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Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in decline?


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18 hours ago, kimpearson said:

 The current efforts of general authorities to rewrite Church history by including things not taught for a hundred years as if they were always taught is just to obvious. 

How is this, "rewriting history"?  No history has been changed by the Church.  All of these things have been addressed by the Church for fifty years or more.  Obviously, they are more front and center today due to advanced technology.

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Also the explanation of many of these new/old facts is so shadowed with a slant justifying the facts as faith promoting rather than troubling that many people see right through it when they do their own research and lose trust in leaders. 

There are no new or old facts.  The Church has clearly recognized that historical issues have caused some to stumble.  I would agree that they don't move particularly fast when dealing with some things, but they are dealing with it and have not turned a blind eye to it.  Are there things in the Gospel Topics essays or in the, "Saints" books that you feel are untrue or attempts to mislead?  If so, please point them out.

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The statement by general authorities and local leaders that all is well in Zion when many are experiencing just the opposite also creates a loss of trust.

I have not heard this from any General Authority, in my life time.

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If you and I are correct about the coming decline, I believe the Church has a history of changing when it realizes its very existence is in danger as evidenced by polygamy and the priesthood ban. 

It is true that laws against plural marriage had the potential to financially destroy the Church, but it was not the members or even President Woodruff who wanted to discontinue its practice.  As for the priesthood ban, at the time of the revelation, there was no eminent destruction of the Church or its finances on the horizon.

 

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16 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Throughout the Book of Mormon, the Church experiences setbacks and disruptions, followed in most cases by periods of great prosperity. I get the impression sometimes that our critics have never really read the book all that carefully ...

I have read the fictional Book of Mormon at least 20 plus times that included in depth study.

Edited by Teancum
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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

No idea. Does he know how to fight?

Don't let him catch you with one of these:

Joe Rogan DESTROYS heavy bag with INSANE kicks! - YouTube

A professional MMA fighter once tagged me with a solid one of those on the outer thigh.  Hurt for weeks.  Fortunately the way Rogan's practicing it, you can see him load up in time to defend or even counter.  

Edited by Olmec Donald
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4 hours ago, pogi said:

Can you show me that membership in our church is declining any faster than organized Christian religion in general?

WHo cares?  How is that relevant to you?  But no I cannot. But if other religions are declining and Mormonism is as well why would you have comfort from that?

4 hours ago, pogi said:

If the Church's decline was predominantly attributed to these "difficult' issues that you suggest, then we would expect the same fall-out that we are seeing in organized religion in general plus a substantially greater fall-out on top of that from these uniquely "difficult" issues facing the church. 

Not necessarily.

4 hours ago, pogi said:

If the decline is pretty much on-par with the rest of organized religion in Christianity however, then how can you attribute the decline in our church to these uniquely "difficult" issues that our church is facing and not to what the rest of organized religion is dealing with described below:

 

Again if you care about the disaffection what relevance is this? It is your church. Do you want to prevent the decline or not?  Or are you just looking to feel happy and fussy about it?  "Oh well, other religions are bleeding members and we are as well. Who cares?'

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Best line of the day, right there!  You heard it here first, folks! :D;)  Me?  I do my best to try to ease as much sniffering as I can! :D 

Haahahhaah!  You are catching more poor editing on my posts. You did make me laugh,

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Best line of the day, right there!  You heard it here first, folks! :D;)  Me?  I do my best to try to ease as much sniffering as I can! :D 

So it was meant to be we all suffer from cognitive dissonance to one degree or another.

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1 hour ago, ttribe said:

Oh, good grief, spare me your intellectual superiority act.  I did no such elevating of myself to the level you suggested, nor was my response born from emotionalism. That's just you engaging in your standard dismissiveness.

If all you are saying is that more people 'leave' the church for the exact same reasons they leave other churches (e.g. don't want to go to church, don't want to live the tenants, fall out of the habit, etc.), then you are saying nothing interesting. For those of us who served missions, married in the temple, held numerous callings, gave freely of our time, talents, money, etc. and who left for reasons other than the same ol' religious drifting endemic to any large society, then there is a great deal of interest in what we perceive as an increase in the number of people in our wards, neighborhoods, towns, etc. who are also leaving (at least partly) due to doctrinal and historical issues, anecdotal as it may be.  The fact is there is little to no hard data to measure the 'leaving' variable in such a way as to tease out the matter. Nevertheless, your dehumanizing, hand-waving, dismissive approach does a disservice to you, LDS apologetics and the church in general.  In short, you help no one with such condescension.

