MLS Issue for YSA Wards: No way to keep records in our wards

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
johnsutherland
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MLS Issue for YSA Wards: No way to keep records in our wards

Postby johnsutherland » Thu May 10, 2012 2:12 pm

MLS should provide a mechanism for YSA Wards to hold on their members' records. Currently home ward clerks and bishops frequently pull records "home" to do things like start missionary applications, issue patriarch blessing recommends, etc.

This causes issues such as data that has been entered into MLS about callings being lost, home teaching records being impacted, etc. It cause extra work for clerks to have to constantly pull records back.

The sad thing is that records generally don't need to be pulled home. At any given time 2% to 5% of our members do not have their records in our YSA Ward MLS database where they truly belong.

Please provide a way to fix this problem.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu May 10, 2012 5:18 pm

There is a Move restriction, but I'd think trying to do that for the bulk of your members is likely to raise eyebrows at CHQ.

I think you need to take this up with your Stake President to see that the units in question get proper training.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu May 10, 2012 5:41 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I think you need to take this up with your Stake President to see that the units in question get proper training.


It's the home wards that need the training. The YSA stake president might interact with dozens of stakes, particularly in a college setting where the students' home wards might not even be in the area.

This is indeed a challenge, and all the stakes involved need to think about the consequences of such an action. There's no need to pull back a record to start a missionary application, and a YSA stake should have an assigned patriarch. In our stake, we are most often tempted to pull records because of first-time temple recommends. For some reason, young people are doing these TR interviews in their home ward, instead of the ward where their records are (the YSA ward). That particular issue should be addressed by both YSA and home wards.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu May 10, 2012 6:01 pm

aebrown wrote:It's the home wards that need the training.


Correct. I was assuming this was a YSA Ward that only had a one or a few stakes that overlapped. In that case, the Stake President would seem to be a good point of contact to the other stake presidents.

While I can understand the desirability of initiating the missionary application in the home ward (mostly due to the way the finances work), I'm personally leery of starting anything in the ward that person has not been attending on a regular basis.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu May 10, 2012 10:04 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Correct. I was assuming this was a YSA Ward that only had a one or a few stakes that overlapped. In that case, the Stake President would seem to be a good point of contact to the other stake presidents.


But in a YSA ward that has students in it, that assumption is far from correct. But to the extent that assumption is valid, the YSA stake president could make contact with the stake presidents of the overlapping stakes. Of course, a YSA stake will tend to have this problem with all of its overlapping stakes (not just the stakes that overlap a single ward), so that could mean 10-20 stakes.

RussellHltn wrote:While I can understand the desirability of initiating the missionary application in the home ward (mostly due to the way the finances work), I'm personally leery of starting anything in the ward that person has not been attending on a regular basis.


That scenario is already covered in the missionary application process. A missionary application that is begun in a YSA ward will specify the home ward as well. Even though the YSA ward bishop may begin the process, there's a smooth transition back to the home ward, including financial responsibility.
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johnsutherland
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Postby johnsutherland » Fri May 25, 2012 8:59 am

My particular YSA stake is at BYU. Students come from hundred of stakes throughout the world. We can't educate all the home wards and stakes. Move restrictions are not a reasonable way to deal with this. MLS needs a new capability to address this problem.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri May 25, 2012 9:09 am

johnsutherland wrote:My particular YSA stake is at BYU. Students come from hundred of stakes throughout the world. We can't educate all the home wards and stakes. Move restrictions are not a reasonable way to deal with this. MLS needs a new capability to address this problem.


What would you propose? I hope you're not saying that wards should no longer be able to request records; we certainly can't depend on the previous ward to send the records out -- in many cases the member doesn't tell the previous ward that they're leaving, or they don't know exactly which ward they'll end up in. Student-oriented YSA wards should be some of the strongest proponents of the ability to request records; they need that capability as much or more than any other wards.

I agree that move restrictions are not reasonable; that's not really what they are intended for. I doubt that CHQ will be happy if student wards start putting move restrictions on tens of thousands of records. Besides, my guess is that a huge proportion of the move restrictions would not be removed at the appropriate time, creating an even bigger problem than the one we're trying to solve.

So what's the answer? I don't see any perfect solutions, but I'd love to hear a concrete suggestion. About all I can think of is some more training and education. Perhaps the process of requesting a record in MLS (or online at LDS.org now) could require the clerk or leader requesting the record to certify that the member actually lives in the ward and is attending that ward. If that question is answered honestly, it would stop these temporary record moves.
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Postby Gary_Miller » Fri May 25, 2012 10:22 am

aebrown wrote:So what's the answer?


The answer is Bishops and Clerks following the guidlines and not moving records unless the individual is physicly living in their ward. Bishops do not have the authority to do anything like start Missonary Papers, issue temple recommends, or begin any other paper work unless the individual is residing in their ward. Members attending YSA wards are concidered residing in that ward even though they maybe living within the bondries of another "family" ward.

YSA units need to be viewed no diffrent than other units when it comes to record keeping.

We also need to remove from our vocabulary the term home ward as the home ward is the ward a member is currently living in, or in the case of a YSA attending.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri May 25, 2012 10:31 am

Admin note: thread moved from the Feedback forum.

aebrown wrote:Perhaps the process of requesting a record in MLS (or online at LDS.org now) could require the clerk or leader requesting the record to certify that the member actually lives in the ward and is attending that ward.


Or a reminder that the person needs to be expected to live in the ward for the next three months. From what I can see of the BYU-Provo schedule, if a student goes home at the end of the Winter Semester and does not return until the Fall Semester (skipping the Spring and Summer Terms), then the move is entirely proper.

I also see training as a major step. I question if bishops should be doing any of the procedures described (Temple recommends, Missionary Applications, Patriarchal Blessings) unless they consult with the Bishop in the student ward. (The handbook does have specific language about Temple Recommends. I'm not sure about the others.) It would be nice if there was a way for these bishops to see the record without having to request it. But I could see how such a feature could be abused and raise privacy concerns.

One feature that would be nice is if there was a "pull back" function that would request the record and restore the member to their prior settings.

BTW, I've had a problem going the other way. As a clerk in a student ward, I was told that a member "went home". So I moved the records out, only to see them two weeks later. When I asked, they said "I went home to visit." Somehow I think that detail got lost in the game of telephone to the RS President, to ward council to me.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri May 25, 2012 10:37 am

Gary_Miller wrote:We also need to remove from our vocabulary the term home ward as the home ward is the ward a member is currently living in, or in the case of a YSA attending.


Although I would definitely agree with most of what you said, I think you'll have to talk to the Missionary Department about removing the term "home ward" from our vocabulary.

For example, in the documentation for the Missionary Online Recommendation System, the Printing an Interview Summary page says: "If the candidate is only temporarily in the ward and is going to depart for the mission from his or her home ward, the candidate should fill out this section with his or her permanent address" (emphasis added).

When speaking of missionary candidates who will be returning to the ward their parents live, prior to departing on their missions, the term "home ward" is actually quite useful.
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