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


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4 hours 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?

Yes, you have to follow your own path. 

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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

There's a tik-tok video…

Does anything else need to be added after this?

I suppose some Tik Tok is valid documentation, but since I saw tons of advertising for it at the beginning that was based on making deceptions look real (and then there are all the FB pages that somehow pop up in my feed showing Tik Tok claims of DIY hacks are bogus), I find it extremely hard to take anything published on Tik Tok seriously instead of seeing it as entertainment that is often manipulated or people trying to get noticed by as many others as they can. 
 

Unless I have misread you because of your next posts and you were actually saying this Tik Tok video was a joke and it was thought to be serious and people got offended when they didn’t need to be…which makes sense to me. 

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, Fether said:

Did you read the part where it says Nephi‘s words are true? Was that not convincing???

That is kind of begging the question.  Nephi's words are true because he says they are?  I prefer Moroni's promise,  Read it, pray about it, and then go from there.

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5 hours ago, ttribe said:

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.

Of course you will, and you have a right to do so.  However, anecdotal evidence is not real evidence.

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4 hours ago, Stargazer said:

For what its worth, and maybe I'm an idiot, but I've never felt like my thoughts or mind were being controlled by the church. Far from it. 

 

That's when they know they've really got us!  [Cue "Twilight Zone" theme.] ;)

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4 hours ago, Teancum said:

Do you ever offer anything of substance?

Not to you, apparently.  That's fine.  To each, his own.  In case you're wondering, I've never felt I needed your permission to frequent this corner of Cyberspace or to post here.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Of course you will, and you have a right to do so.  However, anecdotal evidence is not real evidence.

Of course it's 'real' evidence! It's just not empirically tested yet. You know better than that.

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On 1/17/2022 at 3:39 PM, Teancum said:

Or maybe there is a problem with the product.

This comes to mind…

Quote

D&C 138:26 And yet, notwithstanding his mighty works, and miracles, and proclamation of the truth, in great power and authority, there were but few who hearkened to his voice, and rejoiced in his presence, and received salvation at his hands.

 

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8 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Are you serious? Or have you really bought and drank the entire pitcher of Kool-aid?

He went to Home Depot to buy something there, in this case a piece of wood, to pose for a video and photo commemorating his purchase, in order to demonstrate pushing back against a call to boycott Home Depot because they dared to refuse to take a stance on the State of Georgia's 2021 voting legislation that the Left was then having a hissy-fit over. 

Even Russia-Today recognized what was going on:

"Shapiro’s video and purchase were meant as a symbolic stance against calls for a boycott of the company after they released a statement taking an apolitical stance on Georgia’s new voting legislation, which other organizations like Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball (MLB) have stood firmly against."

I have no idea whether Shapiro knows how to pound nails into a piece of wood or not. But it should be flipping obvious that the bag covers the piece of wood so that the Home Depot logo is obvious -- demonstrating that it was bought from Home Depot instead of just being a random piece of lumber.

So, instead of seeing the point, the Left woke mob squints and unleashes trash-talk about how could anyone be so stupid as to put a piece of wood into a bag?!?! 

It's pretty typical, actually.

Do you know that I once posted a comment on a Facebook friend's feed and got called a racist by the "friend" and his coterie of fellow-posters? And why? Because I dared to post a comment that failed to call President Trump a racist. Instead of calling Trump a racist I posted to correct another poster's fact claim (while ranting about Trump he stated something that was actually incorrect). I don't remember what the misstatement of fact was, but it actually had no bearing on whether Trump was a racist or not -- he was just factually incorrect.  And I didn't attempt to defend myself further in that thread -- as it was obvious they were involved in a "hate fest."

What I did do, however, was to go to my own news feed to describe what had just happened to me, without mentioning the "friend", to express my perplexity and dismay over what happened. And then guess what? This "friend" followed me to my own newsfeed to start accusing me again of racism! Until my own "in real life" friends started posting in response to his accusation that they'd known me for decades and there wasn't a chance that I was a racist. He finally backed down to the lesser crime of "accessory to racism". 

