In 35 years as a Church member, Jimmy D. Hollis had submitted fewer than 10 names of ancestors for temple work. That was before he was set apart as an ordinance worker in the Boise Idaho Temple.
During the two years he and his wife, Rhea, have served as temple workers, he has submitted names of more than 4,000 ancestors for endowments and sealings.Hollis, a member of the Nampa, Idaho, 1st Ward, said his efforts in family history research started when he told Seth Redford, then president of the temple, about his limited genealogical endeavors.
In setting Hollis apart on Dec. 5, 1985, Pres. Redord promised: "Brother Hollis, if you are faithful in your temple work, you genealogy will unfold before your eyes . . . ."
Hollis reflected, "Sometimes we don't listen to the inner spirit; so, for six months I never did any genealogy work. Then, as I sat around one cold day, I took my genealogy out."
He had a strong impression that he should do the work for one of his favorite uncles who had passed away.
"Tears filled my eyes," Hollis remembered. "I told my wife about it, and we decided to do something about our research."
Soliciting the aid of Donna Patterson, the stake genealogical consultant, they got started.
"I well remember the first names we got cleared - 181!" Hollis said. "I could hardly contain myself. The more I did my temple service, the more names came in.
Leads came from unexpected sources. Coming out of a fast-food restaurant one day, Hollis felt the urge to speak to two women in a car.
"They were LDS. One said that a short time before while in Georgia, she passed a cemetery and felt she should go in. She found only one name of her family, and she did not know why she felt she had to go in the cemetery."
The name turned out to be one that Hollis had been seeking.
"I am planning to send in many more names, for I know I can if I do my temple work and trust in the Savior," Hollis said. "Pres. Redford said it, I believe it, it has to happen."