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First Presidency Approval for Ward Members Outside the Boundaries

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:44 am
by greggo
I would like to hear about any situations where approval from the First Presidency was granted to allow a member to be in a ward while their residence is outside the ward boundaries.

Obviously, reasons such as "the member prefers to be in the other ward" or "the other ward's building is closer" are not good reasons to ask for approval from the first presidency. I've heard of exceptions being granted for ward leaders called from outside the boundaries, but I'm curious of what else may be allowed.

We have a situation in our ward where a recently baptized family's residence was discovered to be just within a neighboring ward's boundaries (even though the town listed in their address is within our ward's boundaries). The family doesn't own a car, and the parent's don't have driver's licenses. Their primary mode of transportation to church is the mother's sister who lives close to them and is a member of our ward. The bishop wants to discuss first presidency approval for them to remain in our ward.

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:17 pm
by kisaac
I'm sure you've read the Handbook (1:13.6 (1:13.6.4)) Wouldn't you just send it up the "chain of file leadership" until it comes back down?
Bishop > Stake President > etc. > etc.>

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:28 pm
by techgy
greggo wrote:I would like to hear about any situations where approval from the First Presidency was granted to allow a member to be in a ward while their residence is outside the ward boundaries.

Obviously, reasons such as "the member prefers to be in the other ward" or "the other ward's building is closer" are not good reasons to ask for approval from the first presidency. I've heard of exceptions being granted for ward leaders called from outside the boundaries, but I'm curious of what else may be allowed.

We have a situation in our ward where a recently baptized family's residence was discovered to be just within a neighboring ward's boundaries (even though the town listed in their address is within our ward's boundaries). The family doesn't own a car, and the parent's don't have driver's licenses. Their primary mode of transportation to church is the mother's sister who lives close to them and is a member of our ward. The bishop wants to discuss first presidency approval for them to remain in our ward.
I wouldn't think that a decision of this nature would require the 1st Presidency to be involved. A Bishop or Stake President should be all that's necessary to make a prayerful decision.

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:48 pm
by johnshaw
In our area in consultation with Mission President (who talked to SLC) and stake President, we let them attend where they are friendshipped and feel comfortable, and let them know up-front that this is an exception that we would like to transition at some point, but importantly, it is not forced, or given some kind of timeline.... just transition when the family is strong enough to be on their own.

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:09 pm
by aebrown
greggo wrote:I would like to hear about any situations where approval from the First Presidency was granted to allow a member to be in a ward while their residence is outside the ward boundaries.

Personally, I've never heard of such approval being granted -- for the simple reason that I've never heard of a stake president actually making such a request. However, I know of many situations where the member does not actually reside in the ward where the records are. It's interesting to me that this particular provision in the handbook is so widely disregarded by stake presidents and bishops. And yet we recently got a new edition of the handbook that was reviewed thoroughly by many people, including apostles and the First Presidency, and that provision is still there. I get the impression that many leaders think that it's not worth "bothering" the Office of the First Presidency on such matters and so they can just make the decision themselves. The last couple of posts in this thread seem to espouse that philosophy. But the First Presidency could have eliminated all such bother simply by deleting that provision in the Handbook about a year and a half ago -- yet they didn't choose to delete that provision. To my thinking, that is strong evidence that they actually want that handbook provision to be followed.

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:25 pm
by johnshaw
Of course the fact that the Mission President obtained his direction from SLC as stated in my post seems to indicate that the messages are mixed from SLC, not just local issue.

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:32 pm
by russellhltn
aebrown wrote:Personally, I've never heard of such approval being granted -- for the simple reason that I've never heard of a stake president actually making such a request.
Same here.

I have heard (rumor mill) of situations such as a divorce where the two parties ended up in the same ward. I can see how having the ex in the same ward would not be conducive to the spirit.

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:14 pm
by mhackwell
We typically are able to counsel with the members who have requested it and help them to understand the principles behind the policy. There has been one case in our ward where it was approved by the 1st Presidency. The teenage daughter of an inactive family living in our ward was fellowshipped by schoolmates who attend the bordering ward. The family began attending that ward before it was discovered that they lived in our boundaries. The other bishop and I felt that the family would benefit more from the friendships recently developed in that ward while they are still tender and getting comfortable in the gospel. Our stake president ran it to SLC and they approved. It was stated, though, that this was meant to be temporary and when the bishops felt they could handle the swap, they should begin attending the appropriate ward.

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:19 pm
by lajackson
aebrown wrote:Personally, I've never heard of such approval being granted -- for the simple reason that I've never heard of a stake president actually making such a request.
My parents lived in a ward where a member right at the boundary sought and received permission in the 1960s to have records in the closer ward. The exception is still in place.

Our last stake had two approved exceptions based on distance to the nearest ward or branch from the city in question.

In 1985 our stake made three requests. Two were approved and one was not.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:27 am
by reubendunn1
techgy wrote:I wouldn't think that a decision of this nature would require the 1st Presidency to be involved. A Bishop or Stake President should be all that's necessary to make a prayerful decision.

Actually it does take permission from the First Presidency. I was serving as Exec. Secretary to our Stake President when a situation came up where permission was saught to allow a member to attend a ward outside of his own.

The reasoning given is that Bishop Smith, of the 1st ward, has responsiblity for Brother Brown. Bishop Smith holds the keys of being that members sheppard and common judge. He, Bishop Smith, has to sign off on a temple recommend, accept tithes and offerings etc. Bishop Green of the 45th ward does not have that charge over Brother and sister brown. From what we were told, the Prophet, who holds all keys of the Priesthood would need to give his conent for this action to be taken. Keep in mind that wards are set up for a specific reason, one of them being that the Lord's House is a house of order. It is far easier to meet the needs of a member if he/she attends a set congregation within a specific geographical boundry.