These numbers are self-reported and unreliable. LDS self-reported stats include
all members who have ever been baptized or born to LDS parents (even if those
children weren't baptized later). Also if the LDS church cannot find a
member (usually because that member wishes to remain outside of the faith) that
member is kept on the Church records until he/she is 110. Statistical
surveys-which rely on random sampling and that only county people who consider
themselves members of a particular religion-suggest that the LDS growth in the
United States is essentially flat-neither growing or shrinking.
"The numbers are based on membership reports from the religious bodies, as
opposed to public opinion surveys that speak to individuals who identify
themselves as members of one denomination or another."I prefer
the latter because then it doesn't have to worry about different
recordkeeping tendencies between different churches.
Dear Vocal Local: This study was conducted by the Association of Statisticians
of American Religious bodies on a county by county basis. It was NOT based on
numbers reported by the LDS Church. The LDS Church is one of the fasted growing
religions in the world and, I guess, some people can't stand to deal with
For instance, if the Catholic and Methodist churches kept count the same way the
LDS church did then my infant baptism as a Catholic would count me as a Catholic
on this survey, my conversion and dozen years attending a Methodist church would
count me as Methodist on this survey, and my being part of the LDS church as of
2010 would have counted me as LDS on this survey. 3 religions for one person.
@atl134: "3 religions for one person."Hedging your bets.You've tripled your chances of making it to heave. Not a bad idea.
Sometimes I am amazing at how much nonsense gets published on here.The truth is, there are different methods of counting and the LDS Church keeps
more than one. The church keeps track of how many join the church and how many
attend. This way both numbers are kept. Heaven forbid the LDS Church not do
every last thing the way the D.N. comment board cynics want it to. It's a
number- a number! This must be an outrageous scandal!I'm sure
someone will argue about the honest of the LDS Church, the attempt to "twist
the facts to misrepresent the truth" and so on. The truth is, it's a
number, it aint hurting anyone, and the church keeps track of more numbers than
just the one. Please, please, please- Get over it. :)
Just did a quick comparison: The (church) self-reported study shows American
Mormonism growing at 3.82% per year. The (adherent) self-identified study shows
3.03% growth per year. Another way to say something similar is that
(extrapolating from the available data), nearly 59% of the church's
self-reported population self-identified as Mormon on the (adults-only)
adherent-reported survey. By 2010, that percent dropped to 54.5%.Though this is just one comparison, and more analysis needs to be done, the
takeaway to me is: Mormonism continues to grow at a healthy rate, even on
adherent-reported measures, though not as fast as its own claims; and the gap
between church reporting of members and adherent-self reporting is widening
Counter Intelligence... actually not very true. The church counts members
regardless if they show up on sunday or not. Average church attendance is in or
around 50% on average of who is on the roles. If you look at a Baptist or
Evangelical church, if a person doesn't show up over a period of time, they
are taken off the records because each church unit is a free standing entity.
There is no master list of Baptist where a name is moved form one role to
another when they move or change locations.This doesn't still
take away from the growth that is being seen in other areas. In my area, some
locations over the last 10 years had seen a 1 for 3 growth. We have added two
new stakes. To Utah, that doesn't sound like much. But for out here, that
is astronomic growth when compared to historical growth rates. Locals are very
much aware of out presence.. where as before we were an oddity out here.So yes, some comparing apples to oranges here, but it does still show
trends and that is just about as important.
@Cats"It was NOT based on numbers reported by the LDS Church."From the article..."The numbers are based on membership
reports from the religious bodies, as opposed to public opinion surveys that
speak to individuals who identify themselves as members of one denomination or
It should be noted that the LDS Church still counts me as a member, even though
I have requested both in person and in writing that they stop doing so.
Just because i do not attend all the time or go inactive doesn't mean i am
not a member, you are a member until you have your records and membership
And how much effort is needed to remove your record? Way to hard. Most people
just give up and are still counted. I am assuming there is a fairly significant
percentage in this group.
"The numbers are based on membership reports from the religious
bodies"Geez people. It is there in black and white. Feel free
to refute the article, but it clearly states where the numbers come from.Additionally, you take 50,000 to 60,000 missionaries worldwide pushing
ANY religion and it will grow and probably grow substantially.THAT
is the primary reason the LDS religion is growing.
