Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

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krk22
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Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby krk22 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:02 am

I have a few questions regarding ordinances which were performed but never entered into MLS and the guidelines found in Handbook 1 16.1.10.

1) Is there a statue of limitations (a time limit or time frame) during which an ordinance needs to be inputted into MLS before it is considered as having "No Valid Record"?

2) Assuming the date of the ordinance is known, does it matter which ward inputs the information into MLS? For instance, if a child gets baptized in one ward but then moves to another ward before the former ward inputs it into MLS, can the latter ward go on word alone and input it into MLS?

3) Also assuming the date of the ordinance is known, if an ordinance is never entered in MLS, there will obviously be no record of it in MLS and the family/individual will not have a certificate proving it was performed. However, since the ordinance was never entered in MLS, the date it was performed was never really "missing." Rather, the entire entry was simply not entered in MLS. Would a "testimony of witnesses" be required in instances where the date of the ordinance is known but the ordinance was simply never entered into MLS?

4) Does it matter which Bishop signs the "testimony of witnesses"? The current ward or the ward in which the ordinance was performed?

I have thoroughly read the guidelines in the handbook. I am looking for you to respond and offer your 'interpretation' of the guidelines in the handbook. I know the handbook but it seems there are many interpretations of the handbook. That is why I am looking for others to offer their interpretation of the guidelines. If there are no guidelines for my questions, please state that.

TIA.

russellhltn
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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:55 am

First off, the only interpretation that matters is the one done by your priesthood leaders. If they are not sure, they can check with their "upline".



krk22 wrote:1) Is there a statue of limitations (a time limit or time frame) during which an ordinance needs to be inputted into MLS before it is considered as having "No Valid Record"?

I'm not seeing a limit, but I'd say if there's been a breakdown in the ward's recordkeeping or memory of the leaders such that there is any doubt on "if" or "when", then 16.1.10 comes into play.


krk22 wrote:2) Assuming the date of the ordinance is known, does it matter which ward inputs the information into MLS? For instance, if a child gets baptized in one ward but then moves to another ward before the former ward inputs it into MLS, can the latter ward go on word alone and input it into MLS?

I'm not seeing anything on what ward, but I do question "who's word" are you basing this off of? If I was in the second ward, I think I'd either ask for two witnesses or for the first ward to enter the record and forward it.


krk22 wrote:Would a "testimony of witnesses" be required in instances where the date of the ordinance is known but the ordinance was simply never entered into MLS?

Known by whom? I'd tempted to say if this isn't firsthand knowledge of the leaders of the ward, then a testimony is needed.


krk22 wrote:4) Does it matter which Bishop signs the "testimony of witnesses"? The current ward or the ward in which the ordinance was performed?

It does not appear to matter.
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krk22
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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby krk22 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:04 am

The problem with the interpretation of my priesthood leaders is that they seem to want to add requirements that are not stated in the guidelines of the handbook. I say, stick to the handbook.

As for #1 - there is no question of "if" or "when" the ordinance was performed. A child was baptized, both his parents were present for it (two witnesses).

As for #2 - the word of the two parents (two witnesses). They were in the first ward and now are in the second ward.

As for #3 - It is firsthand knowledge. Again, the parents of the child are the two witnesses.

As for #4 - thank you for the response. It seems some interpret the guidelines as suggesting the former ward's bishop is required to co-sign the "testimony," seemingly regardless of whether the Bishop (or any member of the Bishopric) were around for the baptism or whether they ever knew the person (or family of the person) who was baptized.

Thanks for the feedback.

lajackson
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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby lajackson » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:08 am

According to Handbook 1, 16.1.10, I would think the two parents should be able to provide a written statement to their current bishop containing the correct information and attesting that they were present and witnessed the ordinance. The would sign their statement in the presence of a member of the bishopric.

With that statement, the bishop would authorize the clerk to update the membership record, and once the record is updated the clerk would follow the disposition instructions for the witness statement(s).

There is no requirement for the bishop to sign anything. Just read the Handbook and follow the steps as they are written.

