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Scary part of Private Spaces

Diane Sue Martin, LXDK-P68, is very much alive. She was sealed to us (her parents) when she was one year old, has been baptized and confirmed, received her endowment, and has been sealed to her husband. As a test of the new Private Space functionality in beta.familysearch.org, I changed her Death information to date and place of death as 7 June 2013 in Zanesville, Muskingum, Ohio, United States.

Karen Ann Martin, LXDK-PQZ, also is very much alive. She was born in the covenant, has been baptized and confirmed, received her endowment, and has been sealed to her husband. As a test of the new Private Space functionality in beta.familysearch.org, I changed her Death information to date and place of death as 2 June 2014 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States.

Here is the scary part: When I click on Diane and Ordinances, I see that the B, C, I, E ordinances can be requested, and that permission is required (she shows as having passed away more than one year ago). These have already been performed for Diane as living ordinances. What is to keep one of the closest living relatives from requesting these ordinances and having them performed again by proxy in the temple? Granted, one of the closest living relatives should know that they have been completed, but one can never be sure.

With Karen, it is different as she “passed away” only 2 months ago. Consequently, her B, C, I, E ordinances show as not ready, although they were performed as living ordinances. This is as it should be; however, in just 10 more months these ordinances will show as available to be requested, even though they have already been performed.

This is the problem: Doesn’t this allow for, and even elevate the probability that, ordinance work will be duplicated needlessly? Is there going to be a safeguard of some sort so this cannot happen? Presently, as I understand it, the death information for Church members can only be entered by the ward clerk, and it becomes a part of the LDS Church Membership Record which contains the completed ordinance work. Thus at present the scenario above could not happen. But with Private Space, since I, as a father, can enter the death information, and if someone does not notify CHQ to update the membership record, we could be in for much duplication. And if the notification of death information comes to FamilySearch Support (as some of us have been told it will) won’t that overload the Support missionaries? Something to think about!
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  • Ron Tanner (FamilySearch.org Product Manager) August 07, 2014 14:41
    With the advent of private spaces the rules change such that membership does not have control of the living member in the tree. You no longer have to go to the ward clerk in order to change your living. Of course, changing member living in Family Tree will not update membership records. One must still go to the clerk to update membership records.

    When a ward clerk records that a person is deceased, then a "membership" copy of the person will be placed in the public portions of the tree. The ordinances that the person had done during living will be recorded on that copy. When a person makes their local living copy dead, this record as well becomes public and should show possible duplicate with the membership version. The person who made their local living copy dead should merge these two records together. This is not any different than what happens when when say, your sister dies and membership makes them deceased, moving it to the public space but a cousin manually creates a copy of your sister and makes them dead. This happens today and these should be merged together.
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  • Will private spaces allow the user to mark LDS ordinances "Completed - Unofficial" or "Completed - Live" and have that value retained when the record becomes public?

    Doing so would help prevent duplication of ordinances by the "green arrow hunters" during the (sometimes way too long) gap between a death occurring and the LDS membership being updated.
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    I do not see the basic issue presented here as any different than what exists in the system today. I can create a record for anyone mark them as deceased over a year ago and complete the ordinances. Of course I need to say I have permission etc. The new system does not really introduce any new functionality or create any issue. The only records you will see in your "private space" are those you create and those for which you are linked by membership. You should know as you mark a record deceased, whether there should be a corresponding membership record with which to merge the one you are marking as deceased.

    The great benefit is that the continual updating from membership stops and many of the issues we have seen in Family Tree were living meet deceased will not happen as frequently (fingers crossed on this issue)
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    These records also fall within the 110 year rule, so anyone reserving these names should be asking the nearest living relative for permission. In Jerry's example, he would say, no she has been completed.
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    I don't know if this reply warrants a new topic, but seems somewhat related to this one.

    I worry that with the advent of private spaces, future duplication of records for LDS members within Family Tree will only multiply. As it used to stand, any living individual LDS member and their descendants would see what I understand is the nFS/Membership copy of their record. For the individual and their descendants, most (ideally all) changes for that individual would be reflected on that person profile linked to the membership record. Exceptions being novices in the tree who chose to create a duplicate profile of their ancestor or descendant who is a living member.

    Now, under Private Spaces as I understand them, every living member and their descendants have a separate copy of this person profile. So, for example, when my grandfather dies, not only do I have to worry about his membership record getting updated, I get to worry about every descendant's version of the profile and trying to ask them all to mark him deceased and then merge. Sure, I had to worry about it with non-descendants and distant cousins, but it seems to exacerbate how to handle living duplicates of deceased members. While somewhat frustrated about the lack of editing capabilities, I actually appreciated that living LDS members had locked profiles so I wouldn't have to go track down AS MANY potential duplicates from immediate family members when living member relatives of mine die.

    I surely hope there are some yet undisclosed plans to generally help manage living duplicates, including copies made from LDS Membership records. It would be helpful if some calculations were made on all living records to mark them deceased after 110+ years or some other algorithm to help avoid eternally "living" individuals created by inactive or unaware users. Particularly for LDS members, FamilySearch should be able to track the copies through their lifetime and notify the owners of said copies that the associated membership record has been marked deceased and suggesting the process to mark the living copies deceased and perform merges.

    I'm still not sure how Memories tie into Private Spaces. I had uploaded images of my living parents and grandparents for the portrait pedigree which appeared to be available to any other living relatives who could see those associated profiles. Now with private spaces, my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents may not be able to see future images and we'll end up not only with duplicate profiles, but duplicate memories for each of our private spaces.

    I guess this boils down to not trusting other users to mark "their local living copy dead" and all the ramifications of that gap. What happens to the "local living cop[ies]" created by FamilySearch users who die? Then those users are no longer living to modify their private spaces. If there are unique facts or memories attached to a living copy created by a now deceased user, are those copies eternally stuck as living?
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    It is really not a big issue. Say you have in private spaces a record for you sibling for example. Many others may also have a record for this sibling. You can mark it as deceased and everyone would then see your record as it deceased linked to your parents. Others would mark their records as deceased and more duplicates would show up and be merged (anyone could merge the deceased record) if the membership record showed up as deceased with ordinances it would also be availabe to be merged with the other duplicaes. -- why is that a problem. They all all visible to everyone and would all be connected to the same parents.

    There might be an issue if a child died with living parents because there is no common tie but the frequency of that is so low and the benifits of private spaces significantly out weights the issue in my opinion.
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