Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous
Question #47322 posted on 09/10/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

On my mission I baptized this backwoods feller who lived by his self and I don't beleive had any family. A short while after I left the area he died. Lately I have been thinking I need to do his temple work. The only problem is I have no idea how or what to do for the whole process from finding out when he died, to even finding out more then his name and ward. Then what do I do after that; how do I get his named cleared for temple work? Basically I need to know the whole process from begining to end.


Prison Break

A: Dear Ethel,

I called the Family History and Temple departments and they said that in order for a person to be authorized to do the temple work for another person who's not a relative, certain specific conditions must be met. You would have to know his full name, date of birth, place of birth, death date -- all the information necessary before any name is submitted for temple work. In addition, however, you must have written permission from the nearest living relative. That means you'd have to do whatever research is necessary to find a sibling, child, parent, cousin, nephew -- whatever.

This permission for temple ordinances is essential before the work can be done. When and if you gather all that information, the name should be submitted just as any name is submitted for temple work.

The Church Handbook of Instruction says officially:
Members' preeminent obligation is for their own kindred dead. They may research for natural, adoptive, and sealing relationships. They may also submit for temple work the names of persons who have a probable family relationship that cannot be verified because the records are inadequate, such as those who have the same surnames and resided in the same areas as known ancestors.

Members should be considerate of the feelings of close family members when submitting names of deceased relatives. For those deceased persons who were born within the last 95 years, members should obtain the approval of the person’s closest living relative before temple work is performed.

Names of nonrelated persons should not be submitted without the approval of the closest living relative.

-Polly Esther