Ward Boundaries

Discuss questions around local unit policies for membership (creating records, transferring records, etc.) This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
Eric-p40
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Ward Boundaries

Postby Eric-p40 » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:45 pm

What is the official policy if a member doesn't want their records to be transferred to their new ward? Here is the situation, the member moved about 1/2 mile outside their current ward boundries and due to the distance to the new ward, they plan to stay at their current ward. The current ward distance is 2 miles and the new ward is 10 miles.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:13 pm

Eric wrote:What is the official policy if a member doesn't want their records to be transferred to their new ward? Here is the situation, the member moved about 1/2 mile outside their current ward boundries and due to the distance to the new ward, they plan to stay at their current ward. The current ward distance is 2 miles and the new ward is 10 miles.


Although this isn't recommended, if the member can convince the Bishops that it's in the best interest of the member to keep the records where they are, then they would remain. The decision is really up to the Bishops.
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Postby lajackson » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:18 pm

Eric wrote:What is the official policy if a member doesn't want their records to be transferred to their new ward? Here is the situation, the member moved about 1/2 mile outside their current ward boundries and due to the distance to the new ward, they plan to stay at their current ward. The current ward distance is 2 miles and the new ward is 10 miles.


The bishop would want to discuss this with the stake president. The First Presidency authorizes any exception to the rule that the membership record belongs in the ward where the member actually lives. The stake president would have to be the one to request an exemption, if he so desired.

From what you have described, however, the membership record is the least of the bishop's worries. [grin]

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Postby mkmurray » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:34 pm

Techgy wrote:Although this isn't recommended, if the member can convince the Bishops that it's in the best interest of the member to keep the records where they are, then they would remain. The decision is really up to the Bishops.

Yes, as lajackson stated, it really isn't only up to the bishops. Every exception is to go before the First Presidency for approval. It really should be a justified reason and not just for convenience.
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:21 pm

I have witnessed this situation before. When the member is within the same stake boundaries the decision rests with the stake president. When the member resides in a ward in one stake and desires to be a member of a ward in another stake then the issue goes to higher authority. Where that is I don't know. I presume the stake presidents would have some idea.
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Postby kennethjorgensen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:56 am

Eric wrote:What is the official policy if a member doesn't want their records to be transferred to their new ward? Here is the situation, the member moved about 1/2 mile outside their current ward boundries and due to the distance to the new ward, they plan to stay at their current ward. The current ward distance is 2 miles and the new ward is 10 miles.


Eric,

It would be fair to say that the bishops of both wards would certainly be involved in a discussion about this and more than likely with the Stake President and possibly also having to seek approval from the First Presidency.

If it was decided for them to stay in their current ward it would also be fair to say there would have to be some very good reasons to this.

Sorry if this sound a bit like a general answer but it is better than me trying to involve some form of guessing/presuming/assuming.

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Postby Eric-p40 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:43 am

Thanks for the replies.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:45 am

dkjorgi wrote:It would be fair to say that the bishops of both wards would certainly be involved in a discussion about this and more than likely with the Stake President and possibly also having to seek approval from the First Presidency.


jdlessley wrote:When the member is within the same stake boundaries the decision rests with the stake president. When the member resides in a ward in one stake and desires to be a member of a ward in another stake then the issue goes to higher authority. Where that is I don't know. I presume the stake presidents would have some idea.


The above statements are incorrect to the extent that they imply that approval for member records being in a ward other than where the member resides can be handled at a local level; lajackson and mkmurray had it right in saying that approval is required from the bishops involved and the stake president(s) and the Office of the First Presidency. See the Church Handbook of Instructions, p. 145, which states the policy simply and clearly.

Of course, a member can reside within the boundaries of multiple wards (a regular ward, a YSA ward, a Spanish ward, etc.) and the First Presidency approval is not required when the member's records would be in any of these assigned wards/branches.

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Postby mkmurray » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:56 pm

larrydkb wrote:Mr. Brown, if I decide to attend a different ward in the same building is the situation the same? Obviously I can just go, but I'd like my records transferred too in order to be active in the new ward. Is there a suggested way to do this?

My personal opinion is that it is not a matter of meetinghouses, but that of physical boundaries of jurisdiction for the bishops. In a way, bishops are responsible for the physical and spiritual well-being of every individual (member and non-member alike) within his ward boundaries.

You can imagine the unnecessary burden added on the bishop if members were to just begin attending wherever they chose for unimportant reasons, especially if their attendance patterns became irregular and they change their mind often as to what ward they belong. This can create an administrative (and ministrative) nightmare as far as fellowshipping, callings, etc. Now I'm probably describing more immature situations then what may come up more frequently, but you can see the line needs to be drawn somewhere and a bishop's responsibilities need to be consistent and dependable.

This is my personal opinion as to why the policy is the way it is. There are certainly numerous occasions that would permit an exception to the policy, but it should remain just that...an exceptional case with good justification and approval from proper leadership (and I do interpret this to mean all the way to the top).

If there is a potential situation, I would say do not be afraid to approach your bishop with the concerns and see where it goes from there and what council he gives. Perhaps the two of you can read the passage from the Church Handbook together and discuss the situation in reference to the written policy.
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Postby aebrown » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:11 pm

larrydkb wrote:Mr. Brown, if I decide to attend a different ward in the same building is the situation the same? Obviously I can just go, but I'd like my records transferred too in order to be active in the new ward. Is there a suggested way to do this?


You directed this to me, so I'd be happy to respond, but mkmurray's post has already answered the question much better than I could have! I would simply emphasize that it would be best to start by counseling with your bishop, who can help you with your specific concerns.


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