Comments about ‘14 million Mormons and counting’

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

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DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, and few there be that find it." Matt. 7:14

So what if we're .02%, or .002% percent of the population, or if other religions grow faster than us, or if we never approach the numbers of other religions, or if 60% or 80% or 95% of our members are inactive. Five of the ten virgins were found unprepared, and they were all believers.

Salvation is an individual endeavor, with one requirement being that we make effort to love and lift those around us. Based on the natural instincts of man, and the difficulty of personal sacrifice and service, it appears the number of true believers who "find it" will be few indeed.

Instead of arguing about numbers, let's thank the naysayers who revel in perceived low growth or activity rate, since they merely confirm that discipleship in the truth is a narrow way for only the devout few.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

There are more Mormons in the United States than Jewish people. However, the Jewish populations are concentrated in large cities. They have more recognized significance in the arts, business, and politics. The Mormons need to step it up in leadership, besides non-profit services. I would vote for a Mormon if qualified.

MrsDownhomeAmerica
Los Angeles, CA

So...the official church count of members, active or not, but not those whose names are not on the records as members is around 14 million. Why does this matter? Well, for one thing, we need to examine growth patterns and prepare (with the funds available from those who do pay tithing) to build enough meetinghouses to house them all, and to maintain those places of worship. We are one of the few churches in Los Angeles that is mainting their houses of worship, many are in a sorry state of repair. We need to prepare to provide learning experiences for our people, and even food and clothing, on occasion. Just as it is unfeasable for the church to do all the preparing, and members are asked to be responsible for their own emergency preparedness, so we are going back to the old way of cleaning and maintaining the meetinghouses, to provide funds for others more in need, and get the members off their posteriors and make us producers of what we need, not just consumers.
It's like a great wave rolling out to cover all the earth. It's a great ride! Try not to wipe out.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To those who worry about the maintenance of the Chapels and Temples. Most of what we do is superficial at best. We vaccum the chapel, dust, clean the side walks, clean the restrooms, empty the trash and wash the windows. The maintenance of the electrical systems, doors, heating and air conditioning, plowing of the parking lots, landscaping, etc is generally done by a contractor. In some isolated instances the mowing of grass is done by a member of a ward/branch but is generally done by a contractor. It used to be that a contractor would do it all once a week, now it is done by the wards/branches as to the superficial cleaning. Why, because the chapel and building is generally in used several times a week thus it is not feasible for a contractor to do it once a week. It also gives the membership the opportunity to do something of service at the Church. It isn't a chore but service to the Lord.

Temples are no different as we do superficial cleaning. Every six months the temples are closed for two weeks to allow deep cleaning. If investigators don't understand it is our fault.

Lake Effect
Springville, UT

@brokenclay - Where did you get your statistics?

Lake Effect
Springville, UT

@LDS Revelations - I can think of twelve people in my own extended family who do not go to church, but who have said they believe in Mormonism. Many of them actually pay a full tithe, against the day of burning. Some others say they would like to attend church, but they have been offended by someone. There are none among them who do not believe it any more. They have felt the convincing power of the Holy Ghost.

Lake Effect
Springville, UT

@Scott Bradley - If you officially resigned from the Church, then you are not counted. Your name is removed from the books. My deceased father-in-law died years after having been ex-communicated. Twenty years after his death his family wanted to find out about re-baptism (for the dead). There was no record of him ever existing in any Church History available to his family or general membership.

Bells
Fulton, MO

We recently visited the town where we lived 25 years ago. At that time we started a new "Twig" of the church with 15 people. Many of those 15 were children under the age of 8. We were covered by one Stake that covered a very large area. Today, our "Twig" has 4 Wards and they are about to form another Ward. One Ward is a Spanish speaking ward (and it is not one of the western states..) Our one Stake is now two Stakes and they are in the process of forming a third Stake that coveres the former "Twig" area.

This is now you can judge the growth of the church, not by numbers and active or inactive but by the visible physical growth. Obviously there has been great growth.

As for a comment above about the conditions of the world slowing the growth and pulling missionaries out of areas....there are other ways that the gospel is now being carried to those who are listening. It will continue to grow and yes, there will be and there is a great falling away as noted by the level of inactive members. But growth will continue.

Lake Effect
Springville, UT

@Tweedmeister - Will you PLEASE knock it off? Pipe down, or show some facts.

HCW
Mesa, AZ

I don't think we should concern ourself with numbers.
according to the BOM our numbers will be few.

1Ne 14:12

ObamaRepublican
Chandler, AZ

A quick look at our ward list on Lds tools gave me a count of 389 members. Taking another look and counting those active put our little ward at 281 active members. 72% activity! To break some of the bogus comments on this board, Wards and Branches world wide clean up their books and remove those that are not active and do not want their names on the records.

