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What Does FamilySearch Mean to Me?


If you have any friends who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or know a bit about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you probably already know about Church members doing their “family history work.” At a basic level, this simply means that they seek out information about their ancestors, a process that has been greatly helped by the FamilySearch website.

The FamilySearch website, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has one purpose: to help people find their genealogy. Family history work is important and sacred to Church members because they believe that a family can remain together for eternity. For that blessing to be realized, though, each family member needs to have certain ordinances performed for him or her inside temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Anyone can use the FamilySearch website. Whether you want to use FamilySearch to ensure that your entire family can be together forever or simply to discover who you’re related to, FamilySearch can help.

Know where you came from

One of the main reasons people are drawn to family history work is to discover who their ancestors are. FamilySearch allows people to trace their family lines as far back as records exist. Some people have discovered kings, lords, or even fugitives in their family tree!

The FamilySearch website says, “We strive to create and link the best and most valuable research resources to help people discover who they are by exploring where they come from.”

So how can FamilySearch benefit you?

If you’re struggling to find greater purpose in life, or you wonder if there really is a plan for you, you can find solace and even companionship in the stories of your ancestors. The genealogy website Roots Search has stated: “Genealogy is more than just tracing your family tree[;] it is about discovering your heritage, creating a story about your family. . . . Discovering your family is a learning experience . . . [that] will take you through time and across continents.”

If you learned that your ancestors sailed from Europe to America or helped settle the Wild West, perhaps that might help you put your current problems into perspective. Dealing with a minor difficulty at work is probably easier than walking across America, and many people’s ancestors did just that! Imagine the peace you can feel knowing how your ancestors helped shape the world you live in today. At the same time, it puts in perspective how your own actions and story can impact future generations.

Religious reasons

Church members use FamilySearch as a way to connect with their heritage and to learn more about their ancestors. But a more important reason for doing family history work is to perform “saving ordinances” for deceased ancestors. Church members believe that certain ordinances must be done for each person to gain access to heaven. If the person died before those ordinances were performed, they must be completed for the person inside a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that the family—the entire family—can be together for eternity.

You don’t need to be member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use FamilySearch. If the idea of eternal families is something that appeals to you—even if you’re of a different faith—you can use the records you find on FamilySearch to submit names and have ordinances performed for your deceased ancestors.

By using FamilySearch to find out more about your ancestors, you can learn where you came from and what your ancestors experienced in their lives. You may even gain perspective about what truly matters in life. You’ll also probably see how your life can impact the lives of future generations.