We love numbers!
Understood in the context of last year's numbers-- 31 new Stakes-- 4 less Missions-- 236 new Wards/Branches (.82% growth rate)--
393,342 new records -baptisms and children of record (2% growth rate)--
86,729 (.6% of total records) records removed from last year's count -recognized
deaths, timed out by reaching the age of 110(?), or possibly resignations and
excommunications (while resignations and excommunications remove member names
from local units, it's not clear whether or not they are included in the numbers
the church publishes each Spring)-- Slight increase in the number of
missionaries (489 more than last year)-- Missionaries as a percentage of
overall church membership continues to decline at a barely noticeable rate (as
it has for the last decade), .369% this year compared to .374% last year--
Missionaries averaged 5.2 baptisms each (down from 5.4 last year)
The overall Church membership is much less since the Church counts inactive
members no longer consider themselves members, but have never bothered to
officially resign. Counting children of record as members before they ever have
a chance to decide for themselves also inflates the numbers.
What about the financial statistics?How many acres of agricultural land
owned? How many billion in farming profits this past year? How much tithing
collected and how was it spent?
Joggle: These statistics are not meant to measure spirituality or level of
The Taxman: Billions of farming profits? Really? I don't think the aggregate
"profit" of every farm in America added up to many billions of
@mattrick78 That makes it misleading though! Isn't growth part of
the purpose of the Church? The Church knows whose participating and whose not?
They could differentiate by reporting active members and inactive members. After
all aren't inactive members apostates? Why would the Church count apostates as
members, if not to inflate their numbers? In the Church, every member who is
baptized, but later become an apostate...according to scripture would have been
better off never being born? Yet, they count them? Makes a person wonder! Makes me wonder!
The only statistic one needs to know is the position that exists between you and
@mattrick78Really? I suggest you do a little simple reseach. For example,
a simple perusal of USDA statistics would tell you that in 2009, California
farmers alone netted $8.8 billion in profit from farm sales of $27.1 billion.
Who do you think is one of the biggest farmers in California?
@VeracityI totally agree with you regarding the only important statistic.
I've often wondered why we track and report on so many in our churches.
@ Veracity and @The Taxman--we track and report, as it is our commanded duty to
do so. It is both scripturally based (even back to the time of Moses) and
revelation based. That is why. It certainly isn't done to impress anyone.
@DigbadsBut it seems like we are selectively reporting certain statistics
(although I'm sure we're tracking them all). For example, as I pointed out
earlier, no financial (farming) statistics are reported (although, as you know
from your Old Testament studies, during the time of Joseph they tracked and
reported their grain harvest statistics).
@Joggle I think its only misleading if you are trying to find fault. The rest
of us see it as a number nothing more.
@The Taxman I seriously doubt your numbers since California is on the verge of
Thanks, taxman, for asking the question that I asked earlier, and which one does
not see here. If we're trackin' and reportin', let's leave nothing out.
@The Taxman: I am sure they track all that information. I just don't
think most of the people listening want to hear it. And to be honest, I really
don't think you would sit through it as well.
Joggle: For some reason you seem to think that some who are counted as
LDS shouldn't be because they don't attend services regularly or at all. Do the Catholics or any other Christian church not count in their membership
those who joined / were baptized but no longer attend or maybe attend once or
twice annually? Do you think they shouldn't count them? You say that
LDS baptize their children at an age (8 yrs), when they are too young to decide
for themselves. Do you feel the same way about the churches that baptize infants
and count them as members of their churches?I have also known people who
became "inactive" from the LDS church for long periods of time but
eventually found their way back. They procalim indescribable joy upon their
return. I sincerely hope that you will experience replacing any bitterness you
may have in your life with joy in the future.I know Heavenly Father wishes
all his children joy and happiness.Also; If someone requests their name be
removed from the records of the LDS church, their request is granted and they
are no longer counted in this number.
Taxman--most, if not all, of the farm land owned by The Church is part of the
Church Welfare System. Most often farmed by volunteer labor it produces food
stuffs which aredistributed, without charge, to the poor and needy through
the Bishops Storehouse System, humanatarian projects including emergency relief
in disaster incidents, donations to food pantries and otherwise. For instance,
while the Church does not engage in directly feeding the poor and needy it
contributes many food stuffs to soup kitchens and other enterprises which feed
these folks such as those operated by Catholic Charities in the Salt Lake City
area.This farmland is used for charitable purposes and does not
produce much, if any, profit.You either lack knowledge of this mission of
the Church or you wish to obsfucate that fact in an attempt to try to discredit
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
@Joggle Every several years the church has every ward attempt to contact each
of their inactive members or families. Which when known to be in the ward
boundaries are assigned home teachers. I can't argue that hometeaching isn't
100% effective or in many cases... non existent. Sometimes... if it does
exist... it is. Other it isn't. But when found they are asked if they want to
have their names removed from the church records. I have participated in
several of these. Of the more than 70 - or so people that I have contacted over
the years I have only had 2 who requested to have their names removed. Most
remained inactive...but the overwhelming reason that I found for their
inactivity outside of Utah is because they are married to a non member spouse.
