Mormon Name Extraction Program

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Prophets have said that the family unit is “central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” and that His divine plan of happiness “enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy Mormon temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” [1]

Mormon name extraction program

Not all families know that God intends for them to be together forever. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the Mormon Church) builds temples, so that sacred ordinances and covenants can be available to all of God’s children. The genealogy and family history efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ has always been about giving these eternal blessings to families.

The Sealing Power of Elijah

The prophet Elijah had a role in blessing families eternally:

Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. . . . And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers (Joseph Smith—History 1:38–39).

Mormons who feel their hearts turning to their ancestors and who feel a desire to find their family history call these spiritual promptings the Spirit of Elijah. They also believe that Elijah held the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. He appeared with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration and conferred this authority upon Peter, James, and John. (See Matthew 17:3.) He appeared again with Moses and others on April 3, 1836, and conferred the same keys upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. (See Doctrine and Covenants 110:14–16.)

Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ, said, “The restoration of the sealing authority by Elijah in 1836 was necessary to prepare the world for the Savior’s Second Coming and initiated a greatly increased and worldwide interest in family history research.” [2] Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that the Spirit of Elijah is “a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family.” [3]

The History of Record Extraction

The Genealogical Society of Utah was established in 1894 and since that time, The Church of Jesus Christ has gathered genealogical records worldwide to help members of the Church and others research their own family history. The Granite Mountain Records Vault in a Salt Lake City, Utah, mountainside contains more than two million microfilms full of billions of individual and family records. More are being added every day. Church volunteers are working to make these records available online.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ believe it is their responsibility to assist in the work of salvation for the human family. The primary focus of each member’s family history work is his or her own family. FamilySearch indexing is the opportunity to help other people find their ancestors.

FamilySearch indexing is the process of reading digitized versions of physical records—such as census, vital, probate, and church records—and typing the information they contain into an online searchable database. Through this work, indexing volunteers make it possible for members [of The Church of Jesus Christ] and other family history researchers to easily locate their ancestors’ information on the Internet. [4]

The historical records from governments and other record custodians all over the world used to be available to search on microfilm only at Family History Centers owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ. Now FamilySearch employees scan them into the indexing program. Volunteers view these records on their computers, type the information as they see it, and then save it in the database. The information is digitized and available to anyone worldwide through the search function on

The ultimate purpose of family history research is to unite families together forever. Members of the Church prepare their ancestors’ information so that Mormon temple ordinances may be performed for them vicariously. Mormons know that sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally. Temple blessings are available to all who meet the worthiness requirements to enter the temple.