Recording callings in MLS
When recording callings in MLS, whenever possible, select Standard Positions from lists provided by MLS. Access to information on LDS.org that is specific to a position is determined by the Standard Positions in MLS. For example bishopric positions in MLS will allow bishops, counselors, and clerks to access information (available now or in the future) on Leader Resources and Clerk Resources pages on LDS.org. Creating a custom calling such as Senior Clerk would prevent the clerk from seeing the Clerk Resources link and the information available.
In the future, information and tools helpful in other callings will be added to LDS.org under the Tools menu. Access to the tools and information will be determined by a person's standard position in MLS.
It is therefore important to record all callings in MLS. Other benefits include:
- It allows priesthood leaders to run various reports that will show the callings for an organization
- You can see a list of members without callings
- Entering callings for converts will cause the New Member Report to be updated automatically
- Leadership callings will automatically be populated on the Officers Sustained Form used at ward conference and stake conference
- Calling information will be sent to the stake and be listed in the Church Directory
MLS has several predefined standard leadership positions. These should not be changed, or the link to the Officers Sustained Form and to the stake MLS will be broken, and the information will not show properly in the Directory. For example, you should never change the Primary's "1st Counselor" standard position to "Sharing Time Counselor"; this would result in the Officers Sustained Form, the Stake's Ward Leadership Directory and the Church Directory having no name filled in for the 1st Counselor position.
Tier 1 versus Tier 2 positions
Stake and ward leadership callings are divided into different tiers, and each have to be updated in different manners.
Tier 1 leadership
This level consists of positions that must be updated by the Leader and Unit Change Request form. These include:
- Stake president and counselors
- Stake clerk
- Stake executive secretary
- Bishops and branch presidents
When updating these positions in MLS, this message displays when trying to remove or change the calling. The calling must be updated via the LUCR form.
Updating Bishops and Branch Presidents
The bishop or branch president can be updated in MLS immediately after being set apart. However, this change will not update the stake information or the information in the Church Directory until the LUCR form is submitted by the stake.
Tier 2 leadership
This level consists of auxiliary positions in the leadership in a ward or stake, examples of this are:
- Counselors in the bishopric
- Ward clerk
- Ward executive secretary
- Assistant stake clerks
- All other auxiliary leadership positions
These callings are updated normally using the Organizations section in MLS.
For some organizations, members called to certain positions must meet certain criteria, and MLS enforces those restrictions. For example, the Primary president must be a female, and there is no way to put a man in that position in MLS.
In other cases, the list of members that can be selected in MLS to be assigned to a position is initially filtered, but that filtering can be broadened or changed to show other candidates. For example, as you are selecting a person for a leadership calling in the elders quorum, by default it will show you only elders. But there is a dropdown in the upper right corner labeled "Office". Using that, you can choose to show High Priests or All. This enables you to choose a high priest to be the elders quorum president (as long as that high priest has been made a member of the elders quorum).
Difference between standard positions and custom positions
Stake and ward organizations have positions (callings) associated with them. Some are standard positions, which are the same in MLS for all Church units. Others are custom positions created by you for your local unit.
When assigning a member to a position, use a standard position whenever possible. Some Church Web sites will look for a standard position linked to a member name when establishing rights and responsibilities in using the Web site. Therefore, please make sure no standard position exists before creating a custom position.
To help you determine which positions to use when assigning a member to a calling, MLS displays two icons representing the two types of positions:
Custom Position Review tool
With the release of MLS 3.0 there is now a Custom Position Review tool to review existing custom positions to see if there are standard positions that can be used in place of each custom position.
Note: Administrative rights are required to view this tool.
To access this new feature:
- Go to the Organizations menu.
- On the Reports/Tools panel, select Custom Position Review.
Export list of standard positions
For reference purposes, clerks may find it helpful to export the entire list of standard callings. The list can be copied and pasted from MLS into a spreadsheet as follows:
- In MLS, go to Organizations > Custom Positions Review.
- Pick any custom position in the list and click its Find nearest match link.
- In the dialog that appears, click the Show All button.
- Click on any item in the list that appears.
- Press Ctrl+Shift+C to copy the entire list to the clipboard.
- In a spreadsheet application (OpenOffice Calc, Excel, etc.), open a blank spreadsheet and paste the list using Ctrl+V.
- You can do the above in both ward and stake MLS to get the two lists.
Note that a few Tier 1 stake positions will not appear in these lists (stake presidency, stake clerk, and stake executive secretary). Also be aware that the master list will be updated in MLS over time, so any exported lists should be refreshed periodically.
Edit custom positions
When creating custom positions, the user may make mistakes, such as spelling errors. Unfortunately, there is no feature that will allow the user to directly edit the custom position. Instead, he must delete the position from the organization's screen and then create it again with the corrections.
