How to reverse a "share with temple"?
Hello, all. Today I noticed that a verrrrry distant cousin (9c1r) has reserved temple ordinances for one of my great-aunts, and then "shared with temple". While I believe this is likely to have been done with the best of intentions, it was done in error. My great-aunt's daughter (with whom I am in close contact) has not been asked permission for these ordinances to be performed.
I suspect that this distant cousin was alerted by FamilySearch that they had "ancestors available for temple work" and that is how they came to get involved with reserving and sharing temple ordinances, etc. I don't know how they would have made the connection otherwise, as our common ancestor was born in 1605 and we are not otherwise acquainted with one another.
I have sent them a courteous message letting them know of the situation that this relative's living child has not given permission for people to do her mother's temple ordinances, but having already shared with temple I'm not sure it can be "unshared with the temple" without some tech support.
Help! How can we make this right? I am descended from some famous colonists (Mayflower, etc), so I literally have tens of thousands of distant cousins in the Church, who might be notified by FamilySearch about my great-aunt's temple work being "available". How can it be made clear that they are NOT AVAILABLE, as she has a living daughter who must first be consulted?
To Unshare with the temple, all that cousin needs to do is go to his or her Temple page, click on the Shared tab, click in the box before our great-aunt's name, then click either Unshare to put it back to the My Reservation list or Unreserve to unreserve it completely. Takes about five seconds to do.
A more complicated situation is your great-aunt's age. When was she born? If more than 110 years ago, technically that cousin does not need permission. But even in that situation, not leaving it for a daughter to take care of is rather disrespectful if it was known she had a daughter.
If less than 110 years ago and there are no other living children who could have given permission besides the daughter, then a mistake was made and I would hope Support would just cancel the reservation.
I don't think FamilySearch would be sending notices about available work for people less than 110 years old. That has been a such a problem that they have tried to put safe guards on to reinforce that ordinances for anyone born less than 110 years ago should not be done without permission that to then sabotage those efforts with one of their campaigns seems very counterproductive. But maybe there was a glitch in how they programmed one of those notices.3
Thank you for posting your concern in the Community about the ordinance reservation for your great-aunt. In order to investigate this issue, we need the name and ID number of the great-aunt, as well as the daughter's information.
It would be better for the great-aunt's daughter to contact us, as she is the one concerned, and we would appreciate working directly with her. You can advise her of the needed information, mentioned above, so she can get help easily. Be aware that the great-aunt may also have other close living relatives (spouse, parents, children, siblings) also,1
Gordon Collett, thank you for that insight regarding how the FamilySearch user who has reserved and shared the ordinances, can "unshare" and "unreserve". That is reassuring.
What I mean by getting a notification is, when FamilySearch users who are members of the Church go to the drop down menu under "Temple", there is an option to click "Ordinances Ready", which will identify relatives who have not had ordinances done, but potentially could.
My aunt was born 102 years ago. However, it behooves any of us who wish to reserve ordinances to take a moment to acquaint ourselves with the person we wish to serve, and check to see if they have any living family members who need to be included in that decision.
I'm sure it was a simple misunderstanding on the part of the distant cousin, who was clearly not aware that my aunt has a close family member who needs to be consulted before performing any temple ordinances. Nevertheless I feel it important to act quickly and address the situation straight away, as I would feel embarrassed for the church's sake and very disappointed for my cousin's sake, if she were not consulted about her mother's ordinances.
Thanks again for your input!1
Hi, @Sanra . Thanks for getting in touch! I'm grateful for your expertise and help in getting this little snarl untangled with a minimum of fuss.
In the meantime, one of my daughters has reserved the baptism and confirmation ordinances for Aunt Florence, so that no one else can unwittingly move forward on this without being aware that Florence's daughter is alive and it is her blessing and privilege to be the one to make decisions about her mother's ordinances.
My aunt is named Florence Francisca Grzegowski (16 December 1909 – 24 September 2007), and her ID number on the family tree is LJYH-CR6.
My cousin (Florence's daughter) is not a member of the church, and is not aware of the situation which I am working to correct. I don't feel it would be kind to disturb her about it. She was recently widowed and has long COVID, so I feel she has bigger fish to fry. As a member of the church, I would rather advocate for my loved one through my resources, and let her use her strength to deal with her grief and illness without this complication. As I see it, currently this is a "no harm, no foul" situation as no temple ordinances were actually performed without her permission. I'm just making sure it stays that way. Nothing regrettable has yet taken place, no one has been offended, and happily if we work together to rectify the situation quickly, we can ensure that nobody will be.
