The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Releasing Temple Reservations and Finding Cousins

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:

41% of the Initiatories released have been completed and 100% shared with the temple have been completed.

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.

Some thoughts:
  • 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.

Next steps:

  • 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.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Spotlight: Lily Parker

Lily Parker
Lily Parker, of Spanish Fork, Utah, was 6 or 7 years old when she first became interested in family history. Her first Family Discovery Day at RootsTech was amazing and she loved the prototype Family Discovery Center at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Now at the age of 11 years old she is RootsTech's youngest social media Ambassador! She will be posting about RootsTech on her mom's social channels at the end of this month. I'm excited to check out her posts and see RootsTech through the eyes of this youth. You can follow along at:

Keep Moving Forward With Me

Lily is currently working on Indexing records and will soon be helping to teach 9 and 10 year old girls how to Index at her Stake Activity Day event. She has taken family names to the temple three times since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced, as of January 1, 2019, that worthy 11 year old youth can now participate in temple ordinances.

Lily's family participates in family history adventures. Recently they visited Fillmore, Pine Valley, and Cove Fort; all small cities and towns in Utah. In Fillmore they found a museum and walked through a hallway where the walls were covered in old photos. There on the wall were photos of some of her Ashby ancestors! They also visited the local cemetery and took photos of the headstones. While at it they took photos of other graves and uploaded them to Find a Grave so other families can find headstone photos.

Lily is researching the Zacher surname from Germany and wants to learn more about all her family lines. She is particularly interested in family stories and in locating more family photos.

If you are attending RootsTech this year, look out for Lily and if you see her, make sure to tell her Hello!

If you'd like to participate in a spotlight, please check out this post for more information:
Family Historian Spotlight

Family Historian Spotlight

There are as many different ways to do family history as there are individual people. 

I am starting a new family historian spotlight on my blog to highlight individual people in their family history journey. I hope that through these spotlight posts you will be able to identify the similarities you may share, the differences in how and why others do things, and the uniqueness of each person. I hope that you will celebrate and learn from one another and possibly connect with a new cousin along the way. 

Everyone has a story to tell and I'd love to spotlight everyone who would like to share their family history story.

I am inviting you to participate in this new adventure with me. If you are interested, please fill out the embedded form below. Or share the link.

Please share with your family or friends who may be interested.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

RootsTech 2019 Giveaway Winner - John Smith

John Smith
Congratulations to the winner of my FREE RootsTech 2019 Registration - John Smith!

John first became interested in his family history as a young boy. On most Memorial Days he would ride with his father to Castle Gate, Utah and then to a cemetery in Spring Glen to care for and place flowers on his grandfather's grave. His grandfather was killed in the 1924 Castle Gate Mine Explosion. When John's own father passed away when John was 23 this left a lot of unanswered questions about his family story.

John's niece, Kimberly Nelson Savage, winner of my 2017 RootsTech pass, has been pursuing the research into this explosion and has found detailed information about their family. When Kimberly shared all this information with John, she claims he just rolled his eyes. However, his interest has since grown to where he wants to connect not only with the family tree but desires to know the stories of his ancestors.

John is President and co-founder of Premier Software Associates, which provides software and consulting services for hospitals, and he is married with three incredible children.

He is excited to be attending RootsTech 2019. His father served in WW II and he is interested in pursuing more research in war and military records. He is hoping to travel to areas his father served in Europe. He is also seeking ideas for how to keep the memories but not all the stuff. A great class at this year's RootsTech is: Heirloom, Documentation or Junk: What to Keep or Toss

Thank you to those who entered my giveaway contest here on my blog. I hope to have other fun giveaways in the future.

This year I had one required question to enter my giveaway:
How old were you when you first became interested in family history / genealogy?

Of the giveaway entrants:
34% became interested before the age of 13
48% became interested before the age of 19
78% became interested before the age of 30

The youngest was age 2 and the oldest was age 50.

I'm going to write future posts about those who are interested in family history in their youth.

I utilized Rafflecopter to run the giveaway. To select the winner the Rafflecopter software utilizes to ensure true randomness. I shared my blog post organically via Facebook and received 455 Facebook views from the shared post on my Facebook page; I also shared via Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

For some more numbers, that may be interesting only to me:
186 people viewed the blog post
47 people entered the giveaway
158 entries from those 47 people

Two of the entry options of my giveaway were to come back to my blog everyday and read another post and/or visit the RootsTech website and identify another class; which resulted in one/two additional entries each day.

The winner had 5 entries. The most entries had by one person was 7.

This year I had about half of the social views as last year, but nearly double the amount of entrants.

Thank you again for participating in my giveaway! I look forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2019!

I am a 2019 RootsTech Ambassador and have received a free conference registration from RootsTech.