New FamilySearch: An Enormous Endeavor with Enormous Rewards

Posted On: April 4th, 2010 | Posted by: Dean


Here at Genlighten, we’re working on ways to collaborate with the folks at FamilySearch so we can become “FamilySearch Certified.”.

With that thought in mind, I was intrigued to hear Russell M. Nelson, a member of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, discuss New FamilySearch (NFS) in an address entitled “Generations Linked In Love” at the Church’s 180th Annual General Conference today. Here are some excerpts from his remarks that got my attention:

“When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us,” Elder Nelson said. “We feel part of something greater than ourselves. Our inborn yearnings for family connections are fulfilled when we are linked to our ancestors through sacred ordinances of the temple.”

“No matter your situation, you can make family history a part of your life right now,” Elder Nelson said.

The New FamilySearch system helps members find their ancestors, decide what ordinances to do and prepare the names for the temple. It’s accessible wherever the Internet is available and about 60,000 [family] history consultants serve throughout the world who can assist those who need help.

The new system reveals errors needing correction and members may be frustrated as they work through these challenges, but the Church understands these concerns. “The Church… is working diligently to assist you in solving these problems,” he said. “Together we are striving to organize the family tree for all of God’s children. This is an enormous endeavor with enormous rewards.”

I was gratified to see Elder Nelson acknowledge the frustration that some have experienced in using NFS. I don’t have access to any inside information on the process beyond the notifications I receive as a member of the FamilySearch Developers’ Network and what I read on the FamilySearch Labs blog. But I sense that the people behind NFS are indeed working very hard, and that “enormous endeavor” is a rather pleasant euphemism for what in reality is a ridiculously difficult programming and database administration task.

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