List of Mormon family organizations

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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.[1] LDS Church members tend to be very family-oriented, and have strong connections across generations and with extended family, often through regular family reunions.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

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.[19] "[E]stablishing and maintaining family organizations for the immediate and extended family"[20] has been expressly listed as an appropriate way to observe the importance of the Sabbath day in General Conference addresses and other church publications.[21][22]

Purpose and organization[edit]

In 1978 the church asked all families to organize themselves at three levels: as "immediate" families, "grandparent," and "ancestral."[23] 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.[24][25] Commemorating family heritage and legacy is another typical purpose and activity for family organizations.[26][27][28][29] In September 2016, LDS Ancestral Families Association (LDSAFA) was established as a "free registration, publication and support consortium for LDS Ancestral Family Organizations (AFOs)." [30]


Formally constituted family organizations figure prominently among descendants of some Mormon pioneers and other early converts to the LDS Church.[23] 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.[31][32]

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).[33][34]

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.[35] 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.[36] The university is home to the Genetic Science Learning Center, a resource which educates the public about genetics through its website.[37]

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.[9] A non-exhaustive list appears below.

LDS Ancestral Family Organizations (alphabetized by male progenitor surname)[edit]

  • Anson Bowen Call Family[47]
  • George Q. Cannon Family Association[48]
  • Cazier Family Organization[49]
  • Ezra Thompson Clark Family Organization[50]
  • Samuel Clark Family Organization[51]
  • Phineas Wolcott Cook Family Organization[52]
  • Dastrup Family Organization[53]
  • Major Howard Egan Family Foundation[54]
  • Bishop David Evans Family Association[55]
  • Winslow Farr, Sr. Organization[56]
  • Peter Fullmer Family Organization[57]
  • Gardner and Brooks Family Organization[58]
  • Henry Grow Family Association[59]
  • Hale Family Organization[60]
  • Ephraim Hanks Family[61]
  • Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham Family[62]
  • Hatch Family Association[63]
  • John and Jane Hayes Family Organization[64]
  • Martin Heiner Family Organization[65]
  • Henry Hendricks Family Organization[66]
  • Abraham Heslington Family Organization[67]
  • Jackson and Flint Family Foundation[68]
  • Benjamin F. Johnson Family Organization[69]
  • George Jarvis and Ann Prior Family Association[70]
  • Joel Hills Johnson Family Organization[71]
  • Leo C. and Relia Shaw Larsen Family Organization
  • Western Association of Leavitt Families[74]
  • John Doyle Lee Family Association [75]
  • John Marriott Historical Society[76]
  • Hugh McKenna Family Organization[77]
  • John Morse Family Organization[78]
  • Joseph Stacy Murdock Family Organization[79]
  • Osmond Family Organization[82]
  • George Washington Taggart Family Organization[99]
  • Joseph Taylor, Sr. Family Association[100]
  • Tolman Family Organization[101]
  • Theodore Turley Family Organization[102]
  • Workman Family Organization[103]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Packer, Boyd K. (February 1971), "The Family and Eternity", Ensign, The preservation of the family is one of the great missions of the Church
  2. ^ "Strengthening Families". LDS Church.
  3. ^ Woodruff, Wilford (30 August 1890), "Discourse", Deseret Weekly, p. 308
  4. ^ Burton, Theodore M. (August 1971), "With Whom Will We Share Exaltation?", Ensign
  5. ^ Belnap, W. Dean (August 1972), "How to Start a Family Organization and Keep It Going", Ensign
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Gardner, Marvin K. (October 1978), "Getting--and Keeping--the Family Together", Ensign
  8. ^ "Six Families Tell How and Why they Organized." Ensign, January 1977, pp. 36–39[not in citation given]
  9. ^ a b "Family Organizations: For the Fun of It!", Ensign, June 1982
  10. ^ Clark, Carol L. (February 2003), "Random Sampler: Planning for Family Unity", Ensign
  11. ^ Evans, Loretta (July 2007), "It's All Been Done", Ensign
  12. ^ Simmons, Paul (October 1981), "Beyond the Fourth Generation", Ensign
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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).
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.'
  18. ^ Packer, Boyd K. (August 2003), "Your Family History: Getting Started", Liahona, 5. We are to organize our families and hold meetings and reunions
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ "News of the Church: Church Consolidates Meeting Schedules: Suggestions for Individual and Family Sabbath-Day Activities", Ensign, March 1980
  21. ^ Perry, L. Tom (May 2003), "The Importance of the Family", Ensign
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ a b Kunz, Phillip R. (1992), "Family Organizations", in Ludlow, Daniel H. (ed.), 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."
  24. ^ De Platt, Lyman (October 1976), "Organization Begins at Home", Ensign
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Walton, Wendel K. (July 1995), "Extending the Family", Ensign
  27. ^ Sowby, Laurie Williams (July 1993), "Meeting Our Relatives on Paper", Ensign
  28. ^ Heaton, Alma (June 1975), "Really Getting Together: Your Family Reunion", Ensign
  29. ^ Hamer, Ginger (September 1984), "Family Fun with Genealogy", Ensign
  30. ^ "LDS Ancestral Families Association". Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  31. ^ Pratt, R. Steven (October 1979), "The Five Sons of Jared and Charity Pratt", Ensign
  32. ^ a b "Jared Pratt Family Association – Parley P. Pratt & Orson Pratt". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  33. ^ 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."
  34. ^ Swans, Howard K. (November 1972), "Our Readers Write: Family Organizations", Ensign