But they don't want to have their names removed.
For everyone wondering why inactive numbers are not reported: There is too much
turnover to make it worthwhile. Members often go inactive for a few months or
even weeks and then come back again. A large portion of inactivity is of this
variety, although there certainly are many who do not consider themselves
members anymore but are still on the rolls. Another point to consider is that
the hope is that even those people will eventually return. Because of these
reasons, it would be a nightmare to keep meaningful statistics of inactivity,
especially on a church-wide basis, and it wouldn't be particularly useful. Most
Bishops, and those heavily involved in retention efforts (and ideally all
members), have a general idea of how many of their flock do not participate
fully. More importantly, they are aware (or at least are making every effort to
be aware) of WHO those people are. Those "numbers" are not officially
reported as far as I know, and it's not particularly important that they should
be, as long as those whose stewardship these people fall under are aware of them
and are trying to assist them in any way they can.
@TJInactive members shouldn't be counted in ANY religion in my
opinion. The LDS religion is dominant in this state so I address that particulir
religion. If I lived in a state whose dominant religion was Catholic or
whatever....I would have the same objection. I don't favor objecting to the LDS
religion over others. I also object to ANY religion indoctrinating children into
their parent's choice in religion as they are too young to really decide for
themselves. Yes, I feel the same about baptized infants. I was a baptized
infant! Although some members may happily return to the LDS religion....many
others never do. I know many myself, so that argument is not a defense at all. I
realize people who are counted as members can officially resign from the Church,
but I don't think anybody should have to resign from any Church. It should be
enough that they no longer participate. Churches should simply remove inactive
people from their rolls and let them return on their own accord if they choose.
We all know that the LDS Church keeps track of its inactive people and
approaches them frequently/infrequently to gain return.
"After all aren't inactive members apostates? Why would the Church count
apostates as members, if not to inflate their numbers? "Because
that just gets messy trying to figure out who to count and who not to. Like
myself who might go three months without showing up before showing up back to
back weeks then not showing up again for six months. Though when I use an our,
my, or we type term for something church related I stop myself mid-sentence and
switch it to their and consider myself a non-denominational Christian so...
that's a matter of me not telling them.
Joggle," If I lived in a state whose dominant religion was
Catholic or whatever....I would have the same objection."And
why is that? Do you feel you have a role of governance in the affairs of
others?"Churches should simply remove inactive people from
their rolls and let them return on their own accord if they choose."The LDS church prefers to actively reach out in love to those people, as
"a shepherd seeks out his lost sheep." There is no chest-beating
pride in this. Those efforts are a matter of contemplation and conversation
among members, prayer on the less-active persons' behalf and active, loving, and
sometimes difficult effort. I have seen many who are eternally grateful to be
recipients of those efforts.Children of record are just that. They
are on the records of the LDS church, but not included in the membership
numbers. They also are only those children whom have been blessed and their
names submitted by their parents.
A lot of people talk about catholics and infant baptizing. Are you aware of the
sacrament called Confirmation? Catholics reaffirm their faith at 15 years old.
To Commentators:The road out of Mormonism is not an easy path and
there is not one description as to why one leaves temporarily or forever. You
can't generalize the reasons because they are many. It isn't always as simple as
being married to a non-Mormon. Many times the decision to leave was made BEFORE
ever meeting the potential non-Mormon spouse. If inactivity remains for many
years (say 5)without activity it's a pretty good bet that that person is in
apostasy. Why would the Church count obvious apostates? The Church does not
ALWAYS/regularly ask inactive members if they want to resign. I have first hand
knowledge that many don't officially resign out of respect for their LDS family,
but still they don't consider themselves members.It is my view that
the barrier that stands between Church leadership policy and proper disclosure
is the leaders' fear that the members will no longer follow if all of the facts
are on the table, including apostasy. This issue boils down in my view to
whether a religious organization has the integrity to do what's honest! Afterall
they do advertise the numbers to the_world!
Joggle: I think you are making more out of the numbers than they really are.
It is an objective measurement at one point of time. Everyone knows this,
including you.What is interesting though is that many people like
yourself feign interest in statistics reported by leaders they don't sustain and
financial statements of an organization to which they don't contribute.
