The Church is planning this year to launch a new Internet service to aid individuals in family history research.
A statement regarding the service has been released by the Church Public Affairs Department:"Sometime in March or April 1999, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will conduct a brief beta test of a new genealogical service for the Internet. The Church believes this service will greatly enhance the way people trace their family history. A formal announcement and launch is expected in the spring to summer of 1999. Details will not be available until then.
"The Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an international leader in genealogical research with the world's largest collection of family history records made available to the public through a system of 3,200 Family History Centers located around the world."
The Church's international leadership in the field of family history stems from gospel doctrines pertaining to the need to identify one's kindred dead in order to provide the temple ordinances of salvation and exaltation for them.
Hence, the Church has been at the forefront of technological advancement in this field since the early part of the century, when it began to apply microfilm capability to the preservation of genealogical records.