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Thinking

LDS Membership Numbers

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Since 2008 I have been tracking 20 selected areas of the Church. I have attached the pdf.

Some noteworthy facts:

  • The membership increase from 2014 to 2015 was 261,862 (1.70%)
  • The membership increase from 2015 to 2016 was 248,218 (1.59%)
  • The membership increase from 2016 to 2017 was 235,752 (1.48%)
  • The membership increase from 2017 to 2018 was 195,566 (1.21%)

LDS Church Membership 2008-2018.pdf

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3 hours ago, Thinking said:

Since 2008 I have been tracking 20 selected areas of the Church. I have attached the pdf.

Some noteworthy facts:

  • The membership increase from 2014 to 2015 was 261,862 (1.70%)
  • The membership increase from 2015 to 2016 was 248,218 (1.59%)
  • The membership increase from 2016 to 2017 was 235,752 (1.48%)
  • The membership increase from 2017 to 2018 was 195,566 (1.21%)

LDS Church Membership 2008-2018.pdf 118.35 kB · 1 download

It is what was expected...

Quote

1 Nephi 14:12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.

 

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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

It is what was expected...

 

I wonder why the church doesn't mention the numbers in conference anymore. I see a correlation. 

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25 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder why the church doesn't mention the numbers in conference anymore. I see a correlation. 

Probably because mentioning exciting growth has an energizing impact on missionary activity, and mentioning shrinking/anemic growth has the opposite effect.  And if you're leading a church, you try to not do things that are counterproductive to your mission.

I mean, is there some other plausible reason that is like, melodramatic or embarrassing or something?

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46 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Probably because mentioning exciting growth has an energizing impact on missionary activity, and mentioning shrinking/anemic growth has the opposite effect.  And if you're leading a church, you try to not do things that are counterproductive to your mission.

I mean, is there some other plausible reason that is like, melodramatic or embarrassing or something?

Well I appreciate your honesty. I've been hearing other things such as lack of time etc. Don't quote me on that or CFR I'm going by my terrible memory of conversations about it. 

I'm sure an excuse is going to be that the world is going to pot, not literally. 

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11 hours ago, Thinking said:

Since 2008 I have been tracking 20 selected areas of the Church. I have attached the pdf.

Some noteworthy facts:

  • The membership increase from 2014 to 2015 was 261,862 (1.70%)
  • The membership increase from 2015 to 2016 was 248,218 (1.59%)
  • The membership increase from 2016 to 2017 was 235,752 (1.48%)
  • The membership increase from 2017 to 2018 was 195,566 (1.21%)

LDS Church Membership 2008-2018.pdfFetching info...

Maybe its a count down to zero.  I see the trend lines to be how they probably should be.  As we get closer to the end and the people get more focused on the world,  the next stage before Christ comes again is getting set up.  It is concerning but also exciting times we live in.

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder why the church doesn't mention the numbers in conference anymore. I see a correlation. 

A correlation between not giving statistics in General Conference and 1 Nephi 14:12? Please explain.

 

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The urgent need to convey information that blesses the lives of His children, rather than statistics which have no relevance to the becoming Christlike can't be a good enough reason?

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Well I appreciate your honesty. I've been hearing other things such as lack of time etc.

Well, not everyone understands the importance of senior leadership communications.  I've been hanging out with bishops at church, and Sr. managers at work, for a decade or more now.  I've seen new entrants into the position speak off-the-cuff from the hip, and spend the rest of their tenure regretting it.  I've watched them counsel with one another and agonize about how to craft the right message that speaks the truth, with the least risk of being misunderstood or turned into a destructive beatdown stick.

Folks think "person in a position of power with a microphone", and they tend to think "spinmeister, manipulator, professional liar" and whatnot.  Surely those people exist, and surely you can find them in front of microphones.  But you can also find good, moral, honest people of high character in those places, and they have to be careful about what they say too.

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15 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Well, it might just be a plateau but I prefer to think it heralds the End of Days. It looks kind of fun:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=upy63RIRcrc

Or it might be that people are using critical thinking and also checking into all that is available about the questionable truth claims and history of the LDS Church.  I think this is more likely.

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12 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

It is what was expected...

 

haha!  So when the LDS Church was growing very rapidly it was expected because it was in fulfillment of the interpretation by Daniel of the Babylonian king's dream.  And the LDS Church was to stone cut from the mountain and was to fill the entire earth. Now it's well according the Book of Mormon the True Church would have few numbers.

It is sure convenient to use conflicting positions to make sure you are safe either way.

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Here are some of my ideas.

Secularization of developed countries.  Sort of Science is our God.  Equality for all no matter the cost or damage to society. Deterioration of marriage and morals leads to a weakened society.  Pornography and sexualization of vulnerable people.  

Reluctance to address Church History in the 80`s.  All the issues that trouble people history wise existed then.  There was much more work and cost in obtaining historical information.  We had historians who were faithful and trying to get the message out.  Seer stones are easier to hear about as a child than as a thirty year old.  We probably had some higher growth rates than if we had been educating people within the Church and at least to some extent investigators.  Knowing what level and which information to provide is a challenge with many issues being controversial and not straightforward.  Now we have to provide information because our youth will look things up either way.  

Missionary program not as effective as it could have been.  Still glad I went and feel blessed to have done so.  I also had the trust of my mission president and many less rules.  The changes that President Nelson has made and directions we may be heading seem very promising. 

Reactions to those who reject the Church.  Very difficult and it is truly hard to just be loving and accepting.  In the end only unconditional love and acceptance of someone’s choices can have the power to bring them back.  There usually isn’t something we could have said or done differently to make someone change the road they want to go on.  Resignations make growth look smaller than it really is  and none of us really knows how many resignations there are.  

