The records of the Church are confidential, whether they exist on paper, in computers, or in other electronic media. These include membership records, financial records, minutes of meetings, official forms, and notes made from private interviews. Leaders and clerks are to safeguard Church records by handling, storing, and disposing of them in a way that protects the privacy of individuals.
Leaders should provide information from Church records and reports only to those who are authorized to use it. Information that is stored electronically should be kept secure and protected by a password. Leaders should ensure that such data is not used for personal, political, or commercial purposes.
Ward clerks are responsible for keeping membership records confidential.
- All Church records are confidential and for Church-approved purposes only.
- The bishop determines who is authorized to see records, reports, or minutes.
- Train and remind members that Church records are confidential and may only be utilized for Church purposes.
Confidential nature of membership records
Only the bishopric and clerks have access to all membership information in MLS. By using a password, priesthood and auxiliary leaders can access MLS information pertinent to their organizations, but they will not have access to the complete membership database.
Wards can print an Individual Ordinance Summary (IOS) for each member. This IOS contains much of the same information as the membership record. The member may keep the IOS. Parents may receive a copy of a child's IOS if:
- The parents have legal custody.
- The child is under 18.
- The child is living in the same household.
Certain information in MLS and on membership records, such as birth year of adults; temple recommend status; and sealing, endowment, and disciplinary information is considered sensitive. Under the direction of the bishop, quorum and auxiliary leaders should receive only the information they need to fulfill their callings.
MLS users with administrator rights (usually the bishop and ward clerk) can view disciplinary information concerning members. After bringing up the individual record of the member in MLS, they can print or preview the record. Information concerning disfellowshipment or other annotations will appear at the bottom of the record.
Stake and ward financial information is confidential. Only the stake or ward clerk, assistant clerks, and the stake president or bishop and his counselors should know the amount of tithing and offerings paid by a donor or other organization. Under no circumstances should this information be given to unauthorized persons.
- Confidentiality of Records, The First Presidency, June 1, 2004
- Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops , 13.6