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Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses Are Converting More Than The LDS


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David G. Stewart, Jr., of UNLV who operates the cumorah website published an article last week showing the Jehovah Witnesses and Adventist missionary programs are having more success in finding converts than the LDS. He gives some reasons and possible solutions. Has anyone read this article? Thoughts?


“Trends point to continued underperformance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compared to its competitors. While a range of possibilities exist, the default path is for further decline of growth rates. The LDS Church is unlikely to regain its former growth trajectory. Prospects of becoming a major world faith have faded and are likely beyond reach.”

http://jmssa.org/stewart/

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I read this several days ago, it's a fascinating read. I think some religions require 6 months to a year of study before they allow baptism, I think that would produce more firm converts than the status quo of rushing people off to baptism as quickly as possible. 

It used to be that only the most conservative faiths were seeing solid growth, but apparently that is no longer the case. Religion appears to be on the decline in America at least. 

Edited by Eschaton
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29 minutes ago, Peppermint Patty said:

“Trends point to continued underperformance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compared to its competitors. While a range of possibilities exist, the default path is for further decline of growth rates. The LDS Church is unlikely to regain its former growth trajectory. Prospects of becoming a major world faith have faded and are likely beyond reach.”

I don't think any "ark steadying" is advisable just yet... or ever, we know where that ends. 

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1 hour ago, Peppermint Patty said:

David G. Stewart, Jr., of UNLV who operates the cumorah website published an article last week showing the Jehovah Witnesses and Adventist missionary programs are having more success in finding converts than the LDS. He gives some reasons and possible solutions. Has anyone read this article? Thoughts?


“Trends point to continued underperformance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compared to its competitors. While a range of possibilities exist, the default path is for further decline of growth rates. The LDS Church is unlikely to regain its former growth trajectory. Prospects of becoming a major world faith have faded and are likely beyond reach.”

http://jmssa.org/stewart/

Prophecy continues to be fulfilled I see. Drat, I was hoping that Nephi and Heber C. Kimball were wrong.

/s

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10 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

Prophecy continues to be fulfilled I see. Drat, I was hoping that Nephi and Heber C. Kimball were wrong.

/s

I looked for a date on the article in the link but didn’t see one, which makes me wonder how new it is. The phenomenon it discusses is not; the Witnesses and the Adventists have been out-drawing the Latter-day Saints for quite a while now. 

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6 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

Compare apples to apples.  Do these other groups have the same conversion requirements as the LDS church does?  Few churches expect as much from their members as ours does.  In many churches, all is expected is one shows up.  No callings and other things are expected. 

I dunno. I see Witnesses of various ages out going door to door or contacting people at bus stops and train platforms, and they strike me as a dedicated lot. 

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9 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

Compare apples to apples.  Do these other groups have the same conversion requirements as the LDS church does?  Few churches expect as much from their members as ours does.  In many churches, all is expected is one shows up.  No callings and other things are expected. 

Jehovah Witness is a very high demand religion. I would say as much as our church does. I do not know much about the Seventh Day Adventists. 

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1 hour ago, Peppermint Patty said:

David G. Stewart, Jr., of UNLV who operates the cumorah website published an article last week showing the Jehovah Witnesses and Adventist missionary programs are having more success in finding converts than the LDS. He gives some reasons and possible solutions. Has anyone read this article? Thoughts?


“Trends point to continued underperformance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compared to its competitors. While a range of possibilities exist, the default path is for further decline of growth rates. The LDS Church is unlikely to regain its former growth trajectory. Prospects of becoming a major world faith have faded and are likely beyond reach.”

http://jmssa.org/stewart/

I have read about half and want to finish it.  I find it interesting so far.

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6 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I looked for a date on the article in the link but didn’t see one, which makes me wonder how new it is. The phenomenon it discusses is not; the Witnesses and the Adventists have been out-drawing the Latter-day Saints for quite a while now. 

Given the dates referenced my guess is it is fairly recent.  Maybe a few years ago?

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4 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I dunno. I see Witnesses of various ages out going door to door or contacting people at bus stops and train platforms, and they strike me as a dedicated lot. 

Yes all members are expected to preach door to door. It is not just left to a young missionary force.

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I dunno. I see Witnesses of various ages out going door to door or contacting people at bus stops and train platforms, and they strike me as a dedicated lot. 

Yeah, I don't know tons about the Adventists but the religion of the Witnesses is pretty demanding. They forsake holidays, for one, which does away with a lot of cherished traditions. Honestly, they might be more visibly demanding than us.

And that might actually help them, instead of hurt them. Our culture has a lot of anomie about it, a religion that demands a lot can be invigorating. The last year has seen a trend of hip, educated, visible urban young adults convert to Catholicism as a sort of countercultural protest.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I dunno. I see Witnesses of various ages out going door to door or contacting people at bus stops and train platforms, and they strike me as a dedicated lot. 

