ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 03 Jun 2001   For week ended June 01, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 31May01

By Kent Larsen Adds Meetinghouse Locator

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- With no fanfare and using information from readily available internal databases, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added a meetinghouse locator function to its website. The addition fills a 'holy grail' for Mormons on the Internet, a place for traveling members and interested neighbors to get an address, meeting times and location of the closest LDS chapel. Those members that have used the function found it nearly, but not quite, perfect.

The 'Meetinghouse Locator' function is hidden in the website's 'Other Resources' section, and can be reached at,6017,352-1,FF.html. There users can search for meetinghouse information for the United States and Canada, and supports searching both by town and state or province and by postal or zip code. While the main page doesn't indicate it, the zip code search does support partial zip codes.

In response to the search query, the site provides the address of the meetinghouses in that town or postal code, the name of the congregation or congregations that meet there and the time of Sacrament Meeting and the first Church meeting for each congregation. The results also provide links to a map showing the building's location and to directions to the building, courtesy of the mapquest Internet service.

The results provide users finally with a feature that others have tried to provide. Many of the local unit websites that the LDS Church prohibited earlier this year were set up to provide this information for their congregation or stake, as well as additional information. Others have tried to provide similar information using online directories like mapquest, and GTE's superpages. Deseret Book still offers its own "LDS Meeting House Locator" as part of its website, based for the US sites on the GTE directory. But Deseret Book features a prominent disclaimer on its locator page indicating that the information is often not accurate and directing visitors to contact Church headquarters for more accurate information. Deseret Book's site also has information on meeting house locations elsewhere in the world.

Other websites have tried to compile their own directories of LDS meetinghouses by searching multiple directories, the web, and other sources., for example, claimed to have a directory of sorts on its website, simply through its listing of LDS Stakes. But for many of those stakes the website didn't have an address. Only the now-discontinued local unit websites had meeting times, and even those were sometimes wrong because they weren't updated.

The new Meetinghouse Locator information should be as correct as the LDS Church's hierarchy can get. The address information for the meetinghouses comes from the Church's Facilities Management Department, which maintains a database of all properties owned by the Church. That department periodically queries each stake to verify and update the information in its database.

The meeting times are based on a new feature of the Church's distributed 'Member Information System,' the software used by each ward or branch to keep track of which members are their responsibility. A recent update to the MIS system requested that local members enter and keep updated the meeting times for their unit, and that information is passed on to Church headquarters along with the regular transfer of information to Church headquarters by modem.

The Church recognizes on the new Meetinghouse Locator web page that these results may not be completely accurate. It gives a way for 'feedback' to be sent to the Facilities Management department as well as instructions for the clerks of local wards and branches to update the meeting time information.

Initial reports from users of the service indicate that the information is mostly correct. One user on the LDS Webmasters email list reported that the site missed a meeting house in his area, and others reported that meeting times were wrong. A review of the results for the borough of Manhattan in New York City shows that one meetinghouse is missing (because the unit that meets there, a fledgling Chinese group, isn't yet a branch and doesn't have the MIS system), and the meeting times for three of the other 10 wards or branches are wrong.

But these problems are likely to be corrected over time, as the service becomes more popular and as local clerks check to make sure their information is showing up correctly.


Meetinghouse Locator

Deseret Book's LDS Meeting House Locator


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information