Non Member Spouses

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
znauga
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Non Member Spouses

Postby znauga » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:02 pm

There is a "bug" in MLS that appears apparently randomly and intermittently. I encountered it multiple times since 2002 in two Wards while serving as membership clerk. Each time I took the time to eliminate the error created by MLS.

MLS allows creation of a linking record for a non member spouse. If the procedure is followed than the names of both spouses appear on ward lists. The non member husband appears as the head of family: Brown, John and Mary.

When the "bug" is triggered the non member spouse appears as the head of family and his member wife appears as a member of the household but not as his wife.

It is a time consuming process to correct the problem so that the family appears properly again on ward lists.

I have contacted the membership department multiple times while a clerk in the two wards and since serving as Stake membership Clerk. There have been several updates to the program since 2002 but none of them has resolved this issue. There has been no solution from Salt Lake other than to re-enter all of the information.

I am now an assistant Clerk in the California Menifee Stake. I believe it is important for non members to be identified as part of the family. I believe it is the Church's intent that they be so identified. However, given the continuing existence of the "bug" I am reluctant to continue to encourage our membership clerks to add nonmember spouses to families.

I am not a programmer. I assume that because the “bug” to which I am referring is intermittent and without an obvious trigger it is difficult to resolve the problem. Nevertheless, it is a significant problem at the local level for wards that want to include non member spouses as part of the family on ward lists.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:19 pm

znauga wrote:MLS allows creation of a linking record for a non member spouse. If the procedure is followed than the names of both spouses appear on ward lists. The non member husband appears as the head of family: Brown, John and Mary.

When the "bug" is triggered the non member spouse appears as the head of family and his member wife appears as a member of the household but not as his wife.


Could you please provide some more details as to how you are creating the nonmember spouse? As far as I know, there are two different ways to add a nonmember husband.

First, you can edit the Individual record of the member wife, go to the Current Spouse panel, and click Edit. Then you add the information for the husband, selecting No for "Is a Member?". You close the wife's Individual record, then edit it once again. Now there is a link on the Current Spouse panel for "Add Spouse to Household". Click on that link, and then when you go to the Household Members panel, you see that the husband is now the Head of Household, and the wife is the spouse.

Alternatively, you can create a nonmember record for the husband (Membership > Create Records > Nonmember Record). Then you go to the wife's Individual Record, go to the Current Spouse panel, and click on the Edit link. You choose "Select from a list" and then choose the nonmember record you just created. Save your changes, and again the results are that the Head of Household is the nonmember husband, and the member wife is the spouse.

Which of these methods are you using? Or are you using some other technique?

Also, when you say "his member wife appears as a member of the household but not as his wife," how is she listed? Is her Position listed as "Other" or as something else? Since he doesn't have a member record, his individual record will not have any spouse listed (there is no Current Spouse panel for nonmember records). So I assume you are only referring to the Household Members panel.

If I understand you correctly, everything works as expected (the husband becomes the head of household, the wife's "Current Spouse" is now listed as him, the children of the household are preserved in the household) except for the household position of the wife after you add the nonmember husband.

You said that you go to the effort to correct the problem. How do you do this? Do you do exactly what you did before, but because the problem is intermittent in your experience, eventually it works properly? Or do you do something different?

I am a clerk at the stake level. All the wards in our stake have multiple households with nonmember spouses, and I haven't heard of this problem occurring, but then again, I don't necessarily hear of every problem that happens.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:35 pm

I think we've discussed this before, but I'm not able to find the thread I'm thinking of. I think at the heart of it, is when you add a person to the household, MLS looks at the marriage information at that time and decides if the added person is a spouse or not. (Match or no match) Once that's gone astray, there's no easy way to fix things other then delete the non-member and start over.

So I think either you have to use the link in the spouse's record to add the non-member, or you have to make sure all the marriage info is in place before grouping them into the same household.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:55 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I think we've discussed this before, but I'm not able to find the thread I'm thinking of.


Were you thinking of one of these?


znauga
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Non Member Spouses Reply to Thread

Postby znauga » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:34 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Could you please provide some more details as to how you are creating the nonmember spouse? As far as I know, there are two different ways to add a nonmember husband.

First, you can edit the Individual record of the member wife, go to the Current Spouse panel, and click Edit. Then you add the information for the husband, selecting No for "Is a Member?". You close the wife's Individual record, then edit it once again. Now there is a link on the Current Spouse panel for "Add Spouse to Household". Click on that link, and then when you go to the Household Members panel, you see that the husband is now the Head of Household, and the wife is the spouse.

Alternatively, you can create a nonmember record for the husband (Membership > Create Records > Nonmember Record). Then you go to the wife's Individual Record, go to the Current Spouse panel, and click on the Edit link. You choose "Select from a list" and then choose the nonmember record you just created. Save your changes, and again the results are that the Head of Household is the nonmember husband, and the member wife is the spouse.

Which of these methods are you using? Or are you using some other technique?

Also, when you say "his member wife appears as a member of the household but not as his wife," how is she listed? Is her Position listed as "Other" or as something else? Since he doesn't have a member record, his individual record will not have any spouse listed (there is no Current Spouse panel for nonmember records). So I assume you are only referring to the Household Members panel.

If I understand you correctly, everything works as expected (the husband becomes the head of household, the wife's "Current Spouse" is now listed as him, the children of the household are preserved in the household) except for the household position of the wife after you add the nonmember husband.

You said that you go to the effort to correct the problem. How do you do this? Do you do exactly what you did before, but because the problem is intermittent in your experience, eventually it works properly? Or do you do something different?

I am a clerk at the stake level. All the wards in our stake have multiple households with nonmember spouses, and I haven't heard of this problem occurring, but then again, I don't necessarily hear of every problem that happens.


