An individual's membership record is stored at CHQ, but a copy is held by the ward where the person resides. For statistical and reporting purposes, the following persons are members of record and should have a membership record:
- Those who have been baptized and confirmed.
- Those under age nine who have been blessed but not baptized.
- Those who are not accountable because of intellectual disabilities, regardless of age.
- Unblessed children under age eight when:
- Two member parents request you create a record.
- One member parent requests you create a record and the nonmember parent gives permission.
A person who is nine years or older who has a membership record but has not been baptized and confirmed is not considered a member of record. However, the bishop keeps the membership record until the person is 18. At that time if the person chooses not to be baptized despite being given every opportunity, the bishop, with written permission from the stake president, may cancel the membership record. He should not, however, cancel membership records of persons not considered accountable because of mental disabilities.
MLS can be used to make changes to the membership record, which are then transmitted to CHQ. Additional information, such as callings or custom fields, may be associated with a membership record in a local unit's MLS, but is not part of the actual membership record.
- Name and other information
- Head of household
- Baby Blessings (information no longer available after move from original unit)
- Baptism and Confirmation
- Non-ordinance events
- Born in the covenant (BIC)
- Civil and Common Law Marriages
- Priesthood ordinations
- Information visible only by printing (or previewing):
- Prior Ward/Stake
- Disfellowshipment status
- Main article: Confidentiality
Membership Records are to be viewed only by the bishop and appropriate clerks. Printouts of membership records from MLS contain the notation "For Bishop and Membership Clerk Use Only." Beginning with version 2.9, when you attempt to print or preview a membership record, you are asked if you are printing the record for a Bishop or Clerk; if you answer No, an Individual Ordinance Summary is printed instead.
The Individual Ordinance Summary is designed specifically to be given to members so that they can review the information and make any corrections, and also so that they will have a personal copy of their membership information for themselves and their dependent children.
Church policy allows some membership information to be given over the telephone to stake presidents, stake clerks, and bishops. See the Church Policy on Requests for Membership Information by telephone.
If a member with mental or physical limitations is not able to knowingly repent, the member is considered not accountable and is not baptized. Only the bishop can make this determination. Not accountable status cannot be used for members who have already been baptized and cannot be put on a membership record until a person is age eight or over.
- Main article: Temporary membership record
There are three kinds of temporary membership records:
- Out of Unit Records
- Nonmember Records
- Temporary Records
- Members Without Callings
- Endowed Members Without Current Recommend
- Action and Interview List
- Directory of Members
- Callings by Organization
- New Move-ins
- Temple recommend Activation
The following reports can be created using the custom reports feature of MLS.
Uses with third-party applications
- Geographical mapping for various uses (see Maps and boundaries for more details)
Problems and issues (troubleshooting)
- Duplicate membership records
- Phone numbers for individuals of a Household
- Membership download problems
- No contact requests.
- Name changes.
- Cleaning up when changes were not recorded.
- Special requests
- Main article: Record management tips
Managing membership records is the responsibility of the ward clerk, who may be assisted by a membership clerk. Newly called clerks may find membership changes not recorded. Whatever the reason, when these problems build up over time, clerks can face a big job fixing the problem.
The first place to turn for useful information is Record-Keeping and Auditing Training.
The following lessons focus specifically on membership records: