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8 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

If that's the case, I would speculate that the leadership needs to continue to adjust to reflect that. If not, perhaps the Church risks losing that growth.

Of course, and the LDS Church is growing fastest in Africa right now.  That is why I suggest that the future of the LDS Church is in Africa.

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28 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Of course, and the LDS Church is growing fastest in Africa right now.  That is why I suggest that the future of the LDS Church is in Africa.

Yes, I got all that. 

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On 3/10/2021 at 5:14 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

If we follow these animated statistics out to 2100 (and the end of the video), the vast majority of largest cities in the world are projected to be in Africa -- which is where the LDS Church is growing fastest.  This may mean a largely Black LDS Church.  A very interesting development.

 

I was watching this intrigued when sometime around 1565 a major city went from #3 to suddenly and completely off the chart, with no gradual reduction in population, and I didn't catch it quickly enough, so had to dial back a few times before I found the city and the year. At first I thought it must have been some kind of natural disaster of epic proportions, from nearly half a million to less than 100,000 pretty much instantly. Nope. It was a human disaster of epic proportions!

It was Vijayanagara, India, the capital of the Vijayanagaran Empire.

"In 1565, the Vijayanagara leader Aliya Rama Raya was captured and killed, and the city fell to a coalition of Muslim Sultanates of the Deccan. The conquered capital city of Vijayanagara was looted and destroyed for 6 months, after which it remained in ruins."

 

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I remember about 20 years ago a big obstacle to church growth in many areas of Africa was the tribal/family structure. Missionaries would meet with a leader who would agree to join (or try to bargain to join) and promise to bring his whole tribe or family with him. This approach is incompatible with individual choice so it was a bit of a stumbling block. African congregations also have a disproportionately high rate of local leaders embezzling funds which is not surprising as corruption is normalized in far too many African nations. Hoping this is getting better.

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On 3/10/2021 at 7:09 AM, Meadowchik said:

If that's the case, I would speculate that the leadership needs to continue to adjust to reflect that. If not, perhaps the Church risks losing that growth.

Always find it interesting how religion, esp. Christianity modifies things as they go along and in some cases gloss over it.  For all the grief the LDS church gets, you guys are tame.  

Slave bible - Wikipedia

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church - Wikipedia

Read up on the history of the AME Zion denomination as well as the episcopal drama that happened in the 60s.  Considering what your prophet has been saying at conferences lately I think LDS leadership is doing a great job of including people regardless of skin color, not everyone else stateside is.

Edited by poptart
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50 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I remember about 20 years ago a big obstacle to church growth in many areas of Africa was the tribal/family structure. Missionaries would meet with a leader who would agree to join (or try to bargain to join) and promise to bring his whole tribe or family with him. This approach is incompatible with individual choice so it was a bit of a stumbling block. African congregations also have a disproportionately high rate of local leaders embezzling funds which is not surprising as corruption is normalized in far too many African nations. Hoping this is getting better.

When we were in Russia, we were informed it was very difficult for the Russians and other Eastern European members to understand the cycle of callings and release. Given their culture, a bishop being released was seen as a vote of no confidence and was a massive loss of status, for example. One bishop refused to be released, claimed to own the chapel and started his own church. Not sure how many of the congregation backed him. Never heard how it was resolved. 

No doubt it takes awhile for much of church structure, policies, and worthwhile culture (seeing each other as family, high service ethic) to become embedded in a new area.  Part of me likes the idea of calling established, active, and longtime families to volunteer to live in new areas for ten years to help with setting things up (maybe helping them find jobs and residences in the area, but otherwise they are just typical members), but then there is the risk of losing unique local qualities if such families end up dominating the new congregation intentionally or not.  When we were in Moscow, we met after the Moscow branch in a local school. The Primary leaders came in to see how to do the Primary presentation and some other stuff. I assume the same thing happened with the other auxiliaries. While I think it is great to be able to help, I would have liked to see what kind of Primary program they imagined rather than a repeat of ours (I wasn’t there when the program was done, so don’t know the end result).  Hopefully they were able to adapt what they learned to fit their unique circumstances.

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5 minutes ago, Calm said:

When we were in Russia, we were informed it was very difficult for the Russians and other Eastern European members to understand the cycle of callings and release. Given their culture, a bishop being released was seen as a vote of no confidence and was a massive loss of status, for example. One bishop refused to be released, claimed to own the chapel and started his own church. Not sure how many of the congregation backed him. Never heard how it was resolved. 

