Temple Department letter: Family-name cards not kept on file but can be returned upon request

The June 9 letter explains how a 2020 policy has helped improve recording accuracy and minimize ordinance duplication

Family-name cards used by temple patrons for ordinance work are not kept on file at temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but if requested, a card can be returned to the patron after the ordinance is recorded that same day.

The family-name cards and requested return to patrons is addressed in June 9 letter from the Temple Department to stake, mission, district, ward and branch leaders as well as stake and ward temple and family history leaders and consultants.

In 2020, the Temple Department implemented a policy of not returning family-name cards until requested by the patron, saying the policy’s purpose was to improve recording accuracy and minimize the duplication of ordinances.

Since the policy’s implementation, recording accuracy has increased significantly, with fewer incidents of ordinance duplication, the letter says.

Some temple patrons have expressed a desire to have their family-name cards returned to them once an ordinance is completed for an ancestor. Once the completed ordinance has been recorded by temple workers, a patron can request the card that same day in the temple office.

Family-name cards will not be kept on file in the temple.

Patrons don’t need the completed cards to confirm the ordinances have been recorded. They can verify the completion of ordinances at or on the Family Tree app.

The letter encourages stake and ward temple and family history leaders and consultants to share the information with members in their units.

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