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Thinking

LDS Membership Numbers

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11 minutes ago, Thinking said:

IMO the issues are much deeper than a loss of trust in the church leaders. The issues are with the foundational events and doctrines. Even if the current leaders get out in front of the flow of information, they can't change what happened from 1820 to 1844.

True.  It's a complex issue and at least the leaders are now attempting to deal with it.  

But, I agree there are issues that no matter how hard they try.....there will still be some members who are not ok with specific issues.  Such as polygamy, for example (or the manner in which Joseph and others practiced it).... and then add learning about the polyandry on top of that.   

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On 7/6/2019 at 1:42 AM, 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 · 5 downloads

We all know from the OT, NT, BoM, D&C, and countless addresses from every Prophet, that one day the world would become so hard hearted, that to quote scripture (I hope I remember it correctly), “...men will no longer endure sound doctrine”. If we only look back to 9/11, it caused a big increase in people returning to many different denominations, only to fall away again. Sadly, God has in the past, and will in the future, use the wicked to afflict his people in an attempt to bring them back into the fold. Jesus Christ said it best, while in mourning, looking at the City of Jerusalem, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou which killeth the Prophets, how oft, I would have gathered you under my wings, as the hen gathers her chicks”, or something along those lines. The numbers will become less and less, as the world becomes more wicked, when in the end he will (must) return to save it. Only then, in that hour or day, the chance to listen to the voice of God, heed scripture, and repent will be too late. The righteous will be called up to meet him, and all the wicked will be destroyed. 

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18 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I was in Manchester when they won the treble cup in 1999 and follow the World Cup today as a casual fan.

More people heard speeches by Hitler then watched that video. I am not sure that means much but you seem to think quantity is important.

More people pick their noses than watched the video. Quantity trumps all.

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11 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Do what you think is right but do not do it with the expectation that people will look back and praise your views or that current social and political victories are molding the future forever. Cherish the small victories of helping individuals over more transient causes. It is common generational arrogance to imagine that the causes of today will all be smiled on in the future. Almost every generation thinks that and they are almost all wrong.

When I look back, I see progress - cured diseases, increased ability to communicate with others, increased education.  100 years ago 95% of the population worked as a farmer - no one had a choice in career, short life expectancy, people lived and died within 10 miles of where they were born - now so many travel the world, choose where to work, reads more books, talks to people from all over the world - I see God in this progress.  I think God is anti-slavery, I think God embraces unity and inclusion, connecting people - 

thousands of years of stagnation - of illiterate, trapped, isolated communities to... cell phones, and internet, and airplanes - it is amazing, and wonderful - barriers are being broken.

 

in 20 yrs.jpg

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2 hours ago, changed said:

When I look back, I see progress - cured diseases, increased ability to communicate with others, increased education.  100 years ago 95% of the population worked as a farmer - no one had a choice in career, short life expectancy, people lived and died within 10 miles of where they were born - now so many travel the world, choose where to work, reads more books, talks to people from all over the world - I see God in this progress.  I think God is anti-slavery, I think God embraces unity and inclusion, connecting people - 

thousands of years of stagnation - of illiterate, trapped, isolated communities to... cell phones, and internet, and airplanes - it is amazing, and wonderful - barriers are being broken.

I do not deny there are amazing opportunities in this time. The growth of technology and understanding has been shocking and there is no real reason it happened now. Rome could have industrialized just as easily. Humanity has more power then it ever has. What will we do with it? If history is any indication we will make some things better and others we will make worse.

We are kinder to children then previous generations but more cruel to the elderly. We are saving endangered species but probably destroying the planet with emissions. We are more tolerant of racial minorities but less tolerant of political differences. We aid throughout the world but also build flying death robots and terrorize children with them as they fly forth to kill. We have had peace for some time but we built enough weaponry to make the planet uninhabitable. We  are a strange species.

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Posted (edited)

My primary concern with growth statistics is that resignations may overtake growth in 5 - 10yrs.  It would be difficult to report total membership if it is lower than the year before.  Thankfully African countries without good access to the internet are growing fast.  At least that's what one of the internet marketing consultants for the church told me when he had a conversation with Sheri Dew.  We audit our stake finances every 6 months, so we have good conversations.  