They are dedicated.   Our church requires much more of its members than quite a few other churches.   From church callings to tithing to worthiness issues and word of wisdom stuff.   We tend to emphasis church activity more than others.  Joining the LDS Church requires more sacrifice than others typically expect.  

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2 hours ago, Eschaton said:

I read this several days ago, it's a fascinating read. I think some religions require 6 months to a year of study before they allow baptism, I think that would produce more firm converts than the status quo of rushing people off to baptism as quickly as possible.

This has bothered me for a long time.  I think its better to baptize a few good, strong people than a bunch of people who are weak and fall away.  I would like to see at least 3 months of activity among potential converts before baptism.  Also expand the range of issues taught to investigators and more detail given.  Too much emphasis on baptism numbers just checks boxes but less long term benefit for all involved.

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30 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I looked for a date on the article in the link but didn’t see one, which makes me wonder how new it is. The phenomenon it discusses is not; the Witnesses and the Adventists have been out-drawing the Latter-day Saints for quite a while now. 

It looks like the article came out last week on November 28, 2022.

Edited by Peppermint Patty
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2 hours ago, Teancum said:

Jehovah Witness is a very high demand religion. I would say as much as our church does. I do not know much about the Seventh Day Adventists. 

I would say JW's are definitely more high demand than we are. Some of their parallel practices are usually more extreme/rigid in practice. Particularly when it comes to engagement with non-JW larger community. There's more time obligations, particularly if your an active member (wikipedia says that their members are expected to meet certain hours of proselytizing each month, ranging on the lower end of 50 hrs in some months month, or 70 to 120 hrs on the high end and the reports given are used to measure spirituality and determine leadership). And their focus on separateness from the world means there's codified shunning, reduced interaction with other communities, no holidays, very minimal national engagement, no reading of other religious texts allowed, reduced educational attainment, etc.  

Seventh Day Adventists are probably closer, from what I know about them (which is limited). They seem maybe a little more restrictive in certain ways than us....maybe slightly less in others.  Here's a straightforward rundown

 

with luv, 

BD

Edited by BlueDreams
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2 hours ago, Teancum said:

Jehovah Witness is a very high demand religion...
 

I served a mission in a European country which had compulsory service for all males and which did not the recognize conscientious objector status for Jehovah's Witnesses.  So young Jehovah's Witness men served their time in prison instead of in the military.   While I disagreed with their choice, I admired them for being true to their principles.  The Jehovah's Witnesses were arguably even less "socially acceptable" than we were, yet they outnumbered us about five-to-one in that country.  

 

Edited by manol
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2 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

This has bothered me for a long time.  I think its better to baptize a few good, strong people than a bunch of people who are weak and fall away.  I would like to see at least 3 months of activity among potential converts before baptism.  Also expand the range of issues taught to investigators and more detail given.  Too much emphasis on baptism numbers just checks boxes but less long term benefit for all involved.

While I tend to agree about the requirement to show some dedication before baptism, it is not how the Primitive Church operated. When Philip taught the eunuch, he baptized him after the first lesson. The righteous centurion was welcomed into the church likewise quite quickly. 

The Lord's parable of the sower, where seeds fell on different ground and the results depended upon the ground, says to me that it doesn't matter whether we think the seed is on good or bad ground. There are members who have fallen away after many decades, and some who have fallen away after a few months. I've seen new members disappear immediately after their baptism. We must fellowship all who come, but whether they stay or not is up to them. 

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I wonder why the author is relying on three-year-old data for the two comparison faith groups. It appears that the Witnesses have had a rough past few years. Some screen grabs:

pubchart?oid=693723728&format=image

 

pubchart?oid=57311699&format=image

Here's the 2021 Adventist statistical report on video:

And here is the transcript for this year (for which I can't find the video).

A few quotations of interest:

Quote

Compared to 2019, accessions in 2020 declined by more than half a million to 800,000, the lowest number of global accessions since 1997. But then we saw a resurgence which is more obvious if we zoom in, as in this slide, on the years since the 2015 GC Session. In 2021, despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, accessions increased by more than 200,000 so that they once again topped one million ...

This slide again shows 15 years’ worth of data on tithes and offerings. What we can see is that while the situation has only got slightly worse in that period, it has not got any better. Here is a major challenge for the Church ...

This slide shows net changes in membership over the last five years. You can see the way that losses literally undercut accessions. And yet we know that the losses are minimum figures because membership reviews are still being carried out in some divisions. How do we know that membership is still overstated? ...

This slide is another fifteen years’ worth of data, this time on losses. You see that in each of the last five years, and in twelve of the last fifteen, losses totaled more than half a million. This slide, which shows the last six years, brings out the scale of losses particularly starkly ...

Our net loss rate is 42 per cent. Four of every ten church members slip away.

