New System for Temple Recommends?

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barkeraj
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#11

Post by barkeraj »

garystroble wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:09 pm Am suspecting someone is trying to tighten up security on the recommends somehow, but this system does not seem to get there in my opinion. Perhaps there is another step coming later which will reach that goal. Meanwhile, starting this during tithing settlement and the holiday season is going to be interesting at best.
You'd think a very secure way to tighten up security would be to not have a copyable barcode. Change to a 2FA-esque ever changing value via Member Tools that a screenshot won't be worth anything. Once activated your Member Tools generates a barcode to be scanned at the temple that changes every few seconds.

My off the cuff proposal that won't happen, but would solve all the above... in my mind.
  • Bishopric starts the recommend and approves the member via Member Tools.
  • This gives the member an "in progress" recommend they can take to the stake and has the dynamic barcode from above already going.
  • The stake president begins the interview by scanning that barcode with their Member Tools app to make sure the ward level has already been done (or clerk could do it while the member is waiting). No need to look up the member as the barcode automatically associates it to them.
  • The app says who the user is with their photo (if available) as a confirmation that they are who they say they are.
  • When the interview is complete they click "Activate" in the screen that is already up after the scan which activates it.
  • The member can optionally verify in their app that it is activated (a push could even be sent).
  • Done
No slow down to look people up (scan is fast), no printing and wasting paper. Crazy secure. No chance of loss (just log in on new/spouse/friends device if you really need to). etc

The only reason I can see to stay physical is a desire to have something the person actually signs as some symbol. But oddly we make the Bishop/President "fake" by making it digital, so that doesn't feel like a strong reason.
Last edited by barkeraj on Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
silus99
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#12

Post by silus99 »

At first glance, just a couple of questions (assuming going forward with the digital option)

1. Just to confirm, ward clerks can print activated recommends? (it does not have to be bishop or counselors)

2. It states stake presidencies can choose the printing preferences for each unit, but as a stake clerk I do not have the option under my membership menu. Does this need to be done by a counselor or president?

3. If we choose digital signatures, then existing recommends in process can still be entered normally. Is there a time this goes away? (I know it states Dec 13th, but I assume we still have to have the option for live ordinance recommends and sometimes it takes people a month or two to get in for their stake interview)

4. It notes to destroy all copies of Boke One: Temple Recommends immediately upon switching. So all yellow copies as well, or just new recommend stock?

Thanks!
russellhltn
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#13

Post by russellhltn »

garystroble wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:09 pm Am suspecting someone is trying to tighten up security on the recommends somehow,
I think someone is trying to eliminate temple recommend books. They're still there, but only for units that can't somehow print their own.

Trying to print unique barcodes on each recommend, with perforation lines, with a carbonless copy may be causing some issues. Perhaps the existing vendor is retiring the machinery and the new one won't do that. Other vendors might be significantly more expensive.

This might be a stop-gap to a digital recommend. But since not all members have capable phones, all stakes will still have to have a process for printed recommends for the foreseeable future.

The real fun comes when members store these new recommends in protective plastic sleeves. Often, the toner will bind to the plastic creating a real mess. I predict a rash of unreadable barcodes coming to a temple near you.
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barkeraj
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#14

Post by barkeraj »

russellhltn wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:46 pm This might be a stop-gap to a digital recommend. But since not all members have capable phones, they're still going to have a process for printed recommends for the foreseeable future.
Agreed. There will be a need for a paper fallback for a long time. But a significant majority can move to a quick, secure, digital system today and not force everyone through the fallback.
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#15

Post by russellhltn »

barkeraj wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:51 pm Agreed. There will be a need for a paper fallback for a long time. But a significant majority can move to a quick, secure, digital system today and not force everyone through the fallback.
True. My guess is there some pressure to get off of temple books sooner than later and the Member Tools part isn't going to be available soon enough.

If we see a big change in the Temple Books after existing stock runs out, that would tend to validate my theory.

I haven't looked at temple books in depth, but there may be an issue with the barcodes being "too sequential" (meaning "too predictable") making them easy to forge. Printing from LCR means the format can change "at the speed of the internet".
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russellhltn
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#16

Post by russellhltn »

silus99 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:38 pm 2. It states stake presidencies can choose the printing preferences for each unit, but as a stake clerk I do not have the option under my membership menu. Does this need to be done by a counselor or president?
It's being rolled out, so perhaps it hasn't come to your stake yet.

