Starting this month, personal temple ordinance reservation lists will have a new maximum of 300 rows of reservations per user, FamilySearch announced Monday, Nov. 15.
“This update is intended to encourage members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use all the resources available to complete their ancestors’ temple work in a timely manner,” the FamilySearch blog post states.
If someone reserves a name, the name is unavailable for other people, explained Lynne Van Wagenen, FamilySearch content manager. “And if a person reserves more than they can realistically get done, that prevents those names from getting done at all, at least until the reservation expires.”
The new limit is “a way to make temple work go faster by keeping more names available for members in the Family Tree," Van Wagenen said.
As Latter-day Saints share family names, other relatives and Church members can help complete the ordinances. In this way, Church members can help each other fulfill sacred obligations to their deceased ancestors. In a letter written Oct. 8, 2012, the First Presidency encouraged those with large numbers of reserved family names to “release these names in a timely manner so the necessary ordinances can be performed.”
Below are some answers to questions regarding the new 300 reservation limit.
What counts toward the reservation limit? Each row on a reservation list is counted once, even when the row represents multiple ordinances. When viewing one's reservation list, a number count is found in the left sidebar, next to the text, that says “My Reservations.”
What happens if my reservation list is already over the limit? If a user’s temple reservation list has more than 300 rows of reservations when the update occurs, none of those family names will be automatically released — the user simply won’t be able to reserve more. The names will remain on that individual’s reservation list until they are completed, shared or reach their assigned expiration date. The ordinances will be shared with the temple when the reservation expires.
When will this limit be put in place? Van Wagenen said emails will be sent today to those who are affected and the update will roll out in coming days. This is the first time FamilySearch has placed a maximum on personal temple reservation lists.
After I reach the limit, how do I keep track of family names that I might want to reserve later? Some people reserve names because they are afraid they can never find them again in the Family Tree, Van Wagenen said. The Following list feature allows users to bookmark ancestors whose ordinances they might want to reserve in the future. They can add the Temple Reservation label to distinguish these names from others they follow for other purposes.
How do I share family names? Another reason users maintain large reservation lists is because they want to share cards with their family members and keep track of ordinances as they are completed, Van Wagenen said. The new family groups feature allows family members to share their reserved family names with the group and track completion. Family names can also be shared by email with family members and friends or shared to the temple inventory.
Van Wagenen acknowledged this new limit may be a challenge for many. She reiterated President Russell M. Nelson’s reminder during October 2021 general conference that the methods associated with the Lord’s work can change as “inspired direction comes to those who preside at a given time.”
“A little at a time, we learn how to do things better, and things change, and that’s OK,” Van Wagenen added.
For more information about this recent update, visit “Answers to Questions | Personal Temple Reservation Lists, New 300 Maximum” on FamilySearch’s blog.