Edited by blueglass
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13 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

We all know from the OT, NT, BoM, D&C, and countless addresses from every Prophet, that one day the world would become so hard hearted, that to quote scripture (I hope I remember it correctly), “...men will no longer endure sound doctrine”. If we only look back to 9/11, it caused a big increase in people returning to many different denominations, only to fall away again. Sadly, God has in the past, and will in the future, use the wicked to afflict his people in an attempt to bring them back into the fold. Jesus Christ said it best, while in mourning, looking at the City of Jerusalem, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou which killeth the Prophets, how oft, I would have gathered you under my wings, as the hen gathers her chicks”, or something along those lines. The numbers will become less and less, as the world becomes more wicked, when in the end he will (must) return to save it. Only then, in that hour or day, the chance to listen to the voice of God, heed scripture, and repent will be too late. The righteous will be called up to meet him, and all the wicked will be destroyed. 

Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying..... But,  are you implying that God used the 9/11 terrorists to afflict his people in an attempt to bring then back in the fold? 

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2 hours ago, cacheman said:

Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying..... But,  are you implying that God used the 9/11 terrorists to afflict his people in an attempt to bring then back in the fold? 

If the implication is that God directly caused 9/11 then I would say no. God does allow the wicked to afflict the wicked to stir them up to repentance.

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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I do not deny there are amazing opportunities in this time. The growth of technology and understanding has been shocking and there is no real reason it happened now. Rome could have industrialized just as easily. Humanity has more power then it ever has. What will we do with it? If history is any indication we will make some things better and others we will make worse.

We are kinder to children then previous generations but more cruel to the elderly. We are saving endangered species but probably destroying the planet with emissions. We are more tolerant of racial minorities but less tolerant of political differences. We aid throughout the world but also build flying death robots and terrorize children with them as they fly forth to kill. We have had peace for some time but we built enough weaponry to make the planet uninhabitable. We  are a strange species.

(To my bold) I saw this meme, and your statement made me think of it. 

Image may contain: text, outdoor and nature

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3 hours ago, blueglass said:

My primary concern with growth statistics is that resignations may overtake growth in 5 - 10yrs.  It would be difficult to report total membership if it is lower than the year before.  Thankfully African countries without good access to the internet are growing fast.  At least that's what one of the internet marketing consultants for the church told me when he had a conversation with Sheri Dew.  We audit our stake finances every 6 months, so we have good conversations.  

I think it will take longer then that before this happens but I do not think it would hurt that badly.

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2 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

(To my bold) I saw this meme, and your statement made me think of it. 

Image may contain: text, outdoor and nature

The problem with the second is that without a human to appreciate it the picture is incomplete and fairly worthless. I suspect there are other things God is doing but beauty is something I suspect the animals do not appreciate.

16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

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3 hours ago, cacheman said:

Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying..... But,  are you implying that God used the 9/11 terrorists to afflict his people in an attempt to bring then back in the fold? 

No, pointing that tragedy of all kinds, cause believes to turn for a time toward home, some forever. God does not have to cause the wicked to act, he only needs to withdraw his protection, no matter the event. The wicked in every age, are always trying to comment horrible acts, often they cannot because we have his protection. My comment about 9/11 was just an example of an event that increased congregations relating to attendance. 

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5 hours ago, Tacenda said:

(To my bold) I saw this meme, and your statement made me think of it. 

Image may contain: text, outdoor and nature

A lion pair resting in the middle of all that meat?  That is idealistic silliness.

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22 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

We all know from the OT, NT, BoM, D&C, and countless addresses from every Prophet, that one day the world would become so hard hearted, that to quote scripture (I hope I remember it correctly), “...men will no longer endure sound doctrine”.

