Can I submit my wife's ancestors names to the temple?
I've seen a few similar threads on this topic so I hope I'm not duplicating. I want to be certain on the answer.
My wife is in the late stages of dementia. I'd like to ensure the temple work is completed on her ancestors. Short version of this question: Can I do that?
Longer version: I see that FamilySearch does come up with a 'relationship' when I click on that - I'm obviously related via my wife. But the general instructions on who I can submit for talks about direct biological ancestors. While I can see there are plenty of ordinances to complete on my wife's side (ie manually clicking thro' the tree), when I click on the automated ordinances-ready page it only comes up with names on my side. It seems from this and the questions/answers on this community site that the basic answer is 'no' I can't submit these names.
So the next question is, Is there a way that I CAN submit the names? I can see two potential ways forward:
1) I ask one of my wife's children for permission to do this work (her children aren't related to me). If one of them gives me permission, am I then OK to submit the names?
2) I have (UK) Lasting Power of Attorney. This may be stretching things, but does this apply to temple submissions? The LPA gives me authority to make decisions on behalf of my wife that I judge she would do if she was able. I'm confident that she would be submitting these names if she was able. Does anyone have any clues about that?
If 1) is true then that's probably a lot simpler than trying to find out the answer to 2). Could someone please advise?
I'll add that while I've seen a couple of threads on this topic concluding it's better to leave the work to a spouse's children [where the spouse is now deceased - that's the closest I've found to my situation], we're the only Church members in the family so that isn't an option.
Thanks very much for your help
Thank you for posting in the Community about your ordinance question. Yes you can do ordinances for the following:
- Immediate family members (spouse, children, siblings, and parents).
- Direct-line ancestors (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, and their families).
You can also submit the names of the individuals below:
- Biological, adoptive, and foster family lines connected to your family.
- Collateral family lines (uncles, aunts, cousins, and their families).
- Descendants of your ancestors.
- Your own descendants.
- Possible ancestors, meaning individuals who have a probable family relationship that cannot be verified because the records are inadequate, such as those who have the same last name and resided in the same area as your known ancestors.
You can do ordinances for your wife's family while she is living. After she dies, you can do the ordinances with written permission from one of her children.
You may wish to read the following article link.
Does this answer your question fully?
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. That's great news. I'm not really clear where my wife's ancestors qualify under the points in the general instructions tho'. Is it the second point 1: "Biological, adoptive, and foster family lines connected to your family" ? Is "adoptive" here some specific Family History term that includes 'related by marriage'? I'm struggling to interpret any of the points to mean "ancestors of your spouse".
What I want to do is take your word as gospel, but it would be good to understand how you're coming to your conclusion, just to be completely certain.
Thanks for your help
Private message sent to guest1
We take direction from the articles in the Help Center, found under the (?) top right on FamilySearch, so everyone gets the same information. The list provided above came from the article titles "Individuals for whom I can request temple ordinances".
Adoptive means the child who has been added to the family by adoption. If you can show a relationship in Family Tree, you can request ordinances, if they are close relationships; (spouse, children, siblings, and parents), otherwise you will find "Permission Required" You might wish to check the article " https://www.familysearch.org/en/help/helpcenter/article/how-do-i-specify-biological-step-adopted-and-foster-relationships-in-family-tree
You might wish to explore what is available in the Help Center, by searching by key words, or questions.0
Thanks again for the quick response. I think I've confused things with my comment about the word "adoptive".
Where I am is: I've searched the help information, and I've read the instructions about which names I can submit to the temple. I've not found anything that says I can submit the names of my wife's ancestors. That includes in the points that you've copied in your reply. You've said that I CAN submit my wife's ancestors, which, if true, is great news. My question now is what are you basing that conclusion on? I'm hoping very much that you're right, but I'd like to see the official instructions saying that. As I say I've not been able to track anything down that says I can.
Perhaps I'm over thinking (I do that a lot). I just want to be certain it's officially bona fide that I can submit the names.
Thanks very much for your help
Thanks again. But I'm afraid I'm getting a bit confused, and I'm wondering whether we're talking past each other. I don't want to submit any names of descendants. Maybe if I take this in some more detail to be certain we're talking about the same thing:
"We are advised to work on our own ancestors." Right. This is my basic question. I'm not asking about my own ancestors. I'm asking about my wife's ancestors. Can I submit those names to the temple, ie on my wife's behalf? Or can I only submit names of my own ancestors.
