Time is running out. By the end of 2012, the stake and ward websites on classic.lds.org will be gone. Wards and stakes are strongly encouraged to begin using the new stake and ward tools on lds.org. If you use the computer for your calling, you will need to know what will and will not be available and how it has changed from the old to new set of tools.
Many of the tools available in past years for members in the Church were accessed from a Church unit page. Tools such as ward calendar, membership directory and lesson schedules were accessed from this single page. To understand the change taking place, imagine replacing Microsoft Word with the whole suite of tools offered by Microsoft Office. This allows members to use the new tools in five unique ways:
1. Simplification: each tool will have its own interface and feel like a separate program. Users will be able to use exactly what they need.
2. Power: the new tools allow for greater functionality, upgraded features and more in-depth usability based on specialized tasks.
3. Integration: separate tools will work together seamlessly without the need for importing information or waiting a week for updates to appear.
4. Personalization: each member that uses the new tools will have access to exactly what they need based on their calling.
5. Security: access to the tools will be limited to members who have a login account with lds.org.
To access the new tools, go to lds.org on your computer or mobile device. At the top of the lds.org website click on sign in/tools menu. Enter your name and password. Each tool requires you to sign in with your LDS account. Your LDS account is associated with your membership record number (MRN). To find out your personal number, talk to a ward clerk or member of the bishopric. After you setup your account, you can personalize your name and password.
The process of migrating information from the old tools to the new tools depends on the specific tool. For example, the old directory migrates easily to the new directory automatically except for any pictures that were uploaded. Members will need to add photos to the new system for them to appear. The LDSTech online forum has a great article about migrating to the new tools. It can be found at tech.lds.org/blog/528-migration.
As mentioned before, the new tools will contain powerful features that will assist members with their callings and membership in the Church. Here is a list of the new tools and how they can be used:
Lesson schedules highlights
LDS maps highlights
As members accept and utilize the tools prepared to assist them in their callings, the work of the Lord can go forward with greater effectivness and efficiency. The digital evolution just over the past ten years has affected the Church tremendously. In a devotional given at BYU-Idaho in 2006, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve explained, "Knowledge has always been important, and today we are at the threshold of new and exciting major technology. Certainly this technology revolution could have enormous benefits for the Church and for your fellow human beings."