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"Why some people leave the Church"

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I don't mean this as a judgment of anyone, but, if church depresses you, you're doing it wrong. ;) 

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26 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

To me weekly attendance in church can hurt some people's spirits. Sure we can go to the mountains on a Saturday, but a break from church is good for the soul. Speaking as an inactive though, I still have memories of going to church and being depressed afterwards and longing to be in nature instead. It's no wonder that people like two hour church, or it's no wonder when people are a little excited when church is cancelled. Sometimes a church vacation can be good and make oneself seek their own communion. 

I think where you feel closest to God might depend on your personality. For someone who is an introvert, of instance, the Sunday experience might not be very conducive to spirituality. Lots of variables. For me, I've never had strong spiritual experiences at church or in the temple. All of my strongest spiritual experiences have happened when I was alone.

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13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I carefully read that study and found that what I had told you remained true:

You need to read the actual study and look at the stats, as I did.

Some additional reports to review including first hand qualitative data.  

https://faenrandir.github.io/a_careful_examination/documents/faith_crisis_study/Faith_Crisis_Report_R24B.pdf

https://faenrandir.github.io/a_careful_examination/documents/faith_crisis_study/Faith_Crisis_Accounts_R3.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I still have memories of going to church and being depressed afterwards and longing to be in nature instead. It's no wonder that people like two hour church, or it's no wonder when people are a little excited when church is cancelled.

I can’t relate to this at all. But to each her/his own. 

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23 hours ago, 2BizE said:

Thank you for those 2013 reports.  LDS officials are  We would all be very wise to make consider such detailed analyses, and that would be true of any corporation worldwide.

However, such analysis is only useful for understanding a small portion of those who leave.  The sociological data have shown in the past that most people leave as a matter of drift, were never committed members anyhow, and that this is true among religions generally.  It is not unique to the LDS Church.  One must, of course, consider all factors, and attempt to mitigate those which are under the control of corporate leadership.  However, undue whining and crying over losses is silly.  They are a natural feature of the vicissitudes of life.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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6 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I don't mean this as a judgment of anyone, but, if church depresses you, you're doing it wrong. ;) 

Could it also be that one can find church activities depressing based on one's personality and proclivities?  I have seen very sincere people go from one religious organization to a different one, or out of religion entirely.  I try not to be judgmental.

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23 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Thank you for those 2013 reports.  LDS officials are very wise to make such detailed analyses, and that would be true of any corporation worldwide.

This wasn't done by the Church, but volunteered to it by a group using in part a survey that included John Dehlin as an author, iirc (I believe the numbers match).

Quote

Survey respondents consisted of self-selected participants who were recruited via social media over the course of two weeks in October 2011. Total respondents = 3,388, 302 of whom were removed due to incomplete data. 

From Dehlin's Why Mormons Question survey:

Quote

The survey generated 3388 respondents. 302 respondents were removed due to incomplete data or because they answered “yes” to still believing that the Church was “the only true and living church.” A total of 3086 respondents were included in the final analysis. 

 

Edited by Calm
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9 minutes ago, Calm said:

This wasn't done by the Church, but volunteered to it by a group using in part a survey that included John Dehlin as an author, iirc (I believe the numbers match).

Thanks for that, Calm.

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10 hours ago, Gray said:

For me, I've never had strong spiritual experiences at church or in the temple. All of my strongest spiritual experiences have happened when I was alone.

Interesting. I've had a pretty balanced mix of both. Recently, a number of my most powerful experiences that have occurred when I was alone have come only after I've spent the day in the temple. One of my favourite things about having people around me when something spiritual occurs is the power of witnesses who've seen/heard/experienced the same thing.

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11 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I don't mean this as a judgment of anyone, but, if church depresses you, you're doing it wrong. ;) 

In light of the fact that overwhelming most people who have anything to do with the church end up not attending, leaving or resigning, maybe it is not the people.  Perhaps the church that needs to do some self evaluation.

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25 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

In light of the fact that overwhelming most people who have anything to do with the church end up not attending, leaving or resigning, maybe it is not the people.  Perhaps the church that needs to do some self evaluation.

I'm sure you'll simply accuse me of burying my head in the sand, but I reject your premise.  I'm not even sure what "overwhelming most" means. :huh::unknw: 

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5 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Could it also be that one can find church activities depressing based on one's personality and proclivities?  I have seen very sincere people go from one religious organization to a different one, or out of religion entirely.  I try not to be judgmental.

