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The numbers dont work

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#1 Freedom

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:57 PM

I have created some charts based on the statistical reports given at General Conference. I have no idea how to post them here. Is it possible to upload a document saved on your computer?

Here is one interesting oddity I discovered. In any given year, if you subtract the number of baptisms (both convert and child record) the resulting number should/must be lower than that of the previous year because of losses due death or excommunication. For example, in 2012 we have the following:

Members: 14,782,472
Child of Record Baptisms: 122,273
Convert Baptisms: 272,330
The number of members at the end of 2012, minus the number of baptisms equals 14,387,870.
2011 ended with 14,441,346. Thus, there was a loss of 53,476. That seems perfectly logical.

In 1989 we have the following:
Members: 7,300,000 (nice round number isn't it? They started getting more specific in 1992)
Child of Record Baptisms: 75,000 (another nice round number)
Convert baptisms: 318,940
Resulting number: 6,906,060

1988, however, ended with 6,720,000. Somehow, the church gained another 186,060 members. There are three years where this apparent problem arises. Not being a statistician and not having any understanding of growth numbers, this may be meaningless but I am interested in some opinions. I discovered some other very interesting results that I would be interesting to discuss if someone can tell me how to post the charts I have created in excel.
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#2 rpn

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:47 AM

Why don't you write the statistical department, tell them you are researching the statistics and wonder if they want to share an explanation?

Edited by rpn, 28 April 2013 - 04:48 AM.

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#3 Saints Alive

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:06 AM

Freedom,

One way to post your excel sheets would be to either save them as a JPEG or TIFF image and post them as you would a picture. You can do that either with a screen shot or I think there is a snipping tool on windows (I know there is one on Mac) that will allow you to take a screen shot of just one section of your screen

Edited by Saints Alive, 28 April 2013 - 09:06 AM.

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#4 Agilebsa

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:46 PM

I think it was probably a lot harder to keep accurate counts in the 80's. Just a guess.. But back in the olden days of paper records and poor record keeping there easily could have been thousands of records in limbo or a year or two where everything didn't add up. Timing is also a problem - getting death notification and baptism notification while trying to make a year end count can be a challenge. Duplicate records also poses a challenge. I have experience running a membership database with over 14 million records and I can tell you that even with sophisticated real time,integrated systems if we are + or - a couple thousand records of were we think we should be in terms of accuracy ...it's a good day.
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#5 CV75

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:48 PM

I have created some charts based on the statistical reports given at General Conference. I have no idea how to post them here. Is it possible to upload a document saved on your computer?

Here is one interesting oddity I discovered. In any given year, if you subtract the number of baptisms (both convert and child record) the resulting number should/must be lower than that of the previous year because of losses due death or excommunication. For example, in 2012 we have the following:

Members: 14,782,472
Child of Record Baptisms: 122,273
Convert Baptisms: 272,330
The number of members at the end of 2012, minus the number of baptisms equals 14,387,870.
2011 ended with 14,441,346. Thus, there was a loss of 53,476. That seems perfectly logical.

In 1989 we have the following:
Members: 7,300,000 (nice round number isn't it? They started getting more specific in 1992)
Child of Record Baptisms: 75,000 (another nice round number)
Convert baptisms: 318,940
Resulting number: 6,906,060

1988, however, ended with 6,720,000. Somehow, the church gained another 186,060 members. There are three years where this apparent problem arises. Not being a statistician and not having any understanding of growth numbers, this may be meaningless but I am interested in some opinions. I discovered some other very interesting results that I would be interesting to discuss if someone can tell me how to post the charts I have created in excel.

1989 was when they started including translated members in the baseine statistic.
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#6 Freedom

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:48 PM

Why don't you write the statistical department, tell them you are researching the statistics and wonder if they want to share an explanation?


I think I will do that. I suppose it would be the research department.
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#7 Freedom

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:22 PM

I was using google chrome and could not get any images to work. I then tried explorer and none of the options worked at all. Firefox seems to be the answer.
This chart shows % of church growth. There was a huge spike in 1990. I suspect that this was the result of the now infamous mass baptizing of unsuspecting latin americans at this time. Church growth seems to have settled to around 2.3%.


This chart shows the number of converts over the past 25 years or so.

This is one I found most interesting. With the huge push for temples, they have only been keeping up with church growth. It would be interesting to see the numbers of endowed members. I had access to this informaiton at one time and never thought to copy it down. Curses.


This chart gives an indication of how family sizes are shrinking in the church. C of R refers to child of record baptisms.

Edited by Freedom, 28 April 2013 - 04:26 PM.

