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The Church is growing so fast...

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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Intrinsic to statistics is that very small churches experiencing rapid growth will always be fastest. As you get larger that becomes more and more difficult.

Not true.  Membership growth varies by region and by religion.  Islam has been the fastest growing religion worldwide for many years and it is not small.  The Lakewood Church in Dallas is the largest such local church, and it managed to achieve that size in a relatively short time.  The Methodist Church has been shrinking and will soon be replaced by the LDS Church as third largest in America.  I am told that the Seventh Day Adventist Church is growing more rapidly than the LDS in foreign countries.  Evangelical churches have also been doing well in foreign countries.

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10 hours ago, Johnnie Cake said:

Isn't it an established fact that the real active church membership is 35% of that claimed 15,000,000?  If you do a measurement off of number of stakes and wards...this seems about right...bout 5,000,000 active members.  

Yes, but are those the actual numbers, or are they mere guesses?  Is this the rule for all religions, or only for the LDS?

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6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Yes, but are those the actual numbers, or are they mere guesses?  Is this the rule for all religions, or only for the LDS?

I think religion is losing popularity throughout the world. So it's not just the Mormon church. As for activity rates, I think that is a guess because the church won't release the statistics.

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56 minutes ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

I think religion is losing popularity throughout the world. So it's not just the Mormon church. As for activity rates, I think that is a guess because the church won't release the statistics.

Inactivity would be a rolling statistic. You really couldn't pin it down as tight as you want . I would be considered inactive. I show up once a month or so. But the truth is I am actively carrying on a relationship with my Heavenly Father and He knows exactly where I am and what I am doing. So I reject the label "inactive".  

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46 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Inactivity would be a rolling statistic. You really couldn't pin it down as tight as you want . I would be considered inactive. I show up once a month or so. But the truth is I am actively carrying on a relationship with my Heavenly Father and He knows exactly where I am and what I am doing. So I reject the label "inactive".  

We have one guy who never attends, but who always clears the sidewalks of snow Sunday mornings before church (with his miniature tractor with blade).  We also have older folks who can't get out and will have Sacrament brought to their homes.  In an evermore aging population, it may be difficult to determine actual rates of activity.  We also recently had a man and his wife who are attending again after a nearly 40-year absence.

I have also noted before that some areas of America are losing their middle class population, and major shifts are taking place as those people move to new areas or even to new states (as they retire).  This leads to major changes in local and regional activity levels.  This is not even to discuss the great activity variances in the foreign mission field.

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17 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I've heard the claim of fastest growing or one of the fastest growing many many times throughout my growing up years, it was essentially a given.  I'm from generation x.  I don't hear this talked about as much anymore. 

I've never heard we are the fastest growing one. Just that we are one of the fastest ones. That being said there is an ebb and flow to it. Reports of our imminent demise are overblown.

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17 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is absolutely not true of the 3 parishes I've attended.

ETA: if you're involved in the parish. If you just pop in for Mass and that's it, then yeah, no one really knows who you are so...

I attended a Catholic church for a while. I wasn't missed. But I'm glad to see you found it differently.

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On 8/18/2017 at 3:44 PM, thesometimesaint said:

We never claimed to be the fastest going church,  but we have been one of the fastest growing ones. What the heck is wrong with  you. Every post of yours is designed to belittle the Church. If you so hate the Church why are you still a member? The Church is perfect,  then Christ let us all in.

You taking this too personal. When you come from the opposite end of spectrum....He doesn't know you, let alone any of us.....

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6 hours ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

I think religion is losing popularity throughout the world. So it's not just the Mormon church. As for activity rates, I think that is a guess because the church won't release the statistics.

Actually most statistics show the opposite. The number of believers is expected to increase quite a bit. Nones are decreasing overall. That may reverse as more nations become wealthy but it'll take awhile.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Not true.  Membership growth varies by region and by religion.  Islam has been the fastest growing religion worldwide for many years and it is not small.  The Lakewood Church in Dallas is the largest such local church, and it managed to achieve that size in a relatively short time.  The Methodist Church has been shrinking and will soon be replaced by the LDS Church as third largest in America.  I am told that the Seventh Day Adventist Church is growing more rapidly than the LDS in foreign countries.  Evangelical churches have also been doing well in foreign countries.

