MLS change - temple recommend activation (caught by surprise)

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed May 23, 2007 6:20 am

That actually sounds like one heck of a good idea. If you can login to NFS with your membership number, have your temple recommend activated in the MLS when you get it, then after clearing names at home, get the recommend scanned at the temple for the barcode, they then could conceivably scan at the family file office and pull the submission and print the cards for you. May be even simpler than the original plan was when they thought of online name clearing and what we saw in Beta 2.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed May 23, 2007 6:32 am

I've been told they had a similar system where you had a magnetic strip on the back of the recommend and it would connect you with doing the person's work in the church databases. But with the interconnectivity of the church and the temples and the member's homes you can do a lot more.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Wed May 23, 2007 7:11 am

thedqs wrote:So they are barcoding the recommends again. So anyone know the reason behind this?


Don't think it has anything to do with nFS. The new system allows the Bishop (and probably the stake pres) to disable a recommend remotely. Stolen blank recommends wouldn't have been activated.

No idea what brought this on, but it does open the door to a number of things.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed May 23, 2007 7:20 am

thedqs wrote:I've been told they had a similar system where you had a magnetic strip on the back of the recommend and it would connect you with doing the person's work in the church databases.


Yes, it used to be done that way. But at some point they did a review of the whole process and found there was no doctrinal reason to record the name of the proxy so the system was discarded. It also affected the way membership records were done since except for the case of Priesthood lineage, who did the ordnance was no longer recorded.

I've heard a number of stories about the problems workers had with the system. (think about how high tech that was in the early 80's - and the average age of a temple worker and you've got a good idea of the user issues.) But I don't think that was the major reason. It was the "reduce and simplify" when it was no longer needed that caused it to be dumped.

Even then, I don't know as there was a way to disable a recommend.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed May 23, 2007 9:25 am

The old 'Springville' system as some called it here, was a proprietary system in the broadest sense of the word as it was specifically programmed and designed for the temples and recording family histoyr work. It was implemented in 1980 and discarded in 1991. Saw the discarded cabinets and even some of the computer stuff in a Deseret Industries in Provo soon after it was discarded.

But the possibilities of using temple recommends to aid in the family history work would be very useful beyond just submitting names and performing ordinances are significant and I don't yet know the final answer on what types of things could be done or facilitated using that. But if both your membership number and/or temple recommend number were tied to submissions, certain things would be somewhat easier. Here's one.

This has applications for the member in managing submissions. Let's say one day you submitted 20 names and another day you submitted another 20 names. You could go into NFS and at a glance just by putting in either the membership number or recommend number you could retrieve a specific list of any given submission you made and see the status of the work. Especially useful if you are farming out names. I don't think we've ever had anything like what this could do before.

I think the membership number would be most commonly used, but the recommend number would clinch things and allow for more accurate recording and display of submission data in NFS. And if you were able to simply replace recommend numbers when you renewed the recommend by tying it to the membership number, that would allow you to view any previous submission at any time. The MLS activation process could be updated to allow for 'old recommend' and 'new recommend' numbers to be entered during activation of the new recommend, then that information would tie the data together in NFS.

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Postby rmrichesjr » Wed May 23, 2007 10:17 am

Earlier in the thread, it was stated that NFS and barcoded recommends are being implemented separately.

The materials for the recent NFS beta described printing a form (Ordinance Request Form if I remember correctly) from NFS. That form would be taken to the temple in order to print ordinance cards. There was no mention in the NFS beta info about any connection between the processing for ordinances and any barcoding of recommends.

My guess would be they are separate and unrelated.

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Postby mkmurray » Wed May 23, 2007 11:02 am

Plus, I don't think we want want to restrict submission of names for temple ordinances to members only (membership number), and especially temple recommend holders only (temple recommend number/barcode).

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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed May 23, 2007 11:53 am

The idea here is that one could tie their submission via the recommend numbe voluntarily, so that if they forgot the sheet, maybe they could voluntarily enter their recommend number when printing the Family Ordinance Request out, then if for some reason they found they didn't have the paper, they could then scan the recommend once at the temple.

I forsee this as an optional thing, one would not have to give the recommend number, or if they were youth learning how to do family history, the parent or another adult who had a recommend could do this instead. The idea here is to provide a second or backup way to retrieve the Family Ordinance Request data once at the temple.

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Temple Recommend Activation

Postby danpass » Wed May 23, 2007 1:22 pm

ericb wrote:The 'view' and 'edit' recommend permissions appear to be new, exclusive of 'administrator'. It looks like 'edit' permissions are not available to users at the ward level, since this will be a function of the stake. Again, I'm making some assumptions here since there has been no information communicated.


In our stake, the stake president and bishops did receive a letter and information regarding these new procedures. Perhaps your bishop didn't get this in time for it to be communicated to you before you saw the related changes in MLS.

Last night I met with our stake clerk to review the information that was sent to our stake along with our bar code scanner. Our MLS had already been updated during a recent send/receive (no MLS version number change). Now that I've gone through the process of setting this up for our stake, I can shed some light on it.

As others have pointed out in this thread, the implementation of this system could provide many benefits. It appears though that the initial purpose is for security. Before a recommend can be used to enter the temple, it must be activated. A lost or stolen recommend should be reported to the stake so that it can be deactivated.

As you described, there are 2 new permissions or rights that can be assigned to MLS users. If the unit is a ward, the Edit permission is grayed out, because recommend activation and deactivation can only be performed at the stake level. These 2 new permissions are not automatically granted to an MLS administrator. An MLS administrator must go into the user settings and grant these permissions to those designated by the unit's stake president or bishop. Once a user has been granted the view recommend activation permission, that user can view reports on recommend activation status for members of the unit.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed May 23, 2007 2:45 pm

I just recalled some of the history of the old system and how you interacted with it when you went to the temple. The new system being outlined in this thread as information comes in from people who have been told of it indicates that things will be alot simpler than what the old magnetic strip encoding system ever was or could have been.

From 1980 to 1991 what you did is you got your recommend, and the first time you used a new recommend you showed it at the recommend desk when you went. After that, they would direct you to another desk where someone would encode it. The next time you went to the temple they would simply swipe it when you showed your recommend and you would go and do whatever else you did at the temple as normal. Encoding took only seconds normally unless there was a problem with the equipment. Encoding was done much the same way a bank would change a PIN on a debit card or similar item although all they would put in was what was on your recommend, likely your name, unit number, and recommend expiration date.

To receive a name or names to do work for, you would take it to another station, where you would swipe the recommend, and it would print out a name on what would basically be adder or cash register tape if in another seting, but it was wider than most register tape used at the time. They would have an attendant there in case of problems. The most common would be it would print garbage text or the tape would hang in the printer. Usually blue ink common to that used by grocery store register tape printers of that period was used in printing the names out

When printing things out, the system would print your name on the paper along with the names you were doing the work for. I also recall seeing the unit number where your recommend was issued from as well.

After completing whatever ordinance you took that name or group of names for, you would then swipe the recommend again at a reader and it would flash that it had recorded the ordinance(s).

In the end though, this was not satisfactory due to the amount of errors that were generated both in handling and recording ordinance data. That essentially was why they discarded the system in 1991 for another system called the 'Ordinance Recording System' or ORS at that time, and that has since gone through refinements to where we are presently at.


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