Moroni LDS Family History Center saved by becoming world’s 15th Record Operation Center
By Robert Stevens
Sept. 28, 2017
MORONI—The opening of the first Record Operation Center (ROC) in Sanpete County will save the Moroni Family History Center from closure, expand LDS genealogy information and offer an opportunity for missionary service close to home.
A ROC is a location where genealogical records are processed for access via LDS websites such Familysearch.org.
Pam Daniels is mission lead for the Moroni ROC, which will operate in the same building as the Moroni Family History Center at 250 N. Center St. in Moroni.
Formerly director of the Family History Center, Daniels is spearheading the ROC launch under the direction of Moroni Stake President Gene Peckham. Anita Port is taking over as the new director of the Family History Center.
Daniels says there are important differences between family history centers and ROCs. A family history center is where anyone can come and discover their family history for free. “You don’t even have to be LDS to come find out about your family’s heritage,” she said.
A ROC, on the other hand, is where LDS volunteers process records, such as old newspapers, by isolating relevant family history information (birth and death notices, weddings announcements, etc.) and organizing it for addition to the LDS genealogy indexes.
The addition of the Moroni ROC will help keep up with a large influx of unprocessed records coming from South America. The influx is so great, Daniels says, that the church is launching two ROCs in Peru.
Daniels says the launch of the Moroni ROC is fortuitous, because there had been talk about closing the Moroni Family History Center due to reduced usage compared to previous years.
She believes the decline in use reflects the prevalence of home computing, access to the Internet, and with it, easy access to Familysearch.org.
While she was still the director of the Moroni Family History Center, she found out about an ROC in Monroe, and realized the Moroni Family History Center could be spared by converting it to a ROC during daytime hours, limiting family history center usage to evenings, and using the same computers for both operations.
“There were still people who came to use the family history center,” she said, including people without home computers or Internet access, and elderly people who needed assistance.
“We didn’t want to lose this,” she added. “This is actually one of the best equipped family history centers in the area, and the previous directors have done great things with it.”
And so the plan to open Sanpete County’s first ROC (and the 15th worldwide) moved forward. Daniels was called to lead the center, which is classified by the LDS church as missionary work.
She says the center provides a unique opportunity for LDS members who might not be able to serve a full-time mission to perform significant church service.
Anyone volunteering in the ROC is considered to be a missionary, Daniels says. Volunteers can come from anywhere in the county and beyond, and can volunteer from 16-40 hours per week. The only requirement is a desire to serve.
She says that there are even opportunities for people with autism, infirmity, disabilities or other conditions that might prevent them from serving a full-time mission to become service missionaries at the ROC.
“There are many people who would like to fulfill a mission who can’t,” she said. “Well they can here.”
Initially, the ROC will operate Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the Family History Center hours will be changed to 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m. But once the ROC is going full steam, she expects it to operate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
Daniels hopes to eventually have as many as 70 church service missionaries contributing service to the ROC. To volunteer service, or for more information, contact Daniels at 851-3464.