Family history work cannot be learned all at once. However, with the right tools and consistency, one can excel at taking names to the temple.
In his Education Week presentation, FamilySearch.org ambassador Devin R. Ashby discussed the need to do family history and explained new FamilySearch features. Ashby stressed that family history is an ongoing learning experience and takes time.
“You need to give this system time,” Ashby said. “Just like you need to give your scriptures time and prayer time, it’s the same thing here. The more time you spend in it, the more you’ll figure out how it works.”
Ashby recognized that it is easy to get discouraged while working on family history, especially when someone does not entirely understand the available systems. It is the adversary, Ashby said, who instills that discouragement and it can be overcome. Ashby hoped to give confidence through his training.
Ashby said there are many people who are never found or never have their work done because people are focused on finding their direct lines.
“Mormons are really good about taking the same lines all the way back to Adam and not looking at anyone else,” Ashby said. “But the point of descendancy is to look at your cousins that we so often pass on our race to Adam that are also there.”
‘Descendancy’ is a view available on FamilySearch.org to help find relatives who are not in a person’s direct line. In the family tree tab, the user can click ‘Descendancy’ to pull up the view. On the right, different icons show options for the viewer. There are green icons indicating to request ordinances and red icons for data problems. The blue icon indicates record hints and the purple icon indicates research suggestions. Ashby recommends reviewing any ancestors who have both the blue and purple icons to the right.
FamilySearch now has an App Gallery highlighting various family history applications available. Puzzilla and Hope Chest are popular.
The LDS Church is implementing new Family History Discovery Centers throughout the country. There is one in Salt Lake City and one in Seattle, with more on the way. Discovery Centers are meant to be redesigned experiences, Ashby said.
Everything in the Discovery Center is done on iPads, and the center has fun new ways to discover personal history and ancestry. Visits can be scheduled on the website, and there are activities to keep youths engaged and interested as well.
Ashby recommended everyone carve 30 minutes a week to dedicate to family history work.
“Why do the brethren say read your scriptures every day?”Ashby said. “Because 10 minutes every day is better than a power hour once a week. It’s the same thing with family history.”