"If you note the relationships, it talks about descendents, in other words your wife's children and grandchildren, NOT her parents and grandparents, etc." Where is this reference? I mean, what instructions are you quoting here? I'm afraid I'm not at all clear what this means. The only reference to descendants I can see in the general instructions are the descendants of my ancestors, not the descendants of my spouse.
"...unless they are over 110 years old. Anyone can do ordinances for someone over 110 years old." This seems to contradict all of the instructions. We can't really submit names of anyone over 110 years old can we? I'd understood that they have to be related to us, ie as per the general instructions.
It seems that you're saying that while we're "advised" to work on our own ancestors, we can actually submit anybody's name so long as they were born at least 110 years ago.
I'm sorry to be making this complicated. I'm afraid the thread is really confusing me. All I need is a reference to an official note that I can submit names of ancestors of my living wife. I've no reason to doubt you're right in your original response that I'm permitted to do that. I'd just like to see the official instructions so that I can do it with a completely clear conscience.
That said, if you can point me to an official note that says we can submit names of anyone, related or not, who was born at least 110 years ago then that would also cover what I need, as the people I'd like to submit all fall under that category (ie my wife has already submitted and completed the work for her ancestors born more recently than 110 years ago).
Thanks for your help
Thanks for that. Do you know the answer to my original (and really only) question? Can I submit names of my wife's ancestors (who will have been born over 110 years ago) while my wife is still living?
And if not, can I do that if I have permission from one of my wife's children?
And on both of these questions, do you have a reference to official instructions from Church headquarters?
Thanks very much for your help,
@Steve75 ,Short answer you should not submit names for your wife’s ancestors (110 yrs or not, permission or not) unless you are related. But there are other strategies you can employ. You can go to the Help Center and put in key words and get what you need, or someone on this forum will start posting them for you shortly as time permits. Click the ? mark in the circle, then “Help Center”, enter key words into the Search box.
1. You could sign-in as a “helper” to your spouse. As helper you are acting as your spouses agent and can reserve her relative names as she would. A Temple and Family History Consultant in your Ward or Stake can help.
2. You could contract her children or another one of her descendents who would be related to her ancestors and let them reserve the ordinances. They can print the cards and you do them.
3. You could go ahead and put her genealogy into FamilySearch Family Tree then go to a specific relative of hers and click “View My Relationship”. This will go back 15 generations, you may indeed be related.4
Thanks that's very useful. I'll talk to one of the Ward consultants about registering as a 'helper'. That sounds like exactly what I am in this case.
The other two options aren't really viable unfortunately. We're the only members in our family, so while they'd be happy to give permission, none of her children would want to do any more than that. And on the "View my Relationship": The names are already in the system (my wife put them in before her dementia prevented her doing any more - she hadn't got around to submitting them). It does always show a relationship with these individuals, but it's always via my wife, ie I'm linked via her. So for example it will say "My wife's great-grandfather".
But as I say, this idea of being my wife's "helper" seems a perfect fit. I can't find anything about it on the Help Centre, but I'll talk to a Ward Consultant as you've suggested.
Thanks very much for your help
@Steve75 , You likely could figure out how to sign-in as “Helper” yourself, there are a few hoops to jump threw. There are Two different methods that differ according to the situation and the information you have.
Method I. This sometimes works and is a little more direct. Sign-in to FamilySearch, then the Family Tree page, click the Life Preserver icon with the words “Help Others” next to it (should be below your name) , then click the “Full Name” tab (you can use the Username tab but only if you know the username), fill in the First and Last name , DOB and last 5 digits of your wife’s membership number. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOTSIIQMM-0
Method II. Sign-in to FamilySearch, click the ? mark in the circle, at the bottom click “Helper Resources”, you should see the word Planner on the right and below your name, click “Add Someone” enter First and Last Name and follow the directions...0
Thanks Chas, that YouTube link was extremely useful and clear.
I think if only for completeness (in case there's anyone reading this long thread with the same question) I'll record what I think we're concluding. The short version of this is "Yes, if your spouse gives you permission - or if they're not capable of doing so you have permission from someone they've previously authorised - you CAN submit their ancestors' names on their behalf."
Breaking that down to the details:
"you can" is made up of both
- The system technically has a feature by which you can submit the names.
- Official Church policy allows you to do it.
The 'Helper' feature makes it possible to technically submit names, so long as you have permission from the person. This person doesn't need to be related to you. It can be anyone. The additional functionality is required so that you can access their tree.
