Nearly six months ago, I found myself sitting on a few hundred temple ordinance reservations. After exhausting my immediate family members with handfuls of ordinance cards every few months, I realized that even though we were proficient in regularly attending the temple, that we'd never be able to do all the temple work I had reserved. Extended family and a neighbor have also helped with some of the work.
The majority of these reservations were names I, my sister, and my father had added to the FamilySearch Family Tree through in depth research. I am still in the midst of adding more people to the Tree and am regularly notified via my 110 Year Temple Work Calendar of names now ready for temple work whom I researched in the past.
I realized something very powerful ... I am adding more names to the Family Tree then we'll ever complete temple work for and I'm reserving everyone I add.
There is still much research to do and I feel compelled to keep researching and adding people to the Tree. So, I don't think I'll be stopping the research anytime soon. I'm attending the temple as frequently as I can right now. I do think that I can sacrifice more time to attend a little more frequently and I'm going to work on that. Still, I'll never complete the temple work for everyone I am adding to the Tree.
Why do I feel the need to reserve the ordinances for everyone I add? It is because through my research I feel like I know these people and feel the desire to make sure their temple work is complete. However, all their temple work is not getting completed by it remaining in my temple reservation list.
Last October, I decided to release more than half my reservations. I first printed a reservation list of all the names I had reserved and made notes on the list as to which family member had which printed name. Then I started releasing names or sharing names with the shared family file (temple file). I chose to share with the temple those names I had spent the most time researching / documenting. I made a note in the margin as to if the name was released, shared, or held by a family member.
It was a freeing feeling! I could now focus on those whom I was immediately taking to the temple and I could focus on continuing my research and adding people to the Tree.
What happened next was an added blessing!
About three to four weeks later, I revisited that printed list and looked up each ID number in the Family Tree to see the status of the ordinances. I found living cousins who were reserving and completing temple work! Over the past six months, more than 50 distantly related, temple attending, living cousins have been helping do the temple work. I have contacted 15 of them directly and have shared more ordinances with them.
It has now been nearly six months and I wanted to capture a snap shot of the temple work that has been completed thus far and summarize my thoughts on releasing vs sharing with the temple file vs keeping in my own reservation list.
I compiled this data in the chart below.
I'll start with the Male ordinances:
19% of the Endowments released have been completed and NONE shared with the temple have been completed.
8% of the Sealing to Parents released have been completed and NONE shared with the temple have been completed.
Now the Female ordinances:
72% of the Initiatories released have been completed and 100% shared with the temple have been completed.
18% of the Endowments released have been completed and NONE shared with the temple have been completed.
4% of the Sealing to Parents released have been completed and NONE shared with the temple have been completed.
Now Sealing to Spouse ordinance:
27% of the Sealing to Spouse released have been completed and NONE shared with the temple have been completed.
- In all ordinance categories, more than half that I released have been reserved by others.
- There are still many ordinances ready to be requested from my release; I checked them all again yesterday and today.
- One distant cousin reserved many of the ordinances and immediately shared them with the temple file and there has been little to no activity on those ordinances.
- The initiatories I shared directly with the temple were completed within two weeks of being shared.
- The endowments and sealings I shared directly with the temple have had no activity in six months.
- Names on my list that were held by immediate family members have been completed and more have been shared with them which they continue to work on.
- I'm going to continue researching and adding new people to the Family Tree.
- I'm going to continue to attend the temple as regularly as possible.
- I'm going to release the names I shared with the temple file so that more living cousins can find the names in the Tree and do the temple work.
How about you? Are you sitting on a large temple reservation list? Do you have more ordinances on your list than you can complete in one year? If so, I suggest you print a copy of your reservation list, so that you can find the names again if needed, and have faith and release the excess names so other family members can help take their common cousins to the temple.
I promise you that you will be filled with peace and a new perspective when you do this.
I'd love to hear your experiences, please share them in the comments.
Update: 18 October 2019
In the past few months, I've chosen to share the names to the temple file and I'm finding that with the new Ordinances Ready tool I am able to identify more living cousins to help with the temple work.