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Church Growth Rumors and Specualtion


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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Please see my last post.

Cinepro took a quote from a newspaper article I wrote. Then he wrote an extra sentence and added it to the quote to make it appear it was part of the original.

It was a dishonest and unethical thing to do. I have reported it to the moderators (something I rarely do).

I have also demanded that he remove the post. We'll see whether or not he has the decency to do so.

 

To Buckeye and Birdgirl:

I notice you each awarded a rep point to Cinepro's post. I have to wonder if either of you really do condone unmitigated dishonesty, bearing of false witness, and defamation. Is it a matter of it being OK in your view to tell a lie if it makes a point you agree with? What happened to scruples?

In fairness, I will note that Buckeye's rep point came before I noticed and identified the lie. Maybe he didn't realize the dishonesty. I hope that's the case. I'd had him pegged as having higher integrity.

Birdgirl's came later. Maybe she didn't get it either. I hope that's the case as well. 

I'll just mention in passing that the new board software allows one to rescind a rep point previously given. 

Edited to add: 

Cinepro's post makes a comment on honesty. So we can add glaring double standard to the blatant telling of falsehood. 

The irony there is so thick it's palpable. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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13 minutes ago, VideoGameJunkie said:

I'm interested in the rate of people resigning or going inactive.

I'm not aware of such figures. 

But the Church keeps building temples. The latest one, Provo City Center, is open for public tours now and will be dedicated in March. 

Since members have to be active to get temple recommends, this tells me that the number of faithful members keeps going up. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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16 hours ago, Johnnie Cake said:

The source was not through John Dehlin...but one of the posters in the Mormon Stories FB group

I have been on the boards for over 10 years and I have seen many such doomsday predictions which seem to never happen. Only time will tell what will happen in the future. But I have learned to take with a grain of salt such predictions or numbers given on facebook pages or exmember boards etc.

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9 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

To Buckeye and Birdgirl:

I notice you each awarded a rep point to Cinepro's post. I have to wonder if either of you really do condone unmitigated dishonesty, bearing of false witness, and defamation. Is it a matter of it being OK in your view to tell a lie if it makes a point you agree with? What happened to scruples?

In fairness, I will note that Buckeye's rep point came before I noticed and identified the lie. Maybe he didn't realize the dishonesty. I hope that's the case. I'd had him pegged as having higher integrity.

Birdgirl's came later. Maybe she didn't get it either. I hope that's the case as well. 

I'll just mention in passing that the new board software allows one to rescind a rep point previously given. 

Edited to add: 

Cinepro's post makes a comment on honesty. So we can add glaring double standard to the blatant telling of falsehood. 

The irony there is so thick it's palpable. 

I think "satire" is the appropriate term for Cinepro's wit.  "Irony" means that the literal meaning of the words and the intended meaning of the writer are opposite.  So when you called it a "falsehood," if your actual point was that Cinepro's comment was piercingly insightful, that would be irony. 

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2 hours ago, Analytics said:

I think "satire" is the appropriate term for Cinepro's wit.  "Irony" means that the literal meaning of the words and the intended meaning of the writer are opposite.  So when you called it a "falsehood," if your actual point was that Cinepro's comment was piercingly insightful, that would be irony. 

I understand satire. I could have abided it if it had been clear that's what it was. I probably wouldn't have liked it, but I could have tolerated it.

As it was it was deception. Johnnie Cake was misled by it. I have a hunch Buckeye was as well. I have no doubt others were.

By irony, I meant the sarcastic accusation against the Church and its leaders of being dishonest while engaging in dishonesty oneself. If "irony" doesn't fit, there is another word for it: hypocrisy.

But from here on out, if I see you or some of your cohorts who are condoning this thing railing against the Church of Jesus Christ for alleged dishonesty, it will be a demonstration of the two-faced hypocrites that you are.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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40 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I understand satire. I could have abided it if it had been clear that's what it was. I probably wouldn't have liked it, but I could have tolerated it.

As it was it was deception. Johnnie Cake was misled by it. I have a hunch Buckeye was as well. I have no doubt others were.

By irony, I meant the sarcastic accusation against the Church and its leaders of being dishonest while engaging in dishonesty oneself. If "irony" doesn't fit, there is another word for it: hypocrisy.

But from here on out, if I see you or come of your cohorts who are condoning this thing railing against the Church of Jesus Christ for alleged dishonesty, it will be a demonstration of the two-faced hypocrites that you are.

It was obviously satire.  When a small minority of people don't immediately recognize satire for what it is, that indicates the satire is probably pretty good--not that the satirist is being dishonest.  But hey, if you are looking for an excuse to be enraged at critics, any excuse will do, real or imagined.