I don't need to use the Helper feature. I already have access to my wife's tree - it's the same tree as my own. I can access her ancestors' data, and, technically, I can press the buttons to submit their names to the temple. However, when I press those buttons, a window pops up with the generic "Please check that you're qualified to submit these names" message, including the bullets quoted in Sanra's first response above (eg "Are they a direct ancestor", etc).
So my question has not been "can I technically do it?" but "am I allowed to, according to Church policy?". And what the Helper feature tells me is that yes I can - I'm allowed to - so long as I have my wife's permission.
In my specific circumstance, my wife can't give her permission due to her dementia. I have to go to the person who she's authorised to act on her behalf, and that person is me.
I'm comfortable with that. The fact that the Helper feature exists in FamilySearch demonstrates that Church policy allows me to submit names for someone else so long as I have their permission, which in this particular scenario happens to be my wife.
Thanks very much for your help,
@Steve75 , No I do not agree with your assessment or characterization of Church policy in your summary in several of your comments.
1. Starting with your statement ”...if your spouse gives you permission – or if they’re not capable of doing so you have permission from someone they’ve previously authorised – you CAN submit their ancestor’s names on their behalf.” NO, that is incorrect. Further you are trying to apply some doctrine of mental capabilities not stated in Church policy as far as I know.
2. Your statement, I don’t need to use the Helper feature. I already have access to my wife’s tree...” YES you do need to use the helper function. You are pushing the meaning of the helper function and making statements of policy out of context.
3. You are making inferences of by virtue of the existence of the Helper function that are incorrect. The Helper feature is NOT saying that the Church policy is that you can submit names to those you are not related.
I stand by my comment as previously stated on 27 Dec 2021 in this thread and do not think anyone should read your last summary as Church policy.
Can someone help me out here? @Brett . @Gordon Collett0
OK thanks. I appreciate your efforts to explain this, but I'm afraid I don't really follow.
You said before "You could sign-in as a “helper” to your spouse. As helper you are acting as your spouses agent and can reserve her relative names as she would." Doesn't that contradict your statement above that "The Helper feature is NOT saying that the Church policy is that you can submit names to those you are not related."?
I'm assuming that the First Presy wouldn't have authorised the creation and use of the Helper function unless they're happy for the helper submitting the names on behalf of the help-ee.
I could of course go that route. I could find out my wife's ID and number and sign in as her helper, and I could submit the names that way. But I can't see a difference between me doing that, and simply going in on my own ID and submitting the names from that ID. It's still me giving myself permission. I'm using different functionality within FamilySearch, but the net effect is identical. Isn't it?
This is me genuinely wanting to understand. I wouldn't have asked the question in the first place otherwise. So I genuinely apologise if I'm missing something obvious.
Thanks very much for bearing with me and taking time out to explain it
(And maybe just adding to that, explaining why I'm bringing the words "Church policy" into the thread. What I'm looking for is exactly that. The challenge with a 'community' thread is that there is always a risk - however knowledgeable and diligent the responder may be - that an answer isn't correct. So as per my initial response to Sanra, while I very much appreciate the answer, what I really want is something formal from Church headquarters backing it up. I'm seeing the existence of the Helper function as equivalent to that formal statement from Salt Lake. The Church has formally approved the use of the Helper function, and so has formally approved Person 1 submitting the names on behalf of Person 2. (Having built in to the process, of course, the fact that Person 2 has to give permission.) Hence it's equivalent to a formal statement explaining the same principle. What I certainly don't want to do is start to create my own "Church policy" - that's the very opposite of my aim! - and hence the question to this group.)0
@steve 75, Perhaps my use of the term “agent” is part of the problem. You are not agent in a legal way. She is submitting the names, you are assisting her through the procedural part of the process. You are not submitting the names in your name or on your behalf. Further she can terminate your ability to assist her at any point. If you were to submit those names under your own account as you suggest then her ability to stop that would be eliminated plus you could not answer the question of are you related truthfully.0
OK that makes sense to me. Obviously what's making this a level more complex is the fact that my wife has dementia. I'll need to find out her ID and number by logging on with her ID. I will effectively be giving myself permission on her behalf. I see what you mean - In a more typical situation where the individual is able to give permission we need to follow the Helper feature so that it allows them to withdraw that permission at any time. And yes, as you say, taken literally, the statements on the 'are you qualified to submit these names?' pop up window can be answered honestly.
