FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Discussions about using TVs, projectors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, DVD Players and other media players in meetinghouses including standards, management, how to connect to them, proper use, and support.
farwest
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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby farwest » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:35 pm

farwest wrote:
There are some that do not have a laptop or tablet and now feel pressure that to have a calling they need a laptop or tablet.

Gary_Miller wrote:
We all have choices to make. No one is forcing anyone or even placing pressure on them to purchase a laptop or tablet. They can use the equipment in the library. Like I previously stated, I have yet to see all the TV being used to the point where no one could get one.

farwest reply: No one is forcing but there is a feeling out there that you need it. The point is that the TV's we had would be no good because they can't play the video's.

farwest wrote:
I have been in classes where a laptop or tablet has been used and the sound and picture because of size is inferior in all ways to the TV.

Yes that can be a problem. However, I have yet to see all the TV being used to the point where no one could get one. How about You?

farwest reply: Once again we could of had 10 TV's it wouldn't matter they don't play video's. Also
FM said TV's are on a 16 year replacement plan so it would of been several years to replace any of the TV's we now have.

farwest wrote:
Yes you can teach without either but that was not the point of the "Come Follow Me" program and all the effort that went into it to get it off the ground. But it was grounded from the start because the cart was in front of the horse without the TV's to play the media on.

Gary_Miller wrote:
While not haveing the proper equipment was a problem from the start it was never a show stopper. All the classes can be taught without the videos the videos just brought added quality into the classes. I don't believe it was ever grounded.

farwest reply: As I have stated before there is no point of having the "Come Follow Me" program if you can't implement it. All the hours and money put into it would be a waste if you cannot use it.

farwest wrote:
Our stake president was impressed to buy TV's to make this available for our youth, they are the future of the church and he wanted them to have access to the best teaching tools available.

Gary_Miller wrote:
Good for him. However we are a church of order and there are procedures and policies that need to me followed.

farwest reply: You are correct about that and it is also a church of revelation. If the stake president had not acted upon his impression we would be here in our stake over a year later not using the "Come Follow Me" program because we have no TV's to play it on.

farwest wrote:
He said that it really is all the same money and we are all on the same team and we all have the same goals.

Gary_Miller wrote:
He is right to a point in that the funds all come from tithing money. However, he is wrong in the way the funds were used as the Budget Allowance funds were set aside by the Prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve for the use of ward and stake operations and activities. Not for the purchase of audio visual equipment. See the Budget Training in the May 1990 Ensign for a more complete understanding of the principles of the Budget Allowance.

farwest reply: Once again you are correct and I have been thinking of a solution. I will suggest to the stake president that we need to sell those TV's and put the money back in the stake budget and be patient and wait another five to seven years for the TV's to reach the sixteen year replacement plan. (policy) Letter of the Law


farwest wrote:
So he made the decision to buy TV's and it has been a good thing for our youth.

Gary_Miller wrote:
Being good for the youth does not make the action correct.

farwest reply: Action not correct but being good for our youth means everything to us. They our the future and they need every tool available to them help them on their journey.

Gary_Miller
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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:13 pm

farwest wrote:No one is forcing but there is a feeling out there that you need it. The point is that the TV's we had would be no good because they can't play the video's.

I understand I think most every stake/ward was in the same position.

farwest wrote:Once again we could of had 10 TV's it wouldn't matter they don't play video's. Also FM said TV's are on a 16 year replacement plan so it would of been several years to replace any of the TV's we now have.

That could be the case. However, it seems that FM soon came around when they found out there was a problem with the existing TVs not being able to support the new curriculum. At least that's how it was in my stake. I think some good intended stake presidents who were enthused about the new curriculum just jumped the gun to soon with out considering the Budget Allowance guidelines and principles. Sometimes you just have to let the system work its self out.

farwest wrote:As I have stated before there is no point of having the "Come Follow Me" program if you can't implement it. All the hours and money put into it would be a waste if you cannot use it.

You are correct about that and it is also a church of revelation. If the stake president had not acted upon his impression we would be here in our stake over a year later not using the "Come Follow Me" program because we have no TV's to play it on.

The lord is in charge of this church and the Prophet is very a where of the needs of the church. I believe he knew the problems before it was implemented but decided it was important to implement right away and let the equipment problem work its self out in the system.

