Transitioning from Classic Stake and Ward Websites to the New Tools on LDS.org Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Friday, 14 September 2012

If you're still using the Stake and Ward Websites on Classic.LDS.org (pictured below), be advised that Stake and Ward Websites will be retired at the end of 2012, possibly earlier. You will need to use the new tools on LDS.org beginning in 2013.

Stake and Ward Websites will be discontinued at the end of 2012.

For many of you, this is welcome information, because closing the door on Stake and Ward Websites means one less point of confusion for members. Members will no longer wonder whether the ward uses the Classic website or the new tools on LDS.org.

Beyond just avoiding confusion, though, the complete transition to the new LDS.org tools opens up better technology for members in your wards and stakes. The tools now available on LDS.org far outperform the previous Stake and Ward Websites solution on Classic.lds.org (which was built more than a decade ago).

The new LDS.org tools offer more personalized experiences for members, provide publishing solutions for all organization and groups in your ward or stake, and offer functionality that is more robust and scalable to meet the demands of a growing, global church.

Major Differences Between Stake and Ward Websites and the New LDS.org Tools

Several months ago, we published a post titled From Local Unit Websites to a Suite of Tools. This post explained the gradual shift from an all-in-one website to a suite of tools.

The new tools on LDS.org aren't compiled into one single website, as with Stake and Ward Websites, but instead are independent tools. They function more like Microsoft Office's suite of tools, with independent, separate applications that are more specialized and functional than any all-in-one solution.

LDS Account Authentication

You can access all of these new LDS.org tools from the Sign In/Tools menu on LDS.org.

The new tools on LDS.org are available on the Sign In/Tools menu.

In addition to replacements for Stake and Ward Websites, the Sign In/Tools menu also contains links to Notes and Journal, Patriarchal Blessings, and your LDS Account settings. Leaders in bishoprics and stake presidencies will also see links to Clerk Resources and Leader Resources, but since these tools were not intended to replace Stake and Ward Websites but rather were developed as additional tools, they will be addressed in other articles.

Except for maps, each tool requires you to sign in with your LDS Account. Your LDS Account provides a single-sign-on experience for all Church websites, which means you just need one user name and password for all Church websites, rather than separate logins for each site.

Note that access to many of the tools requires your LDS Account to be associated with your Membership Record Number (MRN). This allows the sites to deliver personalized information for your specific ward and stake.

What New Functionality Do the LDS.org Tools Provide?

The new tools on LDS.org provide a wealth of new functionality. Here are a few highlights of functionality that is available in the new LDS.org tools that was not available in Stake and Ward Websites on Classic.LDS.org.

View Calendar Highlights

View Directory Highlights

View Lesson Schedules Highlights

View Newsletter Highlights

View Maps Highlights

As you can see, these new tools on LDS.org are robust and full of enhancements designed to give you a more personalized experience for local unit information. The tools provide greater options to accommodate all groups at Church and their needs.

The newsletter, calendar, and lesson schedules tools are particularly scalable. You can have dozens of newsletter categories, calendars, and lesson schedules for each group at church.

Migrating to the New Tools

To transition from Stake and Ward Websites on Classic.LDS.org to the new LDS.org tools, there aren't many steps to take, except with the calendar. The following list shows details for migrating to each new tool.

Calendar migration: If you have events already entered on the Stake and Ward Websites calendar, you can import the events on the new calendar. More detail about setting up the new calendar appears below.

Directory migration: Membership and household information automatically migrates. However, if you had photos uploaded in the Classic directory, these photos do not migrate to the new directory (due to differences in image sizes). Both members and directory administrators can upload the photos in the new directory.

Newsletter migration: Any previous news articles from the News & Events section of Stake and Ward Websites do not migrate to the LDS.org newsletter tool. You will need to copy and paste any previous information to the new newsletter tool.

Lesson Schedules migration: Any previous lesson schedules entered in the Lesson section of Stake and Ward Websites do not migrate. You will need to re-enter lessons into the new lesson schedules tool.

Maps migration: Maps was never part of Stake and Ward Websites, but maps now partly fulfills the ward/stake homepage view in Stake and Ward Websites. Maps also provides the ward/stake search that was available in Stake and Ward Websites. When you search for a ward or stake in the new maps tool, you can see the location, time, and building the ward meets in. You can also see leadership information to contact the local unit leader. You don't need to migrate any information into the new maps tool.

