Custom reports (MLS)

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MLS reports

Custom Reports are useful for extracting information from MLS that is not available using standard reports. Many reports are easily generated, but some of the report options can be helpful in generating custom reports in MLS that may not be completely obvious.

General principles

Status fields

Be aware that some of the status fields may contain useful options you may not have expected.

  • Marriage Status contains not only the expected Single, Married, Widowed, Divorced fields, but also Sealed to Spouse and Sealed to Prior Spouse.
  • Member Status contains not only the expected Member, Accountable, Confirmed, and In Unit, but also Called to a Position, BIC, Returned Missionary, Spouse is Member, Is Sealed to Parents, Is Sealed to Spouse, Is Sealed to Prior Spouse, and Married.
  • Calling Type contains Leadership Positions, Stake/District, and Ward/Branch
  • Home Teaching contains both Assigned Home Teacher and Assigned as Home Teacher


Custom Reports has an option to "Group" the report at None, Ward, or Household level (the Ward option is available only for Stake MLS).


By default, a custom report will be sorted by the first column of the report. Subsequent columns are not involved in the sorting.

Once the report is generated, it can be manually sorted by any of the columns by clicking on the column header. One click will sort on that column in ascending order; a second click will toggle the sort to be in descending order.

Multi-column sorting

As you click on column headers, the order of each column sort is remembered. This allows the report to be sorted on multiple column sort keys by clicking on the key columns in reverse order. For example, if there are columns for "Priesthood", "Priesthood Office", and "Age", you can click first on the Age column, and then on the Priesthood Office column, and finally the Priesthood column. The result will be a report with Aaronic Priesthood members first, with all the Deacons grouped together sorted by age, then all the Priests grouped together sorted by age, then the Teachers; then would come the Melchizedek Priesthood, with groups of Elders, High Priests, and Seventy, each group sorted by age.

Column widths

As you are creating or editing the report, if you use the Set Column Widths feature (on the Format page of the Custom Reports Edit/Create screen), and then do Print Preview from there, you can get the column widths right and those widths are saved with the report.

On/before/after date

When you are setting up criteria involving the Age field, you can specify that the age is a specific value or greater or less than a specific value. You can also specify that the specific value is to be matched as of a specific date. To do this, specify the Age criterion (such as "Age -- is -- 11") then click the More link to the right of the Age criterion. Then the Compare Operation dropdown will have three new options: "on date", "before date", and "after date". Make the desired selection, then choose the date in the DD-Mmm-YYYY fields that will appear.

This is useful for writing reports that depend on the ages of children as of January 1 for projecting Sunday School classes, or listing youth who will be 14 as of July 1 for a youth conference, etc.

Custom member fields

Custom member fields can be used in custom reports for the most part like any other fields. However, there are a few special considerations required for selecting these fields as criteria.

Mailing addresses

To print mailing labels for a custom report, simply access the custom report and click Print Mailing Labels at the bottom of the screen.

Sensitive information

Certain fields contain sensitive information. Reports containing any of those fields cannot be viewed by MLS users having only Organization permissions. These fields include:

  • Age
  • Baptism date
  • Birthdate
  • Birth Year
  • Confirmation Date
  • Endowment Date
  • Is BIC
  • Is Returned Missionary
  • Is Sealed to Parents
  • Is Sealed to Spouse
  • Mission Country
  • Mission Language
  • Priesthood
  • Priesthood Office
  • Sealing to Parents
  • Sealing to Spouse
  • Temple Recommend Expiration Date

Duplicating, editing, deleting, and exporting reports

The Custom Reports list includes four links to the right of each report that allow you to:

  • Duplicate: Create a copy of an existing report (the initial name will be "Copy of <name>")
  • Edit: Edit the report
  • Delete: Remove the report
  • Export: Save the parameters of the report as a text file with the extension of .mls. These files can then be imported into your MLS system, or shared with other clerks.