No doubt it takes awhile for much of church structure, policies, and worthwhile culture (seeing each other as family, high service ethic) to become embedded in a new area.  Part of me likes the idea of calling established, active, and longtime families to volunteer to live in new areas for ten years to help with setting things up (maybe helping them find jobs and residences in the area, but otherwise they are just typical members), but then there is the risk of losing unique local qualities if such families end up dominating the new congregation intentionally or not.  When we were in Moscow, we met after the Moscow branch in a local school. The Primary leaders came in to see how to do the Primary presentation and some other stuff. I assume the same thing happened with the other auxiliaries. While I think it is great to be able to help, I would have liked to see what kind of Primary program they imagined rather than a repeat of ours (I wasn’t there when the program was done, so don’t know the end result).  Hopefully they were able to adapt what they learned to fit their unique circumstances.

Something else about Africa, besides all the other Protestant denominations competing for souls, the Catholic Church there is booming.  Also, they don't quite have things like the mark of Cain thing going against them, Europe did a fantastic job of flushing racism a while ago, think for a lot of people here stateside it's still a work in progress.  It still blows my mind how a lot of religious orgs here totally ignore how some of their pastors back in the day had their klan robes next to their Sunday best.  I always wondered if people overseas paid more attention to stuff like that than people here do, i've heard from some people here there are parts of Europe that still look down on the LDS faithful and other non Trinitarians.  

I'm kind of surprised the LDS are even allowed in Russia, I thought Putin brought the hammer down on a lot of that.  My Understanding is the Arch Bishop over there has a ton of power.  That and he's not really a fan of ecumenicalism.  

Edited by poptart
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14 minutes ago, Calm said:

When we were in Russia, we were informed it was very difficult for the Russians and other Eastern European members to understand the cycle of callings and release. Given their culture, a bishop being released was seen as a vote of no confidence and was a massive loss of status, for example. One bishop refused to be released, claimed to own the chapel and started his own church. Not sure how many of the congregation backed him. Never heard how it was resolved. 

No doubt it takes awhile for much of church structure, policies, and worthwhile culture (seeing each other as family, high service ethic) to become embedded in a new area.  Part of me likes the idea of calling established, active, and longtime families to volunteer to live in new areas for ten years to help with setting things up (maybe helping them find jobs and residences in the area, but otherwise they are just typical members), but then there is the risk of losing unique local qualities if such families end up dominating the new congregation intentionally or not.  When we were in Moscow, we met after the Moscow branch in a local school. The Primary leaders came in to see how to do the Primary presentation and some other stuff. I assume the same thing happened with the other auxiliaries. While I think it is great to be able to help, I would have liked to see what kind of Primary program they imagined rather than a repeat of ours (I wasn’t there when the program was done, so don’t know the end result).  Hopefully they were able to adapt what they learned to fit their unique circumstances.

Not quite the topic, but thought this great news:

https://news-uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-expands-leadership-roles-for-women-in-europe?fbclid=IwAR1IcWbN2_xO5zA7FEX013zI-uq_e24YdgFZ5kwU80priPVI96g9gJ-uwSA

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4 minutes ago, poptart said:

I'm kind of surprised the LDS are even allowed in Russia,

We were there in 95, the Church hadn’t been there long. Shortly after we left, one of the candidates, Lebed, for Prime Minister pushed to get us kicked out as a dangerous foreign cult (I believe he retracted).  We were there on a Fulbright grant for my husband to teach entrepreneurship at one of the Moscow universities.  It was a worthwhile time, but so grateful it was over and once was definitely enough (would be willing to go to other countries, but not Russia, people wouldn’t even look at us and if they did, they would just stare, no customer service in the stores...now out in the fairs that were used to tourists, we had fun, but not safe to buy food there).

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

We were there in 95, the Church hadn’t been there long. Shortly after we left, one of the candidates, Lebed, for Prime Minister pushed to get us kicked out as a dangerous foreign cult (I believe he retracted).  We were there on a Fulbright grant for my husband to teach entrepreneurship at one of the Moscow universities.  It was a worthwhile time, but so grateful it was over and once was definitely enough (would be willing to go to other countries, but not Russia, people wouldn’t even look at us and if they did, they would just stare, no customer service in the stores...now out in the fairs that were used to tourists, we had fun, but not safe to buy food there).

Siberia is so pretty though, I want to see st. Petersburg and if possible that new cathedral they made for the Military.  Interesting, people wouldn't even look at you? 