Apologies to anyone who read my first post. My comparison was too quick. I was
working with the adherent-identified figures from 1990 and mistakenly assumed
they were from 2000. It is more accurate to say that the % of Americans who
identify themselves as Mormons has changed very little over the past 20 years
(still about 1.4%). Thus Mormon growth in the US is barely keeping up with
overall population growth (on a %, not absolute basis). This also means that the
gap between LDS church reporting and adherent self-reporting is widening faster
than my first message implies.These figures should be better for
about the past decade: adherent-reported church growth is about 2.3% per year,
compared to 3.8% for church-reported figures. And the percentage of people who
self-identify as US Mormons compared to church reported figures has dropped from
about 61.5% to less than 54%. (Self-reporting doesn't include non-adults,
but this shouldn't much affect the fact that the gap between self and
church reporting is widening over time.)
@VSTThere continues to be new building projects both because of population
shifts to different areas (for example Salt Lake City proper is no longer
predominantly LDS by the Church's own admission while the Mormon population
of the south end of the valley has grown substantially) and because some areas
continue to experience growth. However there is evidence that the Church's
growth in the United States is stagnating or even flat. For example, the recent
Pew Forum survey on religion throughout the country, based on random sampling
rather than inconsistent statistics provided by each denomination, estimated the
inflow of Mormon adults (those raised LDS or those who converted who still
considered themselves LDS) was less than the outflows (those who had joined the
LDS who now considered themselves something else). Admittedly, these figures
were in the range of statistical error so it is not clear there is a
decline-what is clear though from this and other surveys that the Church's
growth (based on people who consider themselves LDS) in the United States is
leveling out and at best is around the growth rate of the general population.
@voice of reason "Sometimes I am amazing at how much nonsense
gets published on here.""Please, please, please- Get over
it."So much for civil and respectful.
JoeBlow,It could have something to do with the LDS Church being
true... Did you consider that possibility?:)
@VOR: Yes the church keeps more than one set of numbers, and yes different
numbers are used for different purposes. The figures reported in this article
(church official figures) make more sense for pastoral purposes: keeping track
of all those who have made LDS baptismal covenants. The figures brought up by
others (such as self-identified Mormons) make more sense for sociological
purposes: we thus know how many people want to be called Mormon, and we can
compare that to how many feel that they belong to other religions.It's only when figures that are better used pastorally are used
sociologically (as some seem to do, though the article itself provides helpful
cautions), that some will remind that the more sociologically appropriate
figures are not as rosy.
VOR, "It could have something to do with the LDS Church being
true."Of course it is true. Just like all the others :)The bottom line is that the LDS church has a massive worldwide
"sales force"and lots of advertising dollars.That
equates to converts, regardless of "truthiness".
I am surprised at the number of comments that want to only include LDS active as
those that attend church more than once a month yet don't call for the same
for the other religions. I feel that if we only looked at really active members
than the Catholic numbers would adjust accordingly too. You have to be fair
across the board.
Wow, I am really surprised in the change to Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and
Florida.I wish they had the stats for 10% and higher too.
I figured that this article would bring out the "Mormon" bashers. If
you are so against the LDS Religion why do you waste your time reading and
commenting on everything that is published regarding the LDS Religion. If you
are not interested ang somebody approaches you regarding the religion, be civil,
say you have no interest and guess what, they will leave you alone. It blows me
away how much time is wasted on hating a group of people.
JoeBlow,If there were no missionaries, of course there would be less
members. But saying "it's just numbers, not truthfulness" also
doesn't make the LDS Church any less true. You didn't necessarily
imply it, but it could have been implied in your argument. I just wanted to
clarify.The best place to learn about it being true isn't in
the numbers, but in the Book of Mormon.
Being humble is more important than being worthy (though the two may be
synonymous); scriptures say the humble will be exalted. Many verses do
humble us such as Matt. 8: 12, "But the children of the kingdom shall be
cast out into outer darkness." God's people fell in the Bible, it
could happen again. Don't think it can't. The world is being
converted, more people are coming out of poverty, I hear 2 billion across the
globe will join the middle class in the next 20 years, there will be an wealth
explosion. How many people can handle wealth though? Another thing that
humbles us is a quote (I forget by whom) of LDS leadership maybe a century ago
that "God's work is too big to be done by just one group of people"
God's work is being done by many nations, religions and cultures.
I was most interested in the map labeled "LDS Church Membership
Penetration," but a little confused over what it was trying to represent.
In the article it suggested that the percentages given were percentages of
growth in each county, but I was seeing it as merely a current status of the
presence of the church in each county of the US. If it were representing a
percentage of growth, the red areas (more than 5% in the last 10 years) would be
very HUGE in areas already predominantly LDS. On the other hand, if it just
measures "presence" in percentages of the population of the areas, as I
would like to think of it, then it would have been nice to have more of a
breakdown of the red area, for example: 5-10%, 10-20%, 20-50%, and over 50%.
