LDS Goals:  1: FamilySearch Icons and Policies   2: Temple Opportunities   3: Descendancy Lines   4: Other Resources   5: Printing Temple Names   6: Reserved Ordinances   7: Inspiration   8: Find, Take, and Teach   9: FHE Activities   10: O-Apps Gallery        SEARCH

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Find and prepare temple
names, get inspiration, and
enjoy family gospel activities.

The Family History Guide
is an approved resource for
family history training on


Goal 1: Learn the FamilySearch icons and policies for temple ordinances. Vault

The icons will help you understand which ordinances are needed by which ancestors and what you need to do before submitting an ordinance to the temple.


A Know how to identify dates and places for ordinances that have been done.

  1. In Family Tree, open the Summary card for an ancestor, or click any temple icon that appears at the right side of a couple's box.
  2. Hover the mouse over any of the square temple icons that appear to see dates and places of an ordinance, who has reserved it or its status.
  3. Know the letter identifiers for ordinances:
    B = baptism; C = confirmation; I = initiatory; E = endowment; SP = sealed to parents; SS = sealed to spouse

B Understand icons and indicators for temple ordinances.

    temple icon legend
  1. Know the icon coloring scheme for ordinances. See the diagram at the right (also available in the top menu of the FamilySearch screen by choosing Temple, and then at the right of the screen by clicking Legend.) You can also hover the mouse over a colored icon in FamilySearch to see more information.
  2. For more information on temple icons, read the article.
    FS—Ordinance Icons and Status
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C Understand the requirements for Family Tree names and their ordinances.

    110-year policy
  1. Read this article on required information and policies for temple ordinance submission.
    FS—Individuals for Whom I Can Request Temple Ordinances
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  2. Read the the "110-year policy" article to understand Church guidelines for doing temple work for ancestors who may have living relatives.
    FS—110-Year Rule
  3. Ordinances that have been reserved over two years ago by people in the U.S. and Canada and are still not completed will be unreserved automatically by the Family History Department of the Church. Read this blog posting and these FAQs for more information.

D Correct the "Needs More Information" status for ancestors who have "blocker" information.

    needs more info
  1. Find an ancestor or family with "Needs More Information" status for one or more ordinances.
  2. Check this document to see if there are disallowed symbols or words in the name you are trying to clear. Those problems will block ordinances until they are corrected.
    FS—List of Names Not Acceptable
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Goal 2: Find Temple Opportunities or "green-icon" ancestors and reserve their names for ordinances.

FamilySearch may indicate Temple Opportunities for some of your ancestors who need ordinance work, or you may see a green icon in a couple's box in Family Tree. In either case, these icons indicate there may be ancestors needing temple ordinances.


A Look for Temple Opportunities.

  1. Look at the Temple menu at the top of the FamilySearch window.
  2. If the Temple menu item has a red star next to it, in the drop-down list click Opportunities. This displays a list of ancestors who need ordinances. You can reserve those ordinances as explained in Choice C below.
  3. For more information on Temple Opportunities, read this article.
    FS—Temple Opportunities
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  4. For a quick video review, see "Finding Temple Opportunities" (Tree Tips icon).
  5. 2017-06-30

B Look for green-icon ancestors in Family Tree.

    green ordinance icon
  1. In Family Tree, navigate back several generations, looking for a green icon next to an ancestor's name.
  2. When you find one, click it to see what ordinances are needed for the ancestor.
  3. Carefully check that this person is not a duplicate entry in FamilySearch, and that dates and family information all appear correct. For tips on checking for duplicates, see Project 1, Goal 11, Choice A.
  4. For some important guidelines on finding names, read these articles.
    FS—Finding Ordinances to Do | Taking an Ancestor or Cousin to the Temple
  5. For more help, read this resource card: Find Your Family Names: A First-Time Guide.

