Clerks should rely on official sources for instructions regarding their callings. Claims in the LDSTech wiki will be more reliable if they are backed up by references to official sources.
The Church handbooks used by leaders (as possibly amended or extended by subsequent letters from the First Presidency) are the authoritative source of policy and procedures for clerks. The handbooks are:
- Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops; current edition is 2010.
- Handbook 2: Administering the Church; current edition is 2010.
Occasionally the Church sends letters to stake presidents and bishops. These will sometimes amend or extend the policies in the Church handbooks. Such letters should be kept on file in each ward and stake until instructions are sent to destroy them (as often happens when new editions of the Church handbooks are released). Stake presidents also have access to an online repository of these letters in PDF format.
The MLS help system contains procedural and policy instructions. It is accessible by pressing the F1 key, or by choosing Help from the Help menu. The sections titled "Membership Policies" and "Financial Policies" are particularly helpful.
The Record Keeping FAQ is available on the Help menu, under Frequently Asked Questions. This covers a wide variety of topics for Membership, Finance, Transmission, MLS Usage, and General Questions in a question and answer format.
Under Other Resources, Confidential Forms, you will find helpful forms such as those used for disciplinary action, application to the First Presidency, etc. The opening screen of that section of MLS has helpful instructions. The forms themselves also have useful instructions, which you can see by printing or previewing the forms.
Under Other Resources, Church Audits, you will find the financial audit forms for stakes, wards, and family history centers. These audit forms contain detailed instructions about policies and procedures.
The online Record Keeping and Auditing Training is available on lds.org under Serving in the Church, Melchizedek Priesthood, or at clerk.lds.org under Training. It is also available in MLS through the Help menu (assuming that it was properly installed according to instructions). The lessons may be downloaded for installation on Church administrative computers, or personal computers used for learning, training, and support. The downloaded version of the training lessons contains PDF documents containing the text of the lessons.
The online training has lessons targeted for:
- Stake Presidents
- Auditors and Audit Committee
- Stake and Ward Clerks
- Financial Clerks
- Membership Clerks
- Historical Specialists
In addition to training courses, the online training page contains helpful documents:
- MLS Software Manual
- Record Keeping FAQ
- Overview of MLS
- Using MLS: Ward and Branch Instructions
- Using MLS: Stake and District Instructions
Other documents can be found on the stake and ward web sites hosted on lds.org under Record Keeping Information. Note that you will only be able to access the Record Keeping Information if you are designated in the Leadership Directory section of the web site as some sort of clerk or priesthood leader. However, at present some of these documents are out of date, and several are located or linked to from the Clerk and Technology Support site. However, there are two helpful documents located on the stake and ward web sites:
- MLS Membership Supplement
- MLS Finance Supplement
The Clerk and Technology Support site at http://clerk.lds.org provides a wealth of information. It contains a repository of letters and policies relevant to clerks, troubleshooting guides, a calendar of important deadlines, Meetinghouse Internet instructions, and links to MLS Downloads, training lessons, and a discussion forum.
The letters and policies archive on the Clerk Wiki is a collection of documents relevant to clerks.
- Desktop 5.5 Instructions and related documents
- Information regarding serious C drive errors (documents the Backup/Restore capabilities of Desktop 5.5)
- Discontinued Unit Instructions (helpful summary of steps to follow as a unit is discontinued to deal with membership, financial, and computer issues)
Some forms and policy documents are available through http://www.ldscatalog.com using a unit login, under Unit Administration.
Occasionally messages will be sent to clerks via the MLS messaging system, or via e-mail to stake clerks and Stake Technology Specialist. The e-mail communication will happen only if callings have been set up properly in MLS.