Lesson 6

Workshop 6 - Temple Policies and Indexing


 “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29)

Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “Our anxiety to redeem the dead, and the time and resources we put behind that commitment, are, above all, an expression of our witness concerning Jesus Christ. It constitutes as powerful a statement as we can make concerning His divine character and mission.” (The Redemption of the Dead and the Testimony of Jesus, General Conference, October 2000)


We do family history and temple work because we have a testimony of the divinity of the Savior.



This Week

This week we’re going to be talking about Indexing and Temple policies—both vital to help us save our ancestors.

5 Step Research Process

  • Submitting names to take to the temple falls under Step 5 of the research process: Use the Information.
  • They can also use this information by creating family memory books or compilations to give to their family, etc.


FamilySearch Indexing

What is Indexing?

Indexing is the process of reading and transcribing a document so that others can search the index for their family members instead of going through records page by page. FamilySearch indexing makes record indexes available for users on FamilySearch.org.

Why is indexing important?

How many of you would like to spend several hours searching census records page by page instead of spending five minutes on a website searching their index?


Probably none of us. There are millions of records available to search through indexes on FamilySearch.org. Each of those records took the work of three people before it was available for you to search. So why is indexing important?

  • It makes records easier to search, thus making them more accessible to more people
  • It helps the research process become more time efficient.
  • It is a way to give back to the family history community—they’ve spent hours making things available to you, so you can give a few hours to make more records available for them
  • It helps records become available online faster
  • It provides access to information and records that may not be available otherwise. Due to contracts with the archives and organizations that hold the records, sometimes only an index can be published online. If no one indexes, those records will never become available.


How do I get involved?

  • Go to http://familysearch.org and click on the “Indexing” tab in the middle of the page.
  • Download the indexing software by clicking on “Download the Software” on the right-hand side.
  • Once it has finished downloading, open the program and sign in with your LDS account.
  • Download a batch and start indexing!
  • And if you want some extra help or you want to improve your indexing skills, check out the link “MORE HELP AND TRAINING” near the bottom of the page.

Submitting names to the Temple

Once you’ve recorded what you know about your family in RootsMagic (or a similar program) and have searched Family Tree to see what information others suggest about your ancestors (steps 1 and 2), and have documented the events in your family member’s life with records (steps 3 and 4), then you are ready to take your ancestor’s name to the temple (step 5).


There are five things you have to know about a person before you can do their Temple work.

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Information that uniquely identifies the deceased person
  • Standardized Vital Event Place
  • Information that shows that the person is deceased



If you don’t have the ‘Temple’ button at the top of your screen or temple icons in your Family Tree, your FamilySearch account is missing a membership number. To fix this you must get your membership number from your temple recommend, patriarchal blessing, or your ward clerk.

Then follow these steps to activate temple information on their account:

·         Go to lds.org

·         Click the sign in button in the top right corner

·         Sign in using your LDS username and password

·         Your name should appear in the top right corner now. Click on it and go down to ‘Account Settings’ in the drop-down menu.

·         On the left side, there is a link that says ‘Membership’. If there isn’t a green checkmark next to it, the student will need to enter in their membership number. From here they should be able to save the number.

·         Now log into FamilySeach. It should now have temple information.


Requesting names for Temple Ordinances

  • In the pedigree view, if there is a green temple icon, that means that there is someone within that family that is ready to go to the temple. You can click on that temple icon and it will take you to a new screen where you can see which ordinances are available, you can then select which ordinances you want to reserve.
  • Before you can reserve ordinances, you must verify that you are abiding by church policy (see below).
  • Family Tree will again check for possible duplicates for your individual before you can reserve ordinances. If no obvious duplicates are found, your ancestor will show up in your temple reservation list.
  • To get to this list, click the “Temple” tab at the top of the page. This will pull up all of the names that you have reserved and all of the ordinances that have yet to be done.
    • You can select who it is that you want to do the ordinances for by checking the box next to their name.
    • Click ‘print or reprint request’ and then select which ordinances you want to do.  
    • This will produce a sheet with a barcode (a Family Ordinance Request) to print off and take to the temple. The Recorder’s Office at the Temple will take your FOR and print the ordinance cards.

Church Policies (see the Church Policy page on Family Tree)

  • You may perform temple ordinances for deceased persons one year or more after the date of death without regard to the person’s worthiness or cause of death.
  • 110 Year Rule: if a person was born within the last 110 years, you must receive permission to do the ordinances. You must receive permission from (in this order) a spouse, adult children, parents, and siblings. You cannot circumvent a family member if they have withheld permission. If none of these relatives are living, you still must wait until the individual was born more than 110 years ago in order to do their ordinances.

Do not perform ordinances for people to whom you are not related (famous people, holocaust victims, and names from unauthorized extraction programs).