C Reserve ordinances for an ancestor.

reserve ordinances
  1. If the information appears accurate, check the boxes for the ordinances that need to be done. These will be saved in your All Reserved list under the Temple menu.
  2. To see an overview of the ordinance reservation process, read these articles.
    FS—Requesting or Reserving Ordinances in Family Tree | RIV—Reserving Temple Ordinances—2 pgs.
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  3. Note that ordinance reservations will expire after two years of inactivity. For details, read this article.
  4. If you have questions about a reservation that someone else has made, you can contact the person using the FamilySearch Messaging feature. See Project 1, Goal 10, Choice C for details.

Goal 3: Use FamilySearch to identify descendancy lines with relatives who need ordinances.

Descendancy research can be an efficient way to find descendants of ancestors (such as distant cousins) who need temple work done. For a detailed look at how cousin relationships work, see "Are Your Cousins Removed?"


A Get started with descendancy research.

  1. View the Descendancy Research video on FamilySearch.
  2. Based on what you learned in the video, choose an ancestor to start descendancy research.
  3. For more information on descendancy research, watch this video.
    BYU—Strategies for Finding an Ancestor through Descendancy Research—18:15

B Find descendants of your selected ancestor who need ordinances done.

  1. Open the Descendancy view for the ancestor, and choose to view 2 or 3 generations.
  2. Search for green temple icons indicating that ordinances need to be done.
  3. When you find one, click it to see what ordinances are needed for the ancestor.
  4. Carefully check that this person is not a duplicate entry in Family Tree, and that dates and family information all appear correct. This article shares an approach to checking information in names yoou have found for temple work.
  5. If the information appears accurate, check the boxes for the ordinances that need to be done. These will be saved in your All Reserved list under the Temple menu.
  6. For a visual review of these steps, read this article.
    FS—Using the Descendancy Pedigree View
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C Explore descendancy research in more depth.

  1. Read the article for a summary of using descendancy research in FamilySearch.
    FS—9 Ingredients for Descendancy View
  2. Use Find-A-Record for descendancy research.
    BYU—Descendancy Research in Find-A-Record—4:04
  3. Watch this Ancestry video for more ideas on using descendancy research.
    AC—Descendancy Research—30:53

D Explore descendancy from other views: Landscape, Portrait, and Fan Chart.

    landscape     portrait     fan chart
  1. Choose an alternate view.
  2. Set an ancestor several generations back as the first-position ancestor.
  3. Display the children for that ancestor.
  4. To open up lines of descendants that you can view, use the expand arrows.

Goal 4: Use other resources to search for ancestors who need ordinance work done.

There are other websites and browser extensions that may be helpful in identifying more ordinances for ancestors.
Note—Always be sure to verify the ordinances that are identified. Some may be for duplicate ancestors or spouses who are not part of your direct line, or some ancestors may have data problems that need to be resolved. This article and this video explain an approach to checking information in names you have found for temple work.


A Use Find-A-Record to get a list of possible ordinances for your ancestors.

  1. Go to
  2. When prompted about allowing Find-A-Record to use your FamilySearch information, click Accept.
  3. Log in to FamilySearch when prompted.
  4. In the Find-A-Record screen, choose values in the drop-down menus for "Who do you want to find?" (the default is Cousins).
  5. Choose a value for "How many generations?" (the default is 5 generations or 100 years).
  6. In the Opportunities list at the right, clear all the check boxes except Ordinances, and then wait for the Ordinances list to be populated. Note: This can take 5 to 10 minutes or more, depending on the number of ancestors identified in your Family Tree and the number of generations you selected.
  7. When the list is complete, to check for validity, click Details for each entry on the list.
  8. For more information on finding temple names with Find-A-Record, watch these videos.
    Using Find-A-Record to Discover Ordinances to Be Performed—4:38
    | BYU-I—Finding Ancestors Who May Need Ordinances —7:29

B Use the Hope Chest extension with the Google Chrome browser to get a list of possible ordinances.

