Culture Institutions Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Mormon growth slows to its lowest level since 1937. Here’s why that’s great news.

Heartbeat monitor showing single heartbeat and flatline

Heartbeat monitor showing single heartbeat and flatlineDuring General Conference, buried in the official statistics that make up the LDS Church’s annual report, we learned that the LDS Church grew by 261,862 people in 2015, a 1.7% annual increase.

Lots of other denominations would be thrilled by a 1.7% increase, but for Mormons this represents the slowest growth in any year since 1937 (when it was 0.93%), so no one’s exactly throwing a party.

But don’t despair: there are some silver linings in this seeming cloud. To find out more, I spoke with Matt Martinich, founder of the LDS Church Growth blog. For over eight years now he has tracked just about every aspect of Mormon growth and loss, tracking baptisms, retention rates, and more.

RNS: What do you make of the 2015 Statistical Report which shows a slowing rate of LDS growth?

Martinich: Annual membership growth has steadily declined in the last 25 years. It used to be 4-5% a year, and now it’s only 1.7%. I don’t think it will decrease much more than to 1.5%, though.

RNS: The report notes that convert baptisms are down by more than 13%. Why has growth slowed so much?

Martinich: The biggest reason is the “centers of strength” policy, which has been in place since the early 1990s. There’s not much information about it, but it’s a policy where the church intentionally restricts its missionary activities to only a handful of places in the world.

Prior to the 1990s the Church would very aggressively and kind of indiscriminately open new areas for missionary work. A lot of the rapid growth in Latin America and elsewhere was due to that. But in the 1990s the idea became that the church needed to have a “center of strength” and be well established in at least one city in an area so that administratively there would be enough leadership to run the church.

The problem is that many of these areas never become centers of strength. So you have a number of cities where the church has been there for some time, and they won’t create new wards or branches unless existing wards or branches are split, which is not very effective for growth.

The church in the 1980s and 90s had pretty poor standards for baptism, and changing that has also been a huge aspect of why growth has slowed. Low qualifications for baptism resulted in a lot of converts who didn’t come to church and didn’t contribute much.

Some would argue that secularism has also contributed. The Internet has nothing to do with it: In some areas the Internet has increased growth, and in other areas it’s decreased growth. It has more to do with the function of secularism, not whether people have information about the church that is negative or incorrect.

RNS: The number of missionaries serving is also down by about 13%, but that doesn’t seem as surprising as the dip in convert baptisms. The “surge” in missionaries that began after the age change in October 2012 has run its two-year course.

Martinich: Right, the double cohort is pretty much gone now. So it looks like the number of missionaries has dropped a lot in the last year, but that’s misleading because of the surge.

What might be more accurate is to measure today’s number of missionaries against 2012, which is before the surge, and that’s an increase of about 15,000. That’s a sizable increase over such a short period of time.

RNS: A lot of those “surge” missionaries served in the United States. Was there a corresponding spike in baptisms here to reflect that higher number of missionaries?

Martinich: The answer is no. That was a frustration of mine, the surge. The reason they sent the bulk of that missionary group – a large portion were Americans – here in the US was that the US had the resources to accommodate such a surge, versus other countries where it would be hard to secure housing, get visas, etc. The US has 124 missions, the most of any country.

There were some good results in some areas, especially reactivation in the southwestern US. That was good news, and in my opinion that’s a lot better development in the long run than just baptizing new members.

There were certain countries where they experienced a significant increase in missionaries. In the Philippines the number of Filipinos serving missions doubled. There are countries that have historically sent very few people on missions, like Micronesia and some nations in Africa, where more people from those countries are serving than ever before.

RNS: You say in your blog that the good news about the statistical report is the creation of new wards and stakes, which is the largest increase in wards since 2005. What does that mean?

Martinich: Congregational growth and stake growth are the best measurements of the increase of active members. Those numbers really say a lot about active membership and leadership.

There’s a net increase of 60 stakes, the most new stakes created in any year since 1998, though there were also several stakes closed. That growth has happened all over the world.