While it may not seem it at times the FM groups want to make sure the resources are available, just as much as you and me, to ensure the programs of the church are supported. However, they are governed by instructions and budget guidelines the limit what they can do at times.

farwest wrote:Once again you are correct and I have been thinking of a solution. I will suggest to the stake president that we need to sell those TV's and put the money back in the stake budget and be patient and wait another five to seven years for the TV's to reach the sixteen year replacement plan. (policy) Letter of the Law

The only problem with this solution is the Stake President does not have the authority to dispose of equipment. That falls under the FM responsibility.

farwest wrote:Action not correct but being good for our youth means everything to us.

One wrong does not make a right.

farwest wrote:They our the future and they need every tool available to them help them on their journey.

You won't get me to disagree with the youth being our future. You will not find a stronger advocate for our youth programs than me. That is why I'am so strong against leaders using Budget Allowance Money to fund equipment that should have been funded by other sources. Funds used in this manner take funds away from our youths activity budgets. If you do not have a youth activities budget you have no youth activities. If you have no youth activities you have inactive youth. When you have inactive youth you don't get them to church on Sunday. When you don't get them to church on Sunday you can't teach them the gospel. No matter how many TV you have it does you no good if the youth are not there to teach.

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gregwanderson
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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby gregwanderson » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:09 pm

Once we organized a service project where a dozen of our Elders were going to build a shed for a widow in the ward. All the lumber was pre-cut and there was an unlimited supply of nails. But then we were told that we were only allowed to use 3 hammers and only one of them could be full-sized. Those who questioned the policy were made to feel guilty. Most of the Elders lost enthusiasm and the project floundered. But a couple of the guys who really like construction kept working at it.

Okay, that's not a true story (and not an outstanding parable either). When it comes to policies that aren't directly related to doctrine I don't mind people asking "why" and suggesting changes through the proper channels. But it appears that only Stake Presidents have much influence so I hope they really push for improvements. The situation described here just makes me sad. It seems that we, who frequent these LDS Tech discussions, should be the first to embrace all policies regarding technology in the church. And yet we are some of the most vocal critics of how the FM Group operates. Very sad.

Less than 2 years ago some of us who are part of this thread now were arguing about how (under the policy that seemed to be the only official policy at the time) we weren't allowed to have TVs larger than 25 inches in our churches. Then it turned out that the policy was outdated and FM Groups were already providing larger TVs but there was no way for most of us to know that, so we just felt guilty if our wards had larger TVs (and some of us were scolding each other for having larger TVs… even though it was already okay to have them). So, who knows what's really the most current thing now?

Meanwhile, I'm still dumbfounded that Stakes seem to have a lot of freedom to spend money on fancier-than-necessary equipment to improve their Stake Conference webcasts (which only happen a couple of times per year) but have their hands tied when it comes to TVs that would be used every Sunday. So, again, I hope Stake Presidents provide proper feedback. Policies regarding technology should be reviewed as often as new technology is introduced (in other words, very often).

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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:13 pm

mrrad wrote:When it comes to policies that aren't directly related to doctrine I don't mind people asking "why" and suggesting changes through the proper channels.

I don't mind people asking ether. However, until there is a change in policies we are obligated to follow the policies. That is part of following the Prophets.

mrrad wrote:But it appears that only Stake Presidents have much influence so I hope they really push for improvements.

If Stake Presidents feel its important then they should push for change.

mrrad wrote:The situation described here just makes me sad. It seems that we, who frequent these LDS Tech discussions, should be the first to embrace all policies regarding technology in the church.

It seems to me that we are the ones who embrace all the policies regarding technology. We are also the ones who try to influence policy change when we see there is a better way.

mrrad wrote:And yet we are some of the most vocal critics of how the FM Group operates. Very sad.

Your right we are the most vocal critics that is because some of the policies instated by local FM Groups just don't pass the common sense test. That the key issue faced by most stakes and wards, its like pulling teeth to get additional keys at times. If the FM Group does not feel like a certain position needs a key they are reluctant to issue an addition key. It should be up to the stake/ward to decide who needs a key. Not some list made put together by the FM Group.

mrrad wrote:Less than 2 years ago some of us who are part of this thread now were arguing about how (under the policy that seemed to be the only official policy at the time) we weren't allowed to have TVs larger than 25 inches in our churches.

If you recall the size of TV was a secondary argument. The main argument was the same one we are currently having in this thread. The one about stakes inappropriate use of Budget funds to purchase equipment that should of been purchased using FM Funds. Which as I recall your ward was one of those who purchase TV using budget funds.

