Q: How do I find a long lost member of the LDS religion?

My wife, (in 1950), was a very close friend of an… LDS member, in high school… Her maiden name was XXXX & she & my wife went to school at XXXXX. Since we were married & I was in the Marine Corps, we lost contact with XXXXX. Please advise us how to locate her. Thanking you in advance, XXXXXXX.

Here’s the skinny. If you had tried finding XXXXXX about 2 years ago, there may have been an option for you. The LDS religion used to use its extensive membership database and contacts to help people find someone they once knew. But they have discontinued that service as of about a year and a half ago (as per a phone conversation with someone in membership services on 12/19/2007; 1-800-453-3860). So, that option is no longer available to you. Many of the members of our organization suggested this as some of them had been contacted via this route in the past. But, alas, it is no more. I also double-checked with the person at membership services as to whether a bishop in the LDS religion could find out this information for a member and he said that no one can do so at this point. So, even if you get a “powerful” member of the religion to ask for you, apparently it’s not going to happen anymore. (I’m not sure if the LDS religion was sued or what, but they said it was discontinued for legal reasons)

So, what are your options now? Well, the person I spoke with at member services suggested trying a variety of mission websites. If XXXX served a mission or was in a mission at the time, she may have joined one of the following websites:
So, you could try tracking her down there. That was the suggestion made by the person at member services. This option was seconded by a member of our organization (who was the only person who knew that the other service was no longer available).

If neither of those options work, you’re probably going to have to turn to other, non church-related resources. One member suggested ancestry.com. According to her, “It gives access to lots of public websites, and even has family tree information on people who have submitted data. There is also a place where you can connect with other people looking for the same person (or even the person themself).” Another member of our organization suggested a “people-finder services; most seem to charge about $25.”

The last suggestion I received was for you to contact XXXX’s high school, “Many high schools have 50-year reunions, and XXXX’s graduating class at XXXXXXXX would have had such a reunion in about the year XXXX depending on when XXXXX actually graduated. The principal’s office at that school might be able to put you in touch with someone on the organizing committee for that reunion, and that person(s), in turn, might know how to contact XXXXX, especially if she came to the reunion.” That may be an option for you.

If all else fails, you can try hiring a private detective, but I’m guessing that isn’t cheap and it probably depends on just how much you want to find her.

I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help.