If you're gonna buy in, you might as well go all the way.
I thought one of the most interesting observations was that religious commitment
among the LDS increases with education.So often religious folks
worry about education destroying faith. Also, the religious are often portrayed
in the media as less educated or somewhat simple minded.This
provides a refreshing real world view. It also goes hand in glove with the many
admonitions from the prophets and other general authorities to pursue
education.All truth is ultimately of a piece. Religion and
education can (and apparently do) work well together.
One thing is clearly shown by this. Latter-day Saints don't just say they are
Christians to try to confuse other people, they say it when they are in
situations where they can say basically whatever they want and no one will know
that they said it.
The line "Mormons believe in Jesus Christ" is not really enphatic
enough. Some people who question the Christian qualifications of Latter-day
Saints would respond "so do Muslims".More correctly
"Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World, God the Son,
and the only way to Salvation". One issue some people have
with the LDS Church is that its claim that all other Church's went astray puts
it outside the Christian fold in some way. This ignores the fact that the
Church of Christ and other Campbellite "Restorationist" movements also
sought to reestablish the Church as it existed in the time of Christ and while
not clearly declaring new manifestations of God, clearly do not see high Church
creedism as important. I also wonder if we might get a better
understanding of what this 32% of the population who thinks Mormons are not
Christian if we compared it to what percentage of the population things that
Catholics are not Christian. Also what percentage of Catholics think Catholics
Well I did find multiple websites advocating that Catholics are not Christian.
From my knowledge there are some people in the US who treat
"Christian" as a synonym of "Evangelical Born-again
Protestant". On a website that argued that Catholics are
Christian I came upon the statement "Christian means follower of Jesus
Christ". This would seem to indicate that if someone accepts that Jesus of
Nazareth is Savior and King they are a Christian. I do not really see how you
can be a Christian and reject Christ's divinity, but I know there are many who
have basically done that, and in general they were accepted as being Christians.
NO success can compensate for FAILURE in the home...David O. McKay.LDS Church structure is like scaffolding that is used until the family unit is
complete. The family is also viewed as the fundamental unit of our
society.Put as an astronomical metaphore, a family can be viewed
as: A constellation in the immensity of space, with our married
children as expanding swirling galaxies,cleaving yet away from one home,
glowing bright at the center.Knowledge about the value of families
comes from living Prophets who reveal a God who is just, who is merciful and
Having recently read most of pollster Gary C. Lawrence's book: Mormons Believe
... What?, I would be very interested to hear his interpretation of the results
of this new Pew research survey.
Personally, I appreciate the positive tone of the article. Might I pose some
questions? Are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints more
faithful because they are educated, or are they more educated because of their
faith? Also, do Mormons pay more tithing because they are more educated or vice
versa. Which is the cause and which is the effect? I believe that Mormons are
more educated because they believe in prophets who encourage education.
Re: 77 percent attend church at least once a week; 79 percent pay tithing; 65
percent hold temple recommendsIf these numbers purport to reflect
the entire church, they are entirely inaccurate. Perhaps the Pew people surveyed
people attending general conference.More accurate numbers would be
40-45 percent attend church once a week, 35 percent pay a full tithing and 30
percent hold a current temple recommend.The Pew data are truly John
McEnroe numbers, i.e., "You cannot be serious" or "You have got
to be kidding"
Agree with Steve.. I'm an active LDS member, love the tone of the article and
have nothing bad to say about the church... but no way are nearly 80% of church
members attend church weekly and pay full tithing.. no way..
It's frustrating that one of the questions asked LDS members was whether they do
or do not watch R-rated movies. That injunction--not to watch themused to be a
useful tool to prevent watching movies totally out of line with LDS standards
for entertainment, especially for a family with young children. When
"Ordinary People"--quite acceptable to the standards--was granted an R
rating through extraordinary pressure on the movie industry so it would be
"taken seriously" as adult fare, a Pandora's box opened as far as
useful ratings is concerned. Over time they became increasingly irrelevant and
needed overhauling. Today there are some G, PG, and many PG-13 movies that
aren't in line with LDS standards. Too many members still adhere to an outmoded
test for movies (R rating or not) as if that settles the appropriateness issue.
It also tends within congregations to classify dedication to living LDS standards at all. However there are now quite good and stated means of
determining what's appropriate which work well. I read all the messages and make
viewing choices based on them and on experience with how this worked in the
I agree with Steve too. They must not have polled in my ward where some 40% of
folks on the record don't come to church. This has been typical for all of the
various wards I have attended. Perhaps when I move in, people stop coming? ;) It
looks like Pew's sampling methodology was slanted to favor the
"active" Mormon which--call me cynical--does not perfectly represent
the demographic. It makes for a feel-good story, though and paints us all as
nice, religious people. Mission accomplished!
Mr Warren,The Pew Survey generally explains where/how they collected
their information. Where did you collect yours to come up with a difference?
I'm only curious...
