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Confessions of a genealogy jerk


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My new person count in Family Search is over 10k. Most died in the 20th c. so they'd have living grandchildren and maybe children. That I'm adding them usually indicates there's no closer Church member doing their work (I reached all thru my lines but most are many gen removed). 

It's safe to assume most of these people have living descendants who knew them and who are devout in their own respective faiths, agnosticism, etc.

I'm fairly confident that a not-small number of these descendants would be cheesed off that we're baptizing their loved ones without their consent - and I think they have a point. 

So to recap this part: I think I'm contributing to upsetting people but I'm going to keep doing it because I really enjoy it. I allow my (visualized) Church support to drown out my concerns that I am acting without respect for living people - who are more invested in these people than I.

Hence jerk.

Okay. This isn't a real confession. I use jerk because after considering everything I think it might apply. So be it. I'm not losing sleep but I suspect I may deserve to be held accountable someday. I'm willing to do that. I'll add it to the list.

Next item. I keep my father's name reserved to prevent his work from being done.[1] He was a monster, one of the handful of people I'd label as truly evil.  So the reason I'm blocking him is that I explained sealed families to my sister [2] and she was deeply horrified, possibly triggered. From her perspective, any eternity he might show up in would be indistinguishable from Pentecostal Hell.

sidebar: I am also not doing work on her mom's or step dad's families, because - well, I don't have their consent. That could change one day. Her and I have had a lot of candid conversations about the Church and she knows I don't spin or soft sell any of it. That built trust and her opinion of the Church has grown positive - largely because of the Church.

Last item. I get a lot of enjoyment out of putting these families together. I really like making the history as complete as I can. Full names, every residence, occupations (I could do better here) - anything that helps tell who they were. 

I can only imagine how much I'd enjoy building this history if these were my close kin. And now the people who actually are their close kin can only imagine it as well, because I've robbed them of that opportunity. I generally don't leave a lot to discover.

So really, I think jerk kind of fits.

[1] I converted in my late 20s; I was 14 when dad died, didn't grow up with him.

[2] Found her on Ancestry a few years back. Thanks for the free subscription!

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Posted (edited)

Aren’t you supposed to clear names with living relatives if they are closer in kinship than you?  At least direct descendants and siblings, I am guessing.

There is a church policy on this.  Not sure about the latest version, but do know people can get booted if they break it and get caught. 

Edited by Calm
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13 minutes ago, Chum said:

Next item. I keep my father's name reserved to prevent his work from being done.[1] He was a monster, one of the handful of people I'd label as truly evil.  So the reason I'm blocking him is that I explained sealed families to my sister [2] and she was deeply horrified, possibly triggered. From her perspective, any eternity he might show up in would be indistinguishable from Pentecostal Hell.

So at the risk of sounding like a jerk myself, it sounds like you're assuming the role of your father's judge here.  Which role, I believe, the God reserves for Himself.  I also wonder if you're not ignoring the Savior's suggestion found in Matthew 18:

21  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I aforgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until aseventy times seven.

While I don't think we need to or are even able to forgive all in this life, if we are to inherit a celestial glory we need to forgive all, eventually.  And while I don't think you need to do the work yourself, I would suggest you not prevent others from doing so.

I also believe that anyone who has any part of the celestial kingdom will be uncomfortable with anyone else who is there.  The celestial kingdom is a collection of individuals who are one as the Father and the Son are one.  If you are there you won't be there with anyone who would make it a hell for you.  Our loving Heavenly Father would not do that to anyone.

Hope I'm not being a jerk.

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1 minute ago, Calm said:

Aren’t you supposed to clear names with living relatives if they are closer in kinship than you?  At least direct descendants and siblings, I am guessing.

There is a church policy on this.  Not sure about the latest version, but do know people can get booted if they break it and get caught. 

I've never heard of that, but that doesn't mean you're wrong.  The guidance I heard was that we can't just grab some public name that we have no attachment to.  To restate, I've reached every name thru my lines. I try to build out the entire family as complete as I can, then start on who's directly connected.

Also I think the guidance applied to temple work. I'm unclear if it applies to entering names in Family Search.  Since that's open to everyone, it might not have any restrictions. That's just speculation tho.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

So at the risk of sounding like a jerk myself, it sounds like you're assuming the role of your father's judge here. 