We're definitely agreeing that where someone is able to give permission the Helper function should be used, and I haven't meant to imply anything else in my statements above. You're definitely right to call that out. It's my wife's condition that's making it more complex and I think I might need to do my best to follow the Spirit on that one. It just seems strange to me that if I'm convinced she would submit these names if she was able - she'd already put them in the system and was an active temple-attender - and she's given me the authority to act on her behalf in every other sphere of life, that I wouldn't then be able to finish the work she was aiming to do. To be honest I'm still concluding that I can do that, but definitely as my own opinion and not general Church policy. Obviously if anyone does know of a clause that would contradict my conclusion I'm 100% ready to hear and apply it. (Again, that's the whole driver of this thread! :-) )
Gordon Collett ✭✭✭✭✭
You will most likely find this interesting: https://www.rootstech.org/video/whats-new-on-familysearch?lang=eng
Check out time mark 42:16.
The only people you really need to discuss this with is your bishop, temple president, or temple recorder.
Personally, not that it carries any weight whatsoever, I would agree that since you have Power of Attorney to take any action required on your wife's behalf otherwise including accessing any online accounts she has, that is being proxy for her in any legal or business matter, that it would also cover acting on her behalf in submitting her ancestors for ordinance work.1
@Gordon Collett , I had seen that Tanner video and have also seen several of his presentations before where he clearly explained, you can go down your spouse’s line but you cannot go up. But he is in a position where he should know the latest, however I have seen nothing to that effect on any help article. So color me confused.0
I find this discussion interesting. I reserve names on my husband's line all the time, he cannot do the female names but I can and he does not work in FamilySearch himself, he leaves that to me as it has been my calling as TFH consultant and I enjoy Family History as a hobby. My line is more long time Members than his family where his parents both converted (but they have some lds lines too). I reserve anyone that our children would be allowed to reserve. In fact they do the baptisms and often even the initiatory and endowments now. We often go as a couple to do the endowments too. I have a very small temple list, less than 25 currently as I do not reserve many names at all. Instead I work in the tree, both sides and I research and add the sources and I plant green temple icons for others to find. My kids will use ordinances ready and about 99% of the time it is someone that I worked on and usually on their Dad's side of the family. I know others will find those that need the work done thru my efforts, but I reserve a few and we do them as a family.
It is wonderful that like so many other families in the Church, your family has assigned you to handle making the formal reservations for both your ancestors and the ancestors of your husband. As long as a couple are married and working together to complete this important work, this is an excellent way to remain organized.
If there is a divorce or if one of you dies, however, the other person is no longer related to the ancestors of their spouse for the purpose of reserving ordinances. They can still do research and prepare names, but since they are not actually related to their spouse's ancestors, they should not reserve the ordinances.
When my husband passed, it become the responsibility of our daughter to continue working on his line since I was no longer related to his extended family, and working with her, we have been able to continue to bless his ancestors.
It has already been stated by others that we work from the official temple policies which can be found in the FamilySearch Help Center. With this very sacred work, it is most important to review these policies and then follow the promptings of the Spirit to be sure we are staying within the policy guidelines.
While your sweetheart is alive, you can work with her pedigree as well as your own, but when she passes, it will be the opportunity of your children to carry on the work for her ancestral lines. Bless you as you follow the Spirit to move this important work forward.1
My wife has passed on to the other side.
I'm sill trying to push her family tree back.
All this talk of "you're not related anymore" is ridiculous. As we were sealed in the temple, we are as related as I am to my parents or my children. This is one of the fundamental principals of the gospel. We are doing this work to unite all mankind in one family. That I should have to bow out and hand the work over to our children... (that will happen soon enough when I die).
After reading this thread it appears that that I can still do the temple work of my wife's family; all I have to do is ask my children?
Or on the other hand, my wife and I are something like 13th cousins three times removed. So we have a common ancestor way back. Therefore, because I can do the work for "collateral family lines (uncles, aunts, cousins, and their families)" I'm free to do the work.
The work for all mankind will have to be done. We need to quit straining at a gnat.0
Thanks so much for your recent perspective regarding who you can request ordinances for. Our knowledge articles provide all of the information we need to be certain we are working within the policies that have been established by our Church leaders and the Temple department. This one is especially meaningful for most of us:
It is wonderful that you have found a connection to your deceased spouse and that you prefer to use that relationship to move forward with the temple work you prefer to do for her family. Please note the specific information within this policy about doing work for your ex [or deceased] spouse's extended family members.
We know you will follow the Spirit to be certain you can receive the greatest spiritual blessings possible related to this very important work.0