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37 minutes ago, Analytics said:

It was obviously satire.  When a small minority of people don't immediately recognize satire for what it is, that indicates the satire is probably pretty good--not that the satirist is being dishonest.  But hey, if you are looking for an excuse to be enraged at critics, any excuse will do, real or imagined.

It was not obvious unless one bothered to click on the link and read the article. I'm fairly confident many people don't generally do so.

Satire can be subtle without being deceptive. Good satire achieves the former while avoiding the latter.

If someone working at a reputable journalistic publication had engaged in something like this, he would have been fired on the spot.

Again, it's about ethics.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Scott (and whoever else cares), I removed the re-point. Goodness knows I've given enough of them to cinepro over the years that this won't hurt him. Having read through this thread, I can only say that (1) I didn't check the cite for accuracy so assumed it was from Bednar, (2) I placed the rep-point mainly because I liked the candidness of (what I thought) was Bednar, and (3) I've seen enough from cinepro over the years to be very hesitant in ascribing dishonestly. Yes, I was confused, but I doubt he was trying to do anything other than be cheeky. I've committed far greater sins transgressions on this board.

Edited by Buckeye
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8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

It was not obvious unless one bothered to click on the link and read the article. I'm fairly confident many people don't.

If someone working at a reputable journalistic publication had engaged in something like this, he would have been fired on the spot.

Again, it's about ethics.

It depends, doesn't it?  Some "reputable journalistic publications" will publish satire on their opinion pages.  The editors at The Onion would have loved this as being spot on.  Do you consider the satire in The Onion to be unethical?

And yes, the satire was obvious--Elder Bednar simply wouldn't say what the satire claimed he said. 

Stop it. This isn't a minor issue.

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56 minutes ago, Analytics said:

It depends, doesn't it?  Some "reputable journalistic publications" will publish satire on their opinion pages.  The editors at The Onion would have loved this as being spot on.  Do you consider the satire in The Onion to be unethical?

The stock-in-trade of the Onion is satire. There is little chance that a reasonable person would be blind-sided into taking literally what they print.

That said, I don't concede that even the Onion would contenance attributing something to a person that the person did not say without there being a clear indication of what was happening.

Quote

And yes, the satire was obvious--Elder Bednar simply wouldn't say what the satire claimed he said. 

Tell that to Buckeye, a reasonably intelligent man, who has just indicated that he was misled and therefore removed the rep point.

Buckeye elsewhere said cinepro was "a little too clever." I could agree with that if it were changed to "a little too careless."

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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30 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The stock-in-trade of the Onion is satire. There is little chance that a reasonable person would be blind-sided into taking literally what they print.

That said, I don't concede that even the Onion would contenance attributing something to a person that the person did not say without there being a clear indication of what was happening.

Tell that to Buckeye, a reasonably intelligent man, who has just indicated that he was misled and therefore removed the rep point.

Buckeye elsewhere said cinepro was "a little too clever." I could agree with that if it were changed to "a little too careless."

I resent being called either "reasonable" or "intelligent."

Seriously, though, if we're being very careful with wording, I said that I was confused by the comment. "Misled" suggests some intent on the part of cinepro, which I wouldn't presume.

And even more seriously, I proffer that this tangent has more than run its course.

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3 minutes ago, Buckeye said:

I resent being called either "reasonable" or "intelligent."

Seriously, though, if we're being very careful with wording, I said that I was confused by the comment. "Misled" suggests some intent on the part of cinepro, which I wouldn't presume.

One can be misled by one's own confusion or misunderstanding engendered by another's carelessness. But whatever.

Quote

And even more seriously, I proffer that this tangent has more than run its course.

I confess there is some lingering and residual resentment and indignation on my part. But I probably won't say anything else about it here -- unless Analytics or someone else rises up again to fan the flames.

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5 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

One can be misled by one's own confusion or misunderstanding engendered by another's carelessness. But whatever.

I confess there is some lingering and residual resentment and indignation on my part. But I probably won't say anything else about it here -- unless Analytics or someone else rises up again to fan the flames.

Sorry Scott.  Obviously, I thought Elder Bednar's comment about people becoming "confused" after the missionaries left being attributable to the Holy Ghost leaving was ignoring the much more obvious and likely explanation that they become "confused" because they probably go to the internet to learn more and quickly find sites that share (accurate) information that confuses them when compared to what the missionaries were saying.  I thought I worded it in such a way that it would be noticeable (especially for Elder Bednar), and that people would at least find it odd and check the source in the link above and then get the joke about "A+ for being honest", but in retrospect I should have presented it differently.  I suspected as much at the time, but was in a hurry.

An additional point would be that, to the degree that people might read that and think "Wow, that's great that Elder Bednar said that", it would indicate that such honesty is desired and would be considered admirable.  Of course, if I am wrong about people reading stuff on the internet and getting "confused", then I apologize (but based on what I've heard from missionaries over the last 10 years, it's common at least in my area).