    Pandora's Hope Chest
  1. Google "Hope Chest Extension", and click the link that points to it on the Chrome Store.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the window, click the Add to Chrome button.
  3. To install the extension to your Chrome browser, click Add.
  4. Sign in to FamilySearch. You will see a Hope Chest icon near the extreme upper right corner of the screen.
  5. Click Search Ancestors, and then click Start Search. The search pauses on ancestor names who may need ordinances, and the entire search could take an hour or more with a large family tree. (The search does not extend before 1500.)
  6. Review the list to eliminate duplicates and possible errors.
  7. To learn more about using the Hope Chest Chrome extension to help find names for ordinances, watch this video.
    BYU-I—Using the Google Chrome Extension Hope Chest—4:39

C Use Puzzilla to get a list of possible ordinances.

  1. For basic information about Puzzilla, see Project 3: Descendancy, Goal 3.
  2. To see how Puzzilla can be used to help find names for ordinances, watch this video.

Goal 5: Arrange for your reserved names to be printed.

Once you have reserved a name for temple ordinances, you need to a) print a bar-coded card with that ancestor's information, and then take the sheet to the temple; or b) print a request for the temple to create the ordinance cards.


A Create bar-coded cards for ancestor ordinances.

    ordinance barcode
  1. To display the All Reserved list, in the Temple menu select Reserved.
  2. Check the boxes for all ancestors who need ordinances printed.
  3. At the top of the screen, click the blue Print button.
  4. In the drop-down menu select Print Family Ordinance Cards (print cards at home), or select Print an FOR (print a request for the temple to create the cards).
  5. In the Print Ordinances for Temple dialog, select the ordinances you want to print (all are selected by default), and then click Continue.
  6. Read the information in the Print Request dialog, and click Continue. A bar code page will be saved as a .PDF file or appear in a browser tab. If it appears in a browser tab, you will need to save (print) the document as a .PDF file.
  7. Note: If you do not have access to a printer, write down the 16-digit family ordinance request number in the generated PDF and and take it to the temple. Then skip ahead to Goal 6 below.

  8. Make sure the "print two-sided" option is unchecked, and click Print.
  9. Read the instructions in the Print Request dialog and click Continue.
  10. Click Save.
  11. In the dialog that appears, name the file, navigate to a different folder if needed, and click Save.
  12. Click the tab with the reserved names. If the save was successful, in the Family Ordinances Card Created dialog, click Yes.
  13. To physically print the saved PDF ordinance card, a) Navigate to the folder where you saved the PDF file; b) Open the file; and c) Use your print dialog to print the ordinance card.

B Print your bar-coded cards.

Goal 6: Manage your list of Reserved ordinances.

Your list of Reserved names for ordinances may grow faster than you can get the ordinances done.


A Get help with your reserved ordinances from others you know.

    ordinance list
  1. Arrange temple trips with family and friends to catch up on the ordinance work.
  2. Pass out temple ordinance cards to those you can trust to get the work done in a timely way. You may want to write down who has taken each card and when.

B Share Reserved names with family or friends.

If you are not able to complete an ordinance you reserved in a timely fashion, you can assign it to a family member or friend instead.

    ordinance sharing
  1. Access your Reserved list of names in FamilySearch.
  2. Check the ancestor names whose ordinances you would like to share with family or friends.
  3. Click Share.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Share with Family or Friends.
  5. Fill in the name and email address for the person you'd like to share the ordinance with. You can also write a short message for the email.
  6. Click Send. When the person you sent the request to accepts the ordinance sharing, those ordinances will be removed from your reservation list.
  7. For more information on sharing temple reservations, read this article.
    FS—Sharing Temple Reservations with Family or Friends
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C Share Reserved names with the Temple system.

If you are not able to complete an ordinance you reserved in a timely fashion, you can assign it to the Temple system instead.

    share reserved names
  1. Access your Reserved list of names in FamilySearch.
  2. Check the ancestor names whose ordinances you would like the temple to manage.
  3. Click Share.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Share with Temple.
  5. If you want to share all the ordinances on the page, at the top of the screen, check the box next to Ordinances. If you want to share only certain types of ordinances, check the boxes for those ordinance types.
  6. Click Share. The names will now be shared with temples who will assign the ordinances to be done by patrons at their locations.

