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Family Name Assist feature now available — with no family history research needed

New FamilySearch feature in Leader and Clerk Resources allows local leaders to assist Church members in gathering information on deceased family members to do proxy baptisms and confirmations in the temple

Family Name Assist is a new FamilySearch feature accessible from Leader and Clerk Resources that helps bishopric members, branch presidents and others that local leaders designate to assist Church members to gather information to do proxy baptisms and confirmations in a temple for deceased family members.

Family Name Assist was featured in the recent 2024 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction, with an increased focus on using the new feature in helping new and returning members with their first temple experiences.

“This new capability requires no family history research,” states a March 28 letter from the Priesthood and Family and Family History departments sent to temple, stake, mission and branch presidencies and bishoprics. “And it creates natural opportunities for meaningful conversations about eternal families between leaders and members of their congregation.”

Bishopric members or branch presidents doing temple recommend interviews can ask the member if he or she has a specific deceased family member for whom they would like to perform a temple baptism or confirmation. Simple prompts in Family Name Assist guide the leader to enter basic information the member recalls about the deceased family member.

After the name and information is entered, a duplication check occurs, veryifying the availability of ordinances. If there is no match, the name is added to FamilySearch and family name cards easily can be generated for printing and use.

Also, other ward leaders with Leader and Clerk Resources access can be invited to help members in similar fashion.

If the member cannot recall specific family information, leaders can use Family Name Assist to automatically find names and print family name cards for other deceased individuals that the member can serve by performing the temple baptism and confirmation.

“Family Name Assist creates opportunities for members to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost as they remember loved ones and prepare to serve them in the temple,” the letter states. “These powerful, strengthening experiences can be particularly meaningful to new and returning members and youth who are preparing to enter the temple for the first time.”

The 2024 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction broadcast included a three-minute video of a bishop and a recent convert talking about the latter’s conversion and first temple experience. The bishop explained the simple process of helping the new sister take a name to the temple, with the recent convert explaining how going to the house of the Lord was a time of comfort and connection with God for her.

In the broadcast, Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Family History Department, then introduced an easier way to help first-time temple attendees find names to take to the temple for ordinance work, using the new Family Name Assist tool.

A bishopric member, Relief Society president or elders quorum president — all who have access to the new tool — can ask, “Is there a deceased family member would you like to perform a baptism and confirmation for in the temple?” and with that name and a little bit of information can help create a family name card, create a FamilySearch account and help submit the name to the temple and reserve it for the ordinance.

Family Name Assist helps leaders to print out family name cards for members.
Family Name Assist, a new FamilySearch feature accessible in Leader and Clerk Resources, allows local Church leaders to assist members in easily gathering information to do temple proxy baptisms and confirmations for deceased family members. | Screenshot, FamilySearch.org

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminded broadcast listeners to not focus on just the procedures. “The key is the opportunity to go be with the Lord and through the ordinances to make covenants with Him,” he said. “As leaders, as friends, as members, we simplify that process as much as we can. For those who are going for the first time, we make it easy for them.”

Additional information is available at www.familysearch.org/temple/guide-me/leader-preview and www.familysearch.org/en/blog/family-name-assist-tool.

There, a preview of Family Name Assist explains how the simple, automated programs can help leaders easily assist in preparing name cards. Sections of the preview detail:

  • How to help the member come prepared.
  • Who can help the member with Family Name Assist.
  • How to guide members in preparing names for the temple.
  • What minimal information is needed for deceased family members.
  • How to easily find names for temple ordinances if family information isn’t readily available.
  • How to view prepared names and relationships.
  • How to print the name cards and give them to the member.
  • How the member’s information is stored securely in their FamilySearch account.
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