JoeBlowFar East USA, SCVOR, "It could have something
to do with the LDS Church being true."Of course it is true. Just
like all the others :)------------------- While the Us vs.
Them Mormons are jumping up and down, I for one was saddened by the
overall decline of religion in general. That predicts moral decay of
society better than how many Mormon stats, even with Non-Christians. Thank
heavens Islam is growing!FYI – Utah Mormons; Zion, the New
Jerusalem, will have Non-Mormons in it just as well.=================== CanyontrekerTAYLORSVILLE, UTWow,
I am really surprised in the change to Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and
Florida.We lived in Seattle for 22 years.When we got there back in
the 1980s, there was 1 Mission and 1 brand new Temple – the 1st in the
Pacific NorthWest.When we left 3 years ago – there were 6 Missions,
and 8 Temples covering the same area.
JoeBlow:So why didn't the church die out when it was nearly bankrupt,
old men left their families to preach, sold everything they had, didn't
receive any formal training...Since this "sales force" was made up
of farmers, in the early days of the church, who traveled with nothing but a few
copies of the Book of Mormon in their satchels, no glitz, no glammer, no
advertising, even at times when the church had not a penny to its name...why was
it very successful back then as well? They must have had something that was
deeply desired...one can wonder what would entice someone to sell their lands
and properties to travel 1000's of miles, and risk illness and death to
join up with a group that followed a prophet...funny thing is...these people who
gave up everything to join the church...wrote in their journals that they found
EVERYTHING upon joining the church.
LDS Liberal wrote:"FYI – Utah Mormons; Zion, the New
Jerusalem, will have Non-Mormons in it just as well."Are you
certain of that?Once Mormons establish their world political
"kingdom", D&C 1:14 says, "and the day
cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of
his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall
be cut off from among the people."Doesn't sound very
tolerant to me.
They don't keep good records if they don't remove inactive.
joe blow, if the idea of sending out missionaries to preach the gospel to every
nation, kindred tongue and people bothers you, then take it up with He who
requested it. The New Testament sends that message to Christ's diciples and
expects us to continue to spread his message today.And of course members
of the LDS church believe it's true. Elsewise, why would you attend a
church if you didn't believe it to be true?
Been led to believe when one sends a letter to LDS big whigs requesting
one's name be removed from Church records, one's name continues on in
the LDS rolls. Thus those incorrect numbers."They" still call,
want one to "come in" to discuss their unhappiness with "the
Church. The calls, requests for interviews continue, ad nauseam.Please let
go of all of us, Please!
They still count me, event though I left the LDS church years ago, and now serve
as a pastor at a church here in Salt Lake. So I will have to agree that their
reports are not true statements.
@A ScientistProvo, UTLDS Liberal wrote:"FYI -
Utah Mormons; Zion, the New Jerusalem, will have Non-Mormons in it just as
well."Are you certain of that?Yes - Said
Brigham Young by way of explanation: "If the Latter-day Saints think,
when the Kingdom of God is established on the earth, that all the inhabitants of
the earth will join the church called Latter-day Saints, they are egregiously
mistaken. I presume there will be as many sects and parties then as now. Still,
when the Kingdom of God triumphs, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess
that Jesus is the Christ, to the glory of the Father. Even the Jews will do it
then; but will the Jews and Gentiles be obliged to belong to the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints? No; not by any means."Zion is the
Pure in Heart,No Membership required.
"The LDS Church is one of the fasted growing religions in the world" in
countries where education levels are low, poverty is high, and access to
information (such as the internet to look up the church) is practically nil.So yes it's growing .... but not here.
Dang, I hope they call me on a mission someday!
What this story fails to mention is that LDS members are leaving in droves.
Sociologists estimate that about 1 in 3 LDS members are active in church. Of the
14.5 million members that the church claims, only about 5 million are active,
and church activity is on the decline pretty much across the board for most
religions. Yes the church is gaining membership (meaning they keep baptizing
people) but the fact is only 1 in 3 people are sticking around.So
the question is, what is it that these people know or have learned or are in the
process of learning that is driving them to leave the church? I know many people
who were very devout, served missions, married in the temple, raised kids, then
BAM they leave the church and cut ties with the church that they once loved and
cherished and gave years and years of service and loyalty to. So what is it that
these people are discovering that's driving them out? In my eyes, it's
less like 'substantial growth' and more like a black eye that the LDS
church fails to mention, and that this article failed to mention
@ Freedom for all. I hate to break it to you but your assertions are grossly
exaggerated. Yes, there are a few who leave the church for whatever reason but
that has always been true, even in the days of Jesus. Then again did you figure
all the inactive Catholics or Protestants ?
