Relief Society Counselors in Latest MLS

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Relief Society Counselors in Latest MLS

#1Postby SR Ward Clerk-p40 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:13 am

Hey, why can't you choose different font colors anymore in here?

Anyway, I would first like to say that I know we covered this over a year ago, and I read the thread again just now, to confirm that.

Someone last year asked a question spurred by a change in his ward of the titles of the Relief Society counselors. Instead of first and second, they were changed to education and homemaking, or something similar. It discussed in the thread why it was a bad idea to alter the standard 1st and 2nd counselor titles, especially when it comes to printing up the officers sustained form, and various other reasons.

I don't know if it was in MLS 3.0 or a subsequent update (if I was at my office I could check the release notes), but as standardized callings, it contains "Education Counselor" and whatever the other one is, and the titles of 1st and 2nd counselor have to be created as custom positions.

I am assuming therefore, that this is a permanent, official administrative change being made Church-wide, and that the officers sustained form will reflect the new official titles. Am I correct in this assumption? If I am, shouldn't there have been a memo or other notification to the wards?

Someone please clarify this for me. Thanks. :confused:

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#2Postby aebrown » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:10 am

SR Ward Clerk wrote:Someone last year asked a question spurred by a change in his ward of the titles of the Relief Society counselors. Instead of first and second, they were changed to education and homemaking, or something similar. It discussed in the thread why it was a bad idea to alter the standard 1st and 2nd counselor titles, especially when it comes to printing up the officers sustained form, and various other reasons.

I don't know if it was in MLS 3.0 or a subsequent update (if I was at my office I could check the release notes), but as standardized callings, it contains "Education Counselor" and whatever the other one is, and the titles of 1st and 2nd counselor have to be created as custom positions.


MLS 3.0 introduced a whole set of standard callings, and for RS the standardized counselor callings are called "Relief Society Education Counselor" and "Relief Society Home, Family, Personal Enrichment Counselor".

Be very careful about drawing conclusions from thread discussions that predate MLS 3.0 in this regard. The whole point of that previous thread was to use the standard calling names. Prior to MLS 3.0 there was a much more limited use of standard calling names, and for RS they were "First Counselor" and "Second Counselor". Using standard calling names has always been necessary for populating the Officers Sustained Form and for communicating callings to the stake for the Stake MLS "Ward Leadership" report. Using standardized callings is even more important with MLS 3.x, since it affects synchronization with CDOL, in addition to the previous issues (all of which are still valid).

In any case, it is just as wrong to create custom positions of "1st and 2nd counselor" in MLS 3.x as it was to create a custom position of "Education Counselor" in MLS 2.x. The standard calling names have changed, but the principle is the same: Use the standard callings. Period.

SR Ward Clerk wrote:I am assuming therefore, that this is a permanent, official administrative change being made Church-wide, and that the officers sustained form will reflect the new official titles. Am I correct in this assumption? If I am, shouldn't there have been a memo or other notification to the wards?


I would be wary of ever using the word "permanent" when it comes to the names for callings. Or do you still have "Ward Teachers" or know anyone who is an "Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve"?

As for the Officers Sustained Form, that is interesting. The form which is printed from MLS has the RS counselors listed as "First Counselor" and "Second Counselor". But to get those fields to populate automatically, you have to enter the correct sisters in the RS Organization as "Relief Society Education Counselor" and "Relief Society Home, Family, Personal Enrichment Counselor", respectively. I have no idea whether the Officers Sustained Form will be changed. I'm sure it goes through a different change approval process than does MLS. I also don't know if the recent change eliminating the term "Enrichment" from the title of any RS Meetings will have any effect on the title of the counselor. All I know is how it works now, which is as I have described above.

There was indeed a notification to the wards of the titles of the counselors -- with MLS 3.0 came plenty of notice that wards were to use standard calling names.
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#3Postby jbh001 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:24 pm

SR Ward Clerk wrote:shouldn't there have been a memo or other notification to the wards?
I guess, technically, one could say that memo went out at least as far back as 1998 when the most recent version of CHI book 2 was released (see page 197 of CHI book 2). Thus one could also take the view that MLS 3.0 finally caught up with or clarified that "memo".

