The Church has taken another step in its efforts to notify and remind members of their responsibilities and the limits of performing proxy temple ordinances for the deceased, in a bulletin emailed today (March 13) to all who have used LDS Accounts to register for New Family Search.
Key portions of the bulletin are:
Recently, the First Presidency of the Church reiterated the policies, first stated in 1995, concerning the submitting of names for proxy temple ordinances. As a user of the system (new.familysearch.org) where temple ordinances are cleared and submitted, you should follow these important policies. …
In a related Church News article, Brother Dennis C. Brimhall, managing director of the Family History Department, reported that “the searching out of our family and preparing the names for the work to be done in the temple is … a responsibility, but it is also a privilege. That privilege is extended to the members by those who hold the keys to [do] the work. The[se] keys … are held by the First Presidency of the Church” (Sarah Jane Weaver, “Family History—Church Asks Members to Understand Policies,” Church News, Mar. 1, 2012). The First Presidency set these policies. Accordingly, the Conditions of Use for users of new.familysearch.org and familysearch.org require compliance to the policies before you can submit names to the temple. Noncompliance by a user could mean the loss of his or her privileges to use the system.
The bulletin instructs members with questions to seek help from local family history consultants, staff members at family history centers, or by email to branchout [at] familysearch [dot] com.
While this email is clearly part of the response to ongoing problems of Church members submitting the names of unrelated celebrities or members of groups for whom the Church has agreed not to perform ordinances for the present, there is no mention of the recent highly publicized instances of policy violations.* The Church evidently hopes to reduce or eliminate those problems by reminding members of what we should be doing rather than enumerating the things we should not be doing. And really, most of the problem would go away if members would “live up to our privileges” by fulfilling our responsibilities and by honoring the prerogatives of those who hold the keys to temple work.
I’m committed — how about you?
[Update:] *Whoops. While the emailed bulletin does not enumerate the “hands off” policy, the attached policy letter, dated February 29, addressed to Church members and with instructions to read the letter in sacrament meeting and to post it in the building, does include this statement: “Without exception, Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims.”