Which is why I said, "I don't mean this to be a judgment of anyone."  Perhaps you missed that part? ;) In any event, however I might feel about any given institution, about my relationship with it, or about my role in it, almost inevitably, I'm apt to be disappointed if I insist that "they" are the ones who need to change before I will be fulfilled by (or satisfied with) my relationship with the institution.  As I've said so many times before, so often, one's ability to change one's circumstances is limited; the only thing he can control is his reaction to such circumstances.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Could it also be that one can find church activities depressing based on one's personality and proclivities?  I have seen very sincere people go from one religious organization to a different one, or out of religion entirely.  I try not to be judgmental.

There was a time when I could not tolerate staying after the Sacrament.  It was a BYU married student ward in an old building and the noise of the children would be physically unbearable to me.  RS was in a semi basement that had pipes and pillars around the room and a very low ceiling.

I saw it then and now as nothing done wrong by either the Church, the local community, or myself.  Sometimes you can do everything right and so can everyone else and yet you still will be depressed, claustrophobic, anxious, whatever.

If this can happen because of physical causes as in my case, I see no reason not to believe it may happen in emotional, mental, or spiritual cases or combinations of them.

Edited by Calm
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13 hours ago, Gray said:

I think where you feel closest to God might depend on your personality. For someone who is an introvert, of instance, the Sunday experience might not be very conducive to spirituality. Lots of variables. For me, I've never had strong spiritual experiences at church or in the temple. All of my strongest spiritual experiences have happened when I was alone.

I never thought of myself as an introvert until the last few years. I'm very much one. I do need to work on the spiritual side, I've come to a standstill and I guess I'm either lazy or an Atheist, and I sure don't want to be either. 

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2 hours ago, sunstoned said:

In light of the fact that overwhelming most people who have anything to do with the church end up not attending, leaving or resigning ...

CFR, please, if you have any. I know people will sometimes cite estimates of global sacrament meeting attendance, but as I've before pointed out on this forum, sacrament meeting attendance does not accurately reflect activity rates. The last time I was serving in the bishopric, I kept an 'attendance roll' each Sunday for an entire quarter. The largest sacrament meeting attendance we had that whole time was around 25 per cent of ward members. (I honestly don't remember the exact figures anymore, but that's a very close approximation; it was definitely in the 20s.) At the same time, just under 60 per cent of our ward members had attended sacrament meeting over the course of those same three months. (I think it was about 57 to 59 per cent.) That's because different people are missing each week for different reasons. Some are sick. Some are away. Some are working. Some have sick kids. Some just don't attend every week. Etc.

Moreover, easily more than half of our currently active ward members have been inactive at some point. In addition, I'm in the process of helping convene a disciplinary council to readmit a brother in our ward who hasn't been a member for about ten years. We literally can't know how people are going to 'end up' until, well, literally the end.

To my knowledge, there are no reliable data that would back up the statement quoted above. Church reports certainly don't generate such data since attendance by name is not tracked either week to week or over the course of a person's lifetime.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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11 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I never thought of myself as an introvert until the last few years. I'm very much one. I do need to work on the spiritual side, I've come to a standstill and I guess I'm either lazy or an Atheist, and I sure don't want to be either. 

I think people are introverted or extroverted or even both at the same time based on my own experience and what I observe in others.  For example, it seems you need the social interaction of the board or you wouldn't have lasted or posted as much as you have over the years.  My husband is a professor and has always loved to go to activities with friends and family, but one of his favorite things is long, loner motorcycle rides and hikes in the mountains.  I see myself as someone with terminal shyness because of how I felt growing up and yet I am the top poster in numbers on this board and in many ways can't keep my mouth shut these days around anyone.  I can feel the panic of the shyness and the enjoyment of the conversation at the same time.

People are full of different emotions, which interact in oh so many ways.  It is why we are so hard to figure out.

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17 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

CFR, please, if you have one. I know people will sometimes cite estimates of global sacrament meeting attendance, but as I've before pointed out on this forum, sacrament meeting attendance does not accurately reflect activity rates. The last time I was serving in the bishopric, I kept an 'attendance roll' each Sunday for an entire quarter. The largest sacrament meeting attendance we had that whole time was around 25 per cent of ward members. (I honestly don't remember the exact figures anymore, but that's a very close approximation; it was definitely in the 20s.) At the same time, just under 60 per cent of our ward members had attended sacrament meeting over the course of those same three months. (I think it was about 56 to 58 per cent.) That's because different people are missing each week for different reasons. Some are sick. Some are away. Some are working. Some have sick kids. Some just don't attend every week. Etc.

Moreover, easily more than half of our currently active ward members have been inactive at some point.

To my knowledge, there are no reliable data that would back up the statement quoted above. Church reports certainly don't generate such data since attendance by name is not tracked.

Selfidentification in census seems to indicate a significant difference between membership numbers, but not rating even close to "most" at least in the US as church records place membership at 2.04% of general population while Pew research shows it at 1.7%...a difference of over a million, but that still leaves 5.5 million of the 6.6 million claimed by the Church as identifying themselves as members.