@John Pack Lambert"One issue some people have with the LDS Church is
that its claim that all other Church's went astray puts it outside the Christian
fold in some way. "I feel like there should be some sort of
compromise everyone can come to that says "you're Christian... I just think
you're wrong". When I was LDS and the question of "are Mormon
Christian" came up by non-members I would sometimes explicitly note that
"I'm not trying to claim the LDS church is right, just that it's
Christian... even if you still think of it as that uncle you don't really want
to acknowledge at family reunions but darn it he's still related to you".
Yes I am a Latter-day-Saint, and I believe in Jesus of Nazareth. But even
though I make an obvious statement like that...there are still people out there
who will continue to dogmatically stick to the old line that "Mormons are
not Christitans." What more can I say?
There's a lot that could be said here, but the thought I keep having is how
remarkable it is that DNews and the Church haven't thrown their arm out with all
of this self back patting that they do.
Most of the mormons I know are Conformists. It seems like many of them lower
their standards to fit in or whatever.
To: Northern Lights"The Pew Survey generally explains where/how
they collected their information. Where did you collect yours to come up with a
difference? I'm only curious... "Good question. My estimates
are merely based on my experience serving in ward clerk and assistant ward clerk
positions as well as a variety of leadership positions in wards and branches for
several decades. Also, it's pretty easy to figure that when there are 500 or so
members in the ward and Sacrament meeting attendance is about 175 that the 77
percent figure might be inflated.The Pew researchers say that they
obtained their data from phone calls and that their "final composite
response rate" was 20.4%. In other words, most people refused to
participate. I suspect that those who responded by completing the 25-minute
survey tended to be active LDS. Also, only "self-identified" LDS were
contacted. Less-active members or ones who haven't attended for decades might
tend not to identify as LDS. Another problem with the Pew survey is that the
stories, as reported, don't mention that only adults participated.
Steve Warren's numbers are correct (based on 2008 information given by a friend
who is currently a stake partriarch).Within his stake in another
state, slightly more than 50 % are full tithe payers and slightly more than 60 %
attend sacrament meeting.Along the Wasatch Front, 33 % of the
members pay a full tithing and average sacrament meeting attendance is 30 %. Our ward has 60 to 65 % attendance at missionary farewells or
homecomings (if all the visitors are included) but also 40 to 45 % regular
As to the activity levels reported in the study. The following is from the
Survey Methodology section of the report:"For both freshly
sampled households and those in the recontact sample, the survey began with a
screening interview. Respondents reached by landline were selected by randomly
asking for the youngest adult male or female currently at home. Interviews on
cell phones were conducted with the person who answered the phone, if that
person was an adult 18 years of age or older. The screening interview consisted
of a few short warm-up questions (about the respondents level of satisfaction
with their community and their life), followed by a question about the
respondents religious affiliation: What is your present religion, if any? Are
you Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Orthodox such as Greek or Russian
Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, something else, or
nothing in particular? Those who described themselves as Mormons in response to
this question were then administered the main survey, while the interview was
discontinued for non-Mormons."These are folks who self-identify
as LDS. It is likely at least some less active members no longer do.
As a participant in the survey. Let me try to clear up a few questions that
might help. No Pew question said 100 percent attendance. The questions were
geared to weekly attendance or near it in a number of different questions.
Please also remember some members attend out of their ward consistently like
myself and also numerous members work Sundays as well and maybe just fulfill
assignments or callings during the week. On tithing the questions ranged from a
set number of choices to a percentage including 10 percent and also more. In
addition, another question asked how much you pay in tithing, later in the
survey, after asking your household income. Participants were also
drawn from those who have participated in other third party surveys so those who
postulated that we were possibly participants before would be correct in that
assumption. Having a background in survey structuring and in setting up
Geographic and Economic surveys I found this survey to be pretty straight
forward and clear. However, one could manipulate your answer especially if the
surveyors thought they were measuring a Mormon(LDS) follower of President
Monson's line, when in fact they were not.
Many Mormons have put on a false sense of commitment, I would say half of every
ward is inactive or close to it. The LDS church say they have what 13 million
member? I would say maybe 5-6 million are full tithe paying, attend every almost
Sunday and do all their callings. Mormons are just like everyone else they put
of a fake front but when you dig a little deep you see the holes.
It's comical to me that so many arm-chair quarterbacks are so heck bent on
making sure that the REAL numbers are reported. The claims on here about how
many are active, how many actually pay a full-tithe etc are so adamant that
their numbers are correct.It's a survey folks -- that's it. No one's
salvation will hinge on it.But let's make sure that we post the
"real" numbers for every ward in the church!btw,
patriarchs don't get any information on stake numbers. Their calling has nothing
to do with it. Just wanted to make sure that information was correct.Time for all of you to go outside and enjoy the weather and exhale to
contribute to the global warming going on.