Migrating to the Calendar

The calendar is the only tool requiring some setup and effort with the transition. The steps for transitioning to the new calendar are listed in the calendar's help material. See Initial Setup in the Calendar help for details.

In general, follow these steps to set up the calendar:

  1. Set up locations based on the places members can meet for events.
  2. Designate building schedulers for each location.
  3. Define reservations for unit scheduling.
  4. Create all the calendars you need.
  5. Import events from the Classic calendar or from a third-party calendar.
  6. Associate locations with each of your events.
  7. Train your organization leaders.

Leadership Plays a Key Role in Software Adoption

Although the Church has made these tools available for wards and stakes, if local leaders don't use the tools, the likelihood that members adopt the tools decreases. Specifically with the calendar, newsletter, and lesson schedules tools, administrators in wards and stakes need to set up information and designate members with the right roles in order for wards to begin using the tools.

Let Us Know Your Wish List

Although many of the new tools provide features far beyond the basic Stake and Ward Websites functionality, these new tools are still being actively developed. Many are in early versions and are constantly improving with each new release. Please be patient as these new tools develop.

If there are special features you miss in Stake and Ward Websites that aren't available in the new tools, let us know by commenting below this article or by submitting your feedback in the LDSTech Forum. For each tool, project leaders often have a backlog of issues to address, features to code, and a product roadmap to complete. If the feature isn't currently available, it most likely will be in the near future. You can help guide development teams by submitting feedback.

Help Materials

Abundant help materials are available in each of these applications. Look for the help button (usually in the upper-right corner) in each application. Here are direct links to each help file:

Getting Help

If you run into specific issues or have questions, the best place to get help is the LDSTech Forum. The LDSTech Forum is an interactive forum with frequent participation from volunteers and employees throughout the world. To access the forums, go to https://tech.lds.org/forum. Within the forum, see the LDS.org Website section for links to discussions about each of the LDS.org tools.

 

Comments  

 
# Dave Lipps 2012-09-13 08:46
Hi,

In this article of migration away from Ward and Stake websites you did not identify whether there will be individual places for a Ward or the Stake to put messages for everybody that is in that particular unit to see. Basically the same capabilities that are built-in to the classic webpage.

Each ward in our stake does their own message and their own photo that they want on their ward webpage.

As a stake technology specialist in my opinion if you do not include this capability you are truly shortchanging the Wards and the Stake for being able to communicate to their respective members.

Dave. . .
 
 
# Alan Brown 2012-09-13 17:36
Quoting David Lipps:
In this article of migration away from Ward and Stake websites you did not identify whether there will be individual places for a Ward or the Stake to put messages for everybody that is in that particular unit to see. Basically the same capabilities that are built-in to the classic webpage.

Each ward in our stake does their own message and their own photo that they want on their ward webpage.


The Newsletter tool comes close to providing this capability, in that you can create an article that you pin to the top of a category. That article can have a picture and whatever text the ward or stake wants to put there.

It's not visible to nonmembers, but then again, I've seen plenty of classic ward and stake websites that put information in their messages that was targeted for members and would have been confusing to nonmembers.
 
 
# Clinton Kopotic 2012-09-15 23:10
Quoting Alan Brown:
The Newsletter tool comes close to providing this capability,

I agree Alan that the Newsletter's featured article could be a good transition tool. Also, the maps can be used to get building ad[censored] and times.
Quoting David Lipps:
Each ward in our stake does their own message and their own photo that they want on their ward webpage.

I agree that having a static webpage that anyone can get access to is the most concise and easy to use method for communicating a lot of information in a personalized way.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:22
Currently with the newsletter, you can pin featured articles at the top of a specific category but not at the top of a homepage. I'll submit a request to their team for some kind of page-like feature in addition to the posts. It seems like pages might be one way to store static information.
 
 
# Dave Lipps 2012-09-16 13:46
Dear Brother Brown,

How sad that you want to throughout the missionary effort that the six Wards and Stake put into inviting non-members to come worship God, because you saw a few Wards that were not ideal.