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/07/24/a-portrait-of-mormons-in-the-us/#1

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/united-states

While not identifying all those who don't attend, it would seem to identify those who have left mentally and physically, if not officially.  Resignation numbers can be estimated and iirc, they have never been a significant percentage so likely wouldn't move the total numbers of those who don't attend, leave, or resign that much.

Iirc, Clark Goble felt another survey estimated actual membership better, but I can't remember and don't want to dig out that info.

Edited by Calm
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1 minute ago, Calm said:

Selfidentification in census seems to indicate a significant difference between membership, but not rating even close to "most" at least in the US as church records place membership at 2.04% of general population while Pwe research shows it at 1.7%...a difference of over a million, but that still leaves 5.5 million of the 6.6 million claimed by the Church as identifying themselves as members.

Thanks. Yeah, I'm not willing to trust census data either. The last time I was serving in a stake presidency, it was right before a national census here, and we received a letter from one of our Area Seventies asking us to encourage members to list their faith on the census form and to do it correctly. From what we were told, someone had reviewed the census spreadsheets and found about seven different ways members were writing their faith, but only one or two of them were being counted by the bureau.

(I think the bureau recognises and counts 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' and 'Mormon' but nothing else, such as LDS, Latter-day Saint, Church of Jesus Christ LDS, etc. Each census, the top ten responses show up on the next census next to boxes that can be ticked, which really helps with accuracy for those groups. We don't come close to being on that list ... )

In addition, internal polling by the Church showed that only a fraction of active, attending members were even filling in that line since it's listed as optional, and census night is seen by many as a distraction to be rushed through. Who knows what the less-active do with that question?

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3 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Thanks. Yeah, I'm not willing to trust census data either. The last time I was serving in a stake presidency, it was right before a national census here, and we received a letter from one of our Area Seventies asking us to encourage members to list their faith on the census form and to do it correctly. From what we were told, someone had reviewed the census spreadsheets and found about seven different ways members were writing their faith, but only one or two of them were being counted by the bureau.

(I think the bureau recognises and counts 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' and 'Mormon' but nothing else, such as LDS, Latter-day Saint, Church of Jesus Christ LDS, etc. Each census, the top ten responses show up on the next census next to boxes that can be ticked, which really helps with accuracy for those groups. We don't come close to being on that list ... )

In addition, internal polling by the Church showed that only a fraction of active, attending members were even filling in that line since it's listed as optional, and census night is seen by many as a distraction to be rushed through. Who knows what the less-active do with that question?

Thanks for the info, very interesting.

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9 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Interesting. I've had a pretty balanced mix of both. Recently, a number of my most powerful experiences that have occurred when I was alone have come only after I've spent the day in the temple. One of my favourite things about having people around me when something spiritual occurs is the power of witnesses who've seen/heard/experienced the same thing.

I have had some spiritual experiences in the Temple, but almost none in the chapel. I think chapels are just too crowded, noisy and claustrophobic for me.

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11 hours ago, sunstoned said:

In light of the fact that overwhelming most people who have anything to do with the church end up not attending, leaving or resigning, maybe it is not the people.  Perhaps the church that needs to do some self evaluation.

Perhaps "most people" need to do some self evaluation.

The  whole premise of the gospel is that it changes us.   Those that don't want to be changed may well choose to walk away.  The Church has no responsibility to change so people can stay the same.

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23 hours ago, Gray said:

I think where you feel closest to God might depend on your personality. For someone who is an introvert, of instance, the Sunday experience might not be very conducive to spirituality. Lots of variables. For me, I've never had strong spiritual experiences at church or in the temple. All of my strongest spiritual experiences have happened when I was alone.

Thanks for bringing this up.  I totally agree.  I am very much an introvert, and have even experienced severe social anxiety at church, limiting my ability to feel the spirit there. I do much better at church now, but for a time it was hard.  I also identify with you that all of my strongest spiritual experiences have happened when I was alone - by far! 

I personally don't go to church to feel the spirit.  I don't necessarily think that is even the main purpose of church. I go to renew my covenants and to serve others.  Sometimes I do indeed feel the spirit at church, but that is not why I go.  Renewing my covenants and participating in the ordinance of the sacrament, helps me to feel the spirit more in my day to day life.  I would say that going to church is very conducive to spirituality - it is just not an instant gratification type of thing that happens while I am at church necessarily.      

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On 2/14/2019 at 9:12 PM, Kenngo1969 said:

I'm sure you'll simply accuse me of burying my head in the sand, but I reject your premise.  I'm not even sure what "overwhelming most" means. :huh::unknw: 

2/3 of baptized members are inactive.

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4 hours ago, sunstoned said:

2/3 of baptized members are inactive.

CfrCFR please

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