This year, 2016, is an unprecedented year for growth [in stakes] so far. A second stake was created in Kenya last month, and the creation of two new stakes in Hong Kong will occur later this month. But despite these encouraging developments, most of Latin America remains stagnant.

RNS: So you’re saying that even though baptisms are down, the rate of already-baptized Mormons who are active and involved is increasing?

Martinich: In some areas, it is. The church in Mozambique has achieved good results improving convert retention and member activity rates. This success resulted in the organization of the first two stakes in that country during 2015.

The church has also achieved some marginal progress in some other nations with sizable numbers of Latter-day Saints such as Brazil, Guatemala, and Taiwan. Rapid growth is currently occurring in West Africa. However, many of the nations with the most Latter-day Saints continue to experience essentially stagnant growth, such as Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and the United Kingdom.


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About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

195 Comments

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  • I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship, my wife is LDS. We asked our son, when he turned 8 this year, to pray on which church to be baptized in, or if he wanted to be baptized at all. He prayed and the Spirit lead him to the Fellowship, even though he’d been going to the LDS branch of Mormonism for the past 7 years. Why? Because he didn’t feel the spirit in the LDS branch. Like it or not, the LDS branch isn’t the only one and it won’t grow without rich soil. Numbers don’t matter. The Spirit matters. The fruits matter. The LDS branch is fine for a lot of Mormons, the majority of us in fact, but it isn’t perfect and it isn’t going to be right for everyone. It shouldn’t be a numbers game. It should be about leading souls to Christ, wherever he takes them.

  • The real reason for the decline in Mormonism is the fact that Mormons are actually reading. Their brains are no longer accepting the lies.

  • Could the young boy also have been influenced by him having a closer personal relationship with his father and/or having developed closer friend relationships in the church his father attends? Children at the age of eight are truly the most influenced by their parents and like me who had been born to parents of different Christian faiths, Catholic/Lutheran mother & LDS father, I had to decide for myself when I became a young adult man since only one ( or maybe niether) could be the true Church of Jesus Christ that He personally guides thru a living Prophet & Apostles just like He did in His ancient Church as found in the N.T. of the Holy Bible. Through my very intensive study & sincere prayer as a follower of Jesus Christ I received a spiritual witness by the power of the Holy Spirit that like I had received in my youth a sure testimony of the truthfulness of the Bible and Jesus is the Christ, our Resurrected Lord & Saviour, so too that same Spirit revealed to me the truthfulness of the restoration of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ thru the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith and bringing forth the Book of Mormon, the Stick of Joseph, as a companion to the Bible, the Stick of Judah, (Ezekiel 37:15-19), and the prophesied restoration of the Lord’s Church which occurred in 1830 and known today as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

  • If the rate of LDS membership growth is 1.7% a year, then in 20 years there would be 40% more Mormons worldwide, about 21 million. In 80 years from now, that would be 58 million Latter-day Saints. Ranked against current national populations, that would be number 24, right behind France, the UK and Italy. By 2030, the 300th anniversary of the Church, membership would be 104 million. Meanwhile, current demographic trends show that world population will likely peak around 2060 and drop rapidly after that, due to low fertility. The Mormons will have a much larger role in the world, by sheer dint of population, in combination with the personal growth that Mormonism engenders. I know this will distress many people who don’t like Mormonism, while most Mormons don’t contemplate how our children and grandchildren are going to have a much more expansive role in the world than we have now.

  • We will see Raymond. I think you meant to say by the year 2130 there would be 104 million Mormons. Yes, that seems like a likely possibility; however, it is very difficult to predict LDS growth rates for longer than 10 years. This is because of changes in church policies regarding the opening of previously unreached areas and nations to missionary work, the allocation of mission resources worldwide, and changes in the receptivity of populations to the Church worldwide.

  • Yeah, not going to happen. Membership in the church is basically at its peak. It may top out around 18-20 million, then it will decline. The truth is that it’s already declining, but this is simply masked by bogus numbers. The truth is there aren’t 15 million now, more like 5 million. Attendance is way less than 1/3.

