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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reunion Resources Page Added to Blog

I have added a new PAGE to this blog. See the menu bar directly under the header of this blog. Here is also a direct link to the new page:

The page "Reunion Resources" contains resources and website links to help you plan family reunions. Check out the new page and let me know if there are any sites or resources you utilize that I do not have in my list and I will get them added. As I find new sources I will list them here as well. 

I really like having this information in a set location on my blog for easy access. As you utilize the resources and plan family reunions, come back and share your experiences in the comment section.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saviors on Mount Zion

Salt Lake Temple ~ © Stuart Gardner

“But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinations, and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah.” 

- Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Deseret Book, 1968, p. 330.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Finding the Living Page Added to Blog

I have added a new PAGE to this blog. See the menu bar directly under the header of this blog. Here is also a direct link to the new page:

The page "Finding the Living" contains resources and website links to help you find your living cousins online. Check out the new page and let me know if there are any sites you utilize that I do not have in my list and I will get them added. As I find new sources I will list them here as well. It will be a "living" document for resources on "Finding the Living".

I really like having this information in a set location on my blog for easy access. As you utilize the resources and find your living relatives, come back and share your success in the comment section.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spirit of Elijah

Photo from LDS Media Library
“Elijah came to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the children to the fathers.  With that, natural affection between generations began to be enriched.  This restoration was accompanied by what is sometimes called the Spirit of Elijah – a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family.” 
– Elder Russell M. Nelson, A New Harvest Time, April 1998, General Conference.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Permission Required: Update to FamilySearch

I have been waiting for this update to FamilySearch for a few months and I happened upon it yesterday. This update is for those who have LDS account access to FamilySearch as it pertains to temple ordinances. At the end of this blog post is a link to a video about Latter-day Saint Temples and their purpose and why we participate in ordinances on behalf of our deceased family members. I encourage you to watch this video.

Now, on to what I discovered yesterday. When I select the "Person page" for a relative who was born within the past 110 years and select the "Ordinances" tab, I now see this highlighted notification. 

"When a person was born within 110 years, policy requires that you be a close living relative to reserve his or her ordinances. A close relative is a spouse, parent, child, or sibling. To do this person's ordinances you must request permission through FamilySearch. Please be prepared to document your relationship to the person with permission from a close relative."

The language "you must request permission through FamilySearch" and "please be prepared to document your relationship" and "with permission from a close relative" is all new language.

I clicked on the "View My Relationship" link under the relative's name.

The following screen opened up to show my relationship to this individual. He is my grand-uncle. I am not one of the closest living relatives and I will need permission from either a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of my grand-uncle.

Under "Effective Ordinances" I clicked on "Request Ordinances".

Again I get the same notification as stated above.

I clicked on the "Request Permission" link within the "Permission Required" box and I get this new screen.

The program has already identified that I am not a close relative. Notice the language at the beginning of the page: "Because you are not a close relative (a spouse, parent, child, or sibling) and he or she was born less than 110 years ago, the reservation request needs to be reviewed. When the review is completed, you will be contacted. All fields on the form must be completed to submit."

I already know my relationship to the deceased. Clifford is my grand-uncle.

Notice the language under the box describing my relationship: "By submitting this form, you are certifying that you have received permission from a close living relative (a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the deceased) to perform these temple ordinances. Please provide the name, contact information, and relationship to the deceased of the one granting permission. FamilySearch reserves the right to contact the person granting permission, if necessary."

In the following box I need to provide the name and contact information of the person granting permission and their relationship to the deceased. FamilySearch may use this information to contact the person granting permission. All boxes have to be complete before the Submit button will be activated for selecting. 

Since I have not yet reached out to the closest family members, I cannot complete this page. I do not know how long the review process takes, nor what the contact process is like to be notified if I am able to complete these ordinances.

I did notice that if I ignore the "Permission Required" box and just click on the big blue "Request" button, I am taken to this page. Which is the current Church Policy for requesting temple ordinances. 

This page no longer has check boxes for me to indicate that I am the closest relative or I have permission from the closest relative. I do not know if the assumption is being made that if I just click on the "Request" button that I'm the closest relative? I am concerned that members may just ignore the "Permission Required" box and the new requesting permission process and just request the ordinances. I wonder if this new process is not yet complete?

What are your thoughts? Please share in the comment section below.

Enjoy this video about LDS Temples:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Personalized FamilySearch Homepage Beta

I love when something changes! Especially when it enhances something and makes it better.

I am so excited that I have been given the random opportunity to experience a beta test of the FamilySearch new logged in homepage. I am going to share with you some screen shots of what I get to see when I log in to FamilySearch. Hopefully you will be as excited as I am. I love this new version so much that I refuse to click on the "Exit Test" button!