My cousin and I enjoy doing genealogy together when we can, so in due time I will discuss the temple ordinance opportunity and see if she is interested in having that done for her mom and dad. She is their one and only descendant and everyone else in the family has already passed on, so as the closest living relative it is entirely her prerogative to make that decision, and there is no one else who can give that permission. Until she is ready to make that choice, I would simply like to make sure that it is communicated to more distant relatives that my cousin's parents are not available for temple ordinances without permission, even though they were born 107 and 112 years ago.0
Oops, typo! My aunt was born 112 years ago, not 102. The distant cousin who reserved and shared was acting in good faith and abiding by the "110 year" protocol. It's just that there is a much closer family member who needs to be consulted first, that's all.1
@Sanra With regard to information about the living child of Florence Francisca Grzegowski (LJYH-CR6), that is already on the FamilySearch tree. It should show one living child for Florence. If I have misunderstood what you meant, please message me directly, so I can get information to you privately. Thank you! I appreciate your help!1
Hi, @Sanra . Thanks for getting in touch. I am inexperienced with using these community boards, and I just now learned how to tag you in a comment. I responded to your first message a few days ago, but as I was editing it just now to tag you, the message disappeared and I have no idea where it has ended up. If you know how I can get in touch with FamilySearch support to get this issue with my aunt resolved, will you please get in touch with me? I would really like to talk to someone who knows how to rectify the error. Thank you!1
You can find your conversations about Florence Francisca Grzegowski, LJYH-CR6, by clicking on the circle top right on this page, next to the envelope, and clicking "My Discussions". You will see a list of all posts, and answers, you have been involved in here in Community.
As for Florence's ordinances, we see that Amber Renae has reserved and shared with the Temple all of the ordinances, and the the Baptism and Confirmation were reserved by another person, who has 90 days to complete them. FamilySearch can do nothing about the reserved ordinances, because they have been reserved by someone related. The only way to get the ordinances unreserved is by contacting the person who reserved them. Here is the article from the Help Center about this issue.
If the ordinances for one of your ancestors are reserved, you can contact the person and request that they share the ordinances with you. He or she can unreserve the ordinances, allowing you to reserve them for yourself.
Look for the date indicating when the other person reserved the ordinances. If it was only recently, he or she is probably planning to complete the ordinances soon. Do not be offended if your request is not granted.
- On the FamilySearch website in Family Tree, display the ancestor's person page.
- At the top, under the ancestor's name, click Ordinances.
- A list of ordinances appears. Ordinances that are ready for the temple are highlighted in green. Light green means you can reserve the ordinance; dark green means it is already reserved.
- To the right of the dark green ordinances, you see the date the ordinance was reserved along with the profile of the person responsible. Click the profile.
- Use the contact email address that appears to send a message. Or click Send a Message to use FamilySearch's own messaging service.
Steps (mobile app)
- In the Family Tree mobile app, display the person page that contains the ordinances you want to ask about.
- In the green menu bar directly below your ancestor's name, tap Ordinances. (You might need to slide the menu bar to the left to see it). A list of ordinances appears. Those that are ready for the temple are highlighted in green. Light green means you can reserve the ordinance right now; dark green means it is already reserved.
- To the right of the dark green ordinances, you see the date the ordinance was reserved along with the profile of the person responsible. Tap the profile.
- Use one of the options that appear to send a message. Or tap Send a Message to use FamilySearch's own messaging service.
What to do if the person doesn't respond
If you are unable to contact the other person, if he or she does not respond, or if he or she chooses not to release the ordinances, keep these things in mind:
- Church members have 2 years to complete ordinances for family names they request in Family Tree.
- When the 2-year reservation date expires and no progress has been made on the ordinances, the family names are automatically released.
Contact FamilySearch Support if you need additional assistance.
My ancestor's ordinances were reserved between 2007 and 2009 but are still not done
How long do you have to complete ordinances before your reservations expire
We hope this clarifies this ordinance issue for you.1
@Sanra Thank you for taking the time to respond and include detailed instructions. That was very considerate and I appreciate it.