If one truly believes 'narrow is the way ... and few there be that find
it' one shouldn't be surprised that any Church loses members. The
surprise would be in members not leaving.
K posted: They don't keep good records if they don't remove
inactive.And if we removed the inactive.... and they one day return
to church and discovered they are no longer members..... What do you recommend
we say? Jesus said something about leaving the 99 to find the one
lost sheep. You think we should just toss them?
In other news: "Its report pegged U.S. Mormon growth at 45.5 percent,
jumping from 4,224,026 in 2000 to 6,144,582 in 2010. The 2000 figure, though,
was much lower than the 5,208,827 listed in the LDS Church’s almanac. If
researchers had been given that figure, the percentage of growth would have been
considerably smaller, closer to 18 percent." Mormons in the US
went from 1.85% of the population to 1.99%.
The 45.5% growth that this study reported is false. In 2000, the church in the
U.S. had a total of 5,208,827 members. In 2010, it had 6,144,582. That's
a growth rate of less than 18%So what happened? The study said the
church only had 4,224,026 members in 2000. Those were only the members in 2000
with known addresses. As-of 2000, the church had nearly a million members who
had moved without giving the church a forwarding address, and thus weren't
assigned to any ward or branch. To get 45.5% growth, those
"address-unknown" members were not included in the 2000 count, but were
included in the 2010 count.The Deseret News really ought to publish
a clarification of this story.
I'll say it again. LDS growth is mostly overseas in underdeveloped
countries. Educated developed country's don't buy into it!
Percentage growth is somewhat meaningless when base population isn't
counted. If a church has one member, and adds two more in a year, that would be
200% growth! But it would also just be three whackos...
Another newspaper is reporting that an LDS Church spokesman is now explaining
that they reported numbers to this survey organization differently a decade ago
(apparently a decade ago they didn't count every member ever baptized or
born to LDS parents) than how they reported this last time (which this time
included all members ever baptized or born into the Church still living except,
as I understand from other sources, those they cannot track down are counted
until they are 110). This has vastly distorted the figures to make the growth
much larger than reported. So in this case not only are the figures different
between other denominations but the LDS Church's own figures were reported
differently in different years.
"VocalLocalSalt Lake, UTAnother newspaper is reporting that an
LDS Church spokesman is now explaining that they reported numbers to this survey
organization differently a decade ago (apparently a decade ago they didn't
count every member ever baptized or born to LDS parents) than how they reported
this last time (which this time included all members ever baptized or born into
the Church still living except, as I understand from other sources, those they
cannot track down are counted until they are 110). This has vastly distorted the
figures to make the growth much larger than reported. So in this case not only
are the figures different between other denominations but the LDS Church's
own figures were reported differently in different years."Once
again more distortion of the truth.
LValfreGo look it up for yourself. Salt Lake Tribune. Today. The
church admitted to using two different methods.Why would that then
be a distortion of the truth? Sounds like pure truth to me.
LDS Growth - Over Seas, out of the U.S. -meaning....Most
Mormons are; Not from Utah, Not even Americans, and therefore,
definately NOT Republicans!
About 30 years ago, I moved from California to New England; I was talking to a
Jewish friend about my new surroundings. "We Mormons are really a minority
in New England," I explained. "You always were [everywhere]," he
replied. Since then I haven't been too impressed with statistics. We now
number 14-million-plus in a world of 7 billion. Growing by a bit here and there
gives us a warm feeling, but we're very much in the minority -- good
motivation to do missionary work, bad motivation to boast.
KMchenry, IL"They don't keep good records if they
don't remove inactive."So, what church removes their
inactive? What are you comparing this too?
no fit in SG "They" still call, want one to "come in" to discuss
their unhappiness with "the Church. The calls, requests for interviews
continue, ad nauseam.Please let go of all of us, Please!This
is a beef with your local ward not the Church. As Elders Quorum Presidency we
called on the inactive to have them come in and tell the Bishop what they want
to do with their records. We only had one come in and have his records
removed, one in a family of six. Yet, he remains active in our scout program, no
animosity. We had one couple ask not to be called again and remove their
names over the phone. The request was expediently honored.We had six
families that begged that the records not be changed. Three of them became
active again and one moved away without their records and we don't know
what to do with them.
LDS Liberal,What's your point? It's not wrong to be LDS
and republican. Sure, there are a some republicans and conservatives who feel
their party or followings align more with LDS doctrines, but there are plenty of
liberals and democrats who allow their political affiliations do the same
thing.In labeling each other politically, are we not just separating
each other? We should be finding agreement and common ground- not disagreement.