This post is going to be helpful for fellow members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, so if you're not a member of this Church you can choose to read, or skip - or better yet, visit mormon.org to learn a little more about my beliefs.
There is a wonderful resource available that far too many of us do not utilize to the fullest. It's the Stake/Ward website part of lds.org. Do you use this resource? Isn't it wonderful? I've had the chance to talk to several friends and family members who either weren't aware of this resource, didn't know how to access it, or simply didn't use it. Well, this tutorial will hopefully help you there.
1. Go to the website lds.org You will see this screen:
To access the Stake and Ward websites click over to the right hand side of the screen where is say (imagine this) Stake & Ward Websites :) (by the way, you can also access this by clicking at the top "About the Church > Stake & Ward Websites")
You will then be brought to this page (or a similar one). If you already have a ward website account, then you sign in with your username and password. However, if you don't have a ward website account, you will need to obtain one. This is obviously to keep the pages such as phone directories, calendars etc. from being seen from just anyone - not that everyone isn't just completely honest ;) To obtain a ward website account, click where I have it circled in red:
You will then be brought to this page. You will notice that in order to obtain an account you will need a copy of your membership record number and your confirmation date. You can obtain your record number from your temple recommend, or from a print out of your ordinance record the ward clerk can give you (if you don't know who your ward clerk is, phone a member of your bishopric or your R.S. president, Elders Quorum president, or High Priest Group leader). On that printout you should also have your confirmation date. Enter the information where prompted.
Also you will then choose a username and password according to the guidelines they give you. It only takes seconds then your account is ready to go! You will be brought again to the sign in screen and once you enter your username and password you'll be brought to a screen like this:
It's your ward website! Yes! Over to the left of the screen you can see many of the option available to you here - GASP! It's a complete ward directory! Really?? YES! You have access to every phone number and address on the ward list. No more "well, I didn't have my visiting teaching sister's address" ha ha. Okay - maybe if she JUST moved or something - I'm sure there are circumstances.
You'll notice that there is the very helpful Leadership Directory, which gives you each of the callings in the ward and who is serving in those positions (along with their contact info - including email if it was given!). There is the address to our building on there, along with meeting start times, spiritual thoughts, and other useful information. You will also see things like Lesson Schedules (including links to the manuals) and Ward Calendars!
I have to tell you how impressed I am at how well our ward website is kept up and updated. I know my husband has every Young Men's activity on the calendar (though many don't know this and don't check it). Relief Society activities are also on there, stake activities, you name it! It's sad, though, how little this resource is used. I hope this tutorial will encourage every member to start using it.
Do you use your ward website??