You ever read Orwell's 1984? In that prescient novel, there is the "Two Minutes Hate." It's "the daily, public period during which members of the Outer Party of Oceania must watch a film depicting the enemies of the state, specifically Emmanuel Goldstein and his followers, to openly and loudly express hatred for them. The political purpose of the Two Minutes Hate is to allow the citizens of Oceania to vent their existential anguish and personal hatreds towards politically expedient enemies: Goldstein and the enemy superstate of the moment. In re-directing the members' subconscious feelings away from the Party's government of Oceania, and towards non-existent external enemies, the Party minimises thoughtcrime and the consequent, subversive behaviours of thoughtcriminals."

That's what was going on in that hatefest where I was called a racist. While everyone was loudly and vehemently demonstrating their hatred of the thoughtcriminal of the moment, I dared to tell one of them that "Actually, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is in Italy, not Spain." 

 

 

I know why he was doing it. That is part of what makes it funny. If it is a symbolic gesture buy a useful tool. A new screwdriver or some pliers or measuring tape or something you can actually use. Spend a bit of money as part of your support. Buying a random piece of wood he is going to throw away is just ridiculous. Bagging the piece of wood just makes you look ridiculous.

I have read 1984. And no, that is not what you were facing unless the government ordered your ‘friend’ and everyone else to do what they did and ordered them to criticize you and whoever else they were criticizing. Being criticized (rightly or wrongly) is part of life. It is not something out of Orwell or even a prelude to anything out of Orwell. 1984 is about draconian government control, surveillance, and obvious and continuous rewrites of history where everyone just goes along with the lie knowing it is a lie.

I am glad you were able to correct them on where the Tower of Pisa is but I am not sure what the context was. I am not sure how this rant follows from mocking a public figure for being ridiculous unless you think I am an agent of an Orwellian police state. I hope I am not because I am not definitely getting paid for it.

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7 hours ago, Stargazer said:

You can't joke in this New Woke World.

There's a tik-tok video going around where a substitute teacher reports being fired because she didn't take a pupil's claim of identifying as a cat seriously, by "meowing" back at a child who "meowed" at her.

We live in a very odd time.

I would wait for a fact check on that one. People are allowed to lie on the internet. Crazy but true.

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7 hours ago, Calm said:

Does anything else need to be added after this?

I suppose some Tik Tok is valid documentation, but since I saw tons of advertising for it at the beginning that was based on making deceptions look real (and then there are all the FB pages that somehow pop up in my feed showing Tik Tok claims of DIY hacks are bogus), I find it extremely hard to take anything published on Tik Tok seriously instead of seeing it as entertainment that is often manipulated or people trying to get noticed by as many others as they can. 
 

Unless I have misread you because of your next posts and you were actually saying this Tik Tok video was a joke and it was thought to be serious and people got offended when they didn’t need to be…which makes sense to me. 

I’ve not seen the video, but I doubt it was intended to be taken seriously. It works for me as satire. I, for one, chuckled when I read about it on here. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’ve not seen the video, but I doubt it was intended to be taken seriously. It works for me as satire. I, for one, chuckled when I read about it on here. 

As long as it is not offered as evidence one can’t joke in this world, since a satire would be evidence of the opposite IMO.

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https://www.allsides.com/news/2022-01-16-0835/teacher-alleges-she-was-fired-not-meowing-back-student-who-identifies-cat

If accurate, it appears she mocks the child so he is upset and leaves, mocks him while he is leaving so the whole class laughs after him.  She is a substitute teacher.  I wouldn’t fire her for not going along with the meow, I would fire her for humiliating the child in front of his peers.

And she thinks there is no problem when the kid leaves the classroom without permission and that it is great she got the class laughing at the kid as he runs away in embarrassment.