While I don't think we need to or are even able to forgive all in this life, if we are to inherit a celestial glory we need to forgive all, eventually.  And while I don't think you need to do the work yourself, I would suggest you not prevent others from doing so.

I also believe that anyone who has any part of the celestial kingdom will be uncomfortable with anyone else who is there.  The celestial kingdom is a collection of individuals who are one as the Father and the Son are one.  If you are there you won't be there with anyone who would make it a hell for you.  Our loving Heavenly Father would not do that to anyone.

Hope I'm not being a jerk.

Forgiveness is internal, basically all about me. While doing that internal thing I can also work to reassure the people I love, that they aren't at risk of coming within a universe of his deeply harmful character. 

Also I've reserved all jerkiness for myself today. Sorry.

Edited by Chum
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Posted (edited)

Church policy forbids doing temple work for anyone born less than 100 or maybe 115 years ago, without written permission of their next of kin.   If you are violating that policy, then you are not doing the Lord's work, and you may be making it harder for family to see God and feel a desire to learn the Gospel.   Further, if you are caught, you may be kicked out of family search and never again allowed to process names.    So if that is what you are doing, STOP immediately, and follow the church policies.  (Your family history consultants can show you were to find them.

ETA:  You should own up to the mistake and notify family search that you made the temple work referrals without next of kin permission, so they can fix it to the extent they can and minimize the damage you've done.

Edited by rpn
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, rpn said:

Church policy forbids doing temple work for anyone born less than 100 or maybe 115 years ago, without written permission of their next of kin.   If you are violating that policy, then you are not doing the Lord's work, and you may be making it harder for family to see God and feel a desire to learn the Gospel.   Further, if you are caught, you may be kicked out of family search and never again allowed to process names.    So if that is what you are doing, STOP immediately, and follow the church policies.  (Your family history consultants can show you were to find them.

ETA:  You should own up to the mistake and notify family search that you made the temple work referrals without next of kin permission, so they can fix it to the extent they can and minimize the damage you've done.

Okay. That was a very intense post.

Anyhoo, I didn't do any of that. I haven't done a temple thing in 20 years. This is all genealogy in Family Search.

I don't do anything with ordinances in FS. I'm just collecting dead people up for y'all to do your thing.

FYI: It's 110 years. Most of my focus is on families where the youngest was born in 1911 or earlier.

Edited by Chum
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Chum said:

I don't do anything at the ordinances in FS. I'm just collecting dead people up for y'all to do your thing.

Then I'm not sure how what you are doing runs any risk of offending anyone.  It is the submissions for temple work that causes the bad feelings, not identifying and collecting families.

Sorry I misunderstood.

Edited by rpn
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Just now, rpn said:

Then I'm not sure how what you are doing runs any risk of offending anyone.  It is the submissions for temple work that causes the bad feelings, not identifying and collecting families.

We're the first step from which the rest follows.  I am a meaningful part of the process and  don't want to divorce myself from the consequences of downstream actions - that I initiated.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, rpn said:

Church policy ...without written permission of their next of kin

They term it closest living relative

Quote

FamilySearch 110-Year Rule To perform ordinances for a deceased person who was born within the last 110 years:

  • The person must have been deceased for at least one year. •
  • You must either:
    •  Be one of the Closest Living Relatives, defined as an
      1. 1. Un-divorced Spouse (the spouse to whom the individual was married when he or she died)
      2. Adult Child
      3. Parent
      4. Sibling (brother or sister)
    • Or you must obtain permission from one of the Closest Living Relatives
  • The Church Policy relating to temple ordinance submissions will appear. If the person was born within the last 110 Years you will be required to submit a form verifying your permission from one of the closest living relatives.

 

But as has been pointed out above, it's only for actual ordinances, not just entering it.

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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On 5/12/2021 at 10:54 PM, JustAnAustralian said:

But as has been pointed out above, it's only for actual ordinances

Regarding ordinances for those beyond 110 years, have we been directed 'stay in our line'?

We've certainly been chastised (understandably) for baptizing notable people we aren't well tied to. Past that I don't know.

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I'm pretty sure I've done non-direct-line people before ordinance wise (siblings of direct line). The biggest issue I see is spending time doing ordinances for people that might have others more suitable to do them.

I'd happily do the work for some largely separated cousin with several levels of removedness, but chances are they have decents who could be doing it for them. 

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