List of Mormon family organizations
Mormon family organizations (i.e., family organizations or associations) are entities created by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to accomplish the basic purposes of family life as understood within the church, in order to establish and strengthen family unity and identity across multiple generations.
As the basic unit of society, the family is also the fundamental organization within the LDS Church. LDS Church members tend to be very family-oriented, and have strong connections across generations and with extended family, often through regular family reunions. For LDS Church members a knowledge and appreciation of one's lineage and heritage is closely connected to the sacred ordinances conducted in LDS temples.
In its most general sense, the term "family organization" as used within the church refers to the fundamental concept of eternal family structure encompassed by the Plan of Salvation. More specifically, "family organization" refers to organizations created to provide structure and direction in meeting immediate and long-term family objectives and purposes. In connection therewith, LDS Church leaders have regularly taught the importance of establishing and supporting family organizations.
During the 20th century as part of the church's semi-annual General Conferences, a "Priesthood Genealogy Seminar" was conducted by LDS Church leaders in which the importance of family organizations was frequently emphasized. "[E]stablishing and maintaining family organizations for the immediate and extended family" has been expressly listed as an appropriate way to observe the importance of the Sabbath day in General Conference addresses and other church publications.
Purpose and organization
In 1978 the church asked all families to organize themselves at three levels: as "immediate" families, "grandparent," and "ancestral." Individual or immediate families are regularly encouraged to hold weekly Family Home Evening and participate in family councils. More formal family organizations consist of the descendants of a common ancestor. The purposes of such family organizations may include coordinating family efforts in promoting welfare, education, conducting family history research, holding reunions, compiling family newsletters and publications, and other family-related LDS practices. Commemorating family heritage and legacy is another typical purpose and activity for family organizations.
Formally constituted family organizations figure prominently among descendants of some Mormon pioneers and other early converts to the LDS Church. The longevity of and degree of organization found among many Mormon ancestral family organizations is noteworthy. For example, the Jared Pratt Family Organization was founded in 1881, making it one of the oldest family organizations in the United States in continuous existence.
In 1971 the Internal Revenue Service of the United States issued a Revenue Ruling determining that non-profit family organizations that are expressly "formed to compile genealogical research data on its family members in order to perform religious ordinances in accordance with the precepts of the religious denomination to which family members belong" are exempt under Section 501(c)(3).
Given their extensive documentation of lineages connecting many thousands of living individuals to a single common ancestor, their relatively larger extended family size (attributable in part to the early Mormon practice of plural marriage), relatively larger immediate family size, religious emphasis on "clean" or healthy living, and relative longevity, the genealogical data maintained by many Mormon ancestral family organizations have also been instrumental in medical research of genetic disorders. The University of Utah has made unique contributions to the study of genetics due in part to long-term genealogy efforts of the LDS Church, which has allowed researchers to trace genetic disorders through several generations. The relative homogeneity of Utah's population also makes it an ideal laboratory for studies of population genetics. The university is home to the Genetic Science Learning Center, a resource which educates the public about genetics through its website.
There are several large Mormon ancestral family organizations, notable for their longevity, quality or degree of organization, or connection to well-known deceased or currently living persons. A non-exhaustive list appears below. The name(s) of the primary ancestor are included in parentheses when not otherwise obvious or apparent.