Transferring calling information between stake and ward
Wards are now able to view stake leadership callings on the Officers Sustained form in MLS. Stakes are now able to view each stake member’s calling on the member’s Individual Record in MLS.
When the stake updates calling information in MLS and does a Send/Receive Changes, this calling information is then available to a ward after that ward does a Send/Receive Changes. The same is true for transmitting the ward callings to the stake.
Recording callings in CDOL
All Positions are now recorded in the Church Directory of Organizations and Leaders for wards and stakes. Once the unit has made a successful transmission using MLS, the calling information is updated in the Directory. This can be viewed by clicking the link under the unit name labeled Show All Positions.
Timing of callings sent to CDOL/Church Headquarters.
When callings are sent from MLS CDOL usually processes them within a few minutes. After they are processed the positions showing on the unit's summary page currently require review by someone at CHQ so they won't show up until during the business day. All positions that only show on the Show All Positions page should show up as soon as they are processed.
There are two processes that other church applications use to get calling information from CDOL.
- Using the CDOL services.
- Applications that use the services show what CDOL currently has.
- Some applications that use the services are:
- Local unit directory
- Leader and clerk tools
- Via a nightly process
- Currently the authorization source of positions comes from this nightly process.
- The final part of this begins at 5:00 am Mountain time the next morning. So if you are waiting for authorization by position for a recently added position, if it is in CDOL by 6 pm the authorization should be there shortly after 5 am the next morning.
- This process pulls the positions from CDOL at about 6:00 pm Mountain time.
- Currently the authorization source of positions comes from this nightly process.
Correcting duplicate or missing callings
Sometimes clerks may notice duplicate or missing callings in CDOL. Beginning with the release of MLS 3.3, clerks can now fix this themselves. The steps are:
- Don't do this with MLS 3.4.3. Please wait until you have upgraded to MLS 3.5 (which will do a refresh request for you)
- Start MLS
- Print a report of the current callings (Organizations > Members with Callings)
- Compare to CDOL. If you have some callings in MLS that aren't in CDOL you want to follow the Getting callings in MLS to show up in CDOL instructions before requesting a refresh.
- From MLS request a Unit data refresh (File > Request Unit Refresh Data...); this will include a callings refresh request.
- Do a Send/Receive to submit the request for a refresh
- After waiting for CDOL to process the request (usually within 15 minutes), do another Send/Receive to get the refresh.
- This will remove all of your callings and replace them with the data from CDOL.
- Clean up any duplicates and incorrect callings.
- MLS will allow you to see duplicates even in the leadership section.
- Sometimes you can't see the duplicates in MLS. If this is the case then remove the one that you can see, do a send/receive, wait a few minutes, do another send/receive, when the refresh comes down you will see the next calling of that type, repeat until correct or empty, then put the correct person back in if needed.
- Do a Send/Receive to submit the corrected information to CDOL.
Getting callings in MLS to show up in CDOL
If there are only a few callings that are in MLS and aren't in CDOL you also have another option. You can edit the calling in MLS and change something (the date or set apart flag work well). Save the change. Go back in and change it back to the original value. Then when you send/receive that calling should go up to CDOL.
It is useful to have a process for tracking callings, so that the various steps required can be faithfully performed:
- Approval of appropriate leaders
- Interview for worthiness and willingness to serve
- Consultation with spouse or parents, when appropriate
- If called to a scouting position the member should be registered with BSA at least one week before being sustained (For areas where scouting is the activity arm of the Priesthood)
- Sustaining in sacrament meeting (or other appropriate meeting)
- Setting apart
- Release interview of person currently serving
- Release in sacrament meeting (or other appropriate meeting)
- Recording calling change in MLS and LUWS
- Notification of affected leaders
When you use your LDS Account to access secure materials on the Online Store it verifies your calling using CDOL. Some common problems people encounter when trying to access secure materials on the Online Store include:
- Not being assigned the correct position in MLS or CDOL. For example, you were recently released from the Young Men organization and called as the ward clerk but in MLS or CDOL your former position is still listed.
- Creating a custom calling called "Ward Clerk" instead of using the Standard Positions ward clerk option.
- Sacrament Meeting Agenda: (DOC) A sample agenda for sacrament meeting, with emphasis on calls and releases
- Sacrament/Fast & Testimony Meeting Agenda: (PDF) A sample agenda for sacrament meetings including testimony meetings, with emphasis on calls and releases
- You can edit the Ward and Stake names, type over the document and save in Adobe Reader
- This should be printed double sided with pages 1 & 3 for most Sundays and 2 & 3 for testimony meetings
- Callings-Releases: (XLS) Spreadsheet for tracking callings: extending the call, sustaining, setting apart, releasing
- MLS Standard Callings: (PDF) A list of all the standard ward and stake callings in MLS 3.6.