 

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My experiences with JWs are they are very faithful and sometimes fanatical and... anarchists, they are so certain about a lot of beliefs around anti-governmental conspiracy theories. I don't look forward to complete governmental collapse as it is a mix bag. The UN Is a great candidate and well could be the government of the Beast... It just seems like a risk to base doctrine on only apparent providence, I mean what if the UN is not the one world order, maybe it's the US or China or fanatic Islam, then what? I wonder most, when the last member of their 144,000 ruling class, now elderly, die off, and thus no one to participate in the yearly "Memorial", I don't know if they survive, Jesus didn't come "soon" as they have said. There has been a stream of messages about having "patience". It makes me think they are a bit fragile.

Though Messianic Jews have been doing well as I can see and JWs and 7DAs are kind of the mainstream OGs with that kind of thinking, Name Theology (you must say the divine names) and observing Jewish laws and practice the New Testament didn't forbid and conspiracy theories about Constantine... Like Sunday sacraments were discussed for 200 years before Constantine was born, it can't have been his idea. He could be a cog in the wheel, but you need to get your theory straight. Messianic Jews are cool, many read Enoch... And some believe that the demons are aliens/UFOs and the pre-Flood people may have had advanced technology... Cool.

Edited by Pyreaux
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5 minutes ago, Pyreaux said:

I wonder most, when the last member of their 440,000 [sic] ruling class, now elderly, die off, and thus no one to participate in the yearly "Memorial", I don't know if they survive, Jesus didn't come "soon" as they have said

Not to worry! Instead of dying off, the 144,000 'anointed ones' are actually increasing in number:

pubchart?oid=136894273&format=image

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3 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Not to worry! Instead of dying off, the 144,000 'anointed ones' are actually increasing in number:

pubchart?oid=136894273&format=image

Hmmm.... New batches of 144,000? "The number of partakers includes those who mistakenly think that they are anointed. Some who at one point started to partake of the emblems later stopped. Others may have mental or emotional problems that lead them to believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven. Therefore, the number of partakers does not accurately indicate the number of anointed ones left on earth." (Watchtower 2016)

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7 hours ago, Pyreaux said:

I don't look forward to complete governmental collapse as it is a mix bag. The UN Is a great candidate and well could be the government of the Beast... It just seems like a risk to base doctrine on only apparent providence, I mean what if the UN is not the one world order, maybe it's the US or China or fanatic Islam, then what?

I reckon it goes like this:

  • The stone is cut out without hands in the restoration, and the first phase completed with the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and Hyrum in 1844 (this coincides with the second advent dates calculated by Miller and the Millerite movement that later became the SDA's after the "great disappointment" of 1844)... Right date, wrong event
  • The stone rolls fourth for 70 years and strikes the feet of the image in 1914 with the beginning of WWI (1914 was Charles Taze Russell's date for the second coming leads to JW's)... once again right date, wrong event.
  • Through WWI we lose 4 empires (Ottoman, Russian, Austro-hungarian, Germain) and get the League of Nations. Also we get the capture of palestine by Britain and the Balfour declaration in 1917.(declares a Jewish Homeland in palestine)
  • WWI leads directly to WWII which weakens the remaining imperial empires of Europe(France, Britain, Italian, etc.) so that their imperial ambitions are curtailed.
  • United Nations succeeds the League of Nations.
  • WWII holocaust leads to British empire having to make good on Balfour declaration.
  • WWII leads to the Cold war, and the world has gone from many empires(10 toes or iron and clay, 10 horns of Beast) to only two spheres of influence (breast and arms of silver) in a matter of decades.
  • Cold War/Decolonization leads to liberation of Africa, Asia etc. and greater co-operation within spheres of influence. With the UN and other atlantic organisations in place the seeds of Globalism are nurtured. 
  • Israel captures old Jerusalem and temple mount in 1967 during the 6 day war and 50 years(jubilee) since the Balfour Declaration.
  • The Cold war ends with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and we move from the "breast and arms of silver" to the "head of gold" as Globalisation kicks into full swing. Head of gold was first Babylon, globalism is second babylon, Babylon the Great the whore of all the earth who sits upon the beast(Westernisation and imperialism that grew out of Imperial Rome) and upon many waters (all nations and kingdoms under globalisation) 
  • Globalisation gave us a global elite, global corporations larger than any empires of the past, global trade, global trading currency, global financial systems etc.
  • 2017 US recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel 1917 - 1967 -2017 two completed 50 year Jubilee cycles and the jubilee pertains to the liberation of the land and people.
  • 2018 Trump begins a trade war with China, 2020 Covid exacerbates supply chain disruptions, 2021 western "defeat" in Afghanistan 2022 war in Ukraine leads to Russian sanctions etc.etc.
  • China and Russia are decoupling from the Global system of trade etc. that flourished after the end of the cold war.
  • Deglobalisation(fall of Babylon the Great) has begun and is gathering speed.
  • The stone cut out without hands struck the feet early in the twentieth century and cracks made their way all the way to the top of the image. Now the whole thing collapses and is blown away by the wind...

Only then does the stone become a great mountain that fills the whole earth...

Edited by gav
typo
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