Organizations (alphabetized by male progenitor surname)
- Israel Barlow Family Association
- Barton Family Organization (John Barton)
- Belnap Family Organization (Gilbert Belnap/Adaline Knight/Henrietta McBride)
- Bennion Family Association
- Braithwaite Family Organization
- Brough Family Organization
- Orson Pratt Brown Family
- Anson Bowen Call Family Organization
- William Cazier and Pleasant Drake Family Organization
- Ezra Thompson Clark Family Organization
- Moses Clawson Family Organization
- Phineas Wolcott Cook Family Organization
- Myron E. Crandall Family Organization
- Hale Family Organization
- Hanks Place (Ephraim Hanks)
- Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham Family
- John and Jane Hayes of Clonakilty Family Organization
- Joseph Leland Heywood
- Patriarch Thomas Hicken Family Organization
- John N. Hinton Family Organization
- Abraham Hunsaker Family Organization
- Heber C. Kimball Family Association
- Knaphus Family Organization (Torleif S. Knaphus, sculptor)
- Christopher Layton Family Organization
- Leavitt Family Organization (Thomas Leavitt)
- John Doyle Lee Family Association 
- Alexander Findlay Macdonald Family
- Karl G. Maeser Family Organization
- John Marriott Historical Society
- Maughan Family Organization (Peter Maughan)
- Daniel McBride and Abigail Mead Family
- Joseph Stacy Murdock Family Organization
- Osmond Family Organization
- John Pack Family Association
- Packard Family Organization (Forrest Packard)
- Sanford Porter Family Organization
- Jared Pratt Family Association
- Henry Rampton Family Association
- John Hardison Redd and Elizabeth Hancock Family Organization
- Charles C. Rich Family Association
- Thomas E. Ricks Family Association
- Justus Azel Seelye Family Organization
- Jesse N. Smith Family Association
- Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family Association
- Joseph Smith, Jr. Family Organization
- Joseph F. Smith Family Association
- Samuel Harrison Smith Foundation
- Erastus Snow Family Organization
- Sorensen Family History Organization (Nicolai Sorensen/Magdelena Olsen)
- John Martin Steiner Family Organization
- Edward Stevenson Family Organization
- Joseph Stout Family Organization
- George Washington Taggart Family Organization
- Joseph Taylor, Sr. Family Association
- Tolman Family Organization
- Theodore Turley Family Organization
- John Fleming Wakefield Family Organization
- John Walker Family Organization
- John Henry Owen Willcox Family Organization
- Workman Family Organization (John Workman)
- Culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Daughters of the Utah Handcart Pioneers
- Daughters of Utah Pioneers
- Family association
- Family history
- Family History Library
- Family history society
- Family reunion
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World
- List of hereditary and lineage organizations
- Mormon pioneers
- Sons of Utah Pioneers
- Packer, Boyd K. (February 1971), "The Family and Eternity", Ensign,
The preservation of the family is one of the great missions of the Church
- "Strengthening Families". mormon.org. LDS Church.
- Woodruff, Wilford (30 August 1890), "Discourse", Deseret Weekly: 308
- Burton, Theodore M. (August 1971), "With Whom Will We Share Exaltation?", Ensign
- Belnap, W. Dean (August 1972), "How to Start a Family Organization and Keep It Going", Ensign
- Kimball, Spencer W. (May 1978), "The True Way of Life and Salvation", Ensign,
First, all members should write a personal history and participate in a family organization.
- Gardner, Marvin K. (October 1978), "Getting--and Keeping--the Family Together", Ensign
- "Six Families Tell How and Why they Organized." Ensign, January 1977, pp. 36–39[not in citation given]
- "Family Organizations: For the Fun of It!", Ensign, June 1982
- Clark, Carol L. (February 2003), "Random Sampler: Planning for Family Unity", Ensign
- Evans, Loretta (July 2007), "It's All Been Done", Ensign
- Simmons, Paul (October 1981), "Beyond the Fourth Generation", Ensign
- "Building Unity through Family History", Ensign, September 2001,
Contributions include receiving our temple endowments, being sealed as couples and as families, researching family history data and stories of previous generations, submitting names for temple work, attending the temple as regularly as possible, teaching children and other family members about temple and family history work, participating in family organizations, and compiling personal and family histories.
- Monson, Thomas S. (February 1994), "The Key of Faith", Ensign,
Several years ago, prior to my call as a General Authority, it was my good fortune to respond to a call to serve as a member of the Priesthood Genealogy Committee and to have the privilege of visiting stakes and missions, speaking to the membership of the Church relative to this sacred subject... Out of the series of conferences we held then, one of the great measures of good was the development of family organizations.
