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Church Growth Hits Milestone, Slower in this Century

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On 12/19/2015 at 6:06 PM, consiglieri said:

This is an interesting turnabout from what the Church was saying back in the 1970's when we heard over and over about the rock cut out of the mountain without hands that would roll forth until it filled the whole earth.

Guess there's a reason we don't hear that much anymore . . .

A reasoned understanding of that prophecy is that it will not have its complete fulfillment until after the coming of Christ in glory.

It needs to be viewed in light of the vision beheld by Nephi that conveyed the understanding the the Church of the Lamb of God would be few in numbers but would be found on the face of the whole earth.

We see the fulfillment of that right now: global presence and influence even as the Church is relatively few in numbers.

For the moment, global dominance is not necessary to the fulfillment of prophecy. In short, things are transpiring as prophesied.

Hence there is cause neither for gleefulness on the part of antagonists and cynics nor fretfulness on the part of uncomprehending members.

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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

global presence and influence even as the Church is relatively few in numbers.

"120 new stakes in a single year! It is wonderful. But it is not enough. I am not being unrealistic when I say that with concerted effort, with recognition of the duty which falls upon each of us as members of the Church, and with sincere prayer to the Lord for help, we could double that number." - President Hinckley, General Conference 1999

I guess it is not official doctrine, especially because there is no evidence that our church is growing in the USA. 
 

Christians Decline as Share of U.S. Population; Other Faiths and the Unaffiliated Are Growing

 

 

Edited by TheSkepticChristian

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13 hours ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

"120 new stakes in a single year! It is wonderful. But it is not enough. I am not being unrealistic when I say that with concerted effort, with recognition of the duty which falls upon each of us as members of the Church, and with sincere prayer to the Lord for help, we could double that number." - President Hinckley, General Conference 1999

I guess it is not official doctrine, especially because there is no evidence that our church is growing in the USA. 
 

Christians Decline as Share of U.S. Population; Other Faiths and the Unaffiliated Are Growing

 

 

This is a blatant misstatement. The chart purports to denote growth <as a share of U.S. Population> not growth in general. Obviously, the Church <is> growing, as denoted by the reports given annually in general conference. 

To put it another way, the Church of Jesus Christ is growing, but the U.S. population is growing faster. 

Also, your post is a non sequitur as a response to mine, wherein I pointed out that numeric dominance is not necessary to the fulfillment of prophecy until after the Second Coming of Christ, for which event we are preparing right now by endeavoring to preach the gospel to every nation, kindred and tongue. Hence, the global and growing presence of the Church indicated, among other ways, by the proliferation of temples and stakes. What people do with the message once they receive it is up to them. 

But let's not forget the fact that Nephi beheld in vision that the numbers of those who adhere to the church of the Lamb in the last days would be few by reason of the influence of Satan in the world. To the extent that the rate of growth of the Church has slowed in recent years, I believe it is attributable to that. 

But come what may, we will continue the effort until the Messiah returns. <That's> when all the kingdoms of the earth will be consumed by the stone cut out of the mountain without hands. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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5 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

To put it another way, the Church of Jesus Christ is growing, but the U.S. population is growing faster. 

That is not accurate. "Mormon families are America's largest, new study finds" 
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865628480/Mormon-families-are-Americas-largest-new-study-finds.html?pg=all

5 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Obviously, the Church <is> growing, as denoted by the reports given annually in general conference. 

but it is not  growing in %, so it is not growing. 

5 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

wherein I pointed out that numeric dominance is not necessary to the fulfillment of prophecy until after the Second Coming of Chris

and I didn't say that, but Prophets expect a better growth, read what President Hinckley said. 

 

Edited by TheSkepticChristian

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On 12/26/2015 at 1:24 PM, TheSkepticChristian said:

That is not accurate. "Mormon families are America's largest, new study finds" 
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865628480/Mormon-families-are-Americas-largest-new-study-finds.html?pg=all

but it is not  growing in %, so it is not growing. 

and I didn't say that, but Prophets expect a better growth, read what President Hinckley said. 

