Showing Membership Record to Member

Discuss questions around local unit policies for membership (creating records, transferring records, etc.) This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
brenthale
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Showing Membership Record to Member

Postby brenthale » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:06 pm

I have a ward clerk asking me the following question:

"My bishopric asked me to get some clarification on allowing members to review the information on their membership records. Historically we have asked the members of our ward to review this record during tithing settlement...and note discrepancies. But when printing member records, MLS now pops-up a warning that the record should not be shown to the member."

"Can you tell me if membership records can be shown to a member and under what conditions, if any?"


I responded (so far) that I didn't know of any changes in policy. It seems part of the proces that during tithing settlement we always go over our membership records for discrepancies.

Brent

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:12 pm

brenthale wrote:I have a ward clerk asking me the following question:

"My bishopric asked me to get some clarification on allowing members to review the information on their membership records. Historically we have asked the members of our ward to review this record during tithing settlement...and note discrepancies. But when printing member records, MLS now pops-up a warning that the record should not be shown to the member."

"Can you tell me if membership records can be shown to a member and under what conditions, if any?"


I responded (so far) that I didn't know of any changes in policy. It seems part of the proces that during tithing settlement we always go over our membership records for discrepancies.

Brent


MLS is right -- you do not show the membership record to the member.

Rather, the Individual Ordinance Summary was created precisely to contain the information from the membership record that is appropriate for the member to see. It is the IOS that should be reviewed during Tithing Setlement (or at any other appropriate time, such as upon request by a member, or after changes to the membership record).

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:33 pm

Here are some more details.

I would highly recommend that any clerk involved in handling membership records take the training course titled Correcting Membership Records. In fact, this is required training, and a ward cannot pass its membership or financial audits if all such clerks have not taken this lesson.

The training course says:
The Individual Ordinance Summary is a report you print from MLS for the member to review and keep. This report is confidential. You may give it directly to the member or, in the case of a child, to the legal guardian.
The Membership Record, on the other hand, is only for the bishop and clerks to use and should not be given to the member.


So use the IOS. That should cover every reasonable purpose you have been using the membership records for, without violating the highly confidential nature of the membership record itself by giving it to the member.

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:47 pm

Anyone know why this is? I compared the two at one time and I think the only thing I found lacking from the IOS was any notations of current disfelowshipment (history is never visible at the unit level AFAIK) and the listing of the prior ward.

I'd like to understand the reasoning here.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:02 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Anyone know why this is? I compared the two at one time and I think the only thing I found lacking from the IOS was any notations of current disfelowshipment (history is never visible at the unit level AFAIK) and the listing of the prior ward.

I'd like to understand the reasoning here.


There are certainly possible annotations beyond disfellowshipment. I know of a couple, but I'm sure there are more. These could very well be quite sensitive. I'm sure the differences are rare, but important. I doubt that the Church is going to explain every possibility because they are so sensitive.

But since the IOS covers everything you need to show people, and the Church went to significant work to create two different forms, I say just follow the policy and go with the IOS.

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Postby lajackson » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:50 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I compared the two at one time and I think the only thing I found lacking from the IOS was any notations of current disfelowshipment (history is never visible at the unit level AFAIK) and the listing of the prior ward.


In addition to status and prior ward, the IOS does not show the record numbers for parents, spouse, or children. It does not show contact information for the previous bishop shown on some records. And, as Alan said, there are other notations that are not shown.

And most important of all, the IOS does not contain the statement, "For Bishop and Ward Clerk Use Only." [grin]

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:55 pm

lajackson wrote:the IOS does not show the record numbers for parents, spouse, or children.


Ah, given the way the church is using record number and confirmation date for ID, I see that as significant.
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jeffclark1070-p40
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Postby jeffclark1070-p40 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:44 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Here are some more details.

I would highly recommend that any clerk involved in handling membership records take the training course titled Correcting Membership Records. In fact, this is required training, and a ward cannot pass its membership or financial audits if all such clerks have not taken this lesson.

The training course says:


So use the IOS. That should cover every reasonable purpose you have been using the membership records for, without violating the highly confidential nature of the membership record itself by giving it to the member.


From my understanding the member can review the membership record with the Bishop or Clerk but can not keep the membership record. A few years ago I asked the same question from church headquarters and they told me about the membership record containing sensitive information. I guess we are in a ward where there are not many records like this. The member should get a copy of the IOS and for 99.9% of the time the IOS is sufficient to make any adjustments to a record. Common sense needs to be used sometimes, if there is an annotation on the record don't print it out. Printing membership records should not be done for tithing settlement as one might get taken or lost. Best thing to do is use the IOS.

I always thought that membership records not be printed when records move into the ward. I wish that only records with annotations be printed automatically and an IOS be printed for all others. This would help both in not wasting paper and being able to give a priesthood leader the IOS to contact a new move in. I know that this does not apply in Utah but I am in the mission field where 95% of all move ins are not active.

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Postby crislapi » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:05 am

jeffclark1070 wrote:From my understanding the member can review the membership record with the Bishop or Clerk but can not keep the membership record. A few years ago I asked the same question from church headquarters and they told me about the membership record containing sensitive information. I guess we are in a ward where there are not many records like this. The member should get a copy of the IOS and for 99.9% of the time the IOS is sufficient to make any adjustments to a record.


Just a couple things. First, since membership records and IOS only differ in matters not related to ordinances, there is no need to review the membership record with a member. However, there is a quick link on the main MLS screen so it's the easiest one to pull up. Also, that is the only one in which you can edit the info.

From the training on Tithing Settlement, slides 14-16:
At tithing settlement, each member should receive: A Tithing Settlement Statement and an Individual Ordinance Summary.

...The clerk should also print Individual Ordinance Summaries for members to review. This is an excellent opportunity to find any mistakes on membership records. If there are mistakes, the member writes the corrections on the Individual Ordinance Summary and returns it to the clerk.
Which one is viewed on the computer, in my opinion, is inconsequential. The true issue has to do with which one is printed and given to the member. When viewing (not previewing) the individual record field by field (the editing view) on the computer the confidential info is not displayed. It is only when it is previewed or printed that that info can be viewed (except for parents' & children's membership numbers I think). As a matter of fact, you are only warned of this issue when you go to print it. If you click no, it prints the IOS anyway, and problem solved (MLS 2.9).

jeffclark1070 wrote:if there is an annotation on the record don't print it out. Printing membership records should not be done for tithing settlement as one might get taken or lost. Best thing to do is use the IOS.

You don't know if there is an annotation on the record until you print it out. Just print IOS sheets for members.

jeffclark1070 wrote:I always thought that membership records not be printed when records move into the ward. I wish that only records with annotations be printed automatically and an IOS be printed for all others. This would help both in not wasting paper and being able to give a priesthood leader the IOS to contact a new move in.

How these are used I guess depends on your bishop. Our bishop keeps a binder containing these in his office for quick reference. Since we'd have to print and add the new members' records anyway, it helps us out. It also serves as a great notification that we have new members (although there are other ways of notifiying that don't require prining the record).

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Postby lajackson » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:30 pm

jeffclark1070 wrote:From my understanding the member can review the membership record with the Bishop or Clerk but can not keep the membership record.


No longer. Look at the warning (new to MLS 2.9) that appears when you try to print or preview a membership record. If you select yes, you get the record. If you select no, you get the IOS.

But the warning is very clear and specific that members no longer get to see membership records, even when supervised.


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