firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:I'm not sure I understand this last sentence. The Church has not forbidden these sites from being used if I enter the data myself? They do forbid you from uploading membership data from MLS?
That is the way I read that guidance. The distinction does not make intuitive sense to everyone, but this is guidance that we have read here before.
email@example.com wrote:I would like to use YMYW.org and the website ReturnAndReport.org. I am guessing that I will still need the approval from my Bishop to use these sites. Is there any "manual" that my Bishop can reference to council him on how to decide on using these Non-Church websites?
Yes, it is your priesthood leaders' call. There is no such definitive policy "manual," but you can point to the guidance above for the Bishop's consideration.
FWIW as far as Return and Report is concerned, you might mention that the Church IT department, which sponsors this forum, recently honored Brad O., the developer of that site, as the recipient of the 2008 LDS Tech Award
for his efforts. At the same time, the Church announced a new collaborative development project that might eventually meet the same need. Meanwhile, I believe that Brad continues to support his site privately, and it does not involve uploading from MLS.
I think the discussion over "public record" above is not relevant to your issue, and is really a distraction. That is not a distinction I have seen made by Church authorities in this regard. My understanding is that even name-and-address membership data should not be uploaded from MLS or LUWS to third-party servers.