Jim Greene's employee spotlight was originally posted on the main page of LDS Tech.
What is your current position at the Church and what are your responsibilities?
I am the product manager over the FamilySearch Research Wiki and the Family History Library as well as the new FamilySearch’s interface with Membership and Statistical Records. This involves gathering user requirements, writing user stories for engineers, and prioritizing stories.
What is one of the exciting projects that you are currently working on?
FamilySearch Research Wiki. We believe that by involving the worldwide community of family historians in a collaborative effort, we can create an encyclopedia of unparalleled record sources that will greatly assist the work of redeeming the dead. More people will easily find records with data about their ancestors, resulting in more saving ordinances.
What is your educational background and/or work experience?
I have a B.A. degree from BYU in Spanish, a B.S. degree in business management, and an MBA from Penn State. I spent 10 years working for IBM as a financial analyst and a systems engineer. I then worked for Novell as a product manager for 10 years before coming to work on the new FamilySearch.
What or who has been an inspiration to you in your work?
I find great inspiration in the people I have met all over the world, who save what little they have to travel to the family history center or the temple, and the missionaries who cheerfully come to the Family History Library to help others find and redeem their ancestors.
What is your favorite part of working at the Church?
When I first came to work at the Church, I felt uncomfortable starting meetings with prayers. It was hard for me to remember to do so, and I felt awkward asking fellow employees to pray. Now I feel empty if we don’t pray. The Lord is so willing to help us if we will but ask, and if we do ask He illuminates our efforts.
What is one spiritual experience that you have had while working for the Church?
President Eyring used to be over Family History and would have regular devotionals with the department and those working on the new FamilySearch. In one of those meetings with President Eyring in the Little Theater of the Conference Center, some of us came early and got front row seats. During his talk President Eyring stopped and looked straight into my eyes and spoke directly to me for what seemed like many minutes.
He told me that the work we are doing is vital for both the living and the dead, and that we need to ensure we are designing the new system so that people of all technical abilities, from complete neophyte to expert, can find the system easy to use and will find joy in working to redeem their ancestors.
There was no doubt in my mind, and the Spirit bore fervent witness, that this was a message not from President Eyring but from the Lord directly. Everyone around me felt the exact same way, and people us came up to us afterward and said what an amazing thing it was to witness that message being delivered.
President Eyring no longer has direct responsibility for Family History, but that message, and the Spirit that came with it, still carries on and causes a sense of urgency in all that I do here.
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