Starting in the next few months, the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will begin unreserving user temple reservations that have been inactive for more than two years. If you have reservations that you haven’t been able to complete, now is a good time to share them with family members via email, or with the temple.


Please keep in mind that

  • Reservations shared with the temple will not be unreserved.
  • Reservations for an individual will only be unreserved if the most recent ordinance was completed more than two years ago. (So, reservations with progress more recent than two years ago will not be unreserved.)

Unreserving inactive temple reservations has become a priority due to the large number of ordinances that currently fit that two-year window, and is in line with instruction from the First Presidency to ensure that temple work for ancestors is completed in a timely manner. There are nearly 12 million ordinance reservations held by FamilySearch patrons in Family Tree. Amazingly, 5% of FamilySearch patrons hold 60% of those reservations. Users with large reservation lists will be alerted to this upcoming change through email and postal mail where possible.

What you can do
If you have a large reserved list, there are different things you can do to help ensure that the work for these ancestors is completed in a timely manner. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Review your temple list: Your temple reservation list is located under the temple tab, which appears in the top navigation once you log in. You can also follow this link. We’ve added the ability to sort the ordinances by reservation date. Check to see which ordinances you will be able to do yourself, and which might be good candidates for sharing.

Share with family members via email: We have added the capability to share temple ordinances with family members and friends through email. This is a convenient, “cardless,” way to share the blessings of the temple with the living, and the dead. Click here to learn how this works, or read about someone’s experience with this feature on the FamilySearch Blog.

Share with the temple: If you don’t have family members that are able to perform temple ordinances, you can also share the ordinances with the temple. This is a great way to ensure that ordinances are performed expeditiously, as there are members all over the world who regularly attend the temple and need proxy names.

Un-reserve/re-reserve: If an ordinance has been on your list for two years, and, for personal or research reasons, it needs to stay there, you can unreserve the ordinance and then re-reserve it to restart the clock.

Do nothing: A final option is to just do nothing. The ordinances on your list that exceed the two years will automatically be unreserved and other family members will be able to snap them up.

If you don’t have a reservation list that fits this criteria, be on the lookout for ancestors who might be coming off of one of your relatives’ lists, and complete that temple work.

We’re excited about this new development and know that it will lead to many more of Heavenly Father’s children receiving saving temple ordinances.

This article was originally published on the FamilySearch Blog.