D Unreserve names if you want them to return to "green-icon" status.

    unreserve names
  1. Access your Reserved list of names in FamilySearch.
  2. Check the ancestor names whose ordinances you would like to unreserve.
  3. Click Unreserve. The ordinances can then be reserved by any FamilySearch user.

Goal 7: Get inspiration for your family history journey.

Enjoy the links to inspirational quotes, articles, and videos below.


A Study family history quotes.

family history quotes “Find your grandfathers and grandmothers and your distant cousins who have gone before you. Take their names to the temple with you.” (Neil L. Andersen, “Spiritual Whirlwinds,” Ensign, May 2014, 21)

“As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives.” (David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign, November 2011, 27)

“It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord.” (David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign, November 2011, 26)

“[Family history work] is a vital part of the work of salvation and exaltation. You have been prepared for this day and to build up the kingdom of God. You are here upon the earth now to assist in this glorious work.” (David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign, November 2011, 27)

“Don't underestimate the influence of the deceased in assisting your efforts and the joy of ultimately meeting those you serve.” (Quentin L. Cook, “Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 2014, 46–47)

“If the youth in each ward will not only go to the temple and do baptisms for their dead but also work with their families and other ward members to provide the family names for the ordinance work they perform, both they and the Church will be greatly blessed.” (Quentin L. Cook, “Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 2014, 46)

“Family history centers are now in our homes.” (Quentin L. Cook, “Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 2014, 46)

“The eternally significant blessing of uniting our own families is almost beyond comprehension.” (Quentin L. Cook, “Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 2014, 47)

“You hold in your hands the happiness of more people than you can now imagine.” (Henry B. Eyring, “A Priceless Heritage of Hope,” Ensign, 22)

“Remember that the names which will be so difficult to find are of real people to whom you owe your existence in this world and whom you will meet again in the spirit world. When you were baptized, your ancestors looked down on you with hope. Perhaps after centuries, they rejoiced to see one of their descendants make a covenant to find them and to offer them freedom. . . . Their hearts are bound to you. Their hope is in your hands. You will have more than your own strength as you choose to labor on to find them.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Hearts Bound Together,” Ensign, May 2005, 80)

“One of the most troublesome aspects of our temple activity is that as we get more and more temples scattered across the earth there is duplication of effort in proxy work. People in various nations simultaneously work on the same family lines and come up with the same names. They do not know that those in other areas are doing the same thing. We, therefore, have been engaged for some time in a very difficult undertaking. To avoid such duplication, the solution lies in complex computer technology. Preliminary indications are that it will work, and if this is so, it will be a truly remarkable thing with worldwide implications.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Opening Remarks,” Ensign, November 2011, 5–6)

“We are going to make mistakes, but none of us can become an expert in family history work without first being a novice. Therefore, we must plunge into this work, and we must prepare for some uphill climbing.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Hastening the Work,” Ensign, June 2014, 4)

“In the last year [2013] the number of members submitting names for temple ordinances is up 17% over last year. It has gone from 2.4 to 2.7 percent of the members. While normally a 17% improvement is thought of as impressive it also says that there are over 97% of members who are not regularly submitting names for temple ordinances. This is a call for a change.” (Allan F. Packer, “Spiritual Passport,” [address given at RootsTech 2014, Feb. 2014], Salt Lake City)

“No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work and the family history research that supports it. No work is more spiritually refining. No work we do gives us more power. No work requires a higher standard of righteousness. Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple,” Ensign, October 2010, 35)

“The whole chain of God's family shall be welded together into one chain, and they shall all become the family of God and His Christ.” (Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 411)

“Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their [people] here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.” (Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1916, 6)

