Prior: Part 18: So, What Does Email Have to Do with It?

In order the access the Church’s calendar system or the Directory and Map, you need a Church Account that is linked to your Membership Record Number (MRN). It is possible to have a Church Account that is not linked to your MRN but you won’t be able to access your unit-specific information, like the calendars or the directory.

The use and success of the Church’s calendar system depend on people knowing and having their Membership Record Numbers (MRN’s). NOTHING will work well until they do. People MUST have this basic information to log onto the system in order to access, use or administer any of these tools.

This is a keystone - the central principle or part of a policy, system, etc., on which all else depends.

EVERYTHING concerning these digital tools hinges on members having their MRN’s. EVERYTHING!

I have been beating this drum for years and begging local leaders to enable people to obtain their MRN’s, almost without any success at all.

Finally, one leader said, “Well, can’t they get their MRN off of the website?” Completely gobsmacked, I thought, “Is this the real battle I’ve been fighting all these years?”

The MRN is listed on people’s profiles in the directory. You can access your and your family member’s MRN’s but nobody else’s.

However, in order to get on the system, the first time, you MUST already have your MRN. There is no other way.

In order to get your MRN, you must have your MRN. It is a catch-22. Apparently, some local leaders do not fully understand this problem.

How Do You Get Your MRN?

Active temple-going members have easy access to the MRN because it is on their temple recommend. It is nearly impossible for anyone else to find it.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Local leadership MUST find ways to supply every member with their MRN so that they can utilize these tools.

This is almost entirely the province and responsibility of the ward clerks. Yes, all top local leadership can look up these numbers but it really is the clerk’s responsibility.

What Are the Clerks to Do?

The clerks themselves are going to have to come up with these solutions and it is probably going to have to be unit-specific and even person-specific.

This involves handling personal and confidential information. Precautions and procedures must be followed. This is the ward clerks’ responsibility and headache.

I don’t have the answers but I know the answers are out there.

Cavalierly dismissing me with the flippant response that, “If people want it, they can ask the ward clerk for it.” is not an acceptable solution in my opinion and I have been told this by local leaders.

This view assumes that people are active at Church, and know who the ward clerk is, what his contact information is, and where the ward clerk’s office is. Much of this is only available in the ward directory. Again, a catch-22.

When I discussed this problem with a ward clerk in one of my wards his response about helping members get a Church Account was, “Well, I don’t know why they’d want one.”

I really, really do not know what to do with that attitude, still.

Next: Part 20: But the Stake HAS to Do This!

Assignment for Leaders: Be proactive and figure out ways to get members' Membership Record Numbers (MRN's) to them and train them on how to get and use a Church Account.

Assignment for Members
Find your MRN and put it somewhere safe and accessible. If you do not have a Church Account yourself, that is connected to your Membership Record Number (MRN) get it linked.  Help those you minister to do the same.

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