I am seeing it is a total waste of time to try to reason with these TBMs. You and I are malcontents.  We left or other reason than our painful research caused us to question that which we had loved and were so devoted to.  Whatever.  I am quite fine with seeing how the TBMs approach this. It is enlightening. If their view is the majority then we can watch Mormonism crumble.

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7 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I'm not convinced the average member believes in prophecy any more. 

As they should not since so called prophecies fail almost all of the time.

7 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

 

 

For example:

Wilford Woodruff Journal Aug 1863 "That was the day when Presidet Young & the Apostles were with us. That was before New York was destroyed by an Earthquake. It was before Boston was swept into the sea by the sea heaving itself beyond its bounds. It was before Albany was destroyed By fire. Yea at that time you will remember the scenes of this day. Treasure them up & forget them Not.

President Young followed and said what Br Woodruff had said was revelation and would be fulfilled."

Well thank you for proving my point since none of these so called prophecies have come to pass. NYC, Boston and Albany are quite fine. I have been in all three cities in the past year. 

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6 hours ago, kimpearson said:

Please reflect on what the setbacks and disruptions to the Church were ... pride, expensive clothes and ignoring the poor going on among the active members of the Church.

You'll find no argument from me that those things did serious damage to the ancient Church! Add to that list wars and political strifes, too, sometimes caused (or worsened) by dissenters from the faith.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, ttribe said:

Oh, good grief, spare me your intellectual superiority act.  I did no such elevating of myself to the level you suggested, nor was my response born from emotionalism. That's just you engaging in your standard dismissiveness.

I apologize for being brusque.

1 hour ago, ttribe said:

If all you are saying is that more people 'leave' the church for the exact same reasons they leave other churches (e.g. don't want to go to church, don't want to live the tenants, fall out of the habit, etc.), then you are saying nothing interesting. For those of us who served missions, married in the temple, held numerous callings, gave freely of our time, talents, money, etc. and who left for reasons other than the same ol' religious drifting endemic to any large society, then there is a great deal of interest in what we perceive as an increase in the number of people in our wards, neighborhoods, towns, etc. who are also leaving (at least partly) due to doctrinal and historical issues, anecdotal as it may be.  The fact is there is little to no hard data to measure the 'leaving' variable in such a way as to tease out the matter.

Scholars have been looking at this phenomenon for decades and have come to some secure conclusions based on hard data.  We have discussed this repeatedly on this board with full citations.  Malcontents have little stomach for that and so dismiss it out of hand, as you do.  I have noticed also that such malcontents greatly fear substantive discussion of the actual issues, preferring instead to condemn and have done with it.

1 hour ago, ttribe said:

Nevertheless, your dehumanizing, hand-waving, dismissive approach does a disservice to you, LDS apologetics and the church in general.  In short, you help no one with such condescension.

I don't really believe in LDS apologetics and never have.  Most of it is just silly, both pro and con.  However, that applies as much to non-LDS churches and their internal disputes.

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7 hours ago, Teancum said:

So you can read my mind?

Nope, just your posts.

I have a BA in literary studies, a dual MA in history and language, and a PhD in history, so I'm not unfamiliar with encountering dramatic irony in all kinds of texts.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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25 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I apologize for being brusque.

Scholars have been looking at this phenomenon for decades and have come to some secure conclusions based on hard data.  We have discussed this repeatedly on this board with full citations.  Malcontents have little stomach for that and so dismiss it out of hand, as you do.  I have noticed also that such malcontents greatly fear substantive discussion of the actual issues, preferring instead to condemn and have done with it.

I don't really believe in LDS apologetics and never have.  Most of it is just silly, both pro and con.  However, that applies as much to non-LDS churches and their internal disputes.

I've dismissed nothing; I am, as a general rule, open to all data.  But, when my personal experience is demeaned, devalued, and dismissed, I will speak up.

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50 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I am seeing it is a total waste of time to try to reason with these TBMs. You and I are malcontents.  We left or other reason than our painful research caused us to question that which we had loved and were so devoted to.  Whatever.  I am quite fine with seeing how the TBMs approach this. It is enlightening. If their view is the majority then we can watch Mormonism crumble.

No amount of intellectual ability will cause you to stay in the church. The ability to receive messages from God through the Holy Spirit is what will retain membership. No one can make you see the light through research.

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4 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

No amount of intellectual ability will cause you to stay in the church. The ability to receive messages from God through the Holy Spirit is what will retain membership. No one can make you see the light through research.