Some of the screen shots I will show you have already had some changes to them since I first saw the beta homepage last Friday. What I share with you today may still change before the new logged in (personalized) homepage goes live by the end of this quarter (June 2015).

The top of the homepage welcomes me by name.

In the top left section of the homepage it currently shows a possible record match for one of my relatives. Last Friday this section contained something else. It contained the number of LDS temple ordinances I have reserved with information on how to share ordinances with other family members.

I clicked on the "What's This?" button and I got a new screen that provides information about attaching records.

I then clicked on the "Learn what to do" button and I got a new screen that provides more information about what I will see on the screen. The data from the record source will be on the left side and the data from the relative's information in FamilySearch will be on the right side.

I then clicked on the "What do I look for?" button and I got a new screen that provides information on what to check when looking at the record. When I clicked the "Try it" button it took me to the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" Source Linker page for me to review and attach this record to the indexed individual(s) identified.

In the top right section of the homepage is a box that contains a "Recommended Task". You can click on "Skip" and switch to another task. This particular task is a record hint for a relative and is the United States Social Security Death Index. When you click the "Review and Attach" button it takes you to the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" Source Linker page for me to review and attach this record to the indexed individual(s) identified.

In the lower left section is a tabbed area that contains links to recent changes to "Ancestor Memories" or "Your Activity". The image below is for the "Favorites" sub tab of "Ancestor Memories". I am able to mark something as a favorite by clicking on the empty heart image. When I click on it, it turns red and marks the item as favorite. Notice also in the lower right of this image that you can share this item via multiple social media platforms direct from this page.

The next sub tab is Photos".

The next sub tab is "Documents".

The next sub tab is "Audio". I do not yet have any audio attached to any of my connections in the Family Tree.

The last sub tab under "Ancestor Memories" is "Stories".

Under the "Your Activity" tab you can see the individuals you have recently visited or recent changes made by you.

When you click on an individual's name it opens a pop up card window with the individual's information. You can click on "Sources", "Discussions", "Memories", "Tree", or "Person" and go to those respective areas of the Family Tree for that individual.

In the lower right section is currently a box that contains information about the Youth Temple Challenge. You can click the box and the website will redirect to the page for the Youth Temple Challenge. I suspect this box is customized as well to the person's login. Those that do not have an LDS login will probably see some other message.

Below the Temple Challenge box is a personalized "Your To-do List". I added one item already. In a feedback response from FamilySearch I learned that the To Do functionality will be enhanced in the next beta release and they said, "If you like to do’s you will love what we are planning." I inquired about the ability to add the names of Family Tree linked individuals. Not sure if this is what is coming, but something better is coming.

Below the To Dos is a box that contains "Your Statistics". It currently shows the number of memories you personally have added to the Family Tree and the number of individuals you are watching. Last Friday it also contained the number of LDS temple ordinances I currently have reserved. The data in this box is static. You cannot currently click on these items and go anywhere. I have suggested through feedback that one should be able to click on the "watched" area and go to the personal watch lists in the Family Tree. Perhaps this may change before the beta goes live?

Below the statistics area is a section for "Free Help". This currently contains four sections: Local Family History Consultants, Local Family History Centers, Family History Customer Service, and Live Chat. Since I am currently the local family history consultant in my area, my information is showing up. 

This help information is currently available for everyone by clicking the "Get Help" at the top right of the FamilySearch homepage (right above your username) and then selecting either Call Us, Live Chat, Find Local Help. I love that with this new homepage it is all contained in one area.

*Clarification* 4.18.15

I received a comment that suggested that the top of the homepage needs to continue to maintain the toolbar menus of "Family Tree", "Memories", "Search", "Indexing", and "Temple". It does still have this formatting and navigation. I had not originally clipped that portion of the page since it had not changed and I was showing what had changed. You can still navigate directly to all of these areas and not utilize any aspect of the new homepage features if you choose not to.

The complete top of the homepage looks like this (notice in this image the "Share a Name" feature has returned):

And for those who may be interested, the bottom of the page has not changed either. One can still navigate to the About, Blog, Feedback, Site Map, Cookie Consent, and Language pages:

Well, what do you think about this new personalized FamilySearch homepage? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eternal Ties

Photo from LDS Media Library
“There really can be a bond and a sense of belonging that tie together generations on both sides of the veil. This bond gives us a sense of identity and purpose. Our ties with the eternal world suddenly become very real, sharpening our life’s focus and lifting our expectations.” 