I think the drop in converts is more primarily tied to the drop in the age of missionaries rather than the rise secularization of the country. That's not to say the rise of the Nones isn't an issue. And I think we need to transition our message from primarily targeting dissatisfied Protestants to dissatisfied secularists. But the main cause of the drop in converts isn't the world around us but how we are approaching them. (IMO)

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On 7/7/2019 at 6:00 PM, Thinking said:

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

Actually, I kind of understood that @The Nehor was talking about growth in the Church, not reasons for leaving it.  Allowing for  the sake of argument that the Church is what it claims, doesn't it make sense that as the world gets more drenched in sin there might be fewer converts?  Because people have stopped believing in God, for example, and when the missionaries come they don't see any reason to talk to them.

But on the other hand, every single relative of mine who is/was a member of the Church but now no longer attends/has left because they liked drinking, smoking and immorality more than Church.  None of them, to the best of my knowledge, left because they had a problem with such things as Joseph Smith being a polygamist.  Not everyone leaves because of what bothers you, Thinking.  Some of them just like drinking or smoking.  Exactly why my only nephew no longer attends -- he enjoys wine too much.  His words.

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56 minutes ago, Calm said:

A lion pair resting in the middle of all that meat?  That is idealistic silliness.

They just ate. It will get crazy once they get hungry again.

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On 7/8/2019 at 3:51 AM, Calm said:

How would you know this?  And why does that kind of gossip even need to be part of the conversation?

-----

Studies have shown widowers who were happy in strong marriages tend to get remarried again relatively quickly.

https://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/01/fashion/thursdaystyles/01marry.html

 

Yeah, me!  5 months afterwards.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2019 at 3:43 AM, changed said:

 

Very good observation - perhaps Wendy, who chose to stay single the majority of her life, would be a good influence? ... or perhaps not (did she not get married because she felt she was too good for anyone else?  I don't know... Nelson sure remarried quickly after wife #1 passed away though... )  

 

Implying what, exactly?  

Note that his first wife died in Feb 2005, and he didn't remarry until the next year.  Don't know when exactly, but he that means at least ten months between her death and his remarriage.  Too soon, according to you, and what does it mean to you?

I note that I remarried five months after my wife passed away.  I am therefore far worse than President Nelson.  So what is it that you are implying about those of us who remarry quickly?

Quote

I had one set of grandparents who died within days of one another... another set, that did not get remarried (not LDS).  So.... "one and only", fidelity, loyalty - this is what I grew up with and what is important to me.  I guess those things are really not celebrated in this crowd... That is fine - whatever everyone needs, not my idea of heaven, but then different strokes for different folks. 

Well, I guess I had special permission.  My dying wife insisted that I get remarried because she was afraid that I would not do well as a single man.

 

Edited by Stargazer
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10 hours ago, blueglass said:

My primary concern with growth statistics is that resignations may overtake growth in 5 - 10yrs.  It would be difficult to report total membership if it is lower than the year before.  Thankfully African countries without good access to the internet are growing fast.  At least that's what one of the internet marketing consultants for the church told me when he had a conversation with Sheri Dew.  We audit our stake finances every 6 months, so we have good conversations.  

I kind of think that it will shake itself out within a reasonably short period of time.  The Church seems to be responding to the historical things, and in time those resigning because they were shocked about the hat and the seer stone and so on will have done so -- and those following on will be more-or-less immunized about it.

I am anticipating a slowing of growth due to general disbelief in the spiritual and the divine -- and the tendency of LDS couples to have fewer children than before.

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There isn’t nearly the kind of “brand” or sense of identity associated with church membership now that existed in past generations.  I don’t think that “brand” could have been sustained any longer—the cost, the commitment of time, and modern entertainment options/distractions all spelled its eventual doom—but many a convert of yesteryear found a stimulating social circle in the church simultaneously with the appeal of church teachings. In my observations, generally only the emotionally needy now find social comfort in the church, and the resulting mutually non-beneficial friendships can hardly be called “friendships” in any meaningful sense.  Without that strong social bond, however, I’ve found that political differences—and there are many now between generations—create a massive amount of disunity.  My ward has lost 4-5 formerly stalwart young families (most RMs) in the last five years. They may have disagreed with certain church policies, but the friction they felt from older, more-conservative members greatly accelerated their departure.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, esodije said:

