LDS members are busy reserving temple ordinance work and now, they are receiving emails alerting them to ancestor names that are ready to take to the temple. Before you click that button, there are a few things you need to know!
If you are a member of the LDS church and have added your family tree to FamilySearch, you will likely get an email someday with the tag line of “Amie, you’ve received a name for the temple!” You excitedly open the email and see that you can reserve these ordinances with the click of a button. How cool! But, before you click that button, you need to see if the ordinance work is really available or if this is a what I call a “temple teaser.”
Verifying the Temple Teaser
A temple teaser is a name of an ancestor that looks as if they need temple work done, however, when you get in the system and check for duplicates, you find the person has already had their work done. Now, you could just trust the system and do the work anyway and of course, you would feel the blessings of having attended the temple. However, that time may have been more appropriately used on an ancestor who really needed work done.
Take these steps to verify whether your temple teaser really needs their work done:
Step one: Open the email and click “Review Your Relationship.”
A new window will pop-up and take you to the sign-in page at FamilySearch. Sign-in if you have not already done so.
Step 2: At the next page, you will have the option of uploading this person directly to your temple list by clicking “Reserve Temple Ordinances.” But, you really shouldn’t do that. Instead, click on the person’s name and when the new window appears, click on the word “Person.”
Step 3: Review and assess. In my case, M.L. Way was ready to have her baptism, confirmation, initiatory, endowment, and sealings done. I noticed however, M.L. Way had a birth date and location, but no death date or location. She also had no spouse listed and her father was only indicated by “T.F. Way” and no other dates or locations. This was a red flag to me. It was saying, “Hey…this person actually needs some more identifying details and life events. Why? Because the system thinks it already looked for possible duplicates, but it didn’t have much to go on. Once we fill in as much data as possible on M.L. Way, the system may find that she has already had her work completed.
Step 4: Search for new records. We need to search for M.L.’s full name, a death date, whether she was married, and some information on her father. To do this, we use the wonderful, free, record collections at FamilySearch.org. I have created a video that will walk you through how to search for vital records on FamilySearch. Watch that here and fast forward to minute 5:44.
After several minutes of searching for records, I was able to find that M.L. stands for “Mary Leo.” She married Leroy Smith on 20 Sept 1919 in Greenup County, Kentucky. Mary died on 1 Aug 1984 in Pike county, Ohio. I added all the new information onto Mary’s page.
Step 5: It’s time to manually check for duplicates. At Mary’s page, I scrolled down to the “Family Members” section and looked over to the far right of the screen. There you see a tool called “Possible Duplicates.” Click it.
The system now uses all the new identifying data to see if Mary is already in the system. And guess what? Mary had a duplicate. As you see in this image below, Mary Leo Way is in the system. I needed to click “Review Merge” and determine whether or not to combine these two Mary’s into one.
Step 6: Merge the duplicate Marys. To learn how to properly do this, I have created a video here.
One the duplicates were reviewed and merged, I clicked on the “Ordinance” tab at Mary’s person page. Instead of her baptism, initiatory, endowment, and sealings all being available for me to reserve (as was the case the first time I checked), I now see that most of the work was completed in 2014 and 2015. The only thing left is the sealing to her parents.
Can you image the time it would have taken to accomplish the baptism and other ordinance work? Maybe 5 or 6 hours depending on travel time to a nearby temple? And sadly, if I would have clicked the reserve ordinance button from the email, I would have spent that time doing work that had already been completed.
The Church wants us to verify the emails, they just don’t do a great job telling us that. For this reason, we need to share this information with our ward and stake members. In this way, we will be able to spend the time doing the temple work that really needs to be done and the work will roll forward more quickly.
A Call to Action
The Genealogy Reporter, Amie Bowser Tennant, would like to share more helpful tips for LDS members and Family History Consultants. Please share our blog and register by email to receive our bi-monthly newsletter. Thanks for reading, friends.
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