Edit: If the current bishop is concerned about the testimony of the witnesses, he can always contact the prior bishop and confirm that the ordinance took place, especially if the family has recently moved to the new ward. But other than that, the actual process is still the same.

krk22
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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby krk22 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:44 am

The current bishop is NOT concerned about the validity or truthfulness of the testimony of the two parents but is still insisting on a written testimony signed by the former ward's bishop in order to be compliant with the CHOI (even though there is no requirement in the CHOI for doing what he is requiring). For some reason he is interpreting there to be requirements which are not stated in the CHOI.

The funny thing about it, there is no guarantee that the former ward's bishop was even in the ward or knew the person (or family of the person) who was baptized! Military ward's, for instance, can have a complete turnover just about every 3 years!

Furthermore, if there is no record of the ordinance in MLS, it seems unlikely that the former ward will be able to confirm that it took place!

russellhltn
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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:53 am

krk22 wrote:The current bishop is NOT concerned about the validity or truthfulness of the testimony of the two parents but is still insisting on a written testimony signed by the former ward's bishop in order to be compliant with the CHOI (even though there is no requirement in the CHOI for doing what he is requiring). For some reason he is interpreting there to be requirements which are not stated in the CHOI.


I'm assuming you are the clerk. I'd suggest chatting with the stake clerk.
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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby lajackson » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:18 pm

krk22 wrote:The current bishop is NOT concerned about the validity or truthfulness of the testimony of the two parents but is still insisting on a written testimony signed by the former ward's bishop . . .

Well, get the statement from the parents, and then if it is not too hard to get, have their former bishop sign it, too.

If the bishop still insists, even though it is not in the Handbook, you either have to humor him or send the stake president after him.

Your bishop has some reason for wanting something from the former bishop. He just doesn't have the Handbook to back him up in his request, unless he is thinking the former bishop is the bishop to which the Handbook refers.

All this fuss, and does he recall what is going to happen to the written statement when you have finished recording the ordinance?

krk22
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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby krk22 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:24 pm

Long-story short, we have a statement but it is garbage. They included the date the statement was signed and NOT the date the ordinance was performed!!!!

The process was initiated with the former Bishopric while I was gone for three months during the summer otherwise I would have caught the issue at inception.

The current Bishop seems to be holding onto a long-held belief of his of how he thought things were outlined in the handbook and he continues to justify it in various ways.

One justification of his is that when someone comes into our ward to perform an ordinance, he (our Bishop) checks worthiness because it is within our jurisdiction. So that is why we need the signature of the former bishop for baptism that was performed in another's jurisdiction but never recorded. Never mind that the current bishop of the former ward may not have even been in the ward at the time of the ordinance in question. Furthermore, ward boundaries may have changed and so which ward is now the ward with jurisdiction over that ordinance performed years earlier?

And, yes, I pointed out that the statement gets shredded but he is insisting that we use the process correctly even though he is willing to accept the garbage statement that we currently have and then just take the parents' word on the date of the ordinance.

It wouldn't be a big deal but I was just informed of five other child-of-record baptisms that were never recorded in our ward (dating back to my summer absence and before my call). I don't want a bunch of unnecessary work!

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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby lajackson » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:10 pm

krk22 wrote:Long-story short, we have a statement but it is garbage. They included the date the statement was signed and NOT the date the ordinance was performed!!!!

Then you do not have a statement. Start over.

I have a suggestion.

Determine that the parents were old enough when the ordinance was performed, that they both saw and heard the ordinance, and that they are both Church members of record today.

Ask them to write the name of the person they saw baptized, the date the ordinance was performed and, hopefully, the name of the person who performed it. (Get the confirmation information, too.)

Ask them to sign the statement in the presence of a member of the bishopric.

If your current bishop insists, have the former bishop also sign the statement.

In other words, follow the Handbook. [grin]

Because at this point, it doesn't matter what the bishop thinks at all. It will when you actually have a statement, but it does not matter yet.

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Re: Ordinances with No Valid Record: Testimony of Witnesses

Postby jonesrk » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:52 am

lajackson wrote:If your current bishop insists, have the former bishop also sign the statement.

Except the former bishop has moved clear across the country, so you can't just hunt him down after sacrament meeting. :)
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