By Geoff Openshaw, “This Week in Mormons”
Over the past number of months, the website “This Week in Mormons” has discussed the Church’s forthcoming switch from the long-outdated MLS software to a web-based replacement, Leadership and Clerk Resources (LCR).
This is their report.
The rollout has been – shall we say – line upon line for some time, with a few reports available to leaders based on one’s calling, but the full breadth of LCR goodness will soon be rolling out to the masses.
What Does This Mean for Me?
This means that if you are in any sort of calling that requires access to the single clerk computer at your church building, you will now be free from such shackles. All reporting can be done online with LCR, including monthly home and visiting teaching numbers. Also, a leader can change companionships within an organization, update callings, and anything else you might have had to do in the clerk’s office before.
The switch to LCR is a very welcome change for anyone who’s been stuck in the metaphorical queue to get on a clerk computer, or loathes having to drive out to the church building on a weeknight to update a few numbers when Sunday just doesn’t work. We could easily harp on how this is long-overdue, but blessings are blessings, and we look forward to the change.
But What About MLS?
MLS will die an ignominious death. OK, not really. The old girl has given us some great years, enabling the Church to enter the Internet age. But the software is well past its prime.
Of interesting note, the Church has stated that when LCR gains a particular functionality, MLS will actually lose it. A recent letter to leaders states:
“In the coming weeks, we will be making some significant additions to Leader and Clerk Resources (LCR) on LDS.org, including the ability to manage home and visiting teaching and callings on LDS.org from any Internet-connected device without having to use MLS on the computer at the church. In fact, you will no longer be able to update it from MLS as we work to retire that program and give you the resources you need directly on LDS.org at lds.org/lcr.”
Right now, there’s a bit of overlap on reports that are available, but again, they are read-only in LCR. That’s going to change.
When Should I Expect This?
As the quote above says, you might be able to expect the changeover “in the coming weeks.” Our sources tell us that this is being hastened forward and online tithing is being bumped back roughly a month, so you could probably expect to have full LCR access in roughly a month, but we’ve been wrong on dates before.
Leaders in relevant callings will receive another email from Salt Lake when LCR is rolled out. Chances are the rollout will not be immediately global, instead going through various regions. We won’t be shocked if Utah gets priority, but we can consider the members there our beta testers.
Should I Dread This Change?
Absolutely not. This is the best thing to happen to the Church in years from an administrative standpoint. We’d even argue it’s more important than online tithing payment, even if that carries with it a bit more caché.
Furthermore, it’s great that the Church has slowly turned your LDS.org login into a usable passkey across all LDS properties. Privacy naysayers might take issue with one’s calling be tied to one’s membership number, but doing things this way allows the Church to automatically grant (or strip) access to certain bits of information based on perceived need.
Will This Go Mobile?
The mobile-friendly LCR site already works fine, but hopefully you’ve also noticed that the LDS Tools app has incorporated some similar functionalities as the current iteration of LCR. For example, I can currently log in to my Tools app and see quarterly reports, recent move-ins/-outs, and most of the other reports available on the website. Whether the Tools app will become a place to generate new information or remain in its current form remains to be seen. The Church hasn’t informed us one way or the other.
Much love to the tech folks in Salt Lake who have worked tirelessly on this. It may not be as flashy as online tithing, but this will result in a sea change from an administrative standpoint, from Young Women’s presidencies to bishoprics.