Needed Improvements: OrdinanceReady (2), Temple section (5), temple operations (4)
Dear Family Search:
There are several essential functions on FamilySearch Temple that very much need to be improved. While I think that heritage recipes and finding relatives in the room and other such options are entertaining functions, they are not essential functions, and do not deserve to get time and attention from programmers when more important matters need work. I and other heavy users feel this way because we spend many hours manually sorting information that could easily be automated by FamilySearch, but isn't.
First, FamilyTree needs a better way than Ordinance Ready to determine what ordinances exist to be done on any given family tree:
- Ordinance Ready spits out 4 or 5 cards and does not let a user see all the ordinances that could be done on a tree, which is a tremendous disadvantage. A list of all unreserved possibilities from a user's family tree should appear, and the user should be allowed to save, print, manipulate and choose from the list. Currently to see which ordinances exist that are unreserved, I must download to Roots Magic. FamilySearch needs to automate this within itself.
- Ordinance Ready only produces temple cards for people of the same gender as the individual user. This makes it very difficult to distribute cards to family members. This limitation needs to go. At the very least, users should have the option of choosing gender if they want to.
Second, the Temple section in general needs updating now that cards are no longer returned to temple patrons. I spend about 20 to 40 hours organizing cards and information before I begin a series of ancestors' ordinances. Almost all of this could and should be automated.
- Cards should automatically only print for the next ordinance that needs to be done (printing Baptism and Confirmation together on one card, and all the remaining ordinances separately). That way the differentiation between printed and unprinted ordinances has meaning and can be used as a sort function.
- Users should be able to quickly print out a check list of names and ordinances to be accomplished to help keep track of progress through a batch of names.
- The Sort function within the Filter on My Reservations should be more varied, efficient and effective. For example, we should be able to sort by sex, by surname then first name and by next ordinance simultaneously. Currently one can only sort by one of these functions, which is very inefficient.
- FamilySearch should keep track of all the ordinances needed to be completed before sealings are done and alert users to what ordinances and for whom they are missing for a couple to be sealed and a child to be sealed to parents. If it is appropriate to do temple work in order, it certainly is in order to help us track that. Tracking this manually is a huge time suck, and it could easily be automated so it is immediately clear who is ready, who is almost ready and what remains to be done for any couple and family group.
- Please fix the problem with the Temple Section sort function that breaks between pages and doesn't allow users to print from more than one page of reserved names at a time. That is just bad programming.
I hope this reaches someone who has some authority to create a group of programmers dedicated to improving these issues. Since the change to collecting cards after individual ordinances, FamilySearch has not done what needs to be done to support those of us who submit family names to do temple work. We have become heavily bogged down in manual sorts while noticing that fun functions that do not directly contribute to the redemption of the dead seem to get precedence.
This is coupled with the difficulty of obtaining temple appointments. I spend many hours trying to arrange appointments for the limited hours in which my husband, who still works, and I can attend the temple. These limitations have been an awful challenge. Our temple, Manti, has closed for renovations, and we must travel to other temples. There are five that are reasonable to travel to given their proximity and my husband's work schedule: Payson, Provo, Provo City Center, Timpanogos, Jordan River. Draper and Oquirrh Mountain would be reasonable, but I can almost never get appointments there.
- The temples themselves often limit the work we can accomplish with unnecessary requirements. For example, the Timpanogos Temple requires that everyone in a baptism group arrive and be seated together before anyone in the group can begin doing baptisms. I have noticed that despite some of the patrons being present, the font workers sit and do nothing until everyone appears. These sorts of inefficiencies make patrons feel constantly in the wrong, frustrated and very limited in the work they can accomplish. There must be better ways for us to work together, taking in to account that when a group of patrons are scheduled, not everyone is going to arrive at once and difficulties occur. Unreasonable requirements need to be done away with.
- We are spending a significant amount of money on gas traveling to our appointments. We try to do two a week. It sure would be nice now that Covid 19 is not so great a problem
a.) if the temples would schedule more people for each session and
b.) if we could schedule more than one endowment session per person per temple
c.) if temples would schedule more sessions per hour.
Jordan River schedules endowment sessions every twenty minutes, which makes it a great temple to attend. Can't a few other temples increase the number of sessions per hour even a little? Please allow more people per session so that temple worship is more easily accessed for people with normal working hours who can only attend before 9:00 after 5:00, especially for those whose temples are closed.