Specific reports

MLS allows report definitions to be exported and imported. These report definitions contain no data; they simply store the report name and description, selection criteria, the included fields, the column widths, and the grouping options. Most of the reports below include a link for downloading the report definition (.mls) file.

To download and use a .mls file:

  1. Save it to your hard drive. The way to do this depends on your browser, computer, and operating system, but often it will involve right clicking on the Download link and then choosing "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" or some similar option.
  2. In MLS go to Custom Reports, click the Import button at the bottom left, then navigate to the .mls file you just saved.
  3. Click OK to import the report; it should now appear on your list of custom reports.

Separating elders and prospective elders

This method separates elders from prospective elders for attendance rolls and ease of reporting. (Not valid in units that have more than one elders quorum organized).

MLS requires separate reporting of prospective elders vs all Melchizedek priesthood holders, but will not easily print attendance rolls for the quorums that separate the prospective elders to make it easier to tally their attendance or lack thereof. A method that works quite well is to create a SECOND elders quorum, assign NO presidency or instructors (helps to make it clear they are not organized into a separate quorum), then assign all prospective elders to that second quorum. Now, anyone can easily print attendance rolls for EQ-1 and EQ-2, and the EQ secretary can keep attendance and easily report to the presidency, who then sends their report to the clerk. The only other caution is to make sure the person who processes new records checks the priesthood status and assigns them to the 1st or 2nd quorum as appropriate. Errors can easily be corrected by anyone with organizational access or above (such as the elders quorum presidency).


All widows and widowers in the ward (who have not remarried).
Criteria Format
Marriage Date -- has a value
Member Status -- is not -- Married
Home teachers with phone numbers

Relief Society sisters serving elsewhere

When counting attendance for the Quarterly Report, those sisters serving in Primary, YW and callings in other units (or the stake) are counted as attending Relief Society. This report shows sisters with callings in other organizations.

Relief Society Serving Elsewhere
Relief Society sisters with callings that prevent attendance at Relief Society meetings.
Criteria Format
Sex -- is -- Female
Organization Class -- is -- Relief Society
Member Status -- is -- Member
Calling in Organization -- is -- Out of Unit
or Calling in Organization -- is -- Primary
or Calling in Organization -- is -- Young Women
Preferred Name

This report isn't 100% accurate. Just because someone is serving in the Young Women does not necessarily mean they won't be in Relief Society. For example, the YW Secretary may well not be in YW meetings on Sunday. The list can help to serve as a sanity check to 'remember' who may be out of Relief Society. It would be helpful to give a copy of this to the Relief Society the first week of a 'counting' month.

Similar reports could be created for brethren who have callings that take them away from priesthood meetings.

Returned missionaries who served speaking foreign languages

This report can give the full time missionaries serving in an area a list of returned missionaries who spoke a 'foreign' language. When they need some help teaching someone who doesn't speak the local dominant language, this report may help. What is 'foreign' is, of course, relative; change 'English' to exclude your 'native' language.

Returned Missionary Foreign Languages
Returned missionaries who spoke a mission language other than English
Criteria Format
Member Status -- is -- Returned Missionary
Mission Language -- does not contain -- English
Preferred Name
Priesthood Office
Mission Country
Mission Language
Primary Phone Number

Part-member families

The full-time missionaries or the ward mission leader may request a list of part-member families.

Part-Member Families
Members who have a non-member spouse
Criteria Format
Marriage Status -- is -- Married
Member Status -- is not -- Spouse is Member
Preferred Name
Spouse Name
Address - Street 1
Address - City
Primary Phone Number

A separate custom report can be created to identify unbaptized children in households with at least one member parent. This list may well have some overlap with the previous report.

Unbaptized Children
Members of record 9 and older who are not baptized
Criteria Format
Age -- is or is greater than -- 9
Member Status -- is not -- Confirmed
Preferred Name
Head of House and Spouse
Address - Street 1
Address - City
Primary Phone Number

This page was last modified on 7 February 2013, at 07:02.

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