While clearing names for our upcoming Youth temple trip, I discovered two advantages of the new approach:
1. One family in nFS had their ordinances complete. Then we discovered several additional children, which I added. It was quick and easy to clear these children all at once.
2. While clearing ordinances for another family, I discovered a sealing that wasn't done which I thought was done. Having that "birds-eye" view of the whole family was helpful.
But I also ran into some fresh snags:
1. When providing names for Youth baptisms, I like to give them cards cleared for only the baptism and confirmation. That way, if the cards are lost or misplaced, I can still print cards for the additional ordinances without being concerned about duplicates. However, the new approach makes that impossible.
2. In one instance, I added a child to a family in nFS, knowing the work for the rest of the family was done. I cleared the added child's name, only to discover the mother (Alvania Scott, KP91-MVX) was automatically added to the request as needing all ordinances—apparently there was a duplicate record somewhere. Okay, I thought, the duplicate check will catch this. But it didn't. So I had to manually remove her from the reservation list. Turns out the duplicate record (MZTG-B1D) didn’t have enough information for the system to consider it a duplicate. Had someone been clearing these names who didn’t know Alvania’s work was done, it would probably have been done twice.
3. In another instance, I added some missing children to a family, then cleared their names. With the new approach, the parents’ sealing was forced into the reservation list. However, in this instance the family does not want the children sealed to the biological parent, but to the adoptive parent who was apparently much more of a true parent to the children. But the adoptive parent isn’t yet in nFS (we need to find documentation on the adoption). I needed the option not to have the sealing done at this time.
4. Not only that, the sealing of the parents was forced onto the FOR, even when I didn’t select it in the reservation list! Because it wasn’t practical for me to get to the temple myself and have the cards printed before the Youth temple trip, I gave the FOR to the YM president on Sunday. I would rather he’d just been able to print baptism & confirmation cards without having to worry about an extra (erroneous) couple sealing card.
Tangent (issue not related to the new approach): When the incorrect FOR came up in Adobe Reader, I tried to cancel it but got thrown into a loop ("Did it print correctly?" > I answer no > I get sent back to the incorrect FOR). I finally closed the browser to cancel it. When I signed back in, all the cards were marked "Printed" even though I'd not printed them and had never said they printed okay. There needs to be a way to cancel an FOR before printing if errors are discovered, and names should not be marked “Printed” until the user clicks the button saying they printed okay.
Conclusion: forcing all ordinances for a family to be cleared at once will likely increase errors and duplication, especially for those who are new to family history. I recommend strongly that this approach be modified. When users select a name to reserve, by all means allow them to reserve all ordinances for that person and their family if appropriate. But don’t force it. Doing effective family history work is not a black-and-white “clear the whole family at once” proposition. In fact, I suspect most researchers would agree that the "exceptions" I've described above are more the rule than the exception.
Users should be able to do easily what is best for their particular family and situation.