These survey results would be extremely interesting compared with survey results
for other religions where the respondents self-identified as Baptist, Catholic,
Jewish, Muslim, Church of Christ, Methodist, etc. That's when we'd really see
if the level of commitment among active members of the LDS church differed from
others, or not.Also, the results relating to education have been
consistent for at least a decade. I read the 2000 Pew results in detail and
there it was reported that members of the LDS faith in the United States have
more college degrees per capita than other religions and that their commitment
level to their church and its doctrine went up with higher levels of education
as opposed to other religions in the US. The methodology of this survey seems
different than the one I read a decade ago, but it appears that that result
If you google Pew Study Mormons you can find the actual study and read the
methodology they used. Since most Mormons in the U.S. live in the Mountain West
(Idaho and UT) they oversampled in those areas, but didn't survey just those
areas. People who are inactive may/may not identify themselves as Mormon to a
phone survey. Sample Questions: "Hello, I am ___
calling for the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan research group. We are
conducting a survey for leading newspapers and TV stations around the country.
This is not a sales call.""What is your present religion,
if any?" (gives multiple choices)"And is that the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Community of Christ, or some other
Mormon church?""We do a lot of surveys of different
religious communities,... Could I please speak with the youngest (male/female),
18 years of age or older who is Mormon?""Do you pay
tithing, that is donate 10% or more of your income to the (LDS Church/Mormon
Church), or dont you do this?""How active are you in (the
LDS Church/ the Mormon Church)?"
So after this process of being self-identified as a Mormon, how is it possible
that even 2% said they don't believe in the resurrection and 3% don't think they
are a member of a Christian church? Me thinketh one in fifty forgot about
watching the Simpon's rerun and took the phone call and had fun with the
Mormonism is a commitment to the Church. It has nothing to do with a commitment
The results of the study that suggests that the more educated you are, the more
faithful and active a member you are, is interesting. I suppose that's because
they are probably better off financially, and somewhat more content with their
lives and the direction they're pursuing. I have observed as well, that most
bishops and stake presidents that are called, are either doctors, dentists, or
lawyers. We shouldn't aspire to any position in the church. However, We'd be
safe in assuming that unless we're in one of those three professions, we
shouldn't ever count on being called to some high position in the Church. Just
my observation however.
@Mr. Warren and others:The survey was of 1000 self-identified Mormons.
That fact that they were a)professing to be LDS, and b)willing to participate in
a survey about their religion, would naturally skew the results toward active,
believing, participating members of the church. It would naturally exclude
pretty much any that have distanced themselves from the church.I
think that the survey reflects a reasonably accurate cross-section of the active
membership of the church. At no point does it state that 79% of members of the
church pay tithing... I think a more accurate interpretation of the results
would be "79% of those members who profess to be active members of the
church pay tithing" .. which is probably pretty close.
Sorry Keith 43 I have to disagree with your conclusion. I have known bishops and
stake presidents who have been farmers, school teachers, mailmen, painters,
construction workers only to name a few.
Keith43,I have lived in several stakes in four states. I have known
bishops who were electricians, school teachers, engineers, therapists, salesmen,
printers, appraisers, and technical (computer) guys. In over 35 years at church
I can only recall one bishop (and I did not know him that well) who practiced
one of the three careers you name.For stake presidents, I have known
CES directors, therapists, small business owners (and not always the suit and
tie type of business), surveyors, various corporate business folks, and one
lawyer (but he did not actually work as an attorney).I am sure I am
missing some and probably also overlooking a few of those in the professions you
name. But, in my own experience, it has been a pretty wide array of careers
The funny thing is as hard as the LDS church tries in getting exposure for the
church, what it really heppened through these effots is underseed of what the
church is all about. The exposure is not good, it has made the environment much
Steve Warren's numbers are closer to the true numbers of the LDS Church.
However, it also is not entirely accurate. Over the years a more careful
examination is that if Home Teaching is 48% then Sacrament attendance is
aprroximately 48%. This holds true almost all the time. Where Home Teaching is
higher, sacrament attendance is higher. There is a coorelation. Some fault this
but it holds true in almost every instance. Where sacrament meenting attendance
is higher, tithe payers are higher, temple recommend holders are higher and so
on. This shows that where the Priesthood is doing their responsibilities
better, the better the blessings of the Ward/Branch/Stake/District. So the PEW
though a niceity is not accurate nor will it ever be. It does show that LDS
Members who are active hold to the teachings of the Church and its leaders. You
will find that many of the less-active as we call them still hold to its
teachings and its leaders, they just for one reason or another don't attend.
There is a small percentage of these individuals who want nothing to do with the
Church or its teachings.
Gracie's comment about R-Rated movies being too arbitrary a measure is correct.
The Pew survey should have asked something like, "Do you monitor media and
adhere to specific standards that discriminate against media deemed
unacceptable?"While it is true that some G, many PG and most
PG-13 movies are not in line with LDS teachings, you can bet that there is
something in EVERY R-rated movie that is not in line with LDS teachings. Shall
we dig out the conference talk about cockroaches in the ice cream? It is astounding that even most TV shows that start out innocuous enough
become unacceptable as entertainment within a dozen or two dozen episodes.
Remember, if it is not OK to do, it is not OK to be entertained by.To suggest we know better than the brethren in this regard, or that we are
able to fend off the negative influence of media better than our neighbor is to
invite decay into our moral lives. But y'all go on and enjoy.