How important is that one person to the Lord, that comes to one of our Wards due to reading a Ward web page?
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:25
David, thanks for the feedback. I'll relay the idea of a static homepage for the ward geared towards non-members. You're right that there is no replacement for it with the new tools.
 
 
# Juan Pablo Montero 2012-09-25 11:07
por si acaso esto podrías publicarse en espaañol para yo entender que esta diciendo
 
 
# Clinton Kopotic 2012-09-15 23:06
Thanks Tom for providing a nice article that I can point to for the leaders and members to digest on their own. I especially like the highlights.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:25
Thanks Clinton. I'm glad to hear you like the highlights, as I was considering cutting that part due to length.
 
 
# Kenn N 2012-09-15 23:19
My only wish... Keeping the site up on Sundays. Seems trivial, but it's embarrassing when it goes down on Sunday.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:26
Thanks for the feedback, Kenn. I'll forward your comment to the appropriate infrastructure team.
 
 
# Kenn N 2012-09-15 23:22
On a more serious note, improved communication tools for the calendar are a must have. Meaning ways to send reminders to specific members about their appointments.

Also a way to have a daily agenda for the Bishopric's appointments. Even a way to view a daily agenda on their mobile phone would be sufficient. But not everyone has a smartphone.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:34
Kenn, when you update an event, you have the option of sending an email about the event to anyone subscribed to the calendar. It looks like you want an appointment calendar to send specific emails to specific individuals.

Re the daily agenda, that's coming, I believe. Teams are building a leader view that would show the day's calendar events along with other relevant information for leaders.
 
 
# Bryce Hall 2012-09-16 07:38
On the old Ward/stake Classic homepage listed meeting house address and meeting times that was very relevant visitors.

Sometimes they also included a useful (or even necessary) welcome message / picture of the church building / etc. This is very relevant for Youth, Scout and YSA activities when people try to find how to reach the hosting building/unit.

How will the information be made available in going forwards?

Websites outside of the LDS.org rely haavily on this link in order to direct visitors to the nearest congregation in their local area.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:35
Thanks Bryce. Your feedback seems to align with trends. I'll pas the information along. Currently I am not aware of any solution being built to replicate this functionality, but that's not to say that maps or newsletter couldn't be enhanced with this display.
 
 
# Bryce Hall 2012-09-16 07:55
One more comment about the new Maps Feature on LDS.org as it can help you find almost any LDS Congregation in the US.

Each listing has a website link that takes you back to the Classic Website for that unit. Will that link disappear at the end of 2013?
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:35
Yes, that link will disappear.
 
 
# Ben S 2012-09-16 08:55
The LDS Tools App doesn't show family pictures, nor allow them to be taken/uploaded by the clerk. Since that is the primary photo viewed, and the default in the directory, the app needs to be updated. We were taking pictures of our ward until we realized that.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:36
Ben, I forwarded your comment on to the LDS Tools developers.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 10:40
Ben,

On the current version of LDS Tools for Android, photo upload of both Individual and Household pictures is supported along with the ability to view either Household or Individual photos.

Are you using the iPhone version of LDS Tools? If so, then yes, this is a limitation. I contacted the developer and he added it to the bug tracking and feature list.
 
 
# Jason Hyer 2012-09-19 17:46
The LDS Tools Apps for Android allows pictures to be taken by members and it will show pictures if they are available. You should ensure that you have the most recent versions of the apps. In addition, members can take their own pictures and post them in the directory on lds.org and they will show up in the mobile apps.
 
 
# RussellHltn 2012-09-16 11:37
Another vote for a publicly assessable "Main page" for the ward or stake. If at all possible, keep the old URL so all the community links to the page don't break when it's retired. Communities generally are happy to link to "local" pages, but are not interested in linking to "corporate".
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:36
Thanks for the feedback, RusselHltn. I'll pass this along to the right people.
 
 
# Byron Hellewell 2012-09-16 11:46
One serious flaw with the new calendar is the lack of the ability to see other than ones home ward calendar,

When serving in stake positions it is necessary to see other than your home wards calendar to schedule meetings and activities without conflicts. To plan a meetings/activity without being able to see when the other wards RS activity meeting nights can lead to serious conflicts.

