Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

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mfmohlma
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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby mfmohlma » Wed May 15, 2013 9:51 pm

slohner wrote:Does anyone know how to contact someone who prioritizes improvements to be made for the integration of MLS data with the LDS Tools App and LDS.org? As a bishop...

Welcome to the forum. As a bishop, the best avenue for you would be to discuss this with your stake president and ask him to pass it to his priesthood leader. As far as we know, these sorts of decisions are made by the Priesthood Department.

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby jdlessley » Wed May 15, 2013 11:22 pm

slohner wrote:As a bishop I can think of no other improvement that should have a higher priority than making the home teaching and visiting teaching assignments accessible on line and through LDS Tools to bishops, relief society presidencies, and Melchizedek priesthood group leaderships and presidencies.

Bringing HT/VT online has been in progress in some way or manner for nearly six years. Earlier in this thread are posts that point out the technical changes that need to be made as well as the decision to procede that is in the hands of the priesthood department.

slohner wrote: I am especially frustrated since I have learned that it was the LDS Tools powers that be that asked that Ward Tools stop and remove itself from the App store.

That was a decision made by the priesthood department.
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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby gregwanderson » Thu May 16, 2013 7:12 am

slohner wrote:As a bishop I can think of no other improvement that should have a higher priority than making the home teaching and visiting teaching assignments accessible on line and through LDS Tools to bishops, relief society presidencies, and Melchizedek priesthood group leaderships and presidencies. I just unlocked and updated my iPhone and found at the end of the process that I no longer was able to get Ward Tools as an App which had all of my home teaching and visiting teaching assignments on it.


It seems like a fair number of individuals come here after they've exhausted all other options, so all that's left to do is vent. But we, who participate in these forums, can only sympathize and write things like, "We're pretty sure someone is working on this as a high priority," and "The work to make this available online is more difficult than you think it is," and "They never give us information about their deadlines to make these things happen." So, I apologize on behalf the nameless people (whom I don't know) who haven't made this happen yet.

Although Home Teaching assignments can change often, isn't it still a month-by-month thing? So if someone (like the Ward Clerk or Executive Secretary) is in the habit of recording statistics at the start of each month, then why not add the responsibility to make PDF print-outs of relevant lists? I think they can handle doing that 12 times each year and then sending the PDF files to an email list of people who "need" them. I know this doesn't "fix" the problem of not having MLS functions fully available online but it goes a long way towards helping those who are at their wits end already. And it would allow people to have data on their smart phones.

(In my ward, while we realize that auxiliary leaders may have their own MLS accounts and multiple individuals could be changing Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching data, we find it best to let one person be responsible to organize the data and distribute print-outs to the auxiliary leaders. Nobody complains because the person responsible is, well, very "responsible" about the task. And, once the data is updated, for the rest of the month it's correct and available in an instant, whether by print-out, PDF or whenever anyone accesses MLS.)

Also, "Ward Tools" was not offered by the church but by a third party. And I can appreciate why the church would not want MLS information on a third party app which required users to enter their LDS Account sign-on information.

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby RossEvans » Thu May 16, 2013 1:17 pm

mrrad wrote:
slohner wrote:Also, "Ward Tools" was not offered by the church but by a third party. And I can appreciate why the church would not want MLS information on a third party app which required users to enter their LDS Account sign-on information.


Not that it matters much because this is now ancient history, but Ward Tools never required users to enter their LDS Account credentials. (There was another, unrelated third-party program that did, but that program contained no HT/VT information or other data specific to leaders.) Ward Tools was populated from the export files of local MLS systems under the stewardship of bishops and clerks. Local MLS remains the only repository of HT/VT data until the church's online systems start hosting it.

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby gregwanderson » Sat May 18, 2013 7:44 am

As the kids say, "my bad."

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby jeffvand » Thu May 30, 2013 4:02 am

+1 for me. I am also a bishop and am strongly looking at returnandreport so I have a way of seeing who is assigned where. I would much rather have it automatically sync though! :) My priorities are.

1) Seeing the most up to date assignments
2) Being able to email a family who is assigned to visit someone else.

I think reporting is nice, but really the feature I want is information. Automated email reminders are of course nice too, but our reporting is working fine in person.

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby RossEvans » Thu May 30, 2013 6:54 am

jeffvand wrote:+1 for me. I am also a bishop and am strongly looking at returnandreport so I have a way of seeing who is assigned where. I would much rather have it automatically sync though! :) My priorities are.

1) Seeing the most up to date assignments
2) Being able to email a family who is assigned to visit someone else.

I think reporting is nice, but really the feature I want is information. Automated email reminders are of course nice too, but our reporting is working fine in person.


With the demise of Ward Tools and other third-party apps populated from MLS, there is no mobile app that integrates HT/VT data with the rest of membership detail. As a limited workaround, you could just get the raw export files from MLS, accessed from the File->Export menu: HomeTeaching.csv and VisitingTeaching.csv. These files can be loaded into any just about any spreadsheet application, including some mobile spreadsheet apps. These files include, respectively, every household and every Relief Society sister in the ward, and their assigned teachers if any. Basic contact information for everyone is also there.

The updates are not automatic, but neither is the assignment information in Return and Report. HT/VT assignments typically don't change more frequently than monthly anyway.

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby brandonreed08 » Fri May 31, 2013 2:45 pm

I agree with slohner. At the Stanford Ward back 10 years ago we actually had a beta version of the ward website. Not only did it list who our home/visiting teachers were it also: listed who you were assigned to teach, each of the names were links to the person's profile, you could scroll over the names and a maps would come up showing you where they lived, and you could report your home teaching online. The church is being too closed with its system and as a result the work of the Lord is being hindered. It they allowed programmers to volunteer to build apps or widgets for the Church's site we would see amazing progress.

I think the most requested apps are ones relating to home teaching and paying tithing/other donations. I could do without the maps, journal, and note taking. Ensuring the church remains well financed and that the membership are being ministered to should be of utmost importance. We don't need a new map application, we can just use google maps with an address provided. We don't need a note taking app when we can copy and paste to a document easy enough. Making it easier to finance the church should be of utmost concern since it affects every level of the church. Think of any other organization that has an online presence without an online payment system. They are very few. With the number of sites the church builds, videos produced, applications made, surely a system to pay your donation is not too difficult to create. Hopefully this is received by someone with the authority to make the changes otherwise it will just add to the many suggested but few are ever implemented list.

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby brado426 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:23 pm

I started ReturnAndReport.org 7 years ago. I still say that Home and Visiting Teacher is by far the most important thing that we do as Church members.

Brad O.

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Re: Home Teaching Assignments available on LDS.org

Postby jonkristaylor » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:24 pm

As a STS I am getting the EQ & HP quorums in my stake pleading for HT functionality on LDS.ORG so they can do their callings at home. i.e. entering ht numbers.
Does anyone know where the church is at with adding this MUCH NEEDED functionality to lds.org? Right now they want to purchase one of the 3rd party tools available.

Also it would be great to have a field or link on LDS Tools that links to the assigned HT or allows them to report their HT on their Mobile device?
Any info?????
Jonathan


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