 

You keep using that word ("growth").  I do not think it means what you think it means. 

So, according to you, if an organization in the USA has 1,000,000 members in a year when the USA has 300,000,000 population, and if in a subsequent year that organization has 1,017,000 members but the USA has 305,400,00 million population (meaning the organization had 1.7% growth, but the USA had 1.8% growth), that the organization is not growing?

And this is an excellent place to put that famous Princess Bride clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wujVMIYzYXg), but I can't make it go in!!!!!  What is with this stupid forum software, anyway????

 

 

Edited by Stargazer

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10 hours ago, Stargazer said:

You keep using that word ("growth").  I do not think it means what you think it means. 

So, according to you, if an organization in the USA has 1,000,000 members in a year when the USA has 300,000,000 population, and if in a subsequent year that organization has 1,017,000 members but the USA has 305,400,00 million population (meaning the organization had 1.7% growth, but the USA had 1.8% growth), that the organization is not growing?

No. You do not understand the chart. In 2007, 1.7% of the US population saljd Mormon. In 2014, 1.6% of the US population said Mormon. So where is the growth?

Of course the Church is growing in numbers, according the the Deseret article the fertility rate in the church  is bigger than the fertility rate of the general US population.. However, the growth becomes meaningless if there is no change in %. 

Edited by TheSkepticChristian

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On ‎12‎/‎19‎/‎2015 at 9:44 PM, The Nehor said:

Yes, a slowing in the increase of Church membership for a decade or so is definitely proof that the prophecy failed. I mean the prophecy is about the Millenium and clearly these figures show the Millenium is just not going to come.

Just like how the Nephites rejected the prophecies of the utter extinction of their faith in the Americas proved how false it was when, in the time of Alma the Younger, the church experienced unprecedented growth.

It's an odd mindset, I"d say, that when someone points out the changing of tune, even if the stone cut out of the mountain is still taught it is used less frequently and less pronounced, that it means the whole of the prophecy is thought to be questioned.  Who knows the end from the beginning but God? 

It's probably wise to accept that we, as mortal people, will have problems as we move towards the end times.  This isn't a question of someone lacking faith so much as a question of is what we're doing our best path forward? 

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On 12/28/2015 at 3:44 AM, TheSkepticChristian said:

No. You do not understand the chart. In 2007, 1.7% of the US population saljd Mormon. In 2014, 1.6% of the US population said Mormon. So where is the growth?

Of course the Church is growing in numbers, according the the Deseret article the fertility rate in the church  is bigger than the fertility rate of the general US population.. However, the growth becomes meaningless if there is no change in %. 

So you are arguing that actual and absolute number of souls is less important then percentages? I am not sure I can agree. Doubt God does either.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

So you are arguing that actual and absolute number of souls is less important then percentages? I am not sure I can agree. Doubt God does either.

Again, I said the church is growing in number, but not in %. I am not saying that, I am simply saying that our church is not really growing. 

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

So you are arguing that actual and absolute number of souls is less important then percentages? I am not sure I can agree. Doubt God does either.

Again, I said the church is growing in number, but not in %. I am not saying that, I am simply saying that our church is not really growing. 

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1 hour ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

Again, I said the church is growing in number, but not in %. I am not saying that, I am simply saying that our church is not really growing. 

Actually it is.

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The Church is growing in %.  In 1997 the Church membership was .17% of the world.  Today it's more like .21% of the world.  In 1997 the Church was growing at a 3.73% growth rate.  Today it's more like 1.92% growth rate.  But it's still growing in percentage.  This is sheer numbers via membership records though.  What we don't quite have a good handle on, it seems, is how many of our people are really LDS (that is consider themselves members).  There's been evidence that in some places like Brazil, and other S. American places, the Church is really about 20 percent of what the membership numbers indicate.  With figures like that it's hard to know for sure whether we're very effective in our growth efforts.  We might get some number of baptisms (which for converts has slowed down to the high 200,000s a year) but we also might be losing people faster than we know. 

