered, we can now find them and gather them into their families, where their saving ordinances can be performed. Is this not a way to gather Heavenly Father's children? Yep…it sure is!

Every Wednesday night until 8PM, we have missionaries available to help you learn more about indexing. They can get you started, or teach more advanced skills.

Become a Missionary to Your Friends & Family Members

“The artificial boundary line we so often place between missionary work and temple and family history work is being erased; this is one great work of salvation.” — Elder David A. Bednar

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We are the gatherers for all of Heavenly Father's children, both living and deceased. We ALL need to have our saving ordinances completed. Family history work allows us to learn more about our kindred ancestors, whom we will meet again one day, but also to take their names to the temple to provide for them those saving ordinances. However, family history work also allows us to come in contact with distant cousins that are descendants of our ancestors that we probably have never met. Collaborating with them on family histories, sharing stories, documents, and such allows us to get to know them better, and begin to introduce to them concepts of Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness. I have had many different experiences in which I have contacted these cousins for information, and been able to communicate back and forth. To put things into a clearer perspective as well, I just had the opportunity of attending the 2018 RootsTech Conference. There were 15,000+ people there. Using the Family Tree app, we were able to see a list of all those attendees that were related to us. I had 301 distant cousins that were there, and I was actually able to have a good visit with two of the closest cousins. One of these cousins is not an LDS member and collaborating on our Hudson line is going to be a fun missionary experience. I have also had numerous opportunities to come in contact with non-LDS "cousins" that have family history interests. It's very easy to share a friendship and eventually other ideas as you stay in contact with them.

Don't forget friends we have or people we meet! It's a good bet that you are a bit shy approaching non-LDS friends about the church. However, bringing up family history, sharing fun stories about ancestors, and such is an easy way to start conversations about the church with them. Of course, you may need to become a little more experienced with doing your own family history first. That is where your Ward Temple & Family History Consultant and also the Ward Mission Leader can be very helpful.

  1. As we discover and gather information, we begin to develop strong emotional ties or connections between us and our deceased and living kindred family.
  2. We connect with others as we share that information with them.
  3. There is a great blessing that comes to us from "connecting" to both our living and deceased brothers & sisters.
  4. The ultimate connection is ensuring that all of our Heavenly Father's children are safely gathered into the temple.