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Teancum said:

haha!  So when the LDS Church was growing very rapidly it was expected because it was in fulfillment of the interpretation by Daniel of the Babylonian king's dream.  And the LDS Church was to stone cut from the mountain and was to fill the entire earth. Now it's well according the Book of Mormon the True Church would have few numbers.

It is sure convenient to use conflicting positions to make sure you are safe either way.

Not so. One needs to read Nephi more carefully to find the correlation with Daniel. I’m sure you can find the relevant part.

Quote

1 Nephi 14:12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.

Also, one should read D&C 65 closely to know exactly what it is that will fill the whole earth.

Quote

2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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22 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Well, it might just be a plateau but I prefer to think it heralds the End of Days.

7 hours ago, Teancum said:

Or it might be that people are using critical thinking and also checking into all that is available about the questionable truth claims and history of the LDS Church.

Or...

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71592-linear-growth-in-church-membership/?do=findComment&comment=1209888951

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I don't intend to start a flame war here, just wanted to toss out an observation i've made of Christians here stateside.  Unlike Europe who had religious wars where the death toll was in the tens of millions, the USA has been spared a lot of that.  Funny, the moment they came here they became as entitled and ugly as their peers across the pond yet we never saw a fraction of the religious bloodshed places like Germany did.  I find it odd that many denominations are now reaping the karma from decades of corruption, entitlement and rather hypocritical as well as nasty to their own kind as well as outsiders.  I find it kind of funny that as a religion, now that the numbers are going down and the coffers are emptying it must be the end of the world.  I can talk to my 90 year old aunt on my fathers side, Christianity used to be very different in her day, her congregation had people who would do things like adopt 7 orphans.  They were very active in the community as well, no way have I seen that kind of behavior from christians here stateside.  Not saying it doesn't exist, for me my experience with the majority of them was it was a religious themed club that would have called the cops if Jesus walked in and try to have him charged with vagrancy.  Know this tends to get chuckles out of people but hey, there it is. 

I don't believe for a second we're at the end, now is a great time for people to stop with their entitlement and poor behavior and grow up like their ancestors did.  Either way, the likes of me are watching from afar, this is awesome entertainment for me and the best part, it's free.

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8 hours ago, Teancum said:

haha!  So when the LDS Church was growing very rapidly it was expected because it was in fulfillment of the interpretation by Daniel of the Babylonian king's dream.  And the LDS Church was to stone cut from the mountain and was to fill the entire earth. Now it's well according the Book of Mormon the True Church would have few numbers.

It is sure convenient to use conflicting positions to make sure you are safe either way.

Since you have done the same thing arguing the weakness of the church’s position whether we are growing fast or slow you would have experience in how convenient this kind of argumentation is.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I have seen no evidence of a groundswell rise in critical thinking in my lifetime. I have seen a groundswell of immorality so I suspect that is a more likely cause.

I have not seen more people leave the church because they want to live an immoral life vs. how many are discovering facts about church history they previously were unaware of (for whatever reason).  This is what is shaking most member's faith who are leaving from what I have seen in our ward and stake.  Most I've known who have left still have the same desire to live a moral life.

Edited by ALarson
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4 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I have not seen more people leave the church because they want to live a immoral life vs. how many are discovering facts about church history they previously were unaware of (for whatever reason).  This is what is shaking most member's faith who are leaving from what I have seen in our ward and stake.  Most I've known who have left still have the same desire to live a moral life.

👍

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8 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I have seen no evidence of a groundswell rise in critical thinking in my lifetime. I have seen a groundswell of immorality so I suspect that is a more likely cause.

Really? People just want to sin so they conveniently don't believe Pres. Nelson's "revelation" claim when he walked back the Nov. 2015 policy? Or how about the decision to make sunday church shorter? That is a decision that a corporate ceo would do when faced with lagging attendance at the boring meetings.  And there are many, many other instances throughout mormon history that make it look man made.

But, the sinning reason allows some to point the finger. It makes it an us v. them case that bands those who remain together while dissuading further inquiry as to why people are really leaving.

I grew up hearing about miraculous priesthood blessings. However, further inquiry showed that they were all a heads means miraculous and tails means meant to suffer for some reason only known to God.  A systematic review of the church history, as it evolved, clearly shows an evolution of JS's theological thinking. JS's own story is woven into the book of mormon, when he isn't quoting the bible. He gives reasons why he didn't ever find buried treasure. He also elevates seer stones in the book to give it a religious feel instead of the folk backwoodsy, magic feel it had. Etc., etc.

Even so, sinning is probably the reason people don't believe in this stuff .....

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10 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I have seen no evidence of a groundswell rise in critical thinking in my lifetime. I have seen a groundswell of immorality so I suspect that is a more likely cause.

Yep. The they left because they wanted to sin theory is alive and well.

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27 minutes ago, Thinking said:

Yep. The they left because they wanted to sin theory is alive and well.

We would have to do some radical edits to our scriptures to get rid of it since it is all over them.

Again, this is often used as a caricature imagining that this desire to sin is insinuated to be sexual depravity, a desire for mind-altering substances, and doing all the “big” sins. It is usually not.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The ones who leave because they are making choices to sin are much quieter and those sins are not just about living what we would call “an immoral life”. Sin is usually more subtle.

Well, my experience with most of those who are currently leaving, has been that it's been over issues regarding church history (polygamy, BofA, Book of Mormon translation, and so on...) which has caused a complete loss of faith in their leaders.  I personally have seen no one in our ward who was formerly active and faithful, leave to sin or because they have a desire to live an immoral life.

 

 

Edited by ALarson
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