But to be fair, not all church materials have yet been updated accordingly.
http://www.lds.org/pa/display/0,17884,8004-1,00.html#13
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#4Postby coloradotechie-p40 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:38 pm

I just spoke with the RS Secretary about this and she said that they are going back to 1st and 2nd counselor... perhaps our stake is doing something different or our ward or maybe there is confusion and people are saying, "RS 1st counselor over Education and 2nd Counselor over Home and Family"? (Do we do enrichment anymore?).

Anyhow, I'm confused...I guess in conversation I'll just use what other people in the ward are using for now... when it comes to MLS, I'll just have to use that naming convention (it'd be nice if they were the same :) )
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#5Postby jbh001 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:52 pm

coloradotechie wrote:(Do we do enrichment anymore?).
http://www.lds.org/pa/display/0,17884,4690-1,00.html
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#6Postby coloradotechie-p40 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:56 pm



So, we don't have "Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment" any more (or meetings called that), yet we have a "Relief Society Home, Family, Personal Enrichment Counselor" in MLS 3.1?

Now I'm confused :)
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#7Postby jbh001 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:17 pm

coloradotechie wrote:I just spoke with the RS Secretary about this and she said that they are going back to 1st and 2nd counselor...
FWIW, the release notes for MLS 3.0 provide the following incentive to use the standardized callings:
Changes Related to Membership

  • Recording Church positions (callings). When recording a calling, MLS now contains messages that encourage clerks to use standard position names and discourages the creation of custom positions. As the Church begins to provide local leaders and members access to Church applications and programs over the Web, the Church must limit access to authorized users only. For example, someone with the position of "Ward Clerk" in MLS could access a clerk Web site, but someone with the custom position of "Senior Clerk" would not be admitted to the site. Use custom positions only when no standard position fits the calling, because custom positions cannot be used to access Church Web applications.
Thus, I think it is safe to assume that someone listed in MLS as "Relief Society 1st counselor" instead of the corresponding standardized MLS position will be denied access to "Church Web applications" relevant to their calling.

That currently isn't an issue, but the Church has now officially warned that it will become an issue down the road.
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#8Postby jbh001 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:29 pm

coloradotechie wrote:So, we don't have "Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment" any more (or meetings called that), yet we have a "Relief Society Home, Family, Personal Enrichment Counselor" in MLS 3.1?
I'm sure MLS will catch up after a while.
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#9Postby greggo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:21 pm

My guess is that the people who put together the standard callings in MLS got it wrong (they certainly did for many of the YM/Scout callings).

From everything official I've read/heard, the RS counselor callings follow the example of all other organization presidencies in that the official titles are 1st and 2nd counselors. I've also heard from many different units where counselors were mistakenly sustained as the Education or Enrichment counselors. I suppose this clarifies the roles of the people being sustained, but these are not the official titles. There is also a big misunderstanding that the 1st counselor is responsible for education and the 2nd counselor is responsible for enrichment (or maybe it's the other way around). The roles of the counselors are up to the RS pres and has nothing to do with whether someone is 1st or 2nd counselor.
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#10Postby topsgtret » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:55 pm

My wife is the Stake Relief Society President and fielded this question enough to contact the General Relief Society office and was told the Relief Society follows the pattern of the priesthood and use 1st and 2nd Counselor. This is also found under Serving in the Church, Relief Society, FAQ.
Relief Society Meetings

  • What do we call the counselor who is responsible for additional Relief Society meetings?
    We encourage you to follow the pattern of the priesthood and call the counselors “first counselor” and “second counselor.” The Relief Society president can assess the work of Relief Society and delegate assignments and responsibilities to each counselor as needed.
Hopefully the MLS team will honor the wishes of the General Presidency.
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