Baptism is a covenant with God. The Church is there to help the baptized keep
their covenants. Those who choose to not keep them are not automatically
removed from the records of the Church of excommunicated because they are given
the chance to repent and return to full activity. The Church is for everybody.
My experience has been that about half of those who become inactive reactivate
at some time or other and the vast majority of those who are inactive or less
active want their names to stay on the records of the Church. It's not out of
respect or fear of other family members, but out of knowing where they need to
be. They just need to put forth a little faith.This is supported by the
teachings of the Savior Himself. He was sent to the sinners. His atonement is
there for everyone to benefit from. That opportunity is not taken away from
some one just because they aren't attending church meetings at the moment.
Children are taught the Gospel at a young age so that they can make a choice or
themselves. The world teaches more of what's bad than good these days and to
not teach children (or indoctrinate them to use the terms of the negative types
posting), would rob them of the ability to choose for themselves. Those who
argue that children shouldn't be taught are opposed to freedom of choice!
The Church added 306,613 members (year over year), which is about 12,000 shy of
the 20 year average.The Church dropped 86,729 from its records,
which is about 33,000 more than the 20 year average.These
"reductions" in Church membership include a death-rate that accounts
for less than 5,000 names. This leaves around 80,000 members who had their names
removed from the records of the Church during 2010.Convert baptisms
is about 11,000 short of the 20 year average, with baptisms per missionary
dropping to 5.22, which is below the 20 year average.Meanwhile, the
Church is consolidating, with Stakes and Wards becoming larger in size, as they
have steadily since 1998. The average Stake and Ward sizes are significantly
larger than the 20 year average.Not only are missionaries
significantly less effective (compared to the 20 year average), but missions are
shrinking in size as well as being reduced in number.
"some leave the church, yet can't leave the church alone." while
others, joggle, apparently never were part of the church and still can't leave
it alone.Joggle, you seem to have a desire to start a church of your
own, seeing that you have so many ideas as to how it should be run. Is it your
fear that members will no longer "follow?" follow who? May I quote
the Master ... "come FOLLOW Me and you shall find rest to your souls."
I have found that to be true.
Hey joggle.......you're welcome to come back.
Scientist, I ask again, what is the source of your statistics? I'm
interested. I'm especially interested in the number of deaths you are claiming.
This is not a statistic normally reported by the Church and seems a very low
number compared just to the average US death rate of 8.38 from the US Census.I have been in wards and stakes across America and have not observed the
trend of consolidation you are claiming, either. I am required to relocate
every two to four years and have yet to move into a new ward or stake that
hasn't either split or realigned boundaries within a year of our arrival. Our
temple district is about to split as well. This is certainly not
consolidation.I also have not observed your claim that missionaries
are becomming less effective. Our ward saw a record number of baptisms last
year.Again, I would love fair consideration for your statistics if
you would only identify the source of your claims.
to: A Scientist | 2:50 p.m. April 3, 2011 and othersIn Matthew Ch 7
we read:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.The Church is NOT
trying to become the largest church in the world. The scriptures say it just
won't happen. They are just trying to lead as many as will listen to the path
of salvation. Salvation is a personal journey and it is not easy. The Church is
preparing the world for the second coming. The good are getting better and the
evil are getting worse. The Church will continue to grow the get stronger.
Nothing can stop it.
Joggle;You still hanen't offered anything of value on this board. We all
know you have a bone to pick with the church and we all know that the comments
from anyone here will not likely influence anyone to action. I am curious
though, about how long you think someone should be inactive before they are
automatically removed from the records of the church. 6 months, a year or even 5
years? If someone wants their name removed, all it takes is a signed request in
no particular format to their Bishop or Branch President. This is not a
difficult process and no interview is required.How about if we agree to
disagree. Contention benefits no-one and it invites the spirit to leave. Have a nice day and I sincerely hope you have happiness in your life.
I am not even sure that we can agree on "active" and
"inactive" mean Do we base it only at attendance (at what meeting) I
know a man who has to work Sunday but is there every week for Scouts and does a
great job. Do we base it on contributions, again I know one who is generous
with fast offering & tithing and contributes every week, but he is never
there on Sunday. On the other hand there are others who never contribute money,
but they are there and always help with their time on any project.Let's say it is 50% attendance (you can use any figure) but that is where it
hits me - I was there every week until mid summer when I had a stroke &
couldn't make it there. Am I active or inactive. Gee, if I could have gone one
more week, I would have been classed among "the active" vs "the
inactive." Actually I think the term is "less active?" Because
you do not know whether my mother in Indiana was sick and I spent the time with
her does not make me "inactive" in my mind. Glad I'm not the judge!
