Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sealing shows both as completed and available to request

This is the first of my posts aimed at an LDS audience. For readers who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are interested in understanding the temple ordinance jargon you'll be seeing in these posts, I can assure you that there are LDS missionaries near you who would love to help you understand. If you would like to learn more about our doctrines, let me know and I'll get you in touch with folks who can enlighten you.

The problem: you see Sealing to Parents as completed, but no parents are attached to the person. Or you see Sealing to Parents complete without parent names and Sealing to Parents available with the parents you see in the tree. In both cases, there have most likely been changes made to the parent-child relationships. At some point, parents (or different parents) were attached to this person. You can find out. On the person page, find the Latest Changes box on the right and click Show all (unless, of course, you see the parent-child relationship deleted message right there in the box.)

Wherever you see the Parent-Child Relationship Deleted message in the changes list, click it to open the All Changes screen. It's actually kind of interesting to scroll through the list to see all the changes to a record. In this record, I can see that someone added parents on the 13th of May 2015. Probably then did the Sealing to Spouse ordinance. I decided these were not likely to be the correct parents and removed the relationship a year later. But the sealing is complete--the child has been sealed to a set of parents. So that doesn't go away. If I later find a set of parents I believe to be correct and add them, I'll see sealing to parents as available for that relationship.
There are other reasons this sort of situation can exist: there is another copy of the parents out there that need merged; there is another copy of the parents out there who are showing as still living so you can't see them and merge them. And other issues I won't go into.

So, what should you do?

  1. Look for and merge any duplicates you can find in Family Tree (review carefully and only merge if you are SURE).
  2. Look at the change history to find deleted relationships that can explain the sealing. 
If you don't find duplicates, and the existence of the other sealing bothers you (it really shouldn't, but it might), contact FamilySearch Support and they can get a case to the team who can fix it. 

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