How to Start your Family History

Family History Ancestors

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The prophets of God have echoed it for years. Even more true now than in 1992, President Gordon B. Hinckley made it strikingly clear,

“Truly, my dear young friends, you are a chosen generation. I hope you will never forget it. I hope you will never take it for granted. I hope there will grow in your hearts an overpowering sense of gratitude to God, who has made it possible for you to come upon the earth in this marvelous season of the world’s history.”

Just as we’ve been saved for these times, family history work has been saved for us. We have nimble keyboard thumbs and there’s usually a phone or laptop within a few feet of us. Technology has given us a means to trace through time and find things that were formerly impossible, all in the name of furthering God’s work.

Family history work is the task of this generation.

This column, Turning Hearts, will spell it out, step by step, the process that is modern family history. The posts to come will teach you how to turn your heart towards our Fathers and do the work of salvation. Searching out names through databases, adding photos and preparing names for temple will be covered in this column, as well as everything in between.

Look for a post every Saturday afternoon and prepare to do your family’s work alongside. The first step we’ll walk you through is how to set up an account on, one of the first steps in doing your family history online. Find these instructions and get started here.

Maddy Fitzgerald is a journalism student at Brigham Young University. She likes to read and write, mainly about food, culture and the great, wide world. Interning at this summer, she's writing about another beloved topic: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.