An LDS Family History Center is a branch facility of the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the Mormons, value genealogy and family history research as part of their religion. They believe that everyone should search out their ancestors.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, formally known as Latter-day Saints, constitute over 99% of Mormons. The beliefs and practices of LDS Mormons are generally guided by the teachings of LDS Church leaders. There are, however, several smaller groups that differ from “mainstream” Mormonism in various ways.
LDS Church members who do not actively participate in worship services or church callings are often called “less-active” (akin to the qualifying expressions non-observant or non-practicing used in relation to members of other religious groups). The LDS Church does not release statistics on church activity, but it is likely that about 40% of Mormons in the United States and 30% worldwide regularly attend worship services. Reasons for inactivity can include lifestyle issues and problems with social integration. Activity rates tend to vary with age, and disengagement occurs most frequently between age 16 and 25. A majority of less active members return to church activity later in life. Former Latter-day Saints who seek to disassociate themselves from the religion are often referred to as Ex-Mormons.
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The Centers are designed to assist members of the church to research and find their ancestors, and to provide sacred ordinances for them in the LDS Temple. Most LDS meetinghouses have centers onsite that are run and administered by local church members. Anyone is welcome to visit the center and use the resources there.
There are more than 4,500 centers around the world. Each center determines its own hours. It’s always best to call the center before you visit it to make sure that it will be open when you arrive.
All staff at the center(s) are volunteers. Although they won’t do research for you, they can give you an orientation to the center, answer your research questions, help you use the resources in the center, and order microfilm or microfiche from the Family History Library. Many centers offer free classes on genealogy and family history search.
Resources normally available at The History Centers are microfilm, microfiche, computers, internet connectivity, various resource files and publications.
The Mormon Centers are valuable community resources. Many family historians begin their research at the center nearest to them.