3 minutes ago, Calm said:

I meant Christian denominations, Europe still has a ton of racism.

https://m.dw.com/en/german-fraternity-heidelberg/a-54858057

 

Waiting for something like this to catch on here, ever hear of atomwaffen?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Democratic_Party_of_Germany

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33 minutes ago, Calm said:

No doubt it takes awhile for much of church structure, policies, and worthwhile culture (seeing each other as family, high service ethic) to become embedded in a new area.  Part of me likes the idea of calling established, active, and longtime families to volunteer to live in new areas for ten years to help with setting things up (maybe helping them find jobs and residences in the area, but otherwise they are just typical members), but then there is the risk of losing unique local qualities if such families end up dominating the new congregation intentionally or not.  When we were in Moscow, we met after the Moscow branch in a local school. The Primary leaders came in to see how to do the Primary presentation and some other stuff. I assume the same thing happened with the other auxiliaries. While I think it is great to be able to help, I would have liked to see what kind of Primary program they imagined rather than a repeat of ours (I wasn’t there when the program was done, so don’t know the end result).  Hopefully they were able to adapt what they learned to fit their unique circumstances.

I don't know if this still exists but this used to be a leadership mission. Basically a senior couple was called into a newly established area. Usually the husband was a counselor in the bishopric and his wife a counselor in the Relief Society so they could advise and assist but would also avoid dominating the local congregation by being in charge.

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1 hour ago, poptart said:

Interesting, people wouldn't even look at you? 

Faces were rigid as well.  It was like they were afraid to show emotion, my daughter looks like that when she is in her deepest state of depression, zombie face.  It was very disconcerting as even the small change from the US to Canada in terms of interacting with strangers (talking to cashiers for example) bothered me for a few months as Canadians were a bit more reserved than what I was used to.  Russia felt very emotionally isolating.  It may have been neutral, no emotion, but it felt like “we don’t want you here”.  The smaller towns otoh, were fun.  They were like the bazaars, all eager to talk once the initial greeting is done and not hiding curiosity at all. We had kids swarming us when flying kites in one place (paraglide).

There was one young lady cashier who actually smiled at my son’s best friend (15 years old and already quite tall) because he was wearing sandals in late winter and had braces, but was also quite good looking and irrepressible.  

 The only person who talked to me on their own was an old English professor who asked if we were doing a spell (my five year old daughter and I were practicing sign language for Love One Another waiting for a bus after church) and then we had a nice long conversation, including how he had always wanted to visit England to use his English where it had started so to speak.

Edited by Calm
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28 minutes ago, Calm said:

Faces were rigid as well.  It was like they were afraid to show emotion, my daughter looks like that when she is in her deepest state of depression, zombie face.  It was very disconcerting as even the small change from the US to Canada in terms of interacting with strangers (talking to cashiers for example) bothered me for a few months as Canadians were a bit more reserved than what I was used to.  Russia felt very emotionally isolating.  It may have been neutral, no emotion, but it felt like “we don’t want you here”.  The smaller towns otoh, were fun.  They were like the bazaars, all eager to talk once the initial greeting is done and not hiding curiosity at all. We had kids swarming us when flying kites in one place (paraglide).

There was one young lady cashier who actually smiled at my son’s best friend (15 years old and already quite tall) because he was wearing sandals in late winter and had braces, but was also quite good looking and irrepressible.  

 The only person who talked to me on their own was an old English professor who asked if we were doing a spell (my five year old daughter and I were practicing sign language for Love One Another waiting for a bus after church) and then we had a nice long conversation, including how he had always wanted to visit England to use his English where it had started so to speak.

Huh, interesting.  I'm the opposite, I'm used to that kind of behavior.  Then again, I keep to myself.  I'm not the friendliest person IRL not trusting.  I've heard a lot of northern Europe is kinda cold too, it's cultural.

Asian cultures can be like that too.

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23 hours ago, poptart said:

Always find it interesting how religion, esp. Christianity modifies things as they go along and in some cases gloss over it.  For all the grief the LDS church gets, you guys are tame.  

Slave bible - Wikipedia

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church - Wikipedia

Read up on the history of the AME Zion denomination as well as the episcopal drama that happened in the 60s.  Considering what your prophet has been saying at conferences lately I think LDS leadership is doing a great job of including people regardless of skin color, not everyone else stateside is.

Progress is always welcome! My point is that if the future demographic of the church is going to be largely in Africa, I think the church leadership must reflect that growth too. Africans being represented in leadership means that the church will have a more direct understanding of the needs of the Saints there.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Progress is always welcome! My point is that if the future demographic of the church is going to be largely in Africa, I think the church leadership must reflect that growth too. Africans being represented in leadership means that the church will have a more direct understanding of the needs of the Saints there.

So far the LDS church is doing a fantastic job of that, I like what they've already done with LGBT rights, the last conference the church had was awe inspiring, wish others here stateside would follow your leadership's example.

Church Leaders Address Division, Racial Injustice During Conference - YouTube

Here's the thing, people aren't dumb, with the internet you can find info easily, especially if you're a large org.  Seeing your leadership put their money where their mouth is says a lot.  Outside of say the Catholic church the only ones who I could see really having impressive growth in Africa would be the LDS church, they have the resources and structure.  
Something i'm curious about, how are their intereactions with the countries that have Orthodox populations?  