  35. ^ "Discovery: The 'Genes' in Genealogy", Ensign, August 1978
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ "Learn.Genetics". Genetic Science Learning Center. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  38. ^ "Utah". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  39. ^ "Milo Andrus". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  40. ^ "Israel Barlow Family Association". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  41. ^ "Belnap Family Organization". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  42. ^ "The Bennion Family Organization of Utah". Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  43. ^ "Bluth Family Association". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  44. ^ "Braithwaite Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  45. ^ "Brough Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  46. ^ "Orson Pratt Brown - Index". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  47. ^ "Anson Bowen Call Family Organization". Archived from the original on 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  48. ^ "George Q. Cannon Family Association". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  49. ^ "Cazier Family Organization | William Cazier & Pleasant Drake". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  50. ^ "Ezra T. Clark - Home". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  51. ^ "Samuel Clark Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  52. ^ "Cook Family Organization". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  53. ^ "Dastrup Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  54. ^ "Major Howard Egan Family Foundation". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  55. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  56. ^ "Winslow Farr Sr. Organization". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  57. ^ "Peter Fullmer Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  58. ^ "Gardner Brooks Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  59. ^ "Henry Grow Family Association". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  60. ^ "Hale Family Organization | Direct descendants of Jonathan Harriman Hale of Bradford, Massachusetts". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  61. ^ "The Hanksplace Home". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  62. ^ "Nathan Harris Family". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  63. ^ "Hatch Family Association". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  64. ^ "The Official John and Jane Hayes of Clonakilty Family Organization Web Site". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  65. ^ "Martin Heiner Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  66. ^ "Henry Hendricks Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  67. ^ "Abraham Heslington Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  68. ^ "Jackson and Flint Family Foundation". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  69. ^ "Benjamin Franklin Johnson Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  70. ^ "George Jarvis and Ann Prior Family Association". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  71. ^ "Joel Hills Johnson Family Organization". joelhillsjohnson. Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  72. ^ "Login". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  73. ^ "Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Knight Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  74. ^ "Western Association of Leavitt Families". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  75. ^ "John D Lee Family Association". Retrieved 2015-01-07.
  76. ^ "John Marriott Historical Society". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  77. ^ "Hugh McKenna Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  78. ^ "John Morse Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  79. ^ "Joseph Stacy Murdock Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  80. ^ "The Official web page for the Alexander Neibaur Family Organization". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  81. ^ "Nichols and Booth Family Organization".
  82. ^ "Osmond Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  83. ^ " - John Pack noted LDS Pioneer and his descendants". Archived from the original on 2004-04-14. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  84. ^ "Francis Martin Pomeroy Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  85. ^ "Sanford Porter Family Web Site". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  86. ^ "The John Hardison Redd and Elizabeth Hancock Family Organization |". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  87. ^ "Charles C. Rich Family Association". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  88. ^ "Justus Azel Seelye Family Organization". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  89. ^ "Hyrum Smith Family Association". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  90. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  91. ^ "Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family Association | Just another WordPress site". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  92. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  93. ^ "Joseph F. Smith Family Association | Just another WordPress site". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  94. ^ "Abraham Owen Smoot Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  95. ^ "Sorensen Family History Organization". Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2017-07-18.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  96. ^ "Steiner Family Organization - Home". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  97. ^ "Joseph Stout Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  98. ^ "Jacob Strong Family Organization". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  99. ^ "George Washington TAGGART Family Organization Home Page". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  100. ^ "Taylor Family Association". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  101. ^ Hart, John L. (19 July 2003), "Tolman family searches a big family tree", Church News
  102. ^ "Theodore Turley Family Organization". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  103. ^ "Workman Family Organization". Retrieved 2014-04-18.