Comments about ‘14 million Mormons and counting’

Return to article »

Published: Monday, Jan. 24 2011 9:00 a.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Salt Lake City, UT

The Book of Mormon is replete with examples of entire communities turning away from the Church, and it's written for our day, so why would we be surprised if the same thing happens today. I'm with the person who said just keep loving our neighbor and don't worry about numbers.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

TO Bluto:

You say "Mormons are considered "Active" if they attend Sacrament 3 times a month or 156 times a year."

How is 3 times a month equal to 156 times a year?

I think there are a lot of people who don't go to church anymore. I also know there are a lot of people who don't believe it is true anymore but still go for either social reasons or because of family pressure. Most of my friends fall in the category of those who go but know it's not "true".

Michael De Groote

Activity is an interesting component of membership measurement. I don't think that activity has ever been a part of how the LDS Church has counted its baptized membership. This means that comparing growth from one year to another still works well.

Regardless of activity rate percentages, the membership of the LDS Church has grown considerably whether you are looking at just the number of active members or at the number of all members.

That growth rate also appears to still be way above Stark's lower estimates.

Hayden, ID

I hope they call me on another mission!

Tooele, UT

@Mountanman 6:27 - You got to serve two missions? I believe you, just curious to know your age at the time of your second mission.

@Emily 8:05 - To answer your question, it is NO. If you have had your named removed from the records of the church, you are not counted as part of the 14-million. Neither are you counted if you have been excommunicated.

And before anyone makes the silly claim I've heard more than once, NO, the 14-million does NOT count deceased people who have had their work done in the temple.

@Kimball Woodruff 9:10 - I've always found it interesting how in one breath, some critics of the LDS Church will go on and on about the church's supposed "racist" doctrines, but then a few minutes later, these same critics attack the LDS Church's growth in places like South America and Africa among those where, "...information is hard to find."

Quite interesting, don't you think?

Scottsdale, AZ

Mormonism hasn't fared well in any modern country where there is widespread/governmental religious persecution. What makes anyone think that they will fare any better in the Tribulation?

Orthodox Christianity, on the other hand, has been growing truly exponentially in the harshest religious environments in the world. There are perhaps 100 million Christians in China today, and their numbers continue to rise. These Christians pray that their government will continue to oppress them, for it purifies and strengthens them (1 Peter 4:1). For the same reason, they pray that American Christians will be overtaken with the same kind of persecution. Iran is experiencing incredible growth. Many Latin America countries now are up to 40 or 50% evangelical, and this has occurred only in the last few decades. The LDS are experiencing nothing like this, especially not in the harsh environments of the Islamic and communist worlds.

What of other movements, like the SDA or Assemblies of God? The Assemblies of God, organized in 1914 (84 years after the LDS Church), reported worldwide membership of 63,090,251 in 2009, growing 2.5% with a 1,593,313 increase in membership.

Tooele, UT

@brokenclay 10:33

Not sure if comparing ALL of Evangelical Christianity verses the LDS Church is a fair comparison, especially because the LDS Church is a single denomination and Christianity consists of dozens and dozens of denominations.

As for the comparison to denominations like the Assemblies of God, I doubt Thomas S. Monson or any other LDS Church leader is losing any sleep over that. They've never measure success compared to other church's numbers.

I will say this however. When you consider the relentless attacks the LDS Church has been put under from the media, from other church's and from apostates since the beginning, I would say 14-Million is pretty good.

When you consider the methods people have used to try and discredit the LDS Church, from extermination orders (Governor Boggs), to vicious attempts to deny LDS Church members seats in elected office (Reed Smoot) the forging of documents where the forger has been elevated to hero worship status by many LDS critics (Mark Hoffman), I would say 14-million is a pretty good number.

Oh and being LDS isn't easy when you consider the Word of Wisdom as well.

Brigham City, UT

Can we all agree the world is a changin'? 50 years ago Africa had dozens of dictators---today one or two. A billion people have come out of poverty in the last 20 years----clearly a huge blessing we can all cheer. If you are one of those who doesn't need Mormonism, there are many in the world who do.

Allen, TX

@ SLDrone;

You are spreading misinformation. While it is possible that there was a lawsuit in AZ, the practice of removing names from Church records on verifiable request, WITHOUT a church court goes back at least 15 years in my experience. Makes me doubt your other assertions, too.