I have used the method described in your second paragraph. Initially the husband becomes the head of household, the wife's "Current Spouse" is now listed as him, the children of the household are preserved in the household.

When the "bug" activates the member wife is listed as other in the family. Only the non member husband shows as head of family in ward list. (Brown, Jim, not Brown Jim and Mary)

To correct the now flawed entry I delete the husband non member record and again proceed as in your second paragraph. Everything is fine until the "bug" strikes again.

Staff at CHQ acknowledge the bug exists but thus far have only provided the method to correct the error created.

I believe I have not done anything unusual and it surprises me if I am the only one to have repeatedly experienced this problem.

znauga

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:24 am

So what you're saying is that you can set it up correctly but at some point it corrupts itself? OK, that's a new one on me.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:49 am

znauga wrote:I have used the method described in your second paragraph. Initially the husband becomes the head of household, the wife's "Current Spouse" is now listed as him, the children of the household are preserved in the household.

When the "bug" activates the member wife is listed as other in the family. Only the non member husband shows as head of family in ward list. (Brown, Jim, not Brown Jim and Mary)


Using a hint in a post in another thread, I can consistently duplicate the appearance of the wife as "Other" rather than "Spouse" in the household. But to do it, I have to alter the steps slightly from what was reported. Still, I wonder if this might be what is happening.

According to your reply, you are adding the nonmember record first. Thus initially the nonmember husband will be in his own household, listed as Head of Household with no other members. The wife will still be in her own household, listed as Head of Household, with any children listed as Other household members.

So all that remains to do is to combine the two households. It might seem logical that it wouldn't matter which household you start with, but in reality the results are quite different. You can:
  1. Start with the wife's individual record and add the husband as Current Spouse. This is what I described in my previous post. In this case, I always see the nonmember husband becoming the new head of house and the wife is now listed as Spouse.
  2. Start with the nonmember husband's household record and add the wife. When you do this, your options for adding household members to a nonmember record are limited. All you can do is "Add a Household Member". If you do this, you will be prompted to include in the household merge any children that are attached to the wife. But when you are done, the wife will be listed as "Other" (as will all the children).
I should also note that the address and phone number of the household you start with is always preserved (in case 1, the wife's; in case 2, the husband's), and the contact info of the other household disappears.

Is there any chance that what is happening is that in some cases you (or the clerks you are supporting) are starting with the nonmember husband's household record and adding the wife, rather than starting with the wife's individual record, and adding the husband?

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Postby greggo » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:21 am

I had the same problem a while ago, and from my memory, Alan_Brown's post describes the same issue I had. If I use one method, the wife shows up as "other," and the other method works as intended.

Personally, I wish there was a way to make any member of a family the head of household (as it was in MIS). I don't like the way MLS requires the husband/father to be the H of H just because he is a man. In my opinion, the head of household should be a member of the church (as it is listed in the actual membership records under "residing with"). That being said; however, there should still be the option to make the H of H a nonmember spouse, if that is what the family desires.

While I agree that all members of a family should be in MLS (nonmember or not), as noted in MLS help, we may "create a nonmember record only when the nonmember is related to a member of your ward and you have the permission of the nonmember." At least in my ward, it would be a large undertaking to ask every nonmember spouse to give their permission (especially since they may not even know their spouse is a member).

znauga
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Postby znauga » Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:25 am

RussellHltn wrote:So what you're saying is that you can set it up correctly but at some point it corrupts itself? OK, that's a new one on me.


You are understanding my experience correctly.

znauga

znauga
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Postby znauga » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:02 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Using a hint in a post in another thread, I can consistently duplicate the appearance of the wife as "Other" rather than "Spouse" in the household. But to do it, I have to alter the steps slightly from what was reported. Still, I wonder if this might be what is happening.

According to your reply, you are adding the nonmember record first. Thus initially the nonmember husband will be in his own household, listed as Head of Household with no other members. The wife will still be in her own household, listed as Head of Household, with any children listed as Other household members.

So all that remains to do is to combine the two households. It might seem logical that it wouldn't matter which household you start with, but in reality the results are quite different. You can:
  1. Start with the wife's individual record and add the husband as Current Spouse. This is what I described in my previous post. In this case, I always see the nonmember husband becoming the new head of house and the wife is now listed as Spouse.
  2. Start with the nonmember husband's household record and add the wife. When you do this, your options for adding household members to a nonmember record are limited. All you can do is "Add a Household Member". If you do this, you will be prompted to include in the household merge any children that are attached to the wife. But when you are done, the wife will be listed as "Other" (as will all the children).
I should also note that the address and phone number of the household you start with is always preserved (in case 1, the wife's; in case 2, the husband's), and the contact info of the other household disappears.

Is there any chance that what is happening is that in some cases you (or the clerks you are supporting) are starting with the nonmember husband's household record and adding the wife, rather than starting with the wife's individual record, and adding the husband?


First let me thank you all for helping me to find a solution to the problem we are experiencing.

The procedure I have used when a membership clerk was as follows:

1. Upon receipt of a sister member's record (with or without children) I audit the record for accuracy.

2. If the record indicates the sister is married to a non member, contact is made with her to confirm the accuracy of the marriage information. I also inquire if she or her husband have any objection to his name appearing on our ward list as the head of the family.

3. If there is no objection I go to her record, request a non member record be created for spouse and show the spouse as head of household.

Where there is no objection from the member or spouse I see acknowledging the husband as head of household as a courtesy (I may be old fashioned). It also more accurately reflects the make up of the family in the ward list. To omit the husband makes it appear that the head of household sister is unmarried.

If I have not followed the correct/preferred procedure I need to learn the best way to do this. The next task is to be sure the correct procedure is followed by membership clerks in our stake.

Once again, thank you for your patience and your help.

znauga


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