The calendar does not all this to happen it only allows seeing the home ward and stake level calendars.
 
 
# Dave-CA 2012-09-16 13:21
If you go to the calendar and view the calendar by the "Week" versus the "Month" view, you will see all the other scheduled events in the other Wards in your Stake.
 
 
# Byron-UT 2012-09-16 15:08
I tried viewing the calendar by day, week and month and none of the views allowed be to see other than my home Ward and Stake activities.

I also looked in the subscriptions and none would appeared to allow seeing other Wards in the Stake activities.


Does something need to be selected to enable it?
 
 
# Clinton Kopotic 2012-09-16 15:54
Quoting Byron-UT:
I tried viewing the calendar by day, week and month and none of the views allowed be to see other than my home Ward and Stake activities.

I believe that you can view the reservations for any of the buildings/locations in the stake, but only in the day or week view. There currently isn't anyway to view events from other wards in the stake. To check for reservations, go to the week or day view and you turn off your regular calendars but only see the location reservations by checking the different locations listed in the separate list below the regular calendars. I hope this helps.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:40
Try clearing all your Subscribed Calendars, and then select one location. Any events not on your Subscribed Calendars appear in gray. Any reservations appear in white. If you don't see any, it's because none of your other wards have any events or reservations.
 
 
# J. Allen 2012-09-16 21:34
Quoting Byron Hellewell:
When serving in stake positions it is necessary to see other than your home wards calendar to schedule meetings and activities without conflicts. To plan a meetings/activity without being able to see when the other wards RS activity meeting nights can lead to serious conflicts.


When setting up a meeting/activity you pick the resource and building needed; the new calendar application automatically checks for conflicts across all units that can reserve the resource and gives you a warning message of those conflicts. You do not see all the other units' calendars.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:43
It's important to note that events that don't include rooms or locations should pose no scheduling conflicts. The only case may be if a calendar editor forgets to schedule the room/location. If the events don't pose any conflicts, what need is there to see them?
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:39
Byron, I'm working on a video tutorial that highlights the different views on the calendar. Basically, switch to the Week view and make sure you have all locations selected. This will show you all events taking place in the meetinghouses across the stake. It will also show you reservations.

If a calendar editor doesn't select a location, the event won't appear in the Week view. But if that's the case, there should be no danger of calendar conflicts because the calendar editor has no selected a location in the first place.
 
 
# Athena 2012-10-23 17:02
All of you are assuming a building reservation is required for an event to be happening. If the scouts are going on an overnight camp out they are not using a building. If a stake YM President wanted to hold a training session for local leaders he would not see that event if he was not in the same ward as the unit going on the camp out. Please allow me to express a real problem here that is making it hard for us to get the leaders to use the technology because it still requires them to get Unit leaders to send them their calendars manually after putting it into the unit calendar. This makes more work for the unit leaders an leads to them not using the calendar or as we learned the hard way, asking to be released, because the "paperwork" was too time consuming and interfered with their time with their own family. Technology is supposed to help us do our callings better not add to our problems. I am good with technology and I am frustrated with the fractured system in place.
 
 
# Teresa 2012-09-16 16:53
The one thing I think needs to be on the new tools but is not now is sending emails about activities to the Single Adults. There was a check box in the classic website to send emails to the various organizations and populations including Single Adults. With the new tools, there is no option to sending information calendarwise of activities and firesides to the Single Adults (which are easily forgotten anyway).
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:45
Teresa, each calendar event has an email notification option. When you select it, you can send email notification to all the people subscribed to the calendar. This notification would go to young single adults. Does this functionality meet the need you described?
 
 
# CMH 2012-10-03 11:38
Quoting Tom Johnson:
Teresa, each calendar event has an email notification option. When you select it, you can send email notification to all the people subscribed to the calendar. This notification would go to young single adults. Does this functionality meet the need you described?

It could meet the needs of those Quoting Tom Johnson:
Teresa, each calendar event has an email notification option. When you select it, you can send email notification to all the people subscribed to the calendar. This notification would go to young single adults. Does this functionality meet the need you described?


I don't understand how this supports a specific important activity to all on a group list (not just those savvy enough, or active enough, to have subscribed). How does one set a reminder email of a specific event to be sent to a selected group list?
 