Of course, every half truth by definition has some element of truth.....

Durham, NC

ClarkHippo - to your comments to Kimball Woodruff about racism in the early church, I really wouldn't go there. Unfortunately a lot of the opinions of the day were held by church leaders at those times as well.. and many of those claims unfortunately have solid historical support.

But that said, the great thing is the church has largely moved past those beliefs and is moving forward. It is great to see congregations reflect our country as a whole, with segments of all cultures represented among us.

Debates about inactivity and comparisons to other religions really are counter productive. Talk of attending church 156 times a year makes my head spin. I only go once a week, so I haven't figured out how in the world to attend church two more times a week. Those comments make no sense what so ever.

Michael De Groote

Some estimates place the number of Jewish people worldwide at around 14 million -- about the same estimate for the number of Mormons worldwide. I'm not sure if this means anything in particular, but it is an interesting contrast.

Layton, UT

Why does it matter what the membership numbers will be in 2080? Oh that's right, almost all religions have a "There shall be only one" mentality... Sad we have to be competitive with our religions and denominations, especially with us American Christians.

LDS Revelations
Sandy, UT

I think these projections are on the high side. Way high.

First the actual number of active LDS currently is inflated. Are many of these people Mormon on paper? Maybe. Would they consider themselves Mormon if asked unlikely. The Church counts millions who have left and do not consider themselves LDS any longer but have not yet resigned.

Future growth in the US is on a decline including the birth rate in the Church. It will result in growth but nothing like what seen over past decades. There is proselyting growth outside the US but retention is terrible.

So I guess it depends on who you want to consider a Mormon. It's confusing because there's a different definition given inside the Church to members/leadership than is used for stats and PR.

Phoenix, AZ

I am thrilled that we have reached the 14 million member mark, but the activity rate is far to low and the rate at which we loose new converts is much to high. I have seen so much of growth since I first joined the church in 1977. I hope to see much more growth before I die and hopefully the activity rate will rise and the loss of new converts will decrease, but I am most thrilled by the faithful members who have loved and kept his word and who are the engine that keeps this great work going forward.I am excited to be living in the last days and the future of this church is positive and bright, the opposition will continue and will grow in it's intensity, but the Lord is with us and we will move forward. The great hallmark of this church is it's unity and the strength of it's stakes and wards, and thus the growth although not as impressive as some other churches is moving in the right direction.

Layton, UT

Also, if that prediction of 270 million is correct, then it would be a correct assumption that the number of non-white members would drastically outnumber the white members, right? I'm asking because as I believe it, the LDS Church still believe that non-white people descendents of Cain, and if that is true, wouldn't that affect one if the core teachings of the Church? Please corrct me if I have this wrong.

The 5th Element
The High Plains of, Texas

It would have been interesting to know as well what the estimated world population would be in 2080? If the percentage of LDS worldwide at that time is still the same as now, what's the difference?

Oh, and @ brokenclay, can you back up your stats? Just throwing out numbers doesn't make them true. And I thought Mormons were Christians too? I'm not sure about your "praying for oppression" in those countries either.

Salt Lake City, UT

"It would have been interesting to know as well what the estimated world population would be in 2080? If the percentage of LDS worldwide at that time is still the same as now, what's the difference?"

Let's see... one site suggests 9.3 billion by 2050 with growth of about a billion every 20 years (higher over time due to declining birth rates) so about 10.8 billion in 2080 maybe. There's about 7 billion now so that's a 50ish% increase so if LDS members stayed at current global population percentage LDS membership would go from 14 million to about 21 million by 2080.

Eagle Mountain, UT

pikap1868 --- Yes - you have it wrong.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

One thing is certain: We (the LDS Church) has WAY more people as members who have been married or sealed in the temple. No other church can claim that.

We have WAY more people who have been baptized for the dead than in any other church.

We have MUCH higher percentage of our people who have been ordained to the priesthood. (Critics - read this one carefully - percentage.)

We are doing fine - as measured by the standards of the Lord.

The one statistic I am waiting for is the number of convert baptisms in the currently Arabic/Islamic countries.

Santaquin, UT

Dear pikap1868,
You have it wrong.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments