White Christmas ~ a gift to Jesus
Theme:Temples & family history
(collected by Cathy)

We did this for a RS Christmas party a few years ago when I was RSP.

White Christmas associated with temple preparation, attendance, ordinances, etc.

It was under the direction of the Family History Consultant. 

She helped ward members research and get names ready and submitted; the youth of the ward did lots of baptisms; Our ward temple nights did lots of the endowments. We had a tree in the foyer of the church that was decorated with the individual cards of those whose names had been done.

As Christmas Eve approached, we were able to present 357 names as our gift to Jesus. It was a wonderful experience.
I downloaded the latest version of Personal Ancestral File from the Church Genealogy site http://familysearch.org/ It is windows operated and it s free of charge. Click on "Order family history resources" then scroll down to "downloadable family history products".
It is the first one version 4.0.2. I plan to let the members know the software is available for free on the Internet and am willing to download a copy for families who do not have Internet access.
With the Bishop's approval I am inviting the Stake Genealogy couple to speak in PH/RS on the 5th Sunday in October. 

We just completed lesson 41 and 42 in the Brigham young manual that answer why do temple work. (Lesson 41: Temple Ordinances) (Lesson 42 Temple Service)

I want this special class to focus on how to do the work and how to submit it to the temple etc. I am also considering (based on the level of interest) having a weekly or monthly workshops for us to do the research and have the family.

I am asking him to teach a class for new members and for members who have not received their endowments. Even if they may not be ready to get their
endowment I would like them to take the class to learn more about the temple and how our genealogy work ties into it. Who knows maybe it will be dual purpose for some and make them desire to get their endowments. I plan to invite the youth in the ward (both of them) work on some of the baptisms as well as the new converts.

We are using small gold bells, and thin plain white or gold with silver ribbon to attach the bell to the tree. The type of ribbon used depends on if the ordinance was for a relation of one of the ward family or from the temple roll. To aid in keeping count, a ribbon streamer will be placed on the tree for each 100 (bells) ordinances performed.

We decided to keep it as simple as possible and in doing so each ordinance is represented by a bell. A record is being kept to know how many baptisms, sealings, etc. have been performed. The tree is in view each Sunday and myself (the family consultant), or an activities committee member or some other kind helper is also there to assist the ward members to prepare the bell(s) for the tree, and record the type of ordinance, and if or a family member for whom the ordinance was performed; this list will accompany the bells as part of the present to the Savior at the ward social.

Following is the announcement used today in each meeting:

A White Christmas for Denton First Ward is our ward family working together with the giving of ourselves in the preparation of our Christmas present for the Savior. The ward this year is preparing His present, thru family history submissions and the performance of Temple Ordinances. It is our hope that each of you will assist on this present. This is a great time to process the information of all those family members that are waiting for you to do something. When an ordinance is performed for your family or from the temple roll, you can place a bell on the tree. That bell, and each of the other bells symbolizing ordinances completed, will be Denton 1st wards Christmas present to Jesus and will be given Him at our ward Christmas Social. You will see and hear more as you help and watch the tree become more ornate.
Below are a couple of quotes from the prophet if you desire and have time to use one of them.

Teachings of President Gordon B. Hinckley
Topic: Family History Work
This work, unselfishly given in behalf of those on the other side, comes nearer to the unparalleled vicarious work of the Savior than any other of which I know. The great and important work of teaching the gospel of Christ to the people of the world is incomplete, at best, if it does not also provide for that teaching to those in another sphere and making available to them those gospel ordinances required of all if they are to move forward on the way of eternal life. (General
Conference, October 1985)

The exaltation of our Father's children rests upon the completion of required ordinances, if all are to move forward on the road that leads to immortality and eternal life. The determination of accurate family history records and the work which follows in the temples are basic in this vast undertaking which the Lord has placed upon our shoulders.