Comments about ‘LDS religious commitment high, Pew survey finds’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 13 2012 6:00 p.m. MST

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Temecula, CA

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.

St. George, U

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.

Uncle Charles
Where freedom and liberty reign, utah

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 hasn't changed.


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)?"

Cedar City, Utah

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 surveyor. Really????

Harwich, MA

Mormonism is a commitment to the Church. It has nothing to do with a commitment to spirituality.

Springville, UT

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.

Nanaimo, BC

@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.

M Edwards
Heber City, Ut

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.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


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 represented.


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 worse.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

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.

Allen, TX

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.

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