I am thrilled to share a project I have been working on for the last several months. It’s a book for members of the LDS Church who want to do temple and family history work, entitled Find Names for the Temple: A Step-by-Step Method For Success.
After I finished designing the interior and cover for our last book, Research Like a Pro, I vowed not to work on another book all summer. I took a two week break from thinking about books, went on vacation, and came back home feeling like I should work on this project. I worked on it at home in Tucson when I could squeeze it in between driving to swimming lessons. Then I decided to drive to my parents’ home in Utah a little earlier than our planned 4th of July trip. With the help of my parents, who played with my kids while I worked like a madwoman and my mother’s speedy editing skills, we finished the writing and editing more quickly than I thought possible. (My parents are amazing and very supportive!) After learning and studying the Research Like a Pro process in the last year, finishing the middle of the book about how to do a research project was a breeze.
This is a book I feel like so many people need. When my relatives and friends talk to me about what I do, they often mention that they need help finding names for the temple. I’m writing this for all of them! I’m excited to share the introduction of the book with you today.
Introduction to Find Names for the Temple: A Step-by-Step Method For Success
Does it seem challenging to find names for the temple? If your family tree is full or you are just getting started in family history research, you may be unsure about where to start.
When I served as a family history consultant, I helped many people find research opportunities and prepare names for the temple. Some warned me that I was facing an uphill battle. Their family history had already been done. They believed their trees were full and that there were no research opportunities left. As I worked on these seemingly full family trees, I developed a system for discovering new branches of their tree. After adding these newly found relatives to FamilySearch, we reserved their names for temple work.
If you are willing to put in some time, effort, and prayer, you will successfully find branches of your family that are undiscovered and waiting for temple ordinances.
This book will help you know where to start and then guide you through the entire process. You’ll review the accuracy of your tree, analyze your pedigree and choose a branch to research, perform genealogy research, record what you find, then reserve temple ordinances. After you’ve successfully found names for the temple, you can repeat the process.
First you’ll review the accuracy of your tree. This step provides a firm foundation for all the research you do afterward. You don’t want to start researching a line that hasn’t been confirmed and is not correct. You could end up researching someone else’s ancestors and cousins!
Second, you will analyze your pedigree. You’ll decide if your tree is partial or full. Then, if your tree is full, you will carefully and systematically go through your family tree to find your ancestors who were the first to join the LDS church and make a list of their non-LDS parents. You will pay special attention to these non-LDS ancestors and their relatives like siblings, aunts and uncles, and children. These family members who did not join the church are sometimes under-researched and have incomplete families in FamilySearch.
In the third chapter, you will view descendancy trees using the free Puzzilla descendancy tree viewer and FamilySearch Family Tree in descendancy view. As you find gaps in these descendancy trees, you will choose a branch to research.
Fourth, you will research your selected branch. You’ll learn about the location where your relatives lived and how to conduct genealogy research there. You’ll review what is already known about that relative by looking carefully at the sources attached to them in FamilySearch and make a timeline about their life. You will then make a research plan listing specific record collections to search. Next, search for the records that you outlined in your research plan and keep track of what you find in a research log. You’ll analyze the records to see if they match the relative you’re researching.
The fifth chapter is to record your findings by adding the new details and new people to FamilySearch Family Tree and writing reason statements. You may even want to write a research report, a life sketch, or notes about what you learned.
Next, you’ll reserve temple ordinances, print ordinance cards, and you’re ready to go to the temple! There’s a special kind of joy that comes from bringing ordinance cards to the temple that you have found and researched yourself.
Chapter 7 is about how to continue finding names for the temple. The next time you need to find more family names for the temple, you will repeat the process. Using the lists and notes that you’ve made, you can easily go back and select more branches to research. As you go through your tree systematically and keep a record of what you’ve done, you’ll know what to do next.
If you have questions along the way, I encourage you to go to FamilyLocket.com and read our “how to” articles. You can also look up your questions at the FamilySearch learning center or reach out to your local family history consultant or family history center. They will be able to walk you through the FamilySearch website and help with genealogy research strategies.
At some point, you may get stuck on a difficult research question. You might want to learn more about genealogy research to help you solve it. Our book Research Like a Pro: A Genealogists Guide could be just what you need to take your research to the next level. If you need professional help, feel free to reach out to us at Family Locket.com for a consultation.