There isn’t nearly the kind of “brand” or sense of identity associated with church membership now that existed in past generations.  I don’t think that “brand” could have been sustained any longer—the cost, the commitment of time, and modern entertainment options/distractions all spelled its eventual doom—but many a convert of yesteryear found a stimulating social circle in the church simultaneously with the appeal of church teachings. In my observations, generally only the emotionally needy now find social comfort in the church, and the resulting mutually non-beneficial friendships can hardly be called “friendships” in any meaningful sense.  Without that strong social bond, however, I’ve found that political differences—and there are many now between generations—create a massive amount of disunity.  My ward has lost 4-5 formerly stalwart young families (most RMs) in the last five years. They may have disagreed with certain church policies, but the friction they felt from older, more-conservative members greatly accelerated their departure.

I find there are still friendships but they tend to be amongst the stalwarts and are based around getting stuff done in church and mutual aid in child raising. As a single guy though I can say we have to fight tooth and nail to get into that group. ;) 

While the previous activities had advantages they were often also stressors to the less socially active. When I was young church was a multiple nights a week affair. Getting away from that should help families develop more and it has for those who use it that way.

Edited by The Nehor

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, esodije said:

In my observations, generally only the emotionally needy now find social comfort in the church, and the resulting mutually non-beneficial friendships can hardly be called “friendships” in any meaningful sense. 

My ward is my family, and my closest and most emotionally intimate relationships are all with fellow Church members. We spend time together and live in each other's hearts and lives and homes.

Regarding current conversion data, I don't like them. But I also fully expect the trend to shift. As I read from a historian yesterday, by 1750, Christianity in England was in its death throes. London had about 10,000 prostitutes, and attendance at St Paul's on Easter that year numbered 16 people. That didn't last, and even now, it hasn't been replicated. People love to look at trends and project them forward, but reality -- as the Book of Mormon makes abundantly clear -- is far more like a sine wave.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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11 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If the implication is that God directly caused 9/11 then I would say no. God does allow the wicked to afflict the wicked to stir them up to repentance.

That was the point I trying to make, as God only needs to withdraw his protection, that is promised to the righteous. The wicked always make war, on or with those who believe, and those who choose righteousness. All God has to do is withdraw his protection, he would never foster or hope for anyone to be wicked, they just choose to do wicked things, as they to have “free will”.  

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I like President Kimball's thoughts about this

“Our goal is nothing less than the penetration of the entire world. Our new office building is a world building with four giant maps, each showing a particular part of the globe. We are not promised that the whole world will believe. Evangelization of the world does not mean that all men will respond, but all men must be given the opportunity to respond as they are confronted with the Christ.

President Spencer W. Kimball, "Lengthening Our Stride," Regional Representatives (10/3/74)

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, esodije said:

There isn’t nearly the kind of “brand” or sense of identity associated with church membership now that existed in past generations.  I don’t think that “brand” could have been sustained any longer—the cost, the commitment of time, and modern entertainment options/distractions all spelled its eventual doom—but many a convert of yesteryear found a stimulating social circle in the church simultaneously with the appeal of church teachings. In my observations, generally only the emotionally needy now find social comfort in the church, and the resulting mutually non-beneficial friendships can hardly be called “friendships” in any meaningful sense. 

I'm not sure I'd call them "socially needy" (maybe just lonely or those who have no other way to meet potential friends).  I do believe that in past generations within the church, it was true that members stayed maybe stayed within the church more to form friendships.  What I've seen is that many now are so involved with sports for their kids, etc., that this is where they meet a lot of other parents who have the same interests (or schedules) as they do and become good friends with them.  Their kids also form wonderful friendships with the other youth they participate with and with whom they have common interests.

14 hours ago, esodije said:

Without that strong social bond, however, I’ve found that political differences—and there are many now between generations—create a massive amount of disunity.  My ward has lost 4-5 formerly stalwart young families (most RMs) in the last five years. They may have disagreed with certain church policies, but the friction they felt from older, more-conservative members greatly accelerated their departure

Our ward has lost some incredible families within the last few years and so has our stake.  In every case that I'm aware of or was personally working with, it was over either church history issues or social issues (SSM, etc.) or both.

Edited by ALarson

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