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#8 Freedom

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:27 PM

Well. posting the images didn't work after all. oh well.
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#9 Okrahomer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:40 AM

This doesn't directly address your question, but it is clear that over the years Church stastisticians have made methodological adjustments in calculating and reporting membership data--the most recent adjustment apparently came in 2000:

http://www.sltrib.co...growth.html.csp

"Here's how the LDS Church explains the discrepancy between the 2000 Religion Census figure and its own almanac for the same year.
"Total [LDS] Church membership numbers are derived from those individuals who have been baptized or born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," spokesman Scott Trotter said Wednesday. "They are neither projections nor estimates."
Trotter acknowledged that, in past years, LDS membership figures reported to the census researchers "were understated."
For those years, he said, the LDS Church "left out numbers of members who, although baptized, were not currently associated with a specific congregation. This year, we included total membership numbers to more accurately reflect all of those found on church records."
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#10 SeekingUnderstanding

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:27 AM

This doesn't directly address your question, but it is clear that over the years Church stastisticians have made methodological adjustments in calculating and reporting membership data--the most recent adjustment apparently came in 2000:

http://www.sltrib.co...growth.html.csp

"Here's how the LDS Church explains the discrepancy between the 2000 Religion Census figure and its own almanac for the same year.
"Total [LDS] Church membership numbers are derived from those individuals who have been baptized or born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," spokesman Scott Trotter said Wednesday. "They are neither projections nor estimates."
Trotter acknowledged that, in past years, LDS membership figures reported to the census researchers "were understated."
For those years, he said, the LDS Church "left out numbers of members who, although baptized, were not currently associated with a specific congregation. This year, we included total membership numbers to more accurately reflect all of those found on church records."


From this quote it would appear that those "born into" the church are counted immediately, whereas "Child of Record Baptisms" number would be at least 8 years behind. An interesting question would be when those that were "born into" the church but do not get baptized are removed from the numbers.
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#11 calmoriah

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:45 AM

From this quote it would appear that those "born into" the church are counted immediately, whereas "Child of Record Baptisms" number would be at least 8 years behind. An interesting question would be when those that were "born into" the church but do not get baptized are removed from the numbers.

If a child is not baptized by the age of nine, they become a convert baptism so I assume they are no long on record as a child of record.

What do you mean that the Child of Record are 8 years behind?
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#12 Stone holm

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:18 AM

I tend to take our membership records with a healthy dose of salt. A person can get on the rolls as a child and remain there until they either get excommunicated or ask to be removed. Complicating that is the fact that "active members" are more likely to get excommunicated than "inactives" Since Bishops tend to get busy doing other things and are not likely to convene courts on people they have never seen and nobody can find. So we have people on the records who don't know anything about Mormonism, do not consider themselves Mormons, and are very active in other Churches. I am not even sure we do a very good job of keeping track of who is alive and who isn't when it comes to inactives and a huge percentage of the Church is chronically and probably terminally inactive.
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#13 calmoriah

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:51 AM

A person can get on the rolls as a child and remain there until they either get excommunicated or ask to be removed.

CFR that children are not removed at age 9 if they are not baptized.
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#14 rockpond

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:30 AM

I have created some charts based on the statistical reports given at General Conference. I have no idea how to post them here. Is it possible to upload a document saved on your computer?

Here is one interesting oddity I discovered. In any given year, if you subtract the number of baptisms (both convert and child record) the resulting number should/must be lower than that of the previous year because of losses due death or excommunication. For example, in 2012 we have the following:

Members: 14,782,472
Child of Record Baptisms: 122,273
Convert Baptisms: 272,330
The number of members at the end of 2012, minus the number of baptisms equals 14,387,870.
2011 ended with 14,441,346. Thus, there was a loss of 53,476. That seems perfectly logical.

In 1989 we have the following:
Members: 7,300,000 (nice round number isn't it? They started getting more specific in 1992)
Child of Record Baptisms: 75,000 (another nice round number)
Convert baptisms: 318,940
Resulting number: 6,906,060

1988, however, ended with 6,720,000. Somehow, the church gained another 186,060 members. There are three years where this apparent problem arises. Not being a statistician and not having any understanding of growth numbers, this may be meaningless but I am interested in some opinions. I discovered some other very interesting results that I would be interesting to discuss if someone can tell me how to post the charts I have created in excel.


Yeah, you can't subtract out Child of Record baptisms because they were already reflected in the number of members as born in covenant (BIC) members.

Each year's Total Members number should be this formula:

Previous Year Members + BIC + Convert Baptisms - Excommunicated - Deaths = New Year Current Members

That data should exist somewhere but I'm not sure if the average member has access to it.
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#15 rockpond

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:43 AM

CFR that children are not removed at age 9 if they are not baptized.


I can't provide a reference without providing confidential information but my ward currently has nine members over the age of 9 (and going up to age 28) who have not been baptized. MLS has a report for ward leaders called "Unbaptized Members" that shows us who they are. Some of them don't live in our ward any longer but their parents do and so they stay on our report until we find a new home to "push" them to.

