Temple Recommends via Mobile App

steele7
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Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby steele7 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:25 pm

Hello,

I am wondering what the possibility would be in getting Temple Recommends from your phone via an App or through the LDS Tools app within your member profile or something similar. This would be both for endowed Adults as well as for Limited Use recommends for the youth. As a ward clerk, I see way too many cases in which the paper form of the recommend is lost, especially with the Limited Use recommends. Why not have this available in the App where the barcode on the paper recommend and status is included in your member profile that can be validated and scanned when going to the temple and will never be lost? This is the direction we are headed and it would be so much easier to control and manage not to mention the time it takes to re-interview someone that has lost the paper version. There could also be notifications, etc when it will expire.

As far a recommend interviews, the Bishop and member of the Stake Presidency would no longer need to sign anything or take and destroy your old one. Once the interview is complete, they would be able to go in and check a box that would approve/activate the recommend once the interview is concluded. I know there will be security concerns about this but it shouldn't really be any different than what is currently in place from the Tools application. Only members of the Bishopric will see the status of the recommend along with the member themselves.

Thoughts? Is this something that is currently in the works or that could be done?

Thanks,
Jared Steele

steele7
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby steele7 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:19 am

As a follow up to this, if this is not the correct place/format to post suggestions like this, can someone tell me where/who this should go to?

Thanks.

eblood66
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby eblood66 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:01 am

The forums are only user-to-user help. We can discuss the suggestion here but it won't be seen any anyone who makes decisions about these things.

Since this regards the LDS Tools app, the appropriate place to make a suggestion would be using the Feedback option in the app itself (in Android it's under Help > Contact Us).

Since this would require changes to policies involving temple recommends, I expect the final decision would have to go up to the First Presidency level. So it probably would not be quick even if it happens.

One problem I see with the idea is that cell phones are generally supposed to be left outside the temple or turned off. If the recommend is on the phone then people would have to keep their phone on until after entering the temple. That might be a distraction inside the temple that may be inappropriate.

steele7
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby steele7 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:08 am

Thanks for the reply and feedback. With LDS Tools app, is this controlled by the church? I would like to get this in front on those that would be willing to listen and think about this idea.

I understand your concern about the phone being left outside the temple, but honestly, I have a hard time believing that everyone that enters the temple does not have their phones with them. I know I do. I turn my off as soon as I go in. If the concern is having more phones within the temple, it actually might be beneficial in giving temple goers a reminder after the recommend is scanned to turn them off. I don't think I have ever been told when entering the temple to leave my phone behind or to even turn it off.

eblood66
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby eblood66 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:13 am

steele7 wrote:Thanks for the reply and feedback. With LDS Tools app, is this controlled by the church?

Yes, LDS Tools is an official church app and decisions regarding what features are included are made by the general authorities over such things. Suggestions made via the feedback link will get to the product manager (a church employee) over LDS Tools.

steele7 wrote:I don't think I have ever been told when entering the temple to leave my phone behind or to even turn it off.

I've never been told but I have seen reminder signs.

steele7
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby steele7 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:24 am

Thanks. Sounds like it would be best to submit this feedback within the Tools app.

I think a verbal reminder would be better than relying on signage. Being told at the time you scan your recommend by phone to then turn it off would be much more effective in my opinion.

Appreciate your comments here.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby sbradshaw » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:38 am

The technology is there, temple recommend status is already managed online, and LDS Tools is a logical place. I like the idea.

The mobile apps team is small (currently one iOS developer and one Android developer assigned to LDS Tools). A feature like this would need to be requested by the temple department, reviewed by the Church's legal / risk management teams, approved by assigned general authorities (or potentially the First Presidency because it deals with access to temples), then prioritized by the product manager against all the other things being worked on.

Something to consider is that paper recommends would still need to be distributed, for anyone who doesn't have an Android or iOS device with LDS Tools (or who doesn't want to install the app because it takes up space, etc.).

The only security concern I can think of that's different from paper recommends is that there will be a "copy" of your recommend on any device that's logged into your LDS Account (i.e. someone could be using your recommend on another device, logged into your account, without you ever finding out – and that copy will update itself whenever you renew your recommend). This could be alleviated a little bit if you could see a running list of where and when you used your recommend (which would be nice as a feature in and of itself, but would require the server to track that data, which it doesn't currently do – so more development work to support it).

I also imagine the walkways just beyond the recommend desk getting cluttered with people waiting for their phone to turn off. It would look kind of like Pokemon Go. :)
Last edited by sbradshaw on Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

drepouille
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby drepouille » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:45 am

steele7 wrote:I don't think I have ever been told when entering the temple to leave my phone behind or to even turn it off.

The reminder sign is on every recommend desk at every temple. Nevertheless, we often hear cell phones ringing inside lockers in the dressing room. If temple workers see a patron using a cell phone in the temple, we gently remind them to turn off their phone while inside the temple.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

steele7
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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby steele7 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:57 am

Thanks sbradshaw. I would agree that paper recommends would still be needed but I would guess that the majority of the younger generation would use the mobile recommend, including youth which would be a big help. This would be similar to the option now of paying donations online rather than in paper through the clerks. I know many older folks still pay with checks but almost every one else under 60-65 pay online, at least in my ward.

In terms of the lines, I would hope that people can turn off their phones while continuing to walk. ;) And again would be a good verbal reminder. I have never noticed the signs on the desks before.

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Re: Temple Recommends via Mobile App

Postby drepouille » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:06 pm

Only half-kidding here: Perhaps some day we will all have RFID chips in our hands, so we can just walk past a scanner. The chip might also vibrate once each day, beginning two months prior to our recommend expiration. Hey, it could work, but I can only imagine the panic from some members.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska


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