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52 minutes ago, poptart said:

So far the LDS church is doing a fantastic job of that, I like what they've already done with LGBT rights, the last conference the church had was awe inspiring, wish others here stateside would follow your leadership's example.

Church Leaders Address Division, Racial Injustice During Conference - YouTube

Here's the thing, people aren't dumb, with the internet you can find info easily, especially if you're a large org.  Seeing your leadership put their money where their mouth is says a lot.  Outside of say the Catholic church the only ones who I could see really having impressive growth in Africa would be the LDS church, they have the resources and structure.  
Something i'm curious about, how are their intereactions with the countries that have Orthodox populations?  

Representation is not the same as policy, statements, or financing.

That said, what do you mean exactly re: 1) LGBT rights? And 2)when you say they "put their money where their mouth is?"

Edited by Meadowchik
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18 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Representation is not the same as policy, statements, or financing.

That said, what do you mean exactly re: 1) LGBT rights? And 2)when you say they "put their money where their mouth is?"

I'm skeptical of most religious institutions here stateside, those of the Abrahamic variety seem to be more about oppression and power.  The Buddhist Churches of America, the Soka Gakkai and other non Christian groups here welcome LGBT people with open arms.  I'm a study of religion here for what my experience of it has been, power and influence.  that being said, this impressed me.

Why the LDS Church Supports Utah's Conversion Therapy Ban | Time

Meanwhile in my state....

Denver Archbishop Urges Catholics To Help Gay People Be Heterosexuals (coloradotimesrecorder.com)

Colorado's Ban on 'Conversion Therapy' Won't Stop the Catholic Church - Rewire News Group

I wish Christian institutions here would be like they are across the pond, less politics and more about helping the poor and marginalized like Jesus did but that's how things here are.  That being said, seeing your leadership act the way they have is something, you have more conservative elements here still railing against helping the poor, marginalizing LGBTQ groups and continuing to alienate those who don't think like them.  At least your leadership is smart enough to extend an olive branch.

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On 3/12/2021 at 9:00 PM, Calm said:

When we were in Russia, we were informed it was very difficult for the Russians and other Eastern European members to understand the cycle of callings and release. Given their culture, a bishop being released was seen as a vote of no confidence and was a massive loss of status, for example.

In one of the wards in Germany I was assigned to on my mission (1970s), the bishop and a high councilor actually worked for the same company and were one day discussing ward affairs at lunch, talking about releasing the president of a dependent branch and calling another man, when a non-member colleague who had been listening, commented about how the current branch president was being "herabgesetzt". The word "herabsetzen" in the context of a position in a heirarchy means "belittled", "reduced in status", "disparaged", "diminished" and a few other possible equivalents. So, it's Western Europeans as well. 

Well, it's also Germany. Germans are extremely conscious of titles. Which is at least one reason why full-time male missionaries in German-speaking missions are not addressed as "Elder", but as "Brother". This avoids the title thing. I served in a university town, and we once tracted through a somewhat well-to-do neighborhood. Mailboxes and doors were regularly labelled with who lived there, complete with full academic titles. Herr Doktor Doktor Schmidt (guy had two doctorates). Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Braun (guy had two doctorates and a professorship). Germans are dead serious about titles. My favorite long German word is a title: Donaudampffschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän. Or, Danube Steamship Company Captain. One word.

On the other hand, most religious organizations outside ours do not have temporary assignments like we do. A man who gets raised to the position of bishop in the Catholic Church stays a bishop for the rest of his life -- it's his career, after all -- and it is a rare day that he loses that position. He might be shuffled around to another diocese, or might be raised to archbishop, cardinal, or Pope, but he stays a bishop. This thing we do, making a man a bishop for only 5 years? It's totally out of their understanding and experience. 

Edited by Stargazer
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18 hours ago, Stargazer said:

My favorite long German word is a title: Donaudampffschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän

I like the slight longer one that one of my high school german teachers told us,

Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajütentürsschlüssel

which is the key to the cabin belonging to the aforementioned captain.

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On 3/15/2021 at 8:22 AM, JustAnAustralian said:

I like the slight longer one that one of my high school german teachers told us,

Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajütentürsschlüssel

which is the key to the cabin belonging to the aforementioned captain.

Wow, now that's a word I had not heard of before. I don't mean the whole word, but the part meaning "cabin": Kajüt.  I would have used Kabine.

As in Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskabinentürsschlüssel

Isn't agglutination fun?!?! Too bad we don't use it that much in English. Except that we really can't, because our syntax has levelled out considerably from English's West Germanic roots. 

I really had fun pronouncing the cabin door key word, by the way! :D 

 

Edited by Stargazer
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