- Brough, Monte J. (Dec 1994), "Everyone's Blessing", Ensign,
Many of those opportunities are described in A Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work, including: serving in family record extraction; serving in the temple, a family history center, or as a family history worker; participating in family organizations; keeping a personal journal; and preparing family histories (see p. 6).
- Kimball, Spencer W. (November 1974), "Ocean Currents and Family Influences", Ensign,
It is important for us ... to cultivate in our own family a sense that we belong together eternally. We ought to encourage our children to know their relatives. We need to talk of them, make effort to correspond with them, visit them, join family organizations, etc.
- Todd, Jay M. (May 1977), "News of the Church: Report of the Seminar for Regional Representatives", Ensign,
Another 'important development contemplated' is for genealogical and temple work 'to be recorded in family files,' and for 'a family organization registry' so that the Saints may 'know whether other branches of the family' are doing work, and 'thus eliminate wasteful duplication.'
- Packer, Boyd K. (August 2003), "Your Family History: Getting Started", Liahona,
5. We are to organize our families and hold meetings and reunions
- One outcome of such emphasis was the development of a filmstrip, Turning the Hearts of the Children, for usage at "family organization meetings." See "Keeping Pace", Ensign, January 1979
- "News of the Church: Church Consolidates Meeting Schedules: Suggestions for Individual and Family Sabbath-Day Activities", Ensign, March 1980
- Perry, L. Tom (May 2003), "The Importance of the Family", Ensign
- "News of the Church: Policies and Announcements", Ensign, February 1989,
'Because the new schedule will give families time together on Sundays, parents should plan activities for the Sabbath that will spiritually strengthen the family.' Suggestions included were gospel discussion and instruction, writing personal and family journals, holding family councils, family organization efforts, personal interviews between parents and children, writing to relatives and missionaries, family history work, visiting relatives and those who may be ill or lonely, missionary work, reading stories to children, and singing Church hymns together.
- Kunz, Phillip R. (1992), "Family Organizations", in Ludlow, Daniel H., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York, NY: Macmillan, pp. 497–498, ISBN 0-02-904040-X, OCLC 24502140: "From the early days of the Church, LDS families have regularly established family organizations, held reunions, and worked to make strong family identity."
- De Platt, Lyman (October 1976), "Organization Begins at Home", Ensign
- Perkins, Lorrie (November 1981), "News of the Church: Policies and Announcements: Ancestral File", Ensign,
To avoid duplication, it would be helpful if records were submitted through family organizations.
- Walton, Wendel K. (July 1995), "Extending the Family", Ensign
- Sowby, Laurie Williams (July 1993), "Meeting Our Relatives on Paper", Ensign
- Heaton, Alma (June 1975), "Really Getting Together: Your Family Reunion", Ensign
- Hamer, Ginger (September 1984), "Family Fun with Genealogy", Ensign
- Kunz, Phillip R. (1992), "Family Organizations", in Ludlow, Daniel H., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York, NY: Macmillan, pp. 497–498, ISBN 0-02-904040-X, OCLC 24502140.
- Pratt, R. Steven (October 1979), "The Five Sons of Jared and Charity Pratt", Ensign
- "Jared Pratt Family Association – Parley P. Pratt & Orson Pratt". jared.pratt-family.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- IRS Rev. Rul. 71-580 The Revenue Ruling noted that "[a]s part of the discipline of the Church, the members are encouraged to create family groups to study the genealogy of the family back to Adam and Eve. This is part of a broader program of the Church, apparent in its doctrine to record the names of all deceased persons and to perform baptism and other temple ordinances upon them."