"When the Gospel is preached to the spirits in prison, the success attending that preaching will be far greater than that attending the preaching of our Elders in this life. I believe there will be very few indeed of those spirits who will not gladly receive the Gospel when it is carried to them. The circumstances there will be a thousand times more favorable.” Lorenzo Snow, “Discourse by President Lorenzo Snow,” The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, no. 4, vol. 56 [Jan. 22, 1904], 50)

“Each of us will be greatly blessed if we know the stories of faith and sacrifice that led our forefathers to join the Lord's Church.” (Wlliam R. Walker, “Live True to the Faith,” Ensign, May 2014, 99)

“We want to sacrifice enough to do the will of God in preparing to bring up those who have not had the privilege of hearing the Gospel while in the flesh, for the simple reason that, in the spirit world, they cannot officiate in the ordinances of the house of God. They have passed the ordeals, and are beyond the possibility of personally officiating for the remission of their sins and for their exaltation, consequently they are under the necessity of trusting in their friends, their children and their children's children to officiate for them, that they may be brought up into the celestial kingdom of God.” (Brigham Young, Discourses by Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 622–623)

B Study family history articles.

C Watch family history videos.

Goal 8: Use the Find, Take, Teach program from the LDS Church.


A Learn about Find, Take, Teach.

find, take, teach

The Find, Take, Teach program is designed to help Latter-day Saints find ancestors whose temple work needs to be done, take those names to the temple, and teach others, such as family members, how this process works.

The Find, Take, Teach program is explained in detail in this video on the site. It focuses on descendancy research, but you can also use traditional research methods for finding ancestors.

Another perspective on Find, Take, Teach is offered in this video from the Rexburg Family History Center.

B Use The Family History Guide with the "Find" step.


You can use The Family History Guide to explore each aspect of Find, Take, and Teach. Project 3: Ordinances has several Goals that support the program, as listed below. Before you begin, be sure to study Goal 1 to learn about temple icons and policies in FamilySearch.

  • Find, Using Descendancy: Project 3, Goal 1—Use FamilySearch to identify one or more lines to do Descendancy research on for ordinances.
  • Find, Using Traditional and Other Research: find LDS, Goal 2 —Find Temple Opportunities or "green-icon" ancestors and reserve their names for ordinances.
  • Find, Other Resources: LDS, Goal 4—Use other resources to search for ancestors who need ordinance work done.

C Use The Family History Guide with the "Take" step.

    ordinances barcode
  • Take, Reserving and Printing: Goal 5—Arrange for your reserved names to be printed on cards at a temple.

D Use The Family History Guide with the "Teach" step.


Goal 9: Design Family Home Evening and other activities around family history.


A Select Goals from The Family History Guide to work on as a family.

Each Family Home Evening session that deals with family history should ideally have a mix of inspirational messages and hands-on activities.

  1. Examine Projects 1–3 and choose the Goals to work on. Families with older or no children can also use Goals from Projects 5-9.
  2. Use the Online Tracker or Tracker-Word (see the Misc. menu above) to monitor your progress with the Goals.
  3. If your family has younger children, explore the activities in the Children's Activities page.
  4. Try a "family tree gathering"—a meeting of family members to discuss and work on family history. Read this article for ideas.
    LDS—What's a Family Tree Gathering?

B Use inspirational stories and quotes in your lessons and activities.

    inspirational stories
  1. Refer to Goal 8 in this Project for quotes, articles, and videos to use for adults and youth.
  2. For children, use items from the following list:

C Enjoy other family-history-related activities.

  1. Explore the Activities pages in The Family History Guide:
  2. Try games and activities from the FamilySearch App Gallery, such as:
  3. Explore the Ideas for Family History Fun! Facebook page for additional Family Home Evening resources.

Goal 10: (Optional) Use apps from the FamilySearch App Gallery to help reserve temple ordinances.


A Explore apps in the Gallery.

App Gallery
  • Eternal Reminder—notifies you when an ancestor's birth is now more than 110 years ago, so ordinances can be completed without requesting permission.

Note: For more information on using Descendancy research, as well as using Relative Finder, see Project 3: Desc.