 
# Jeff Hansen 2012-09-16 21:56
There needs to be a place to put the rest of the stake directory. The matrix of high council speaking assignments, high council assignment matrix, temple assignments, cannery assignments, stake president ppi schedule, etc. The "newsletter" could possibly used for this, but it seems like it is a temporary location not a year long permanent location.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-17 09:46
Thanks Jeff. It seems like the newsletter needs a kind of pages function in the same way that WordPress has both posts and pages. I'll pass this along to the project manager for consideration.
 
 
# G. S. Giauque 2012-09-18 08:46
I sense that not everyone is *really* pleased that the old site is going away. Bryan Hellewell and Jeff Hansen have hit the nail on the head. I too, a ward missionary, would like to be able to see other wards in the stake as presented in the old format, in order to be able to help less-active or non-members find, for example, a non-English speaking ward, or a YSA ward. Bouncing around looking for
such a unit is time-consuming for me, and downright discouraging to a person I try to encourage to come to the ward they might fit into. Please don't kill the old site! Respectfully, G.S. Giauque
 
 
# G. S. Giauque 2012-09-18 09:33
Allow me to add this: I have been acquainted with the "new" site for about 9 months. When I click on "directory," I see, in the top left corner, my own ward's name, and above that, the name of the stake. But when rolling my cursor over the name of the stake, nothing happens. . . in other words, I cannot access my stake. It appears to me that the button is not active. Surprisingly, when I click on "maps," the button for my stake *is* activated! I hope someone will take care of this problem!

Finally, I clicked on "Newsletter." In my ward and stake, nothing has been posted. Why? Probably because no one at the area or regional level has mentioned this tool to the local leadership, so it is unknown.

Still and all, the old (classic) page with its list of units is, as I hinted above, useful, and nothing like it is on the new site. Please, please, listen to what I am saying: keep the classic!
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-18 13:12
G.S, thanks for adding your feedback. The maps application does allow less-active and non-members locate wards. You can even send links to specific ward queries and the recipient will see the information. Unfortunately there is nothing in development scheduled to replace this functionality. The links pointing to this classic ward homepage view on maps will be removed as classic is retired.
 
 
# Athena 2012-10-23 17:19
Tom we need the physical ad[censored] of the units listed without going into the individual map location for each ward. As an assistant to our stake technology specialist the need is there so that we can direct service technicians to the various units. This would address the need for an easy reference for less active members and investigators. In the directory, under the stake information, a simple listing of all the units with their street ad[censored] and meeting times that links to their map page would make all the information we need easily available. Supporting 12 units that span across the entire stern portion of one state into the northern portion of a second state we have to get local techs to our units. Getting the ad[censored] for the units used to be easy. Now it is a pain. If an ice storm takes out 3 units right before stake conference broadcast we have to get them back up using local techs. We are not expected to travel in bad weather.
 
 
# G. S. Giauque 2012-09-18 13:02
Michael Laurean was the person who posted just before I posted my last posting. Please remove his posting.

One final comment (I hope): I personally do not like to have to "create an account" to access certain things on the internet. If I were not a member of the Church, I might be "turned off" by a requirement to create an account in order to see where I might attend an LDS service. It sounds so “closed” and even “secretive,” words which are anathema for a person involved with missionary work, which we all should be. This site, http://www.lds.org/units/find/0,12831,2311-1,00.html, on the other hand, does not require one to sign in (at least the right side of the page does not require it). (In fact, I would like to see the left hand side removed.)
Respectfully,
G. S. Giauque
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-18 13:19
G.S., thanks for commenting. Sorry about the spam/malicious comment that got through. Our comment plugin for Joomla (what this site runs on) is somewhat limited, and I can't block a single IP address. I did just turn off the ability for people who are not registered on the site to post comments. I'm hoping that requires users to sign in with their LDS Account.

Re signing in, many sites online now require you to log in. This allows the site to personalize the information shown to you. Due to the sensitive nature of the calendar and directory, sign on is imperative. Otherwise, it would be too easy for malicious users to grab hold of a directory and find locations for members and ward activities. Maps, however, does not require sign in. If you do sign in, you will see locations of every member in your ward.

