home-visiting teaching, Lance Rischar Senior, Michael Hall Junior, Christiana Boone Sophomore

ELISE WALLIS | Photo Illustration

The responsibilities of ward clerks, relief society and elders quorum presidents, and other leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will change as members learn how to use a new tool on lds.org to manage home and visiting teaching, according to an email from the Church.

In the email sent to all members of the Church, it mentions that the program can be accessed by all members, but will mainly be used by leaders who have to report home and visiting teaching numbers.

The Church is working on retiring the current format, Member and Leader Services, or MLS, and a new system the new system of reporting the numbers is being implemented into lds.org according to the email.

Members of the ward who use MLS will now be able to make reports and keep track of callings on any device that can access the Internet instead of having to do it from a church building, according to the email.

Steven Christiansen, first counselor to the bishop of the Rexburg Young Single Adult 32nd Ward, said he is aware of the upcoming change and feels it will help take pressure off the ward clerk and create less traffic on church computers after services.

“It’s mostly just for the ward clerks and secretaries and those who have access to it,” he said. “I think it might help make their jobs easier. It’ll make less congestion because we only have the MLS system on one computer in the office, and it gets pretty congested in there, and so now it’s not going to be      as busy.”

Aaron Homer, the ward clerk to the Rexburg YSA 18th Ward and a freshman studying mechanical engineering, said the new innovation will make his current job easier.

“I think it’ll be a good thing because it’ll be accessible on one universal website and it will be easier to report,” Homer said.

Although the Church has not officially made the change yet, there will be an email sent to ward leaders once the program is up and running, according to LDS Media Talk, a blog that talks about the latest technology that the church is producing.

Christiansen said although the change will make life easier for ward clerks and ward leaders, if members do not report their home and visiting teaching, it will not make much of a difference.

“I think it’ll make it easier to put things in, but I don’t think it’ll be a magic bullet,” Christiansen said. “If people weren’t reporting their home teaching or visiting teaching before, I don’t think they’re going to do it now.”

Ward council members, their counselors and secretaries, as well as home and visiting teaching district supervisors and coordinators will all have access to the new program, according to LDS Media Talk.

Arthur Wilson, former elders quorum president to the Rexburg YSA 40th Ward and a junior studying exercise physiology, said he uses MLS to help his quorum see home teaching as a serious responsibility and is excited to see a more accessible form of reporting.  He said this could help members do their home and visiting teaching more.

“I think this new method of home and visiting teaching could hold people more personally responsible to their duty to each other and to God,” Wilson  said.

Alyssa Cox, Relief Society president of Rexburg YSA 58th Ward and a senior studying business management, said she can see this kind of change being a time saver for ward leaders.

“Technology helps me a lot in my calling,” she said. “Especially with this improvement and new program, it’ll help everyone be more efficient because it usually takes a lot of time from [many different ward leaders] to get all of their reports. So, it would be nice to report it all in one place.”

Wilson said he hopes the new universal accessibility will encourage church members to do their visiting and home teaching.

“With growing technology, I am all for this new way of reporting and viewing home and visiting teaching because it will be more accessible to use as stewards of the Lord’s church.”   Wilson said.