In a letter dated June 16 and addressed to all members of the Church with the request that it be read in sacrament meeting, the First Presidency issued the following statement regarding policies to facilitate family history research and names submitted for temple ordinances:
"The restoration of the gospel in these latter days has provided the opportunity for sacred ordinances of the temple to be performed for the living and for the dead. Temples are being built at an unprecedented pace in order to make the privilege of this essential work more accessible throughout the world. We desire that all adult members of the Church be worthy to have a temple recommend, receive their own endowments and sealings, identify their ancestors, and perform temple ordinances for those who wait beyond the veil. These responsibilities apply to all members of the Church."Because of the sacred nature of this work, members should be diligent in assuring the accuracy of all information submitted. Important policies have been established to facilitate family history research and the submission of names to the temple for ordinance work. They include the following:
"- Our preeminent obligation is for our own ancestors. Their names and relevant information should be submitted to a Family File.
"- Other names and data documented from personal family research should be submitted to the Temple File.
"- Members are encouraged to participate in the Family Record Extraction program and other approved projects that are vital to family history and temple work.
"- Members who do not have a Family File in the temple are encouraged to attend the temple to perform work for those whose names have been submitted to the Temple File.
"- Church members should not submit for temple ordinances the names of celebrities and non-approved groups, such as Jewish Holocaust victims.
Ward and branch family history consultants may supply additional information if needed. We are grateful to members of the Church for the increasing number of names submitted and temple ordinances performed for those who, without such consecrated efforts, "cannot be made perfect." (D&C 128:15.) May the blessings of the Lord attend you in all of your devoted service.
Sincerely your brethren,
The First Presidency