All,I can tell you from personal experience the church (at least it's
agents) do not react kindly when you rebuff their reactivation attempts. They
also don't take no for an answer. Funny thing is, the least hassled I was was
when i lived in utah (and since then as well). But from when i got married and
my MIL transferred my wife's records over a 15 year period it seemed like every
six months I was fending off home teachers. When i told one home teacher that
my wife and I discussed it and we didn't want him calling anymore, he said he
had to hear it from my wife who was sitting next to me.
It would be nice to see some attendance statistics - maybe average, high, and
low numbers. I can't consider the 14 million number to be an accurate
representation of total membership because it includes: 1 - children
of record2 - people who have died but haven't been reclassified as not
longer living, they will age off the records at the age of 110 years3 -
people who have left the church but don't have their names removedIt
may also include members who have resigned or been excommunicated. It doesn't
seem logical that it would and those members are no longer associated with the
local wards or branches but we know the church does keep them on record. Members
will often say they aren't counted but I've never seen a reference. If anyone
knows of a reference I would love to see it.Reporting the membership
numbers as they do is worthwhile but having actual attendance statistics as well
would give a much better sense of the size and strength of the church.
Northern Lights | 4:25 p.m.The trends of ward/branch/stake
consolidation and the effectiveness of missionaries can be observed by looking
at the data the church provides in these reports. For example, take
the figure they give for total membership (a little over 14 million) and divide
it by the total number of wards and branches (28,660) and you get an average of
493 members per local unit. That number (members per local unit) has been
increasing every year for quite a while. It's a trend that indicates, among
other things, that some consolidation is occuring.As far as the
effectiveness of missionaries goes, all you need to do is take the number of
converts and divide it by the number of missionaries. Last year each missionary
baptized an average of 5.22 people. That is a slight decline compared to last
year when it was 5.41 people. The number has hovered around 5 for the last
decade or so but used to be higher.I believe scientist may have
calculated the death rate wrong. He'll have to respond to that.
TJ,Your comment chastizes Joggle, but your comments add absolutely
nothing, either.Hypocrites fall into the traps they set for
others.You give the Church a bad name.
Northern Lights,I already identified the source of my numbers.To reveal any more would be to reveal who I am and for whom I work. That
could cost me my job.My statistics are for the entire Church,
worldwide. Your observations of specific Wards and specific missionaries are
anecdotal, at best, and are not representative of worldwide trends. It would be
foolish to trust your anecdotal observations instead of my
professionally-collected, worldwide numbers. But you are free to whatever
unsupported opinions you care to hold. Good luck with that.
Scientist: I have to agree with Northern Lights. The statistics you are
cititng are for the most part bogus. The fact you state you will lose your job
is an indication that they are extremely bogus.To ex-missionary:
When a person resigns or is excommunicated their names are removed from the
records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is funny because
though some feel missionary work is not effective we learn during General
Conference that when members are actively involved in the missionary efforts the
other is true where missionary work is totally effective. The problem is that
many like scientist and ex-missionary base their stuff on information gathered
by Non members of the Church and most incorrect or bogus information. This is
extremely true in almost all instances. Membership clerks report monthly to the
Church the number of active and inactive members. Reactivation is a Ward/Branch
reposibility and happens all around the Church. Many of those as stated who are
inactive are because they have Word of Wisdom issues, work on Sunday, or have
other personal issues. All it takes is an effective member to change the tide.
Bill & Northern Lights,Shooting the messenger is bad form, and
does not change the numbers. They are what they are. Do you suppose you have
spiritual clairvoyance to see beyond the numbers?I already revealed
the source of my numbers: The Research Information Division of the Correlation
Department of the Church (if I lose my job, I will blame you and curse you in my
prayers).The death rate (per thousand) in the Church has hovered a
little under 1/2 the death rate of the general US population. Moreover, there is
no easy or reliable process by which deaths of members are reported to the
Church. With activity rates worldwide at around 30%, a large, unknown number of
members die without the Church even knowing.The estimates of how
many members have their names removed from Church records include those who
request to have their names removed as well as those whose names are removed
because of excommunication, among other reasons. "Death" as a reason
for names being removed accounts for very few names.Meanwhile, the
birthrate and the married rate (per thousand) have been dropping significantly
over the past decade. Thus, Pres. Monson's Gen.Priesthood talk.