I have passed on the need for a publicly accessible ward homepage, so this is under consideration. I do not have a timeframe nor know of a project initiated to address the issue, though.
 
 
# Kyle Erickson 2012-09-19 11:51
The classic ward website allowed us to upload PDF files (RS HomeMaking Recipes, Ward Cookbook, popular Sacrament Meeting talks, etc.). Is there a place for these documents on the new applications? Does NEWSLETTER have ATTACHMENT capabilities?

If it doesn't exist yet, I suggest a place for document storage and reference for the newsletter.

Kyle
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-19 12:06
Kyle, yes, the newsletter allows you to upload attachments -- PDF, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (and their Open Office equivalents). It handles them pretty well. You can also upload images.

Tom
 
 
# Kyle Erickson 2012-09-19 17:01
My ward NEWSLETTER page says this:
Your ward or stake has not published any articles yet. Let your website administrator, clerk, executive secretary, bishopric, or stake presidency know that Newsletter is available for use.

This says if I am the WEBSITE ADMINISTRATOR, I should be able to create newsletters. I still have access to the Classic website's ADMIN functions, but I don't seem to be able to admin the Newsletter.

I am currently a Stake Clerk and I believe I still have Ward Website Administrator at the ward level (I was never released).

This page https://tech.lds.org/blog/517-newsletter-a-new-tool-now-available-on-ldsorg-for-publishing-local-unit-news talks about RIGHTS & ROLES for Newsletter. It says "Administrators can write and edit articles.... Default administrators for the newsletter include bishoprics, stake presidencies, clerks, and website administrators."

Shouldn't I be able to create a newsletter?
 
 
# Kyle Erickson 2012-09-19 17:10
PS. I _DO_ see the ADMIN link on the Newsletter for the STAKE, but do not see the ADMIN link for my WARD.

Maybe you are only allowed to admin either the Stake or the Ward, but not both.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:46
Kyle, if you see the "+ New Article" button, it should allow you to create a new post and assign it to the category you want. If you don't see it, you don't have admin rights. Make sure your calling is updated in MLS. If it's still not working, try troubleshooting this through the LDSTech Forum.
 
 
# Jason Hyer 2012-09-19 18:00
For the most part I am very pleased with these new tools and know that they are still maturing in many ways. As a Stake Clerk the most troubling issue I have is that the Stake Leaders don't have the ability to either view things in the different wards (Calendars, newsletters) or post stake specific information that we have a responsibility to post (Lesson Schedules). Many mistake the intent of Stake Leaders as wanting to have control of various aspects of these tools but instead we have specific responsibilitie s and that the technology can make easier for us to do, or in some instances as listed above, harder.

Another feature that we no longer have the ability to check at a ward or stake level is which of our members have accounts to log in to these tools. We could see that in the old web sites.

As stated in the main article, leaders adoption of these tools helps members adopt them but it would be helpful to know which of our members are utilizing these tools.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:48
Jason, thanks for your feedback. Sorry that I don't have an answer for either of your issues. We do need a tool that allows leaders to identify whether members have an LDS Account. I'll forward your comment to the LDS Account product owner.

Re Lesson Schedules, I know that application is being redesigned in a significant way, though I don't have any details about it.
 
 
# MM 2012-09-20 12:52
It would be great for wards to have a public web site, especially if they have a friendly URL that could be easily passed on to members, non-members, less-active people, etc. (think about situations where I may not have an email for someone, but could write it down quickly for someone I'm visiting, like lds.org/units/SunnyMountainWa rd.

It's just a form of outreach that might be effective for reaching some people. If it's done, it should be clear to the wards that it's public content. I'm not sure what all the content should be, but it sure feels like there should be something. I think many wards didn't realize that their classic home pages were public (you could tell by the content). Our stake has set up its own web site outside of lds.org so members can get to it without having to register.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:51
MM, I have relayed your feedback to the product managers. Our current architecture on LDS.org is tending toward sign-in as a requirement for accessing all of these tools. Maps does allow you to search for specific wards and even provides a URL to link to the wards.

I can tell you that a consolidated view showing information from all the apps on one page is in the works. This will be a kind of home page for members and leaders, compiling information from calendar, directory, newsletter, lesson schedules, and other relevant applications. It won't allow outsiders to access the page without an LDS Account, but it's something.
 