The first time you start doing family history research, you may feel overwhelmed. I hope that using this step-by-step process can reduce feelings of overwhelm and discouragement. Having a method to follow can give you hope that finding names for the temple is possible.
Start small and work on family history research regularly, at whatever interval your schedule permits. I have had great results by working for 30 minutes a day. Even one hour per week, when you keep track of where you are in the process, can produce wonderful results over time. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass (Alma 37:6). Remember that everyone’s family tree is different and has its own unique challenges, so don’t compare your experience researching to others’.
Your small, regular efforts are like a gardener planting daffodil bulbs one at a time. At first, there is only a small patch of daffodils. As she continues to work steadily and plant more bulbs each year, the patch turns into a field. Years later, as she looks back over the work of several years, she notices she has planted hundreds of bulbs, and created a beautiful field of bright flowers. In The Daffodil Principle, Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards wrote about her experience with a five-acre daffodil field in Lake Arrowhead, California. She said,
Before me lay the most glorious sight, unexpectedly and completely splendid. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes where it had run into every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist-filled air, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.
Jaroldeen couldn’t imagine who could have planted the thousands of bulbs in thirty-five different varieties. Then she read the poster hanging on the porch of a nearby home.
Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking
One at a time, by one woman, two hands, two feet, and very little brain.
Began in 1958.
Seeing the daffodil field and reading the poster was a life-changing experience for Jaroldeen. She wrote,
There it was. The Daffodil Principle.
For me that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun — one bulb at a time — to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. One bulb at a time.
There was no other way to do it. One bulb at a time. No shortcuts — simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded.
Instead of becoming discouraged at the seemingly slow work of finding one person at a time, we can relish the process of finding and getting to know our relatives one by one.
Just like ministering to a living person and helping them prepare for the temple, ministering to our deceased relatives and helping them along the covenant path requires time. We must get to know them. As we learn about them, record the details of their lives, and perform temple ordinances for them, we plant them in our hearts. As President Henry B. Eyring said, “You are not just gathering names. Those you never met in life will become friends you love. Your heart will be bound to theirs forever.”
After years of gathering our relatives, someday we too can look back on the many names we have found as a beautiful field that we have planted “one at a time.” Each ancestor or relative that we find and add to our family tree is important to Heavenly Father. He wants us to remember the worth of each one of them. Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, 15-16 reads,
The worth of souls is great in the sight of God; And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father.
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me in the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
In the work of salvation, ministering, missionary work, and temple and family history work are one great work. The work of salvation is about seeking the one that is lost. In his book One by One, Elder David A. Bednar discusses the importance of ministering one by one. He quoted Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s talk, “Concern for the One.”
Jesus Christ is our greatest example. He was surrounded by multitudes and spoke to thousands, yet He always had concern for the one. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost,” He said. “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”
This instruction applies to all who follow Him. We are commanded to seek out those who are lost. We are to be our brother’s keeper. We cannot neglect this commission given by our Savior. We must be concerned for the one.
It may seem like searching for ancestors one by one will take more time than we have. Yet President Russell M. Nelson has encouraged us to “prayerfully consider what kind of sacrifice – preferably a sacrifice of time – [we] can make [to] do more temple and family history work.”
In my personal experience, sacrificing time for family history and temple work has brought great blessings, including and heavenly help in other areas of my life. The time I have spent searching for my ancestors has been delightful. I can say with Elder Richard G. Scott that “it will make you feel wonderful.”
 Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards, The Daffodil Principle (Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2004).
 Henry B. Eyring, “Hearts Bound Together,” April 2005 General Conference, article online, LDS.org (www.lds.org/general-conference : accessed 28 June 2018).
 Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Concern for the One,” April 2008 General Conference, article online, LDS.org (www.lds.org/general-conference : accessed 28 June 2018) quoted in David A. Bednar, One by One (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2017).
 Russell M. Nelson and Wendy W. Nelson, “Open the Heavens through Temple and Family History Work,” Liahona, Oct. 2017; article online, LDS.org (www.lds.org/liahona : accessed 28 June 2018).
 Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” October 2012 General Conference; article online, LDS.org (www.lds.org/general-conference : accessed 28 June 2018).