Here is a link to the thread. https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=11306

mrrad wrote:Meanwhile, I'm still dumbfounded that Stakes seem to have a lot of freedom to spend money on fancier-than-necessary equipment to improve their Stake Conference webcasts (which only happen a couple of times per year) but have their hands tied when it comes to TVs that would be used every Sunday. So, again, I hope Stake Presidents provide proper feedback. Policies regarding technology should be reviewed as often as new technology is introduced (in other words, very often).

I agree I don't believe stakes should be using Budget funds to purchase such equipment ether. However, current policy says its OK to do so under certain conditions. So while I think it is wrong for a stake to take activity funds to do so, I will support the policy with every fiber of my body.

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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby drepouille » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:42 pm

In this case, the FM was trying to do the right thing. He spent a substantial amount of money and time replacing old CRT TVs with new LCD TVs, and (probably) mounting the new TVs to the TV carts. The TV model he chose was probably one chosen by his leadership at Church HQ. Unfortunately, the model chosen was not capable of playing mp4 files to support the new Youth curriculum.

The stake president decided to purchase even newer TVs, even though all he really needed was a media player, such as the WD TV Live player, or perhaps a low-end Roku. If he had asked the FM, and the FM had enough annual budget funds, the FM would have provided a media player. If the FM's budget did not have funds available, he could have asked the stake to provide funds, and the FM would have purchased and installed media players on the TV carts.

Since the stake decided to purchase newer TVs, the FM had no choice but to move the older LCD TVs to other meetinghouses that needed them. His staff probably had to remove the older LCD TVs from the carts, and mount the newer LCD TVs to the carts.

We all do our parts, and we all try to follow the guidelines given to us. Communication is essential, more so in this case.

A related story:
About the time when our FM was installing 32-inch LCD TVs around the stake, one bishop was under the assumption that he had to spend the remainder of his ward budget by the end of the calendar year, or lose it. (He is a hospital administrator, and he thought the Church operated by the same rules.) So on Dec 31st (a year or two ago), he purchased a 40-inch LCD TV using his personal credit card, and immediately wrote himself a check to reimburse himself. I stumbled onto that purchase while performing maintenance on his ward's computer, and informed the FM of the purchase. Our FM was gracious, and mounted the new TV on a TV cart, removing the old CRT TV, and adding the new TV to his equipment inventory. We still tease the bishop for his misunderstanding, but we had to agree that he bought a nicer TV than the rest of us had. The FM and the stake president considered it a teaching moment for this young bishop.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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gregwanderson
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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby gregwanderson » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:47 am

In fairness to your young Bishop, it wasn't long ago that the ward budget was under a "use it or lose it" policy. Many times we would scramble to buy camping gear, paper plates, basketballs or other durable goods during the last week of December with our few hundred dollars of "surplus" funds. You know, stuff that we would eventually use anyway but, due to the budget policy, we didn't really have a lot of time to plan the purchases until we knew, for sure, that there really was a surplus.

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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:19 pm

mrrad wrote:In fairness to your young Bishop, it wasn't long ago that the ward budget was under a "use it or lose it" policy. Many times we would scramble to buy camping gear, paper plates, basketballs or other durable goods during the last week of December with our few hundred dollars of "surplus" funds. You know, stuff that we would eventually use anyway but, due to the budget policy, we didn't really have a lot of time to plan the purchases until we knew, for sure, that there really was a surplus.

The only thing this young bishop did improper was use the budget allowance to fund equipment that was the FMs responsibility.

The budget policies have always been one of use your budget or lose it. The policy with a couple of exceptions have always been, a ward is to return and surplus funds to the stake and the stake is to return them Church Headquarters.

The intent is the budget is there to use and a properly implemented ward activity program, along with a properly managed budget, should not have any excess funds.

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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby gregwanderson » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:00 pm

Sometimes you don't know if the Primary and Relief Society really did spend all of their funds until the end of December is upon you and you've finished making all of your countless requests for receipts to be turned in. Policies are policies but, then again, people act like people.

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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby drepouille » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:07 pm

I don't worry too much about it. If they turn in receipts in January, I count it against the new year's budget. Pay me now or pay me later, as the saying goes.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: FM Group and TV's and Libraries

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:08 pm

mrrad wrote:Sometimes you don't know if the Primary and Relief Society really did spend all of their funds until the end of December is upon you and you've finished making all of your countless requests for receipts to be turned in. Policies are policies but, then again, people act like people.

I was always able to tell the primary and RS exactly how much money they had at any given time, using the budget reports.


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