04 March 2016

LDS Ward Family History Class Resources

I received an email from a friend in my stake asking about what resources are available for instructors to teach a Family History class at a ward level during Sunday school. I thought this was a great question so I took a look at what resources I could find. Since his initial email I have been on the look out and have identified several more.

First I pointed him to the The Instructor's Guide to Temple and Family History Work.
This beginning-level course is designed to help Church members understand the doctrines related to temple and family history work, begin to do family history research, and perform temple ordinances for their ancestors. Individuals who are already engaged in temple and family history work can also benefit from the course by learning about additional resources that are available.
The course is divided into seven lessons:

  1. The Purpose of Temple and Family History Work
  2. Getting Started
  3. Gathering Information from Home
  4. Recording Family History Information
  5. Gathering Information from Family
  6. Gathering Information from Public Records
  7. Providing Temple Ordinances 
It is designed to work with a companion piece called Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work.

The next source I mentioned was the Introduction to Family History. I took this Religion 261 class from BYU-Idaho. 
Introduction to Family History, is a one-semester course in which you will learn gospel doctrines and principles essential to the work of redeeming the dead and how to find information about your ancestors that is needed to perform saving ordinances for them.
There are twelve lessons in this manual. Each establish and teach the doctrine about why we as members of the LDS church do Family History work.
  1.  The Family Is Central to the Plan of Salvation
  2. The Mission of Elijah
  3. Getting Started with Family History Research
  4. Gathering and Recording Family History Information
  5. Personal Revelation and Family History
  6. Computers and Family History Research
  7. Submitting Names for Temple Ordinances
  8. The Abrahamic Covenant
  9. The Spirit World and the Redemption of the Dead
  10. Covenants, Ordinances, and Temples in the Plan of Salvation
  11. Research in Family History
  12. Finding and Creating Personal and Family Histories

I think that each lesson might have to much information for one Sunday School class but this is a great foundation to teach from in an ongoing class that is not limited in weeks.

Next, I suggest the wealth of information contained in the videos recorded at RootsTech. They have everything from spiritual to inspirational. From basic to advances. RootsTech is for everyone at every level and the videos they share are the same.

The video resources can be found on the RootsTech.org website as well as LDS.org under the Host a Family Discovery Day Video Links.

Next, lds.org has a section under All Callings for Family History Callings. In these resources is a Consultant Webinar Series.  There are seven Webinars topics include:
Each of these resources also include Presentation slides or guides and handouts.

Next, FamilySearch puts out a monthly newsletter for priesthood leaders, consultants, and center directors. There is an archive of these newsletters on lds.org. I get a lot of valuable information from reading these newsletters. Much of what I teach in my Find, Take, Teach class comes from this resource.

Next, FamilySearch has hundreds of resources on the website to teach people how to do their Family History. The Using the Tree section shows basic steps, frequently asked questions, Tips and Tricks, and other resources you can use as a consultant and user of FamilySearch.

The Youth and Family History portal has several resources available. The focus for the youth is:
  • Discovering your Family Story
  • Serving others by Teaching, Indexing, Finding and Taking
  • Experiences youth have had in doing Family History work

There is a wealth of information here aimed at youth but applicable to all of us.

Lastly, there is the FamilySearch Blog. This record is constantly updated with various articles and information about FamilySearch and the world of Family History and Genealogy. This is a leading resource that I use, above the newsletters, to keep up to date on the latest news and stories that have to do with Family History.

This is not an end to the available resources. If you have more ideas or find a new resource please leave a comment below, I would love to learn about it. As I find new resources I will post them here.