I'm curious, would you say the same thing to a former Scientologist who had researched his/her/their way out of Scientology? Would you say the same thing to a former Muslim who had researched his/her/their way out of Islam? Would you say the same thing to a former Catholic who had researched his/her/their way out of Catholicism?

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Presented without comment: A parable from Stormin' Mormon.

-----

I used to have two favorite lunch spots near my office: a little street taco shop with an amazing salsa selection, and a poke restaurant that, among other possible ingredients, included hot cheetos as a possible topping for your poke bowl.  Since March 2020, they have both closed down and gone out of business.  COVID restrictions probably killed the taco shop, but the poke restaurant must have been a victim to southern Arizonan's aversion to raw fish.

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6 hours ago, Fether said:

I’m genuinely interested in what you mean by this 

I agree. My comment wasn’t intended to be an exhaustive list. If I spent more then 30 seconds thinking about it, I’m sure I could come up with better things. My point was that changes the church should make are based on what mindset and presupposed beliefs one has.

 

Since it seems you spent little time on this why should I spend time telling why I think our black and white contrast is narrow minded?

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17 minutes ago, ttribe said:

I'm curious, would you say the same thing to a former Scientologist who had researched his/her/their way out of Scientology? Would you say the same thing to a former Muslim who had researched his/her/their way out of Islam? Would you say the same thing to a former Catholic who had researched his/her/their way out of Catholicism?

Only if they converted to Mormonism.

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6 hours ago, ttribe said:

Well, good gosh golly, Robert!  I'm so glad you are here to inform those of us who thought we might have left because of "Historical and doctrinal concerns" what we really left for! Or, if not, that I'm just part of a "very small group of angry malcontents" who are "poorly informed!" Without you, I am utterly lost.

Please, Robert, tell me all about why I really left. Surely, you know better than I do.

Robert knows your situation and issues better than you do don't you know?  You and me?  Just malcontents who are poorly informed.  What losers we are.😏

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Just now, Teancum said:

Robert knows your situation and issues better than you do don't you know?  You and me?  Just malcontents who are poorly informed.  What losers we are.😏

Hence, I have now added "Resident Malcontent" to my profile as one one of my 'interests.' If I am going to be labeled, might as well embrace it.

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

WHo cares?  How is that relevant to you?  But no I cannot. But if other religions are declining and Mormonism is as well why would you have comfort from that?

Not necessarily.

Again if you care about the disaffection what relevance is this? It is your church. Do you want to prevent the decline or not?  Or are you just looking to feel happy and fussy about it?  "Oh well, other religions are bleeding members and we are as well. Who cares?'

How is it relevant?  Well, isn't it important to know the source of bleeding in order to stop the hemorrhage?  Someone is attributing the decline in our church to unique "difficulties" with our church history, etc without giving a full and thorough assessment.  What good is it to address a scratch on your leg when there is a tear in your artery?   I don't doubt that there is some hemorrhage with these historical issues, but to claim that our church is struggling primarily because of these unique issues we see in Mormonism, then I think they are blind to what is happening in society at large.  I think misses the primary source of hemorrhage - which is not unique to our church in the least.  In fact, we seem to be hemorrhaging less than other religions.  How could that be given our "difficult" history and all?  That is also an important question to ask.  If our primary source of hemorrhage are these "difficult" issues, than somehow we are completely immune to the general societal decline in religiosity.  That seems terribly unlikely, doesn't it?

You asked, "what steps can the Church do, if any, to stave this off?"

Again, I think it is important to first understand the issue. I don't think this blogger really understands the big picture and is basing judgement on anecdotes.  How does the general decline in religiosity in society play into these numbers?  Can you answer that question?  You don't seem to think it is an important or relevant one - why?  Is it easier for you to try and find validation in your personal and anecdotal reasons for leaving rather than care about assessing the bigger picture and other powers at play?   While it might make you feel better to think that everyone is turning from religion for the same reasons you are, it is not that simple. 

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47 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Since it seems you spent little time on this why should I spend time telling why I think our black and white contrast is narrow minded?

🤷🏻‍♂️ You shouldn’t I guess. I’m not asking for more.

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

As they should not since so called prophecies fail almost all of the time.

Well thank you for proving my point since none of these so called prophecies have come to pass.

Yet.

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NYC, Boston and Albany are quite fine. I have been in all three cities in the past year. 

Brave. 

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I think the biggest tragedy is that faithful members delay in getting married and do not welcome children that might come.   That means that spirits do not have the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the greater likelihood of intact families that faithful members having big families (even when they eat simple meals because they cannot afford much because they have them).

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