Oh well, nothing risked, nothing gained.  As a daily reader of the newspaper, I suppose I'll have to resign myself to always being a reader, and never a journalist, since I have apparently stumbled into journalistic outer darkness, from which, if Janet Cooke and Stephen Glass are any indication, there is no return.

Poster removed from thread.

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On 1/25/2016 at 11:17 AM, Johnnie Cake said:

This past week there allegedly was a large Missionary Conference where in it was supposedly reported that church grown in 2015 will see a drop of nearly 70,000 convert baptisms from the 290,000 converts in 2014.  While I understand the problems with commenting on speculation, rumor and innuendo, if true, this is a staggering collapse of convert baptisms, particularly in light of the increase of missionaries and would represent a nearly 62% drop since the high water mark in 1989 when the church had over 589,000 converts and a 24% drop in converts in just one year.  If true, what is going on?

Can anyone confirm or deny these numbers?

 

Note to Mods: If this is an inappropriate topic, I apologize and feel free to delete. I'm just curious how to process this.

I can't speak to the report about an alleged drop in converts but, it would be consistent with what Pres. Nelson said on Jan 10 at the Worldwide YSA Devotional (bold added) --

"You will have days when you will be thoroughly discouraged. So, pray for courage not to give up! You will need that strength because it will become less and less popular to be a Latter-day Saint. Sadly, some whom you thought were your friends will betray you. And some things will simply seem unfair."

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Quote

I can't speak to the report about an alleged drop in converts but, it would be consistent with what Pres. Nelson said on Jan 10 at the Worldwide YSA Devotional (bold added) --

"You will have days when you will be thoroughly discouraged. So, pray for courage not to give up! You will need that strength because it will become less and less popular to be a Latter-day Saint. Sadly, some whom you thought were your friends will betray you. And some things will simply seem unfair.

Wow.  I'm not sure what to say here.

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5 hours ago, Analytics said:

It was obviously satire.  When a small minority of people don't immediately recognize satire for what it is, that indicates the satire is probably pretty good--not that the satirist is being dishonest.  But hey, if you are looking for an excuse to be enraged at critics, any excuse will do, real or imagined.

Sorry to be late to the party!

Are you talking about Elder Bednar's "I am scripture" comment?

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1 hour ago, consiglieri said:

Sorry to be late to the party!

Are you talking about Elder Bednar's "I am scripture" comment?

No.  Bednar spoke at a missionary thing, and touched on the topic of people listening to the missionaries and then not swallowing it after a cooling off period.  Cinepro made the following "quote" from a news article:

“Perhaps you have had the experience of people understanding clearly and simply the things that you teach, and when you leave, they become somewhat confused,” Elder Bednar continued. “That’s because the Holy Ghost is not there in such rich abundance as it was when you were with them.  Or it might be because they searched for information about the Church on the internet and discovered a ton of stuff that we usually don't share with investigators.”

There was some confusion about whether the part in bold was satire or a evil-spirited lie about what was actually said.

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Thanks for explaining that to me, Analytics!  ;)

Having now read the thread, I think it was simply an attempt at humor on the part of Cinepro--satire.

There was no evil intent.  "Evil intent" and "Cinepro" just don't go together in my book. Cinepro, however, is a master of satire and wry wit.

The funny thing is that the line Cinepro attributed to Elder Bednar seems to have made some posters think better of Bednar than without the line.

When Scott corrected the record, I could almost hear the sighs of disappointment.

Scott appears a bit overwrought about the issue.

But that's just my perspective.

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/24/2016 at 11:17 AM, Johnnie Cake said:

This past week there allegedly was a large Missionary Conference where in it was supposedly reported that church grown in 2015 will see a drop of nearly 70,000 convert baptisms from the 290,000 converts in 2014.  While I understand the problems with commenting on speculation, rumor and innuendo, if true, this is a staggering collapse of convert baptisms, particularly in light of the increase of missionaries and would represent a nearly 62% drop since the high water mark in 1989 when the church had over 589,000 converts and a 24% drop in converts in just one year.  If true, what is going on?

Can anyone confirm or deny these numbers?

 

Note to Mods: If this is an inappropriate topic, I apologize and feel free to delete. I'm just curious how to process this.

THREAD NECROMANCY ALERT! :zombie::zombie::zombie:

So now that the statistical report for year ending 2015 has been announced, what are we to make of the rumor highlighted in this post from back in January?

There was a drop in convert baptisms, but not nearly to the extent rumored here. It was 257,402 in 2015 vs. 296,803 in 2014.

It can be instructive to go back and revisit such rumors after the truth emerges.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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