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Gospel Basics — Family History helps our ancestors

Family history is discovering and learning about our family members. We also gather information about our ancestors so we can do temple work for them.  Families are central to Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. He has prepared a way for families to continue forever. As we do our family history and temple work, we help bring our family members, both living and dead, together. (“Temple work” means receiving temple ordinances for ourselves, like being sealed to our spouse, as well as doing ordinances in the temple for our ancestors.

Family History and Temple Work

Every person who has lived or will live on the earth needs the ordinances of the gospel. If our ancestors didn’t have that chance, we can perform ordinances for them in the temple. One of those ordinances is being sealed to family members. Being “sealed” means we will be able to live forever with our families if we are righteous. We can be sealed to our families only in temples.

Blessings of Family History Work

Family history can help us strengthen our relationships with our living family members. As we share stories, photographs, and other memories with each other, we establish family bonds. We also strengthen the love we have for each other. Prophets have also promised that working on our family history will bring us closer to Jesus Christ.

Finding Our Ancestors

Heavenly Father wants us to be sealed to our current families and to our ancestors. Before we can be sealed to our ancestors, we need to find and then save the information about them. But family history is more than just researching names, dates, and places. As we learn about our ancestors, we will feel more connected to them.


FamilySearch is a free software service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It helps people discover their families. You can get started on your family history at or in the FamilySearch Family Tree app. Your ward or branch might also have someone who can help you.

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