- Swans, Howard K. (November 1972), "Our Readers Write: Family Organizations", Ensign
- "Discovery: The 'Genes' in Genealogy", Ensign, August 1978
- Sussingham, Robin; Stephanie Watson; Jennifer Logan (2006). "Utah: A Gold Mine for Genetic Research". Features: Genetic Science Learning Center. University of Utah. Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2006-03-09.
- "Learn.Genetics". Genetic Science Learning Center. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- "Utah". allredfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Milo Andrus". miloandrus.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Israel Barlow Family Association". israelbarlow.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "The Barton Family Organization". bartonfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Belnap Family Organization". belnapfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Bennion.org — Bennion Family Association". bennion.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Our Family Genealogy Pages". braithwaitefamily.net. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Brough Family Organization". broughfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Orson Pratt Brown - Index". orsonprattbrown.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Anson Bowen Call Family Organization". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Cazier Family Organization | William Cazier & Pleasant Drake". cazier.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Ezra T. Clark - Home". ezratclark.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Moses Clawson Family Organization". mosesclawson.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Cook Family Organization". cookfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Davidevans.org". davidevans.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "EwellFamily.org". ewellfamily.org. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
- "Winslow Farr Sr. Organization". winslowfarr.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Nathaniel H. Felt - N. H. Felt Family Organization". nhfelt.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Hale Family Organization | Direct descendants of Jonathan Harriman Hale of Bradford, Massachusetts". halefam.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "The Hanksplace - Home". hanksplace.net. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Nathan Harris Family". nathanharrisfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "The Official John and Jane Hayes of Clonakilty Family Organization Web Site". hayesjhfo.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "http://www.abrahamhunsaker.org/". abrahamhunsaker.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "http://www.george-and-ann-prior-jarvis.org/". george-and-ann-prior-jarvis.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Login". hckimball.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "http://www.knaphusfamily.org/". knaphusfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "John D Lee Family Association". johndleefamily.org. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- "afmacdonald.org - afmacdonald Resources and Information. This website is for sale!". afmacdonald.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "John Marriott Historical Society". johnmarriotths.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Untitled". mcbridehistory.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Joseph Stacy Murdock | A Family Organization for the descendants of Joseph Stacy Murdock". jsmurdock.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "The Official web page for the Alexander Neibaur Family Organization". neibaur.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Osmond Family Organization". osmondfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "JohnPackFamily.com - John Pack noted LDS Pioneer and his descendants.". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- Hulet, Renon Klossner (February 1984), "The Packard Family", Ensign
- "Sanford Porter Family Web Site". sanfordporter.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Henry Rampton Family Association | Bringing Family History Alive". henryramptonfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "The John Hardison Redd and Elizabeth Hancock Family Organization |". reddfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Justus Azel Seelye Family Organization". jasfo.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "jessensmith.org". jessensmith.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family Association | Just another WordPress site". josephsmithsr.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Home". josephsmithjr.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Joseph F. Smith Family Association | Just another WordPress site". josephfsmith.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Samuel H Smith". samuelhsmith.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Sorensen Family History Organization". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Steiner Family Organization - Home". johnmartinsteiner.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "George Washington TAGGART Family Organization Home Page". taggartfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Taylor Family Association". taylorassociation.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- Hart, John L. (19 July 2003), "Tolman family searches a big family tree", Church News
- "Turley Family Organization". turleyfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Welcome johnflemingwakefield.com - Justhost.com". johnflemingwakefield.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Home". walkerfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Home Page: John Henry Owen Willcox Family Organization". jhow.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "http://www.workmanfamily.org/". workmanfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "Brigham Young Family Association". brighamyoungfamily.org. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- Allen, James B.; Embry, Jessie L.; Mehr, Kahlile B. (1995), "Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1894-1994", BYU Studies (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University) 34 (2)
- Bennett, Archibald F. (1960) , A Guide for Genealogical Research (2nd ed.), Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, OCLC 20467434
- Widtsoe, John A. (1939), Priesthood and Church Government in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, OCLC 20467434