Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
MalcolmGoodwin
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Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Postby MalcolmGoodwin » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:18 pm

I an a new Ward Mission Leader (and previous Assistant Ward Clerk for Membership). We are fortunate to have a goodly number of households. I do not know all of the Members in our Ward, especially those less active. The full time Elders and I frequently encounter situations that could be potentially embarrassing if we are unaware of the true 'Household' content, ex. single mother vs. married mother and non-member husband. I feel certain that other scenarios can be imagined by the reader. The Handbook is clear on who should included on the Member role. Even legal situations may not be shown on the Ward Directory, ex. un-blessed children over 9 years of age or a common law marriage recognized by the State. And does not the Bishop still have responsibility for the spiritual needs of people of other faiths living within the Ward boundaries?

The members of the Church could be aided in their fellow-shipping and being aware of missionary opportunities if the Ward Membership Directory were the Ward Directory with an expanded purpose and use by adding household members that are currently omitted in the Membership Directory. Of course, additional designations would be needed to avoid adding new potentials for embarrassment, ex. the husband of a household is shown on our current directory and attends our High Priest meetings. No priesthood indicator is given in the regular Directory. I now suspect that he is a non-member (an impossibility according to our Ward Clerk). Further, our current Directory includes in this household a person with no last name and no designation the surname; this person in not listed in the list of individual Members. I suspect this person also is not a member. At lease I know we need to follow-up on this household person. We recently baptized three children over age 9 years with inactive member parents; thankfully, Sunday School teachers and Relief Society brought them to the attention of the full time Elders. The Ward gave presents to the children, some of which were Members, of a particular household this past Christmas. A long-time Ward Member, labeling the gifts just before the gifts were being sorted geographically for delivery, alerted the gift purchasers that some of the children had not been included in the list, and expedited purchases avoided some bruised feelings. Caring members of the ward who become aware of these 'special' people now must keep their own augmented Directory. Until we have means to include these 'special' people in our Directory, we will try to cover them as Investigators and distribute appropriate information in Ward Council. malcolm@goodwinfamilyhistory.org

russellhltn
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Re: Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:21 pm

MLS used to support adding non-members. No more. We're not sure why, perhaps privacy issues. The on-line directory may, or may not show a non-member spouse. That switch is controlled by CHQ. The clerk will have to call CHQ to have to changed according to the wishes of the family.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

eblood66
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Re: Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Postby eblood66 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:00 pm

MalcolmGoodwin wrote:The members of the Church could be aided in their fellow-shipping and being aware of missionary opportunities if the Ward Membership Directory were the Ward Directory with an expanded purpose and use by adding household members that are currently omitted in the Membership Directory.

You can make suggestions about the online tools using the Feedback link near the bottom of most lds.org pages.

But in many cases privacy laws limit what the church can do, particularly in relation to non-members. There is a vast difference between local leaders keeping personal records to help them know and meet the needs of part-members families and between including information on those people in the church's official records. Even when privacy rules aren't imposed by law, the church follows a pretty strict rules. I presume it's to guard against damage to the church's reputation and avoid potential legal investigations into privacy violations (even if they didn't actually occur). So I wouldn't be too optimistic that policies on non-member records will be loosened.

eblood66
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Re: Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Postby eblood66 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:02 pm

russellhltn wrote:MLS used to support adding non-members. No more. We're not sure why, perhaps privacy issues.

Well, we don't know the specifics but the MLS release notes did say that the feature was removed 'in support of the Church’s data privacy policy.'

russellhltn
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Re: Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:20 pm

eblood66 wrote:There is a vast difference between local leaders keeping personal records to help them know and meet the needs of part-members families and between including information on those people in the church's official records.

And sticking that information on a website. Prior to the world wide web, information was passed around on paper. But placing it on a website, even a private one, can bring another layer of privacy laws into play.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Re: Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Postby aebrown » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:41 am

MalcolmGoodwin wrote:ex. the husband of a household is shown on our current directory and attends our High Priest meetings. No priesthood indicator is given in the regular Directory. I now suspect that he is a non-member (an impossibility according to our Ward Clerk).

Your ward clerk may not be aware of it, but the non member spouse of a member can appear in the online directory. In fact, if he is listed on her record as a spouse, the default behavior is for him to appear.

You don't need to wonder about this particular case. As ward mission leader, you can go to Leader and Clerk Resources on LDS.org and figure it out. If you see the husband in LCR, then he is a member. If he's not a member, his name will appear on the Household tab of his member wife's record, but he won't have his own entry.

MalcolmGoodwin
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Re: Nonmembers in Ward Directories

Postby MalcolmGoodwin » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:55 pm

Thank you all for your replies. They are helpful to me. Consider this thread closed.


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