 
# Scott F 2012-09-21 16:28
Is there a way to send a mass email to all ward members? This was a nice feature in the old ward website.
 
 
# John M. Shaw 2012-09-25 06:08
Tom Johnson, I find it interesting that you stated you have passed along the comment that a landing page is needed. It has been a discussion on the tech boards for a couple of years now. If it hasn't been considered until just now, what is the tech board good for anyway?
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:56
John, I don't listen as closely as I should to the discussions on the LDSTech Forum. For that, I apologize. It's mostly a matter of competing projects and not enough time.

The trend toward sign-in as a requirement to view information aligns with general trends toward personalization of the web. Maps does have a view that allows you to link to information about wards and stakes. The URL most likely needs to be shortened through a shortener, but if you just want to point non-members to a public homepage, that's about as close as it comes.

Developers are also working on a homepage-like view for signed in members, one that consolidates information from all of the local unit tools and shows the information in one handy place. I don't have a timeframe for that yet.

I appreciate all of the feedback and moderation help you provide in the forums. I know that many developers, QA, and other leaders to regularly check out the threads, especially when the threads demonstrate a general consensus about an issue.
 
 
# Athena 2012-10-23 17:42
Tom there are many of us that would be more involved but there is a real feeling that if you are east of the Mississippi and south of the Mason DIxon that you are not as important as everyone else. Being on the east coast is hard enough but being in the southeast is a nightmare. Why can't any of the tech stuff have groups here. We can spell computer and some of us are even iOS developers. The needs of the saints here are different than in the west where you can have 3 wards in a single subdivision. The webcast software streams in a format not compatible with iOS. Linux is poorly supported by the church and in our stake alone we have multiple Linux experts. The last person that I saw working for the church that was a Linux Guru out there was arrogant and in reality not that good since the page he contributed to loaded poorly in any browser other than IE. The other problem I see is the division of and therefore duplication of work between Roots Tech and LDS Tech.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:52
Scott, you can send mass e-mail messages through the Directory. The Directory and Newsletter help files have step-by-step instructions for doing this. Additionally, if you have access to Leader Resources or Clerk Resources, you can send a mass email to all ward members. Some wards have private email listservs.I'm not sure whether private listservs are allowed or not, but they do simplify communication.
 
 
# Milo Jensen 2012-10-03 09:14
Maps do not allow a print editing option to remove family units from an area of families. It is not as "user friendly" as it states. This option would make it easier to create Emergency Preparedness Zones, or Home Teaching Routes. Since the maps will not allow for you to remove a family unit from the map for printing purposes it reduces the user to old school white out which is not exactly modern technology.
 
 
# John J Price 2012-10-03 13:43
I've seen that an export feature in the calendar is being considered. I wish you would put it up on the priority list. It is extremely useful to get all the calendar events into a spreadsheet then sort on event title. That way I can see all the events with the same title (like Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting) together to verify that they are properly scheduled.
 
 
# Duane Grasse 2012-10-03 15:41
I wonder if there is some gospel principle or doctrine that drives the "distributed" calendar model. It seems something is really pushing us to abandon the old model, but I've yet to see any scripture or prophetic counsel to do so.
I'm no programmer, but it seems like such a small thing to add a "Submit Request" button on the calendars. That would not hamper at all the ability of the tech-savvy units to move forward with the new system, but would allow units with simpleton members like me to use the calendar the old way.
 
 
# Jill Ann Christensen 2012-10-04 21:12
I just checked the new map attached to my Ward Directory site...it indicated the Ward, other Unit, but NO indication of a
Family History Center on-site! Other FHCs were indicated on the map! Sorry, but that does NOT make sense!! Anyone looking would assume there is not a FHC in Conyers. It was indicated, IF one checks a box.
 
 
# T Bolla 2012-10-20 21:03
If the classic site is going to be retired, is the lds map site going to be redone so that it works on an iphone? We had a power outage in the area and our chapel was without power so everone had to go to other wards and since people did not have power they had to use the internet on their phones to look up other wards meeting times. It is nearly impossible to look up information on other wards using the new lds maps "tool". We used the classic site to see the meeting times for wards in our stake.
 