– Bruce C. Hafen, “Planting Promises in the Hearts of the Children”, Ensign, June 1994, p. 48.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Amy's Entry in’s Guess My Family Heritage Blogathon Contest

This is my first time entering a contest with my blog. is hosting a blog contest. You can see more information about the contest here:

One of the requirements of the contest is to post an old photo of an ancestor(s). I have chosen to post 3 photos from the same family.

Can you guess the family heritage of any of the people in these photos?

Please reference the photo and your guess as to their heritage and anything else you may know or surmise from the photo in the comment section below this post. (Timeframe of photos, culture, ethnicity, country of origin, etc.) Help me understand more about this family.

You can also share this post on any social media platform. Perhaps your friends may have some ideas for me. will randomly choose three bloggers as winners. I hope my blog post is chosen to win. I also hope you have a lot of fun guessing information about this family. I ultimately hope that I'll learn something new about them! Wouldn't it be fun to find a living cousin from this family from this post?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Greatest Work

Photo from LDS Media Library
“We have a work to do just as important in its sphere as the Savior’s work was in its sphere. Our fathers cannot be made perfect without us; we cannot be made perfect without them. They have done their work and now sleep. We are now called upon to do ours; which is to be the greatest work man ever performed on the earth.” 
– Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, Deseret Book Co., 1971, p. 406.

Friday, April 3, 2015

From Surgery to Health

I typically try to release a blog post by Tuesday of each week and at least another post by the weekend. This past Tuesday I was having surgery and with the lingering effects of the anesthesia and the pain medication, I was in no condition to write anything. In a phone call with my mother, I was lamenting my condition and that I wasn't able to write a blog post and my brain was so foggy, what would I even write about. 

She suggested that I write about my surgery and tie it into family history. She made me promise to not post any pictures from my surgery. So, you get to miss out on the bruised incision and the awesome pictures from the laparoscope. My husband also missed taking pictures of me as I came out of surgery and was freezing in reaction from the anesthesia; I was bundled up in a big pile of blankets.

So, now that you have a mental picture of me in a big bundle of blankets, let me tell you a little bit about my surgery. I had laparoscopic surgery to remove ovarian cysts; 20-30 per ovary. I have PCOS - Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It is where a woman's hormones get out of balance for reasons that aren't well understood. One hormone change then triggers another hormone change, which can trigger more hormone changes. It can cause infertility, depression, irregular periods, extra facial hair, weight gain, trouble losing weight, insulin resistance, and over time it can lead to more serious issues such as diabetes and heart disease. The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but genetics may be a factor. I had a similar surgery ten years ago when we were struggling with infertility.

My mother suggested that I write in my journal about this operation and my condition. As I thought about some of my other health issues: asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, etc., I pondered over what health issues I may have received genetically, passed down through the generations and what health issues were environmental, based on my own poor choices.

That got me thinking about this blog and also what kind of medical information have I seen in my family history research. Occasionally in some journal/diary entries I have seen health information. But mostly I have seen health information on death certificates; as cause of death or contributory to death. I am intrigued by what my ancestors' died from. (Collecting death certificates ... another project to add to my list.)

How sad is it that a family learns about a health issue at death? My husband's father died of colon cancer just two months after diagnosis. Now my husband and his siblings have regular colonoscopies. Knowing about family health issues can help us to take better care of our own health. My mother, her mother, and her grandmother all have thyroid issues. Every time I have blood work done I request a checkup on my thyroid levels.

As I laid in bed this week thinking about my health issues, particularly the pictures of the fat the laparoscope revealed cushioning my organs; I resolved to take better care of myself. To get the help I need for nutrition and exercise and management of the illnesses I have. I also resolved to document my health for my family.

As I thought about documenting my health, I remembered a new software program from the RootsTech Innovator Summit. It is called TapGenes. Heather Holmes and Emily Chang have created a Family Health Tree. The software is still in Beta (as of the date of this post) and you can also help with the pre-launch beta test as I have been this past week.

TapGenes helps you:
1. Preserve family health information
2. Understand shared health traits & learn how to minimize risks
3. Share your family health history with loved ones

Check out this video introduction.

Please visit their website for more information and receive an invitation to beta test their software: 

For more information about the importance of family health history: 

Visit the home page of their website for healthy living topics and to subscribe to a health newsletter:

I have also liked them on Facebook:

Today they shared an article on Facebook about the healing affects of knowing your own medical data. Let me tell you, when you see inside your body and you see that your organs are surrounded by fat, it changes something inside you. For me, it inspires me take more control of my health; to get the help I need to make healthy changes that will prolong my life.

TapGenes can help me not only document my family health history but can empower me to take control of my health. 

I believe that living a healthy life can positively affect future generations! It is the best heirloom to share with my descendants!

#RootsTech    #InnovatorSummit    #TapGenes