Generally, when the term "presidency" is used, it usually excludes the clerk and secretary unless stated otherwise. (See General Handbook 6.2, first two sentences for an example.)

silus99 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:38 pm 4. It notes to destroy all copies of Boke One: Temple Recommends immediately upon switching. So all yellow copies as well, or just new recommend stock?
Personally, I destroy all copies of blank recommends, but keep the copies for filled out or voided recommends according to normal procedure.
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BrianEdwards
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#17

Post by BrianEdwards »

A few thoughts:
* I also noted the instruction to destroy all copies of Book 1, without any need for keeping them until the last recommend in each book expires (which has been our practice). Unexpected, but I'm always up for getting rid of unnecessary clutter in my office, and our shredder will be ready!
* However, if after going digital we destroy all our Book 1 copies, we wouldn't really be able to switch back to using paper, which is something the Help Doc states we could choose to do.
* I'm not sure how much any Stake/Ward will be able to access before Dec 13th, the Church may wait until that date to enable menu picks and such. Or maybe not.
* I'm not a temple worker, but I've heard plenty of stories of people showing up to the temple with a recommend that's missing a leader signature, or has the wrong membership number written on it, or a badly misspelled name. Digital printing of the recommends -- and the member only getting their paper copy after both digital signatures have been performed -- will help eliminate a lot of these headaches.
* I see benefits for units in the "mission field". Recommends requiring physical signatures of Stake Presidency members is cumbersome when virtual interviews are had, and large travel distances exist. The local Bishop can print the recommend after a Stake Presidency member digitally signs it, that's easier than either mailing the recommend (our Stake does this often for virtual interviews), or waiting till a Stake leader visits the unit and can deliver the recommend.
jdlessley
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#18

Post by jdlessley »

The change to the new process is a rollout. Our stake has been selected to participate in the new process for issuing temple recommends to endowed members as well as the design of the of the temple recommend unendowed members use to participate in proxy baptisms and confirmations (formerly called limited use recommends). This begins for us on 13 December. We received two notices in the official communications library. The first notice is titled New Process for Issuing Temple Recommends (November 22, 2021) and the other Temple Recommends for Proxy Baptisms and Confirmations (November 22, 2021).

Each notice includes instructions. As mentioned earlier in this thread there are instructions and tutorials in the Help Center article Activate or Change the Status of Temple Recommends.
BrianEdwards wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:33 pm I also noted the instruction to destroy all copies of Book 1, without any need for keeping them until the last recommend in each book expires (which has been our practice).
I am waiting for an official response through the GSD. My initial discussion with the support person indicates that the instructions to destroy book 1 is only in regard to the unused recommends and not the saved amber copies used to verify the issued recommends. He was under the impression, as am I, that the saved copies would be destroyed when the recommend expires or is replaced.
BrianEdwards wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:33 pmHowever, if after going digital we destroy all our Book 1 copies, we wouldn't really be able to switch back to using paper, which is something the Help Doc states we could choose to do.
Paper will always be available. It just won't be in the form provided in book 1. With the new procedure the stake/mission will be printing paper copies on regular copy stock. One version will have digital signatures using the Church Account and the other for physical signatures. Those are the options as described in both the notice and the Help Center article.
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danielward76
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#19

Post by danielward76 »

Our Stake in Minnesota continues to do a lot of virtual temple recommend interviews. I think the virtual option is a great resource going forward as well (even after the pandemic). Our Temple is currently very lenient with recommends that don't have the Stake signature as long as the barcode has been activated. The member gets a signature from a member of the Stake Presidency during future visits to their unit (we do not deal with mailing recommends back and forth).

In respect to the new process, Stake interviews are held throughout the Stake and not just in the Stake Center. I don't see recommends getting printed at the Stake level...more likely for the member to go back to their Ward/Branch for printing. This is especially the case when having virtual interviews.

What would be nice is if after the Stake interview the recommend could be sent to the member to print (especially when some members wait until the last moment to renew their recommends or they are already expired and they need them immediately). I realize that print sizing could exist along with other issues. There should be a way to make this work similar to how temple names are now printed from home and taken to the temple.

I was initially excited about this change when I read about it in the Liahona (back page), but the process is more time intensive and inefficient than expected.
BrianEdwards
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Re: New System for Temple Recommends?

#20

Post by BrianEdwards »

Paper will always be available. It just won't be in the form provided in book 1.
Makes sense, thanks for the clarification. I now see that everyone will be moving to using LCR to print recommends (which is what the notice directly says, I just didn't grasp that part!)
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