Edited by Calm
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11 hours ago, Calm said:

No, it is not from the Church. Why is this falsehood kept being repeated by otherwise knowledgeable people?  It is clear from the description a number of academics, critics, former members and members got together and decided to create a study that would be given to church leaders to influence their choices in the future.  Iirc, they had one presentation given to a group of leaders and early consultations with Elder Jensen iirc, but other arranged meetings never came about and they simply submitted the final report to be read.  
 

Some leaders were reported as acknowledging they had reviewed it, but it doesn’t sound like there was much beyond politeness in the reception to me given the people doing the description of events are biased to present them in a positive way (as anyone would be).

Read how it came about in the last section. It was volunteered to the church only. It may have had an impact just the way they assumed or even more, it may have had none, it may have had a completely different impact than expected (there was a rumor going around that the Church was going to shift to allowing pants for women where they hadn’t before shortly before the pants to church day protest occurred, once the protest occurred plans were dropped; Imo the number of changes for women were also slowed during the time period of OrdainWomen’s visible protesting; sometimes pushing the Church forward leads to it stopping to take its time).  But what ever impact the study had, it was not produced by the Church.

I wish the studies done by the Church were released. I am not antistudy or anti the claims made in this study. It might be accurate.  But it is not church sponsored, not “from” or “by” the Church.  It was “for” the Church in the same way a birthday gift is for the receiver.

I get excited there is something new every time I read “here is a study from the Church”. And then I see it is just this again.  Stop teasing me, please!

 

I stand corrected.  Thank you.

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9 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Not to you, apparently.  That's fine.  To each, his own.  In case you're wondering, I've never felt I needed your permission to frequent this corner of Cyberspace or to post here.

Deleted double post

Edited by Teancum
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18 hours ago, pogi said:

Hmmm...it seems that this blog is not taking in the big picture of what is happening in Christianity and organized religion in general and makes it seem like our decline is not attributed to what we are seeing in society at large but must be primarily about our history.  Why? That seems like a critical error.  Again, our declines seem to be relatively moderate comparatively speaking - our modest growth rate can't account for a steady 2% self-reported affiliation over a decade while the rest of Christianity is dropping like flies at 12% lower rates. 

Why would it give you comfort to know you may have declining growth even though other sects do?

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20 hours ago, pogi said:

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

No I can't.  But why does that matter? If my neighbor's house is on fire should I be ok if mine is as well?

20 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. 

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:

 

I think your logic is flawed.  But I am not arguing that the church is losing members JUST because or primarily due to the historical and doctrinal issues.  Nor does the blog I started with.  But it is pretty clear it has become a much larger issue then  in the past.

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15 hours 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 see this as problematic. I believed in this process until I understood the confirmation I had was based in information for which I did not have full disclosure.  Once I had it and it was obviously false how can why seek a confirmation from God?  The D&C says study it out then pray.  But study can lead to the necessity to a conclusion that one not need ask.  That said as my personal faith in Mormonism fell apart I continued to pray for guidance.  I have not received anything yet to persuade me my current conclusions are wrong.

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12 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

It's evidence of just how happy he is! :D

It is amazing that you seem to feel a need to continue to comment on my emotional state. Nevertheless you are in error.  Carry on.

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12 hours ago, sunstoned said:

That is kind of begging the question.  Nephi's words are true because he says they are?  I prefer Moroni's promise,  Read it, pray about it, and then go from there.

I was making a joke

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22 hours ago, ttribe said:

Three, the comparison you are suggesting could only be done if the record-keeping between the LDS Church and other "organized Christian religion[s]" was substantially similar.

This is an excellent point. I can assure you the record keeping methods are more dissimilar than similar.

 

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20 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Dr Bart Ehrman, who is well-informed (love that guy), left evangelicalism for just those reasons. 

Wouldn't it be a bit more accurate to say that he left Christianity? A Fundamentalist turned agnostic-atheist, for a while in-between Evangelical did not just leave Evangelicalism. He made a stop there while on a very extensive journey.

You can maintain an LDS testimony in the LDS church, affirm all the statements of faith and love Bart Ehrman, the hero of progressive secular Biblical scholarship? You love him? Wow!

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