 
# Athena 2012-10-23 17:53
Quoting T Bolla:
If the classic site is going to be retired, is the lds map site going to be redone so that it works on an iphone? We had a power outage in the area and our chapel was without power so everone had to go to other wards and since people did not have power they had to use the internet on their phones to look up other wards meeting times. It is nearly impossible to look up information on other wards using the new lds maps "tool". We used the classic site to see the meeting times for wards in our stake.


The support for iOS is lagging in a lot of areas but this is a huge one. One of our former stake technology specialists and a good friend of ours is an iOS developer at Apple now and my husband and I are what I like to call emerging iOS developers and would gladly help but every time I have made offers to help I am either ignored or I have to deal with someone that is less capable than me and totally arrogant. Discouraging!
 
 
# Mary Ann Beacham Roberts 2012-11-01 20:28
I have subscribed to the calendar. I am using iCal, but every time I try to refresh it I get this message:

There was an unexpected error with the request on subscribed calendars (error -1).
 
 
# William Arnold Kofoed 2012-11-12 19:55
I have been a ward web sites administrator since day one. I have never got any training or help. It has always been up to me to find answers however I could. Is the new tools going to be any different?
 
 
# SJ Wainright 2012-12-26 13:34
This is kind of sad and scary. I don't want to go to the ward sites. I just want to keep up with generic church info for leaders of auxilliaries. Used to be able to click on serving in the church. I guess now I need to log in with perhaps my member # just to get this basic info. It is nice to try to make things better but techy people think better is more big and complex leaving out many seniors and those without extensixe computer knowledge. Makes me want to cry. I have so much enjoyed the amazing info from the site in the past. This page was my answer to my question but still didn't tell me how to get to the info I need.
 
 
# Judy Pickett 2012-12-31 14:55
I agree with Dave Lipps & SJ Wainright that "improving" the ward & stake directories has eliminated some of the functions that were useful to us low-tech people & made it harder to use. It would be nice if before "improving" things you might get input from the users as to what they find to be useful & not make choices for us based on your high-tech experience. Please put a "feedback" button on the new site so we can ask for help when we find something difficult to use. Have pity on us low-tech folks.
 
 
# Bryce Nielsen 2013-02-16 22:07
I'm sorry to disagree with what so many see as an advancement in the technology - I just can't get the Maps program to work and I really don't want to have to sign in just to see where different wards are. No matter what address I put in I get that it cannot be found. I also have to only use a certain browser or the map doesn't load at all. I never had this problem with the Classic Ward and Stake websites.
 
 
# Robert Collins Hyatt 2013-08-02 12:23
Where do you place Ward and Stake Emergency Preparedness and Communications Plan on the new websites?
 
 
# Joshua Joseph Carr 2014-04-13 16:05
I love the new functionality of the ward directory, maps, calendar and especially the android apps. What I don't care for is the lack of information on anything outside my assigned Stake. Whether I am visiting a different ward, considering moving to a new area, or seeking to contact a different area about an investigator who has moved away I find that the only information available is a Bishops phone number. It would be greatly beneficial if the members sitting on ward council and missionaries were displayed and available for every ward (after login).

In regards to moving to a new area. I want to locate myself near the "clustering" or ward members and cannot see such information on the new maps app. I understand privacy concerns, so individual homes don't need to be called out, merely a density plot would suffice.
 
 
# Alan Smoot 技术 2014-04-13 22:18
Quoting Joshua Joseph Carr:
I love the new functionality of the ward directory, maps, calendar and especially the android apps. What I don't care for is the lack of information on anything outside my assigned Stake. Whether I am visiting a different ward, considering moving to a new area, or seeking to contact a different area about an investigator who has moved away I find that the only information available is a Bishops phone number. It would be greatly beneficial if the members sitting on ward council and missionaries were displayed and available for every ward (after login).

In regards to moving to a new area. I want to locate myself near the "clustering" or ward members and cannot see such information on the new maps app. I understand privacy concerns, so individual homes don't need to be called out, merely a density plot would suffice.


The current scope has been determine by both legal and leadership. I doubt we will see this change. But I do appreciate this request, more information is always helpful.
 

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