To clarify a few details:
1. The first person who reserved ordinances is distantly related to ME, not to Aunt Florence. If I remember correctly, she is the 8th cousin of Florence's sister-in-law's EX-husband.
2. The second person who reserved the ordinance is my daughter. She is not going to do the ordinances. She knows that she needs permission from our cousin first, and our cousin is ill and bereaved right now. She only reserved it so nobody would do the ordinances while we are in the process of addressing this error with FamilySearch.
3. I have written to the person who reserved the ordinances. I posted here because I got no response, so I moved on to the next solution.
I don't agree with the conclusion as you have described it. Children have the prerogative to decide about their parents ordinances. That is Church policy. It is obvious from Florence's profile that she has a living child. Therefore, the person who originally reserved the ordinances did so in error.
I don't believe that FamilySearch is powerless to correct the error. It says right on Aunt Florence's profile that she has a living daughter. Why should my elderly cousin have to wait for 2 years hoping some stranger gets in touch with her to discuss this, and wondering what they are doing with her mom? That is unjust and unkind. To put it bluntly, it would be far more appropriate, just, and merciful for OTHER PEOPLE to wait a few years until my cousin has passed away if they are not interested in asking her permission first.
This is not about who performs the ordinances. This is about my non-member family members being able to TRUST the Church. It's about me telling the truth when I reassure them that if they share their genealogical data on FamilySearch, nobody will baptize their parents without their permission. Many people have concerns about this and I always defend FamilySearch and insist that members of the Church don't do that; we are considerate, the Church is respectful of family relationships, and there are policies in place to prevent such things.
Have I been telling lies this whole time?
Somebody has the ability to correct this mistake. Please, I would like to be put in touch with that person. Thank you very much for your assistance and support thus far. I appreciate the time and attention you have given the matter.1
Thank you for your reply. I am sorry to hear your cousin is struggling right now.
It sounds like you have tried everything you can do. We have been advised by a supervisor that since Florence is over 110 years old, the ordinances can be reserved by anyone, the 110 year rule does not apply.1
Thank you for your response, @Sanra .
There is nothing special about "110 years". It is just an arbitrary number that somebody assumed would be a reasonable time span that all close relatives will be dead. In this case, it is an incorrect assumption, with hurtful consequences.
On the other hand, my cousin is extremely special. She is the only child of Florence Francisca Grzegowski, and the very last survivor of her family line.
Please reconsider for my cousin's sake. She deserves the same consideration as every other person. Why must she be disregarded because she happens to have been born to an older mother? This is very unfair for her.1
This is the last message I will add to this thread.
I accept that nothing is going to be done about this situation from the Church's side, and that as far as FamilySearch support is concerned, it is a closed matter. I don't agree with their decision; I believe that we as a Church community can and must do way better to respect those who collaborate and share their genealogical data on our website, but I accept the reality of the outcome in my particular situation. The reality is, FamilySearch representatives have been attentive and courteous, they are sympathetic to my cousin's plight, but they are unprepared to take any responsibility or action.
Suffice to say that I am disappointed. Not only about the callous way in which my cousin's right to be involved with her mother's ordinances was deemed less important than serving a policy or upholding an operating system, but about the fact that I have no recourse at all. Nobody to write to, nobody to consult, no appeal process. Once a (nameless) supervisor has weighed in, and passed their judgement down the line, that is the end of the discussion.
As this community board is designed as a resource for all FamilySearch users so we can learn from one another, I would like to share my final thoughts about how I have decided to proceed in resolving my particular concern and question. I realize that posting this is akin to putting a message in a bottle and casting it upon the ocean: it may never be read by or relevant to another person. But I would like to express what is in my heart anyway.
With regard to my family and temple ordinance situation, here is what I have learned, and what I have decided to do:
ONE. I have learned that while we as a Church have high ideals and goals with regard to using tools such as FamilySearch to streamline and improve worldwide collaboration of sacred temple ordinance work, it is still a work in progress and there are loopholes and gaps which some people will fall through.
For example, while a "110 year" policy works as a good rule of thumb, it cannot cover every situation (such as a living person born 76 years ago to a mother who was aged in her late 30s).
