It has been awhile since I wrote about the ubiquitous "green temple icons." I used to write about this subject more frequently when the icons were "green arrows" but that time has passed. The historical challenge here was the fact that most of the green arrows were the result of duplicates in the new.FamilySearch.org program and the duplicate issue in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree has been brought under control although not eliminated. Advances in the programming of the Family Tree have made the "green temple icons" more reliable as an indication that ordinance work for the person needs to be done. But there is a secondary result that is far less positive. Emphasis on finding the "green temple icons" has begun to completely supersede any actual research work being done in the Family Tree.
The constant references to finding the green temple icons have given many people the impression that FamilySearch.org or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is somehow replenishing the supply of green temple icons. There are two opposing poles of response to this situation. At one end of the spectrum, we have people who do not connect working on the Family Tree with any activity other than gathering green temple icons. At the other end of the spectrum, we have people with many green temple icons who are not motivated to even look for a "name to take to the temple." What is missing is an emphasis on the actual work of finding deceased ancestors and relatives.
Here are examples of both ends of the spectrum.
This first example shows a family with no children where the green temple icons have now been reserved. The dark blue icons represent reserved ordinances. But the spouse in this descendency view has a light blue icon representing record hints and a purple icon that represents a hint that the couple may have had children. This indicates that some research will possibly provide additional temple opportunities. But what I am finding is that very few of these opportunities are translated into research that produces more information for the Family Tree. The number of these light blue record hint icons is so large, in my case, that there is no practical way for me to investigate all of them. But whoever reserved the names for the temple should be following up with the research suggested by the light blue icon. What is missing from the promotion of investigating the Family Tree for green temple icons is the emphasis on doing the research necessary to fully utilize the record hints and other information that is undoubtedly available.
I hesitate to give a screenshot of a cluster of green temple icons because I do not think that anyone other than the family members should be out there picking them up. But it is not unusual for me to be helping someone with their research, either using the Consultant Planner or merely helping with a research problem and find several green temple icons. I also find that when I come back to help the person sometime later, that the green temple icons are still there and no one in the family has done any further work on the family. But what is also possible is the following without identifying the source:
Here is an open invitation to do some fairly basic research with the almost immediate reward of finding a number of names to take to the temple. But in promoting the Family Tree, there is almost no emphasis on actually doing the research necessary to resolve these gold icons. By the way, the yellow or gold temple icons mean that some research is necessary to establish whether or not temple ordinances are needed.
What is needed is a more balanced approach to promoting the Family Tree. Yes, there are a number of immediately available green temple icons, but these icons do not come automatically from FamilySearch.org; they are the result of many years of research. In addition, there are opportunities to do research that will produce many more such green temple icons with a modicum of work.