Missing Aaronic Priesthood Ordinations 1994-2002 for Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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erick_pence
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Missing Aaronic Priesthood Ordinations 1994-2002 for Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

#1

Post by erick_pence »

A few weeks ago I noticed that my deacon ordination was missing from my record on LDS tools. As I started digging deeper, I've found a data issue that appears to be church-wide and have confirmed it across our stake and at least 6 different stakes (from family members). For Melchizedek Priesthood holders, any Aaronic priesthood ordinations between about 1994-2002 are missing from church records.

For example, I'm missing my deacon ordination in 2002, but showing teacher and priest ordinations as they occurred after 2002. You'll notice that you are also missing your Aaronic priesthood ordinations during that time period if you look in the Tools app (let me know otherwise). I reached out to Church headquarters (MLS support) about this and they confirmed that my ordinations (and those of my brothers that I sent them) are missing from the records of the church. They advised me to refer to the handbook for ratification of ordinances, section 38.2.1.10, and said they would report the issue since it appears to be church-wide. 

Based on the fact that the ordinations being showing up again around 2003, right when MLS was introduced, I think perhaps the previous MIS software had a data model that would overwrite previous Aaronic priesthood ordinations when ordained a teacher, priest, or elder (between 1994-2002). Especially since those who were not ordained Elders still have their most recent Aaronic priesthood ordination from that time period recorded. Since these ordinations are not saving ordinances I don't think it would make any sense to redo them, especially if the church designed the record keeping that way and there are probably more than a million ordinations missing church-wide. However, it would be nice to have a complete record of my ordinations and I was planning to search for my deacon certificate to show to my bishop and get it recorded if possible.

I'd be surprised if I'm the first person to notice this, but I couldn't find anything on the internet and the church support team was unaware. Can anyone confirm if this was due to the record-keeping software being used during that time period? I assume it doesn't matter to have a record of these ordinations?
garystroble
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Re: Missing Aaronic Priesthood Ordinations 1994-2002 for Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

#2

Post by garystroble »

LCR says: Aaronic Priesthood offices are not displayed for members holding the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Any Aaronic Priesthood ordinations showing in Member Tools are a bonus in my opinion, since only the most current Melchizedek Priesthood ordination is important. There would be no reason to ratify previous ordinations; that suggestion to you from HQ is either misguided or mistranslated. There is also no way to record previous Aaronic Priesthood ordinations for Melchizedek Priesthood holders in LCR, so even if you find your certificate, it will be of use to you personally only.
lajackson
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Re: Missing Aaronic Priesthood Ordinations 1994-2002 for Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

#3

Post by lajackson »

erick_pence wrote: Can anyone confirm if this was due to the record-keeping software being used during that time period?
This will sound funny now, but in order to save data storage space beginning around 1994, the Church stopped recording who performed various ordinances. This was also true for Melchizedek Priesthood ordinations. By 2002 bigger data storage systems were available, and the Church had also realized that it was not possible for an elder or high priest to trace his prieshood line of authority without the names.

At that point they again started saving names in the database, and an effort was made to collect information from ordination certificates and records in clerks offices to fill in the missing information.

So while it was not strictly due to record-keeping software, is was due to general computer data storage limitations back then, and a decision that was made that had consequences not fully considered or understood at the time.

Computers have come a long way since. Other things have changed, as well. And you are correct that if you are ordained to an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood, you do not necessarily need to have your Aaronic Priesthood ordination information, although it is fun to have.

For a time, AP ordinations did not show on the ward copy of membership records for those who held the MP. I think that is still true today, although the information is available in the Membership Department at Church headquarters. But Member Tools has always displayed all of the information available, including AP ordinations. Because all of my priesthood ordinations were outside of the window, Member Tools shows me every ordination since I was a deacon.
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johnshaw
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Re: Missing Aaronic Priesthood Ordinations 1994-2002 for Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

#4

Post by johnshaw »

Since every family is supposed to review their IOS at each tithing settlement and each clerk is supposed to review the IOS with each new member of a ward that moves in these missing items should've been taken care of a long time ago (I don't know if any of the new fancy handbook changes includes this info, but at least previous ones did).

As a clerk I updated every member's IOS by highlighting where an ordained-by wasn't recorded. When I printed IOS for members to review at TS I yellow highlighted areas that needed to be updated by the member. I got to 100% easily and quickly. As a Stake Clerk I trained on this item and found that my clerks rarely, if ever, cared what I said or trained them on, so I'd do the training, follow up. Send them lists of their members to update, all-the-while copying Bishops in these communications, after 4 months or so of no progress it was added to the Bishop/SP monthly interview agenda, if after 6 months, the clerk was invited to attend the Bishop/SP interview to report on progress.... The clerks never had to attend that meeting, but it was completely demoralizing to me that something so simple had to be such a 'hard sell' for a clerk.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense
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