MLS and Membership Record Moves

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gshosford
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MLS and Membership Record Moves

Postby gshosford » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:16 pm

Is there a way to prevent MLS from allowing a membership move without the sending unit providing a complete address? Often the ward receives membership records that have only the state for the address, no city, no street, no street number. I am aware of instances where the sending unit had the full address, but did not put it in the address field before moving the record.

With the exception of sending records to the address unknown unit, requiring full addresses before MLS will send the records will give the receiving unit a starting point. The ward recently received records for a family with only the state listed in the address; and the boarder of that state was several hundred miles outside the boundaries of the stake.

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sbradshaw
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Re: MLS and Membership Record Moves

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:18 pm

Is there any other contact info – phone numbers, email addresses, etc.?

gshosford
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Re: MLS and Membership Record Moves

Postby gshosford » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:34 pm

Very often there is no other contact information.

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sbradshaw
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Re: MLS and Membership Record Moves

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:40 pm

I guess this doesn't exactly resolve your concern (that full addresses be required), but for now the best you can do is contact the previous unit's clerk, find out why he sent it to your ward and what else he might know (let him know that it isn't helpful for him to send a blank-address record), and, if needed, send it to address unknown...

gshosford
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Re: MLS and Membership Record Moves

Postby gshosford » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:59 pm

Thank you for the reply. A bit of background. I was released as bishop ~10 months ago. This issue with the addresses was something we dealt with from time-to-time and we would often do as you recommended. The issue arose often when dealing with the Young Single Adult unit. Sometimes their members would get married or age-out and they would transfer them to our ward or there were cases when the presiding officer (it is now a ward but used to be a branch) would ask the clerk to transfer records of Less-active members that they had given up on activating. (Family wards cannot transfer those whom we have not been able to activate; but fairness was not promised in the Grand Council). The YSA unit would transfer the records to the same address in the family ward. There is a larger turnover in the YSA unit than in most family wards, even among the clerks. Perhaps a new clerk or other priesthood leader would move the record and assume that because there is no change in the address, the record will automatically transfer to the recipient unit with the old address. I am not certain that that is the case, but other than carelessness, it is the only reasonable explanation that I have been able to come up with. By the way it is not just the YSA unit, but other units have done similar things in transferring records with incomplete, virtually useless addresses, including one that only had a PO Box number.

I did not submit this request while serving as bishop, because I felt it was kind of self-serving. However, the new bishopric has been wrestling with the same dilemma, so I am made the request to help them.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

rjamesh
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Re: MLS and Membership Record Moves

Postby rjamesh » Tue May 20, 2014 5:56 pm

Wow. This hits close to home. First of all, I am almost certain that I know gshosford as I was his Home Teacher years ago where he lives now. Anyway, I am a Ward Clerk in a singles ward in VA and these issues are very familiar to me. We too receive records that give us little to go on. I have made more contacts with previous ward clerks than one would believe. In some cases, I just returned the record to the old unit, using the meetinghouse address so it would go through, and then following up with an email explaining why it was handled in that manner. When I have a record for an inactive, I go well beyond the outlined minimum steps in attempting to locate them, rather than just giving up and sending the record to SLC. I think the member deserves no less than that since he or she may never walk into a church building again without being contacted by a member. I use social media (such as Facebook but including others), real estate assessment databases, LinkedIn, you name it - whatever it takes. I don't at all think that your concern is self serving.
Concerning the issue of YSA units sending inactives to family wards, that is actually how we handle it in most cases. We operate, with the backing of our Stake President, as an opt-in unit. Trying to keep up with so many people who don't presently attend does certainly take time and I don't like to send those records out. I'm sure the other units get tired of the constant stream. However, inasmuch as we cover 3 stakes with roughly 25 units, those units have a much better chance of making contact when the inactives are spread out among all of those units than if they are all in our unit. We see it as a numbers game and want the record to be where the individual is most likely to receive the attention needed. We do tend to hold the record of those less active who we know are students at the local university since it is located in the same area as the institute building. The missionaries (we have TEN!) spend a lot of time on campus and those are the inactives we target first. Not sure that helps.


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