I think you missed my point. When you only have 1000 members you only need 1000 new members to have 100% growth. When you're 10 million you need 10 million members to get 100% growth. Islam is growing fast but nothing compared to very small religions that usually aren't paid attention to because of their very small numbers. Most of Islam's growth is due to high birth rates compared to Christians/Buddhists. The bigger issue are religions that are growing by conversion. Many of these are quite small (<100,000 members) and sometimes they're breakoffs of larger groups. A great example is Soka Gakkai which in many ways is a variant on Buddhism/Shintoism. But this means how they get measured varies since (as with Protestant sects) boundaries can be fluid.

Seventh Day Adventists are doing quite well especially in Asia where we're doing quite poorly. I think we could learn a lot from them. Evangelicalism has also done very well in Asia, Africa and South America. Part of their strength is their decentralization which allows them to customize to local practice. We tend to have a one size fits all model that worked great in the 20th century but now is I think limiting us somewhat. (In some ways the changes to SS and PH/RS may hearken to such broader changes) 

Edited by clarkgoble

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14 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Actually most statistics show the opposite. The number of believers is expected to increase quite a bit. Nones are decreasing overall. That may reverse as more nations become wealthy but it'll take awhile.

I can see it rising in poorer countries. Do you think Alma 32 is the reason or is it more complex than that?  My guess is that it's tied to economics. When I was down in Brazil, the converts we had seemed disproportionately america lovers and I think they loved america because of the perceived economic opportunity of coming here or at least associating with an american based organization.

America has fallen a little bit as far as perception in europe. Could this be why the church isn't as strong there?

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34 minutes ago, Atheist Mormon said:

You taking this too personal. When you come from the opposite end of spectrum....He doesn't know you, let alone any of us.....

I was over the top. I do apologize.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

I've never heard we are the fastest growing one. Just that we are one of the fastest ones. That being said there is an ebb and flow to it. Reports of our imminent demise are overblown.

I haven't heard any reports of imminent demise.  I have heard slowing growth, and stagnating growth in developed countries.  

Edited by hope_for_things

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4 minutes ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

I can see it rising in poorer countries. Do you think Alma 32 is the reason or is it more complex than that?  My guess is that it's tied to economics. When I was down in Brazil, the converts we had seemed disproportionately america lovers and I think they loved america because of the perceived economic opportunity of coming here or at least associating with an american based organization.

America has fallen a little bit as far as perception in europe. Could this be why the church isn't as strong there?

The Church is not America. Unfortunately even some members have publicly said it was.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

I can see it rising in poorer countries. Do you think Alma 32 is the reason or is it more complex than that?  My guess is that it's tied to economics. When I was down in Brazil, the converts we had seemed disproportionately america lovers and I think they loved america because of the perceived economic opportunity of coming here or at least associating with an american based organization.

America has fallen a little bit as far as perception in europe. Could this be why the church isn't as strong there?

It's primarily due to birth rate. Birth rates in most rich countries are below replacement. i.e. they are shrinking once you exclude immigration.

Europe just isn't that religious except for immigrants. Even more established people who are somewhat religious don't tend to have children that are. There are various explanations for why rich countries become less religious (the US is the main outlier with Canada in between the US and Europe) One explanation is that a stable state and rule of law can take the place of religion. The other interpretation is that while people aren't as interested in formal or organized religion they still exhibit religious behavior such as belief in transcendence, superstition and so forth. Merely the trappings have changed. People have an intrinsic religious drive and we're merely moving into the development of new religious views. Although it may also be we'll see the rise of more syncretistic views. (The rise of so called New Age movements in the 70's through 90's is a good example)

Edited by clarkgoble

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3 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I haven't heard any reports of imminent demise.  I have heard slowing growth, and stagnating growth in developed countries.  

It is all over the blogisphere. When the Church was first organized it had its largest percentage of growth. From just 6 members to over 20 very quickly. That's over a 300% growth rate. I don't expect to see that rate again this side of the Millennium. ;) We will see more ebbs and flows before then.  

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7 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

It's primarily due to birth rate. Birth rates in most rich countries are below replacement. i.e. they are shrinking once you exclude immigration.

True, but children are not considered members before they are 8 years old. Converts still make up the largest share of new Church members. Both my wife and I are long time converts neither of us were born in the Church. She was 12 and I was 20.

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32 minutes ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

...........................................

America has fallen a little bit as far as perception in europe. Could this be why the church isn't as strong there?

No.  That is an unrelated secularization process full independent of any denomination.  America has not yet bought fully into that European attitude, but it is inevitable here as well.