I wonder if the fact that we are now engaging with sacred temple ordinance work through a computer program instead of with people has fostered an impersonal attitude about how we are making decisions on individual cases. I trust the system will continue to be refined and improved over time. I guess you could call my cousin "collateral damage" of the current system in place, which apparently is so inflexible that it cannot handle an exception to the 110 year rule, even when it is obvious that by upholding that rule, we are failing to uphold our values of respecting children's prerogative to make decisions about their parents' temple work.
TWO. I have decided not to hold any hard feelings towards the other people involved in the situation. For me, that was never in question, but I am sharing it in the off chance that someone else is in a similar situation and reading to find out how I dealt with it. I am actively giving everybody the benefit of the doubt and assuming that everybody has the very best of intentions, and that we are all doing the best we can to arrive at the best outcome.
It is easy to do if you visualize the shoe being on the other foot and imagine that you were a volunteer on the FamilySearch boards, or a supervisor trying to keep everything simple and fair, or a Church member who thought it would be lovely if a distant relative could have the benefit of vicarious temple ordinances. I'm sure I've been that distant relative at one time or another. In any of those scenarios I would appreciate a bit of grace if I happened to fall short of perfection in some way. We all would. That's how I approach it anyway. Give the kind of grace you hope to receive.
THREE. I have decided to take personal responsibility to do all that lies in my power to respect my cousin, and allow her the courtesy and blessing of being consulted about her parents' temple ordinances. Having been the one to share her parents' genealogical data with FamilySearch, I will now unshare it until such time as my cousin is aware of what temple ordinances are and has given her permission for them to take place.
To clarify, this is not a spiteful or vindictive action, and I am not deleting any of the other information I have submitted about our family. I am simply acting to correct a specific situation I unintentionally created. This solution is guided by my new understanding that FamilySearch is not programmed to recognize and identify for more distant relatives when a person born over 110 years ago has living spouse, children, or siblings.
As computer programs are incapable of showing respect, it is up to us humans.
FOUR: I have decided not to defend FamilySearch on social media anymore, nor make any assurances to my non-member relatives that they will be consulted about any temple work for their close family members. Knowing what I know now, I cannot do that in good conscience.
I can highly recommend FamilySearch as one of the finest and most accessible genealogical resources online. I have no ax to grind, and will not be discouraging people from using it. But I will never again make the untrue assertion to people that their loved ones will not be baptized without consent from the closest family member. I now understand that only applies if their loved one was born under 110 years ago. Anyone with relatives older than that, their mom could end up being baptized by a sixth half-cousin of her husband's sister's ex-husband (as is the case with Aunt Florence), and they would not be consulted at all (as is the case with my cousin).
FIVE: I have decided that from now on, I will be really careful when reserving temple ordinances for distant relatives. I am going to make sure I check to see if they have close family members to consult first, and not assume that simply because they were born over 110 years ago all their immediate family has died.
And if anyone has read through all that, congratulations and thanks for your time! That's me over and out.0
Hello, just adding a postscript to the above, for the record.
This morning I was able to have a very special and uplifting phone conversation with my cousin, explaining about the eternal nature of the spirit, about the continuation of choice and self determination in the hereafter, and about sacred temple ordinances which can be performed for her parents, giving them the option and choice to accept or decline the blessings offered.
I learned that many of my cousin's beliefs about human existence and the nature of spirit are in harmony with the ideas I shared. She also related to me how she had seen evidences of these principles in her life.
I informed her that as her parents' only child and closest living relative, it was her prerogative to decide whether to permit these proxy ordinances to be performed in their behalf during her lifetime. I assured her that I would respect her choice and honour it.
She then gave her full and complete consent, and expressed that she felt it would be a positive thing for her parents, with sincere hopes that it would bring their souls greater peace and healing than they had known in their lifetimes.
This generosity of spirit is typical of my cousin. Her response is even more poignant, courageous, and beautiful when one is aware how horrifically she was harmed and abused by her parents' dysfunctional and destructive behaviour throughout her childhood and youth.
There is a powerful spirit of healing and charity now present in our midst, which has flowed from my cousin granting her blessing, and speaking of her desire that those who failed her so badly in life may be offered every sweetness, forgiveness, hope, comfort, and opportunity for peace in the world beyond.
We have made arrangements for her parents to be baptised this weekend. It feels really, really special, like preparing for a visit and personal ministering from the Saviour himself. It feels like the breathless and eager anticipation of the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise: the healing of a deep grief, the relieving of an agony long endured, the lifting of a great burden.
"...the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
...To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:1,30