What Can I Do with My LDS Account?
Contributed By Philip M. Volmar, Church News and Events
- With an LDS Account, members can access additional features on ChurchofJesusChrist.org and other Church websites.
- Members can print temple ordinance requests on the new FamilySearch, use study tools in My Study Notebook, and request a copy of their patriarchal blessing.
“A lot of the members don’t know how to use the benefits of LDS Account that are available to them. And there’s more to come. If you have an account now, it’s just the beginning.” —Fernando Camillo, product awareness manager in the Curriculum Department
One of the overlooked but powerful features of new Church websites is LDS Account, which provides members with a single user name and password to interact with Church resources online, making the browsing experience more personal.
Using LDS Account opens up a wealth of features on many Church websites, such as access to online ward or branch membership directories, temple ordinance records on the new FamilySearch, and study tools for scriptures and other Church materials.
Currently, more than a dozen Church websites use LDS Account. The following are brief descriptions of some of the most popular sites using the service and what the LDS Account offers on those sites:
Members have long been able to sign in to their ward or branch website to access calendars and meeting schedules. LDS Account, however, adds a greater degree of customization when users access local Church calendars.
They can “subscribe” to local Church auxiliary calendars as color-coded “layers,” which filter youth activities, stake activities, or Relief Society meetings, for example. Users can also set up one-way synchronization to Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, or an iCal-compatible calendar.
Claudio Salerno of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was recently released from his calling as first counselor in the stake presidency, which had recently switched to using an all-online calendar.
“It was easier to make and announce changes,” he said about the stake calendar. “You could send one e-mail to everyone at the same time. We communicated one message, and everyone knew what was happening.”
Printed ward directories may quickly become obsolete, but members can always find the latest data in the online unit directory, which displays contact information and photos if members, clerks, or website administrators upload them. The online directory may be especially helpful for young adult wards and branches, or other units where a high turnover rate may make updating and printing the directory a cumbersome task.
Members in Australia, European Union countries, or Mexico might also notice that their own profile, which shows addresses and telephone numbers to other members, is turned off by default to comply with international privacy laws. Stake and district directory information in any country is always available only to members of that stake or district.
Duty to God (dutytogod.ChurchofJesusChrist.org) and Personal Progress (personalprogress.ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
While printed Duty to God and Personal Progress booklets are still available, the online versions of these youth programs streamline the process of tracking and reporting progress. Young men and women can log in and digitally record journal entries, type plans, and check off requirements, which are all retained through leadership changes or family relocations. (A youth under 13 years old needs a parent’s e-mail address to create his or her own LDS Account.) Additionally, parents may log in and print a summary page of their child’s progress.
The new FamilySearch, which provides members access to temple records online, is accessible only through an LDS Account.
In the past, ordinance records could be submitted to temples only by taking in a computer disk or by visiting a family history center in person. Now members can make ordinance requests for their ancestors by using their LDS Account.
Elder Jeff Sessions, a family history worldwide support missionary from Minnesota, USA, regularly uses his LDS Account in his service to help members locate and prepare their ancestors’ temple records.
“You can print ordinance requests out and take them to the temple the next day,” he said.
This adoption site, sponsored by LDS Family Services, provides expectant parents who have an LDS account (which is then entered into LDS Family Services' own computer database) with the ability to search the profiles of adopting families. Birth parents can make direct contact with potential adoptive parents.
Additional features, such as forum access, for both birth parents and adoptive couples are available at this site through LDS Family Services' computer database.
Launched in 2010, ChurchofJesusChrist.org 3.0 provides LDS Account users with a higher degree of customization than the former site did. When logged in, members can access a drop-down menu that provides links toward and stake calendars and directories, maps and directions to local meetinghouses, and the ability to request a copy of a patriarchal blessing.
Also, after clerks have entered in the calling information for a ward or branch member through Church computers, that member may access online materials specific to his or her calling, such as manuals or handbooks, at the Leader and Clerk Resources page.
This is job search site operated by LDS Employment Resource Services. When users have an LDS Account they can create profiles that potential employers can search. They can upload résumés, identify career goals, and sign up for career-related e-mails and announcements. Members can also search local job listings submitted by stake or district members.
LDSTech is the hub for all Church technology tools, such as member clerk tools, meetinghouse technologies, or the Gospel Library for mobile devices. Using an LDS Account, members may join the discussion forums to discuss technical issues or join the ranks by contributing talents to a tech project, such as helping to test a new Church website feature.
One of the most visible features of LDS Account is the ability to create and share a Mormon.org profile. These profiles present members with an opportunity to get involved with missionary work online. While Mormon.org is not a social media site, creating a profile does allow members to upload a personal photo, share a testimony, and publicly answer questions about the Church. Profiles can then be searched by first name and keywords by site visitors or shared on social media sites such as Facebook.
While anyone can buy distribution items from the Online Store, LDS Account users have access to a consistent shopping cart across browsing sessions. Members can also order other official products and materials related to their callings, such as manuals. Also, since the LDS Account is tied to membership record numbers, the Online Store automatically allows endowed members to purchase sacred clothing.
Members and nonmembers alike can use the new My Study Notebook feature on the scriptures website to highlight verses and write journal entries that are stored on the web and can be synchronized across computers.
Users can organize online resources to prepare for talks or lessons and make notes in general conference talks or Church manuals. Users who have the Gospel Library iPhone app can synchronize their digital notes with their phone and their LDS Account online.
Based on the Savior’s parable of the workers in the vineyard, this website connects members and friends of the Church with volunteer service opportunities online. Volunteers with an LDS Account can then serve in “small and simple” ways online, such as by helping to prepare text in Church publications, translating material into various languages, or assisting in genealogical work.
Kelli Herlevi of Utah, USA, uses her account to log in and help with photo tagging, where site visitors categorize pictures to be used as multimedia in future Church projects such as Mormon Messages on YouTube.
“There’s all sorts of photos that people have submitted,” Sister Herlevi said. “And they have to be tagged a certain number of times before they are searchable.” She said that spending time tagging photos for Church projects gives her a sense of purpose when she visits the web.
The latest features and websites using LDS Account are listed at the LDS Tech website, which also includes a full description of LDS Account and how to create one.
Fernando Camilo, product awareness manager in the Curriculum Department, hopes that every member in the Church will register for an account.
He said, “A lot of the members don’t know how to use the benefits that are available to them. And there’s more to come. If you have an account now, it’s just the beginning.”