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Didn't the Deseret News slip up not that long ago by publishing the presentation of one of the top Church internal statisticians, who was showing that only 36% of the claimed membership shows up on any given Sunday? I know there's a leaked Area Presidency report for Europe kicking about on the internet which shows that only 20% of the claimed membership in Europe attends Sacrament meeting (100,000 out of 500,000 members listed), and only half of them (48,000) are adult tithe payers.

I wish Church Leaders would stop misrepresenting the actual state of affairs. Claiming the Church is 15 million strong, is...let's be kind and say...misleading.

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6 hours ago, Marginal Gains said:

Didn't the Deseret News slip up not that long ago by publishing the presentation of one of the top Church internal statisticians, who was showing that only 36% of the claimed membership shows up on any given Sunday? I know there's a leaked Area Presidency report for Europe kicking about on the internet which shows that only 20% of the claimed membership in Europe attends Sacrament meeting (100,000 out of 500,000 members listed), and only half of them (48,000) are adult tithe payers.

I wish Church Leaders would stop misrepresenting the actual state of affairs. Claiming the Church is 15 million strong, is...let's be kind and say...misleading.

IMHO: no matter what church we are talking about, a third of the received members will be readily accounted for and usually attend to regular worship and practices. 

About a third will be highly fluid and mainly inactive, showing up mainly for funerals or big life events and (usually) self-identifying as members, but not recognizably, faithfully, practicing, supporting, or observant. 

And a third are pretty much lost to any particular group, on the rolls but with status unknown, or having made other spiritual commitments. Oddly, some unpredictable factor--a spiritual awakening, a personal crises, estrangement from other commitments,  or even the sudden positive novelty of association--can bring some portion of that third back. (If Mitt Romney has won the presidency,  and been a successful president, this might not have led to mass conversions, for example: but less activrs and inactives might have moved into other categories).

The fiftern million raw number is not dishonest: those who are on the rolls are on the rolls. That numbrr doesn't tell the whole story,  but it is probably a more "true" number than the membership numbers of other churches, given the way we maintain fairly accurate numbers. 

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6 hours ago, Marginal Gains said:

Didn't the Deseret News slip up not that long ago by publishing the presentation of one of the top Church internal statisticians, who was showing that only 36% of the claimed membership shows up on any given Sunday? I know there's a leaked Area Presidency report for Europe kicking about on the internet which shows that only 20% of the claimed membership in Europe attends Sacrament meeting (100,000 out of 500,000 members listed), and only half of them (48,000) are adult tithe payers.

I wish Church Leaders would stop misrepresenting the actual state of affairs. Claiming the Church is 15 million strong, is...let's be kind and say...misleading.

I don't understand these charges of "misleading"

The church has 15 million members.  The church reports that it has 15 million members.  Where is the church being dishonest?

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On 8/19/2017 at 2:36 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

Yes, but are those the actual numbers, or are they mere guesses?  Is this the rule for all religions, or only for the LDS?

A while back there was an LDS-published article that talked about demographics of members of the church. One of the lines said something like of every 100 members, 36 attend church each week" or 36% are in church at a given time. Something like that. It was quickly edited out.

Unfortunately my source for this is my own memory. :)

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20 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

It is all over the blogisphere. When the Church was first organized it had its largest percentage of growth. From just 6 members to over 20 very quickly. That's over a 300% growth rate. I don't expect to see that rate again this side of the Millennium. ;) We will see more ebbs and flows before then.  

Care to provide a link or example of the imminent demise rhetoric that's supposedly all over the blogosphere?  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Gray said:

A while back there was an LDS-published article that talked about demographics of members of the church. One of the lines said something like of every 100 members, 36 attend church each week" or 36% are in church at a given time. Something like that. It was quickly edited out.

Unfortunately my source for this is my own memory. :)

There is no way to confirm if accurate though.  Good chance it is, but until confirmed as official we have no way of knowing if it was an accurate report of numbers as it might have been a draft waiting to be checked for accuracy as well as approval  that accidentally got posted as happened a short time ago on another news website (though I assume DN tends to be more careful as it is a more professional site, imo).

Edited by Calm

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3 hours ago, Gray said:

A while back there was an LDS-published article that talked about demographics of members of the church. One of the lines said something like of every 100 members, 36 attend church each week" or 36% are in church at a given time. Something like that. It was quickly edited out.

Unfortunately my source for this is my own memory. :)

Here is a document showing the statistics for the Emigration Stake, near the University of Utah. It says sacrament meeting attendance was around 45% back in 2000. 

mormonleaks.io/newsroom/2017-01-16-mormonleaks-releases-8-documents-about-apologetics-pr-and-statistics/

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