Stake Activity Days – Temple and Family History
Today I’m sharing a memorable and inspirational stake activity days event that I recently attended for 8-11 year old girls.
Since I’m not in that age range, I’ll explain why I attended! After the Tucson family history fair when I shared my presentation, “Kid Genealogists,” I was lucky enough to chat with two incredible primary leaders. One was a friend who I had worked with before our stake boundaries changed (and who also shared a guest post here). These lovely ladies told me about their upcoming stake activity days event which would include a class about family history. I invited myself, letting them know that I love sharing about anything related to family history for kids on my blog.
A couple weeks went by and they asked me to help teach one of their break out sessions. They wanted the class to be about using the descendancy tree in FamilySearch to find opportunities for temple work. I felt very honored to be invited! Since I was released as a family history consultant last year I miss having the regular opportunity to teach about family history and temple work. My favorite age group to teach, as you may have guessed, are children and teens.
With the opening of the Tucson temple this summer, the stake primary leaders decided focus on temples and family history work. When the girls and arrived, they ate at a yogurt parfait bar with berries and granola for toppings. The opening keynote talk, in the cultural hall, was by an LDS Bishop who led a construction crew to help lay concrete at the temple. After that, there were three classes that the girls rotated through:
Sewing a handkerchief for the temple dedication
Learning about the purpose of temples and making a temple block to display a photo of the Tucson temple
Using FamilySearch to find temple opportunities in the adjacent Family History Center (across the parking lot from the stake center where the event was held)
Tables in the overflow behind the cultural hall were set up with several ladies and sewing machines to help the girls sew lace onto the edges of a white handkerchief. Handkerchiefs are used in the temple dedication ceremony as part of the Hosanna Shout. President Hinckley explained it here.
The handkerchiefs were pre-sewn. The volunteer sewing ladies had already also pinned 3 of the edges of lace. The girls’ task was to learn how to pin the last edge of the handkerchief to the lace and then sew around all the edges.
The class about the purpose of temples ended with the girls modge-podging a photo of the Tucson temple onto a block of wood that had been pre-painted blue. The tables were set up with modge podge, paper plates, paint brushes, and blue blocks. The girls were ecstatic to have a special photo of the temple to keep and remind them of this momentous year.
FamilySearch Temple Opportunities Class
Before the event, the stake primary presidency visited each ward and stressed the importance of each girl creating a FamilySearch account before she came to the activity. Many arrived with a note to remind them how to log in. Some mothers had come with them. Only a couple girls, mostly friends/neighbors of the girls didn’t have an account. Those who didn’t have an account were paired up with a family history consultant who let them explore their FamilySearch tree.
We invited several family history consultants from each ward in the stake to come help so there would be one-on-one assistance available. I gave a guided, step-by-step tutorial for looking at the different tree views in FamilySearch, and then using the descendancy tree view to look for green temples signifying opportunities for temple work.
The room was set up with a large TV that I plugged a laptop into to show my slides. The tables in the family history center had two chairs set up for each computer. I put a page of notes and pencils out for the girls to write down the personal ID numbers of the people they found that needed to be merged or had other questions/research ideas for. They took the notes home to work more.
I had a young assistant to help me. This 12-year-old young woman had used the FamilySearch descendancy tree to find opportunities for temple work many times. Her mom said that everytime she looks, she finds a new relative to do baptisms for! She shared her experiences and testimony with the girls.
I’d like to share with you a PDF and Powerpoint file of the presentation. I hope it is useful to you!
Here is the handout I used for the girls to keep track of what they found:
Please comment below if you are able to use these ideas and let us know how it worked for you!