As to the separate question (which you may have been asking) of whether or not they are counted in the annual statistical report... I don't know. But since they do have MRN's (membership record numbers) I would imagine that they are counted for the report.
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#16 Stone holm

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

CFR that children are not removed at age 9 if they are not baptized.


Sorry if you thought I said that, I didn't intend to. When I said 8 year olds coming into the Church, I meant by baptism. Once baptized the name stays on the rolls until a withdrawal letter is received or excommunication. We have I am sure thousands of young people who get baptized that went inactive while they were still young and whose parents are inactive, etc. We used to have a lot of what we called "missionary baptisms" which were where the people involved had a testimony of the missionary and went inactive as soon as the missionary got transferred. I have not bee involved in much missionary work of late, but doubt that has changed. I do remember back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and we did typed Certificates, etc. that there was always a battle over the baptismal recommend books which the clerks preferred to have the missionaries leave in the Ward, but which some missionaries tended to carry with them. I got dressed down by the Stake over the issue because the missionaries not the local Branch Presidencies had control of those books. The reason given was that if Bishops had control of the baptismal recommend books and baptismal recommends in general about 70% of the people being baptized never would be. Sometimes people went inactive so fast that you couldn't get the certificate to them before they went inactive -- something which used to drive clerks up the wall if the missionaries had taken the recommend book with them because it is hard to gather the information needed to create the records for the Church if you can't find the people. Church records are probably very good compared to other Churches, but they are still basically a nightmare.
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Asking the right questions is more important than having the right answers. :lazy:

#17 Stone holm

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

I can't provide a reference without providing confidential information but my ward currently has nine members over the age of 9 (and going up to age 28) who have not been baptized. MLS has a report for ward leaders called "Unbaptized Members" that shows us who they are. Some of them don't live in our ward any longer but their parents do and so they stay on our report until we find a new home to "push" them to.

As to the separate question (which you may have been asking) of whether or not they are counted in the annual statistical report... I don't know. But since they do have MRN's (membership record numbers) I would imagine that they are counted for the report.


That doesn't sound correct. Unless the child was under a disability that precluded the need for baptism (severely mentally retarded), normally the membership record would get culled....at least that was the way it was done back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
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Asking the right questions is more important than having the right answers. :lazy:

#18 rockpond

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:52 AM

That doesn't sound correct. Unless the child was under a disability that precluded the need for baptism (severely mentally retarded), normally the membership record would get culled....at least that was the way it was done back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.


I'm not trying to speak for the church as a whole but this is my experience in my ward. And we have an extremely knowledgeable and "by the handbook" ward clerk who is adamant about proper record keeping.

I can also tell you that some of these 9+ year old unbaptized BIC members were transfers here from other wards. So, they aren't just records that have sat collecting virtual dust but they were actually moved from one unit to another as adult unbaptized members (in some cases).

Edited to add: I'm not suggesting that this is the way I think it *should* be done. Just reflecting my experience.

Edited by rockpond, 29 April 2013 - 11:53 AM.

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#19 Stone holm

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:40 PM

I'm not trying to speak for the church as a whole but this is my experience in my ward. And we have an extremely knowledgeable and "by the handbook" ward clerk who is adamant about proper record keeping.

I can also tell you that some of these 9+ year old unbaptized BIC members were transfers here from other wards. So, they aren't just records that have sat collecting virtual dust but they were actually moved from one unit to another as adult unbaptized members (in some cases).

Edited to add: I'm not suggesting that this is the way I think it *should* be done. Just reflecting my experience.


Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, they used to send the clerk a note to do something about those names showing up on the unbaptized adults report, you had to either justify it or cull it. But most clerks did not see it as a priority item, they were too busy trying to find the baptized adults that were reputedly in their Wards that no one had a clue about.
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Asking the right questions is more important than having the right answers. :lazy:

#20 SeekingUnderstanding

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:44 PM

If a child is not baptized by the age of nine, they become a convert baptism so I assume they are no long on record as a child of record.

What do you mean that the Child of Record are 8 years behind?


Yes. I was trying to point out potential errors in freedom's formula. He was using "Child of Record Baptisms" as a metric. I was pointing out that children of members are considered members as soon as they are born and apparently counted as members. Hence there is an eight year lag from the time they are counted to the time when they would show up as "Child of Record Baptisms." Additionally as you pointed out, a child of record is no longer a member of record if they don't get baptized by age 9, so that is another potential source of error.

CFR that children are not removed at age 9 if they are not baptized.


You and canard both appear to be correct per https://tech.lds.org...bership_record:

A person who is nine years or older who has a membership record but has not been baptized and confirmed is not considered a member of record. However, the bishop keeps the membership record until the person is 18. At that time if the person chooses not to be baptized despite being given every opportunity, the bishop, with written permission from the stake president, may cancel the membership record. He should not, however, cancel membership records of persons not considered accountable because of mental disabilities.


Edited by SeekingUnderstanding, 29 April 2013 - 03:44 PM.

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