As new families or individuals move into a ward, it is important that their records be transferred and that they be welcomed into the ward. Each unit should have standard procedures set for obtaining the necessary information to request membership records within MLS, and to welcome and integrate the new members into the ward.
For an example of the importance of obtaining membership records, see the training lesson titled <Broken link> Receiving and Using Membership Records .
In order to request records within MLS, it is necessary to gather certain information from the new ward members. This is also a good opportunity to gather additional information that will improve efforts to integrate the new members into the ward.
While only the household record needs to be requested, it may be useful to have information on the entire family for the bishopric and auxiliaries. This information can be captured on a standard form passed out to all new move-ins and forwarded to the ward clerk. Also, it may not behoove the ward clerk or membership clerk to wait for the previous unit to forward the household records as some units are more diligent then others in this regard.
The following items are required to request records within MLS:
- Full name
- Birth date
Additional items for membership records
The following items are not required to request records but are attached to the membership record in MLS.
- Email address
- Temple recommend expiration date
- Membership Record Number
Additional items not on the membership record
These items are not part of the membership record but may be of interest to the bishop. They can be entered as custom fields in MLS. If desired, they could be tracked in a spreadsheet or database created for this purpose.
- Previous callings
- Magazine subscriptions
- Talents (e.g. piano, organ, etc.)
When a new family moves into the ward, it is not necessary to request the records for each member of the family individually. The records of the head of household have all the records of the other family members attached meaning only the household records need to be requested using the information for the head of household.
In MLS, under Membership Records there is an option labeled Request Records. Either Household or Individual records may be requested. The procedure is the same, but if household records are requested, the records for all members of the household will be transferred to the ward. To request the record, enter the required information listed above, and as much of the additional information as is available.
Here is a list of sample forms for gathering the necessary information to request membership records.
- Family Questionnaire
- New Member Form -- useful for emergency preparedness skills and resources
- Membership Record Change Request
Welcoming new families
When new families move into the ward, they should be given extra care to make sure they feel welcome and are comfortable being part of the ward. There are also several administrative tasks that need to be taken care of:
- Request membership records; if a student is returning home, discuss with bishop if individual record should be integrated into the family or be a separate household
- In sacrament meeting, introduce and welcome the new family
- Schedule introductory meeting with the bishop
- Contact previous bishop (required if membership record has such an annotation, but may otherwise also be helpful)
- Print Individual Ordinance Summaries and review with family
- Send welcome letter
- Create Fast Offering envelope
- Assign Home Teacher
- Assign Visiting Teacher
- If a child is serving a mission, transfer financial responsibility from previous ward and notify stake
- Notify all affected auxiliaries and quorums
- New Move-in Checklist: Checklist of issues for clerks and leaders to handle when members move into the ward.
- Sacrament Meeting Welcome: Script to use when welcoming new members in sacrament meeting.
- Welcome letter 1: Sample letter to be sent to members who move into the ward.
- Welcome letter 2: Another sample letter to welcome members who have newly moved into the ward. Envelope is included.
The Members Moved In report (in MLS under Reports/Forms) will show the list of members who have moved in recently (the number of months to include in the report is selectable). Be aware that although the report has a column labeled "Move In Date", that date actually reflects the date the record was moved out of the previous ward. In some cases, the record may have languished in the "Address Unknown" file for months or even years, so the date in that column may be long before the date the members actually moved in. This may cause some new move-ins to not appear on the report, because that date is earlier than the selected number of months to display.