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

ObamaRepublican,

Is this really what passes for logic among your friends?

Think about it. Just because your ward has 72% activity does not mean ALL wards do.

Activity rates in the Western United States (with the exception of California) are substantially higher than they are elsewhere in the world.

Activity rates in the US are generally around 50%. In Utah, Idaho, Montana, and some California locations, activity rates are higher, and may be 72% as you claim.

But on average, worldwide activity rates are around 30%.

Please reassure me you understand that you are not representative of all LDS, and that your Ward is not representative of all LDS Wards?

Such egocentric, ethnocentric, religiocentric thinking is exactly the problem among members that the Church is trying to overcome.

christoph
Brigham City, UT

For those who can't leave the church alone; what is your opinion on all the other faiths????? Christianity is 2 billion strong going on two thousand years-----only a fool would try to undo what has already been done. If the church is divine, join it; if not, ignore it. Some seem not able to do either.

Independent
Henderson, NV

If the church were to take off of their rolls all the names of everyone who doesn't go to church regularly, or doesn't pay their tithing, or declined to specify their religion in a census, or any other omission, 1. this would be pretty much impossible and 2. the church would be accused of not caring about its members and being extreme religious nuts for "banishing" everyone who doesn't meet some impossible standard. The church cannot read the minds of every member in the world who doesn't want to have anything to do with the church anymore but doesn't bother to tell anybody. Sorry, we're not going to forget about you just because you don't come to church anymore. We care too much. Tell us to remove your name from the records, and we will. But please don't jump all over us because your visiting teacher didn't get the memo yet. It's nice to hear the church is growing, but honestly if the church didn't gain another single member from this point forward it wouldn't change my devotion to it.

  • 5:33 p.m. Jan. 25, 2011
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Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To those talking about numbers and statistics:

Here is one tht isn't often quoted but in fact is pretty true.

Sacrament attendance in a ward/branch at 40%. You will probably find that home teaching percentage combined for High Priest and Elders is right around the same number. Where other wards have 72-80% you may find the home teaching is close to the same. So there is a correlation between the two.

Those who try to sway it away it is best if you look to yourself. How good are you at doing your home teaching? Do you really care about these families you have stewardship over. A Bishop I know once stated, "Those who don't want us to come really don't know they need us the most." To change retention numbers and attendance numbers is up to the membership not entirely the individual.

By the way once your name is removed from the record of the Church you are no longer counted.
It is your decision but remember you are the one who played with your eternal progression, not I or the Church.

ex missionary
Sandy, UT

@Bill in Nebraska | 6:53 p.m. Jan. 25, 2011

Just because two numbers are correlated does not mean that they affect each other - correlation is not causation. Sacrament meeting attendance and home teaching are both likely separate but independant measures of ward activity/faithfulness. Both numbers will either go up or down depending on the level of belief in the congregation.

Penguin Inc.
SLC, UT

This church is terrific!!!!!!! You go, girl!

Utes21
Salt Lake City, ut

Again you can argue numbers, inactives, or other churches all you want but who cares. Numbers dont matter they are just numbers. Whats matters is our duty as members to support each other especially our recent converts. As a missionary in Boston we had no problem with baptizing in a heavily catholic state. We did have problems however with retention of recent converts. I pleaded and begged members in each ward to fellowship our converts and develop their support system. When they did it did wonders for our converts when they didnt we would lose that person within a month or two of being baptized. I just urge and pray our members to be a friend to those who join. Other than that no one will stop this work from going forth. Its great to be alive and see the growth of the church but the work will never cease.

erdoch
Provo, UT

Jehovah's Witnesses have some 18 million members and are growing at around the same rate the LDS Church is (they used to grow much faster but their growth rate has declined significantly in recent years). Since you pretty much have to be active to be a member, probably 95% or so are active.

Seventh-Day Adventists have some 16 million members worldwide and are growing with about one million new members every year - almost three times as fast as the LDS Church. Their retention rate is around 70-75%. Both the Jehovah's Witnesses and the SDA's are better established internationally than is the LDS Church.

I see the Church as growing well but not as good as we could. We need better convert preparation and less rushing for baptisms. Too many are lost to inactivity even within months of baptism. I believe Preach My Gospel was a significant improvement for missionary work but that more improvement is needed in the missionary program of the Church if we are to truly fulfill our destined goal to reach all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. As President Hinckley used to say, we have scarcely scratched the surface.

ObamaRepublican
Chandler, AZ

@ I am Lds2,

I am not trying to prove or disprove any theory but the fact of the matter is that wards and branches purge their roles. I seen this type of clean up in every branch, ward and stake I have been part of from Europe, Mexico to the USA. Our number is at 72% because the books are accurate, and those that do not want to be counted have been removed.

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