Helping Members

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Contact Members

When you contact members, be sure to:

  • Identify yourself as a family history consultant.
  • Make an appointment to visit, preferably in the members’ homes. This gives you the opportunity to assess where they are in their family history work and to see how you can help.
  • Ask a few simple questions before your visit to help you understand the members’ needs. Their answers can help you prepare to assist them. You might ask:

— What would you like to accomplish?
— How can I help you?
— Are you just beginning with your family history?
— How much progress have you made with your family history?
— Do you have family history information we could look at during our first meeting?
— Do you have Internet access in your home?

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Meet with Members

Visit in the Home

Meeting with members in their homes can help them get started on their family history work in a setting that is comfortable for them. In addition, they may have items in their home that contain family history information, such as letters and certificates. They may also have pictures of their family displayed in their home that you can use to begin a discussion about their family and family history.

If it is not possible for you to visit with members in their homes, meet with them in some other appropriate location. This could be at a family history center or a room in the Church meetinghouse.

Begin with Prayer

No matter where you meet, invite the Spirit to your meeting by beginning with prayer. Members are entitled to inspiration about their family history, and you are entitled to inspiration about how to help them.

Listen to Members

Begin your first visit by asking members to tell you about their family. Listen patiently to the stories they tell, and share in their enthusiasm. Let them show you family photographs or family history papers and talk about their ancestors. This will build trust and confidence. Let members know that you want to help them to learn more about their ancestors and to provide the saving ordinances of the temple for those who have not yet received them.

Do Not Overwhelm

In your first visit, try not to overwhelm or discourage members. For example, some members are intimidated by blank family history forms. They may feel pressure to provide information that they do not yet know. Your first visit will be successful if you help them turn their hearts to their fathers (see Malachi 4:6; D&C 2).

Maintain Confidences

While meeting with you, members may share sensitive information about their immediate family or their ancestors. Keep this information confidential to maintain the trust of those you help.

Use Wisdom and Caution

Do not make a visit where you do not feel comfortable. If needed, take a companion, such as another family history consultant or ward member. Do not go alone if doing so would be inappropriate, such as meeting alone with a member of the opposite sex. If you have any concerns about a visit, counsel with your high priests group leader before you go.

Start a Family History Progress Record

As you begin helping an individual or family, briefly record the help you provide and what needs the individual or family has on a Family History Progress Record.  You’ll provide a copy of this record to your High Priests Group Leader to help him coordinate the family history work in the ward.

— Family History Consultant’s Guide, page 12-13

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