Bill in NebraskaI'd be careful about calling the source of my data
bogus. All of the numbers I have used in these posts come directly from the
church's statistical reports. You can try it yourself, divide total converts by
total missionaries and you'll get 5.22 converts per missionary. You can go to
the church's 2009 statistical report, do the same thing, and see that the
average was 5.41 converts per missionary.Also, we know that the
church retains records of resigned and excommunicated members because some of
these individuals come back to the church and go through a restoration of
ordinances ceremony and things are put back to how they were before. There are
also people who have been denied admission to BYU because they are ex. The
church keeps all of the data. It is just a matter of how they classify it. One
issue I have tried to raise is the church has made no definitive statement (as
far as I know) regarding how the records of resigned and excommunicated members
are treated in their yearly counts. If anyone knows of such a statement, I would
appreciate the reference.
Scientist:I don't condemn your source. If anyone has access to
Church-wide information, the Church Correlation Department certainly would.
Based on what you presented, it might be worth a future article by the DN to
research what conclusions those in charge of the Correlation Department come up
with each year from their analysis.Still, only 5,000 deaths
Church-wide doesn't seem right to me. Even if the mortality rate of Church
membership was half the rate in the U.S. in general (8.38 for the U.S.), then
the Church should close out approximately 58,000 membership records per year
from deaths. I'd only ask you to relook that particular statistic.
regarding the discussion about counting inactives.The Church knows the
average meeting attendance and could report that statistic if it chose to do so.
That would provide an indication of the number of inactives. I'm not sure why
the Church reports the stats. The Church distributed 63,000 tons of
food ie. 3 cargo containers or approx 2 1/2 semi truck trailers.
Reporting membership numbers do not reflect the size and strength of the church.
The numbers reported are just numbers. The church does keep statistical data
on every aspect of the church but I do not think anyone (including yourself)
wants to spend their Saturday afternoon listening to an extensive statistical
analysis and financial reporting of the LDS church.
It seems like there's good points from both perspectives. Of course you don't
discipline an inactive member out of the church immediately (Do Mormons have
church discipline, or just excommunication?). There should be some effort to
understand these people's circumstances, on a case-by-case basis, before formal
measures are taken.But here's the bottom line. At some point, at
least in Bible churches, a member who does not participate in the body has to be
disciplined, which culminates in removal from membership. There is therefore
something wrong with the LDS Church that has well over half of its members in
inactivity. This tells me that the LDS don't have a biblical form of church
discipline-- they only remove you for apostasy (excommunication), not for
inactivity.The other good point of the "critics" is that
the LDS church is definitely withholding statistics from the public. The most
plausible explanation for this is that they fear the statistics would cause
further damage within the ranks.
Brokenclay...The Church has a very extensive discipline program,
with excommunication being the final resort.I don't know about the
30% activity rate quoted... in my area (N. American West, but not Utah), Church
members are around 2/3 active vs. 1/3 inactive. I'm sure it varies by country
and state, but 30% seems really low to me.
Brokenclay:You are not entirely correct is saying that Bible
believing churches even remotely discipline non-active members. Most have in
their constitutions (open and sitting in the foyers for anyone to read)
provisions for inactivity. Most simply state that after a certain timeframe of
inactivity (6 mo to 1 year) a letter is sent to ask if the if the person or
persons still want their membership in the church. If they say no or the
attempt to locate them fails they are deactivated. Even after one year if they
express a desire to stay on the active roll, active they remain! ANYONE is
welcome to come back without question to worship with us even if they dont want
their memberships back. We have many folks who have worshipped with us for
years and are not formal members. One must be 18 years old to be a member. It
is our desire to just track our more active members to help in our various
ministries. Youth, seniors, families, etc.
Northern Lights,Apparently, I read things a bit more carefully than
you did. The Scientist did not say there were only 5,000 deaths in the Church.
He (or she) said that deaths only accounted for less than 5,000 names being
removed from the Church records. In a later comment he (or she) explained that
the Church has difficulty tracking deaths of members and tying them back to
names so they can be removed. That makes sense to me.I have also
heard researchers at BYU report that the _worldwide_ activity rate for the
Church is around 33%.I don't understand why all the defensiveness
over what the Scientist posted. The numbers seem to add up and make sense. Why
is that bothersome?
I suppose we are supposed to kick everyone who hasn't come to church in a while
out of the church and remove them from our records? Sorry, we'll try to be a bit
more exclusive and see how happy that makes everyone.
camotim - How do you know what is does with the profits from farming? As far as
I know that info is not released. Maybe you can let us know what the LDS church
does with the proceeds of their other investments as well. I'm curious
@Doctor, if it makes you feel better I try very hard not to contact anyone on
any list that has reported a request for "no-contact." Most mormons
don't like stopping by houses who don't want visits. I don't. Perhaps a
strongly worded, signed letter to the bishop in your area will help you out. Do
you think we just really love talking to people who don't want anything to do