LDS Members

If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then you might not be sure how to prepare names to take to the temple. If you are not a member of the Church you can go here to find out more about our beliefs and the purpose of temples.

Let me put your mind at ease right now because preparing our ancestors names for temple work could not be easier. You can do it right from your home as long as you have the internet.

With recent changes, you can now go to Family Search, sign in, and find your temple work there.

So lets get started… First you need an LDS account. If you can sign onto then you already have one. If not, all you need is your membership record number to get one. Go to, click “sign in” at the top right and click “sign in” from the drop down menu.  Then click the link to Register for an LDS account which is under where you would normally sign in if you have an account. Enter your information and now your account can log you in to any of the church’s sites that require an LDS account. HINT: you can get your membership record number from your ward clerk or off of your temple recommend.

Once you are logged in you need to go to your family tree. If you have started your family history then this is what is will look like:

Family Tree

If you haven’t started yet then you need to enter you and your spouse (if you have one), then put in your parents, grandparents, and so on until you get to the deceased members of your family. Once you are to the first deceased persons’ then your tree should start connecting the generations back as far as they go in Family Search. HINT: you cannot search for living people, and you cannot see their ordinances either.

When you scroll over deceased ancestors you will see one of four symbols next to a temple: a lock, a check, a green arrow, or a caution triangle like in the example below.


Here’s what they mean:

Lock = A lock means that there is work to be done but it is reserved and being done by someone else.

Check = A check means that all the work for the immediate family has been completed. Keep in mind that this is only for the parents and children. There could be much more work to be done with the children’s families.

Green arrow = The green arrow is the most exciting thing to see because it means that there is work within that family that needs doing. I will go into detail later to explain how to reserve them.

Orange triangle = The orange triangle is a caution symbol and it means that either more information is needed or permission is needed to do the work.

HINT: The Church’s policy on the length of time from a person’s birth is 110 years before any work can be done. Anything before that means permission is needed by the closest living relative. See below:

temple work needs permission

So… what do you do to reserve work for someone with a green arrow? All you need to do is click on the family to see what is needed and then reserve it. At the top of the website is a Temple button. Click on Temple and then you will see all the work that you reserve.

Temple cards


You can see the numbers for reserved, printed, not printed, and shared. There is a legend on the top right that I clicked on so you could see what each symbol means. There is a box on the left next to each person, and when you want to do their work you check the box and print out a paper to take to the temple. In the office at the temple the workers will scan the barcode at the top of the sheet you bring in. The cards are immediately printed out for you to take. When the ordinance is complete the cards come back to the office to be recorded and you can pick them up. When you get home and log back into Family Search you will see the work as completed.

Like I said… it’s that easy! If you have questions or feel that I left something out please send me a message.

Happy Hunting!