Unable to Locate Membership Record

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

Postby Nathan-p40 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:29 pm

There is a sister living in our ward boundaries and I have been trying to locate her records for over a year. When we first requested her records we were informed that they could not be located. We also received the following message:

"...If you have information that this individual has been baptized and confirmed, please provide us with the baptism and confirmation dates so that a membership record can be created. Send this information with the name and birth date exactly as it appears on this administrative record so that a duplicate record is not created."

It took a long time but the family finally provided me with the requested dates. I sent a message with the dates to MLS Support as they had requested and I received no response from them.

The family later provided me with a ward number and stake number in South America. They stated that a family member is a ward clerk in that ward and he advised that a record existed in that ward for this sister. I provided the ward and stake information to MLS Support and was advised that they were not able to locate the record in that ward.

MLS Support also suggested that I visit this site.

My next plan is to have the family request that their family member in South America mail the reported record (as it must be a hard copy that is not in MLS) that he has to the Bishop in my ward. Is that ok to do?

Does anyone else have any ideas?

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Postby opee » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:50 pm

Nathan wrote:My next plan is to have the family request that their family member in South America mail the reported record (as it must be a hard copy that is not in MLS) that he has to the Bishop in my ward. Is that ok to do?

Does anyone else have any ideas?

If you can have them send a hard copy of the record from that ward, it seems like a great option. It seems like you have done the right steps to get the record--just has taken longer than you had hoped.

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Postby jdlessley » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:47 pm

Nathan, I noticed there has been no mention of a member record number in your post. If the previous ward has the hard copy of the member record then they also have the member record number. Get that member record number and you can send that to MLS support while you are waiting for the record to arrive. They can do a search using that.

Get the previous ward's unit ID number so you can check to see if the member number you get from them is not a temporary record number. If the unit ID number is found in the record number then it is a temporary record number.
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Postby lajackson » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:48 pm

Nathan wrote:My next plan is to have the family request that their family member in South America mail the reported record (as it must be a hard copy that is not in MLS) that he has to the Bishop in my ward. Is that ok to do?

Many areas of South America are using MLS, and if the area in question is, the record should have been entered into MLS and then come through the Area Office to Church Headquarters, then through MLS to your unit. In areas that are not on MLS, the record still should be transferred through the Area Office.

If there is not an official membership record, at some point one is going to have to be created.

I think I would ask the clerk there to send a copy of the record to your bishop that you could use as a temporary membership record. The clerk there should also be asked to enter the record into the membership system there and request that the record be transferred to the new ward.

I think I would be hesitant to take an old paper membership record and just enter it into MLS, not knowing if the information on the record was accurate or official. But, working through the proper membership system, the paper record can be automated and transferred to your ward. I think that would be the best route to follow.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:04 pm

In addition to what lajackson has said, you may want to ask the old ward to send the record to your unit. Not directly, but though the system.

If the unit is not on MLS, then that may explain the issue. But there is still a procedure to be followed and I'd think the clerk there should know how to send a record.
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Postby greggo » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:43 am

You've probably already done this, but I would first suggest that you double/triple check that you are requesting the record with accurate information.

I was the stake clerk with very international wards, and I recall two particular instances where wards had difficulties getting membership records from other countries.

In one case, the birth date was incorrect, because on the move-in form the member filled out, she put her birthdate in her home country's standard format of day/month/year. The ward clerk interpreted it as the US standard of month/day/year. So instead of having a birth date of Mar 10, the request had Oct 3.

In the other case, the membership record had the wrong sex (I assume it was because she had a male-sounding name). To clear this one up, it took a call to CHQ and having them do a live search for similar names.

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Postby johnshaw » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:07 am

In addition to Greggo's comments, and it may already be obvious, but I've also had troubles several times requesting records that Missionaries tract into. Most of the time the record (for a woman) is in the maiden name. Once I obtained the maiden name (the missionaries provided the current married name), I was able to receive the records. Just a shot in the dark.

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Postby jpjones~ogr » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:35 am


Several months after a Brazilian Sister moved in I still didn't have her record. She'd lived in a larger city in Brazil and served a mission there. She came to the states and married a Brother in the ward while I was making requests for her record. I was starting to doubt her status.

When I finally thought to look at her Temple recommend my problem was solved in a very short time. Her recommend had her member number. Get a copy of the record or something with key member information on it.


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