A Tool to Help You Prepare Successful Family History Experiences

As a family history consultant, you facilitate one-on-one, heart-turning family history experiences. To make it simpler to prepare and deliver personalized lesson plans, the Family History Department has created an online tool called the “consultant planner.” Using the planner, any member can help others have a personal family history experience.  To review the principles for creating heart-turning experiences, visit the consultant calling training page on

The Consultant Planner

To use the consultant planner, click Get Help in the top right of the home page, and then click Help Others.

The planner is an all-in-one tool where you can request access to member trees, review and access a member’s tree, prayerfully plan the lesson you will share, and monitor the member’s progress. Here is a more detailed look at the major sections of the planner.

Help Others: Easier Access to Member Trees

A key to preparing for a heart-turning family history experience is being able to research in the person’s tree before your visit. The planner offers a couple of easy ways to get permission to access someone else’s tree. In the top left of the page, under the Help Others heading, you will find two blue buttons.

The Invite Person button allows you to send an invitation to someone via email. The person will receive a link to log in to his or her account on FamilySearch and give you permission to view his or her tree.

The Add Person button is like the Help Others button in Family Tree that you may already be familiar with. Clicking this blue button opens a box in which you can enter a person’s name, helper number, and birthdate to add him or her to your helper list.

Once people are added to your list, you will be able to click their names to access their trees (in fan chart form) and see if there are personalized record hints or search results from special FamilySearch collections such as obituaries or Mormon pioneers.

In the planner, you can click the name of a person’s ancestor in the fan chart and go directly to the person’s tree to discover a good path for him or her to find an ancestor name for the temple. What you find as you research can be included in the lesson plan.

Prepare a Meaningful Plan

Develop a plan for each visit you make, whether the visit takes place in the member’s home or in a one-on-one situation during church. The planner provides a couple of tools to help.

Helping Others to Love Family History Lesson Plan

Clicking Create Lesson Plan opens a window with four fields to fill in as part of your planning process.

  1. Title of Lesson
  2. Family Name
  3. Family Goal
  4. Lesson Plan
    1. Detail the path to get to the focus person.
    2. Document the tasks to perform.
    3. List what will touch the family’s heart.

The lesson plan is where you will outline the path you will lead the family on as they navigate their family tree (with you acting as a verbal guide) to discover the temple opportunity you identified in your research beforehand. A printable version of the lesson plan is also available.

Track Progress

The research log is a place to record any thoughts or future actions that come to mind as you complete the research. Think of this log as a digital notepad where you can include a summary of your visits, track your progress in general, and create notes about things you don’t want to forget.

Monitor Progress

Once you can view the member’s tree, the planner shows you important milestones and progress. With this information, you are better able to help.

Those are the main features of the planner. Give it a try, and let us know what you think by using the Feedback link on the side of the window.

Try the consultant planner

Some of the information in this post was taken from the “Understanding Your Family History Calling” session at RootsTech, given by Rod DeGiulio, director of the Priesthood and Area Support division of the Family History Department. Click here to view Rod’s full presentation.


Source: New on FamilySearch