Thursday, March 25, 2010

Temples and NFS

Notice: This article will be of interest only to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

New FamilySearch helps members perform sacred ordinances for departed love ones

FamilySearch product managers, Ron Tanner and Tim Cross, answered New FamilySearch (NFS) and temple-related questions in their presentations at the South Davis Family History Fair and the St. George Family History Expo, respectively. I’ve also thrown in an Internet post from Ron Tanner.


Q. If you remove the temple records from New FamilySearch, how will we know what ordinances have been done?

A. You will no longer combine your ancestor with the temple record, but you will link to the temple record to show the ordinance has been done.


Q. Are all the official ordinances shown in NFS?

A. (One of the two:) Yes. That is the intent. As we discover ordinances (we’re 99.999%) that aren’t in there, if you have proof, contact Support.

A. (The other:) No. We don’t have all the temple records in the system today. We are still extracting paper records. Every 3 months when we release an update we also add records. About 5-6 million records will be added in the March release. The release notes point out that temple records were added from Asia temples. Millions more are still not in.


Q. If a distant relative has reserved an ordinance for an ancestor, and you are a closer relative, what can be done?

A. Contact them. We’re not going to get involved.


Q. If an ordinance is reserved for a long time, can it be un-reserved?

A. As long as the person who reserved the ordinance is living, it can’t be unreserved. In some areas of the world, individuals save for many years to travel to a temple. It would be disastrous if the individual finally made it to the temple and found their ancestors had been unreserved.

We know at some point we will have to address this issue. We are looking into several ideas:

  • Limit the number of ancestors a person can have reserved at one time
  • Placing a time limit on how long a reservation can last
  • Detect reservations of non-related people


Q. I have problems with Ancestors that NFS says “Needs More Information” for temple submission. When I change the birth information to be exactly the same as the christening information, then NFS will accept it. Why do I have to put in incorrect information?

A. If you have only a christening event, then the system will take that event to try to qualify. However, if there is anything in the birth fields the system will ignore the christening information. And if the text in the date field is insufficient to qualify then the ordinance will not be reserved. If there is nothing in the birth fields, then the system will use the christening information to attempt to qualify.

In this case you have a christening that can qualify but a birth that cannot, so NFS thinks the person does not qualify.

This is also true for death and burial. If there is a death then it ignores the burial, otherwise it uses the burial for qualification.

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