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3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

The Church is growing in %.  In 1997 the Church membership was .17% of the world.  Today it's more like .21% of the world.  

Our church is probably growing in % worldwide. Interesting, CFR please. 

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5 hours ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

Our church is probably growing in % worldwide. Interesting, CFR please. 

World Population Data: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762181.html & http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/trends/Concise%20Report%20on%20the%20World%20Population%20Situation%202014/en.pdf

LDS Data: http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/almanac/ & https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_membership_history

1970 World Population = 3,706,000,000

LDS Membership = 2,930,000

%LDS = .079%

1990 World Population = 5,278,000,000

LDS Membership = 7,761,000

%LDS = .147%

2014 World Population = 7,244,000,000

LDS Membership = 15,372,000

%LDS= .212%

 

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2 hours ago, Okrahomer said:

%LDS = .079%

1990 World Population = 5,278,000,000

LDS Membership = 7,761,000

%LDS = .147%

2014 World Population = 7,244,000,000

LDS Membership = 15,372,000

%LDS= .212%

However, of the 15 million many no longer see themselves as LDS.. Pew "Survey researchers employ a variety of techniques in the collection of survey data. People can be contacted and surveyed using several different modes: by an interviewer in-person or on the telephone (either a landline or cellphone), via the internet or by paper questionnaires (delivered in person or in the mail)."  to collect useful data. 

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5 hours ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

However, of the 15 million many no longer see themselves as LDS.. Pew "Survey researchers employ a variety of techniques in the collection of survey data. People can be contacted and surveyed using several different modes: by an interviewer in-person or on the telephone (either a landline or cellphone), via the internet or by paper questionnaires (delivered in person or in the mail)."  to collect useful data. 

I'd agree factoring that in may tell us a better story.  But I'm not sure how. I think I've figured out a DENr (Died, excommunicated, or names removed) number per year.  But, that's only part of the story.  This past year, that DENr figure was the highest on record, and the highest rate.  That may be an indicator.  As Name removals and excommunications increase so do those who go away without any noise.  But I'm not sure.   

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On ‎12‎/‎29‎/‎2015 at 11:28 AM, TheSkepticChristian said:

Again, I said the church is growing in number, but not in %. I am not saying that, I am simply saying that our church is not really growing. 

I don't follow that line of reasoning.  If Steve is gaining weight but not at the same percentage rate as Jack, Steve is still getting fatter. 

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3 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

I don't follow that line of reasoning.  If Steve is gaining weight but not at the same percentage rate as Jack, Steve is still getting fatter. 

because it is clear that you do not understand what I am saying. 

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I don't understand what the percentage the church is growing has to do with anything. It is growing in certain parts of the world and not in others. So what? It doesn't change the gospel or the doctrine.

 

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We have to hit China one of these days with missionaries. I'm talking real China. That'll be a mass wave of converts if it happens.

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On Saturday, December 26, 2015 at 1:24 PM, TheSkepticChristian said:

 

 

Quote

 

Edited by Sleeper Cell

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On 12/31/2015 at 5:38 PM, carbon dioxide said:

I don't follow that line of reasoning.  If Steve is gaining weight but not at the same percentage rate as Jack, Steve is still getting fatter. 

If our church growth rate* is less than the global population growth rate, is the church growing or shrinking?

*Membership growth rate (in the first 15 years of this century) still exceeds the global population growth rate, but growth in Stakes over that time period has not.

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http://athoughtfulfaith.org/category/podcasts/

I'm listening to this podcast where Gregory Prince said, around the 1:07 mark, that the church only grows about 1% each year, that's converts.  And they lose 8 or 9 converts out of 10 per year.  

Edited by Tacenda

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  • All the numbers don't mean a whole lot if they are having trouble retaining active members.  I believe there are quite a few that when baptized remain on record but not in in he church house
Edited by Jeanne

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