    In my ward there are hundreds of members on the rolls who do not attend, and when visiting them they slam the door in your face, don’t know who we are, want nothing to do with us, don’t exist and can’t be found anywhere on planet earth, etc. But statistically we count them as members until they are 110 years old. Or so some insiders have said. Our church is one of the few in the world that has such an insanely culty exit process that requires notarized forms and letters to officially “leave.” Frankly, some believe that the church even counts people who have resigned. There isn’t a clear answer on that, where exactly do these numbers come from? That information isn’t made public. And it’s very important to understand this distinction.

    When we compare our numbers to other church’s, it’s an apples to oranges comparison. These statistical labels like “membership” and “converts” don’t mean the same thing to each organization. If Baptists say they have 15 million members, that means they have 15 million people regularly attending at whatever level they consider to be active. For us it means we believe there are 15 million people currently alive (110 or younger) who were at one time baptized and had a form with their name on it filled out, regardless of whether they actually set foot in one of our churches even a single time after that.

  • I’ve been thoroughly involved in and studying missionary work for the past decade, and it’s getting worse not better. There is no putting lipstick on this pig. We need to be honest. Acting like there is any good news is a huge part of the problem. A few points.

    This 1.7% growth number is not truthful. Some 90% of new converts fall away. That’s just the fact.

    This business about new stakes is not the whole truth either. Yes, there are some new stakes, but also not mentioned are stakes that have closed in places like Utah and Japan. There is an entire ward that I served in as a missionary in Japan about 10 years ago which is completely gone now. Attendance was in the hundreds when I was there. I mean GONE. Not a branch or some small meeting in its place, 100% completely gone. All members inactive.

    Plus, a lot of this unit growth is fake. For example, in my area here in TX there is massive growth. But not because of baptisms. Over the past several years I’ve seen 4 new wards formed in my stake due to move-ins. People fleeing the economic decline in states like CA, OR, ID, UT, etc. Our baptism rates are horrible. Once every couple months there is a baptism. One of the new stakes mentioned in the link provided I am very familiar with, in San Antonio. It’s the same as with my area. This is not a few stake formed because of baptisms, let me assure you, it’s because of LDS transplants from other parts of the country.

    And not to be indelicate, but usually these people getting baptized are special needs kind of situations. Not always, but usually. An old person, a disabled person, perpetually underemployed, etc. And nothing wrong with that, I’m just pointing it out. Normal families, educated couples with children, aren’t joining the church. I guarantee you, if we assigned labels to those getting baptized and looked at the numbers on a pie chart, the baptism trends are not strengthening wards but burdening them with more work.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d like it if we spent more time on humanitarian kind of efforts, but that’s not actually what is happening. Baptism is a very ineffective vehicle to charity work, that’s not what it’s designed for. If we want to do that kind of work, we should spend less time on temple trips and more time at the homeless shelter, or whatever.

    What happens now is missionaries find some needy person, because it’s the only weirdo they can find to listen to them, bring them to church, baptize them, and then leave the local members with a mess to clean up. Then I’ve got some weirdo calling me for rides all the time like I’m a free taxi service and then guilt tripping me for money along the way.

    Sorry, I’ve gotten a bit ranty.

    Right now missionaries decide who gets baptized and who doesn’t, and they get their day to day marching orders from their mission president, and local leaders have no say either way. And yet at the same time missionary work is considered the ecclesiastical responsibility of local leadership, yada yada. There is a conflict of interest. And until that conflict is resolved, among other problems, missionary work will continue to be ineffective in terms of finding real converts. Among those who get baptized, very few stay active, and then even among those, very few strengthen the local units. Without exaggeration, maybe 1% of baptisms are true successes in the sense that we like to talk about in terms of the people we want to target and bring into the fold.

    The part about the baptism rate per missionary going down is also very important and related to this. This point seems to have been glossed over. The missionary force essentially doubled in size and yet baptisms didn’t go up AT ALL. Arguably they even went down. This isn’t a casual disappointment, this is a symptom of a HUGE problem. Many problems. Infective missionary program, saturated areas, low morale both among missionaries and members, ineffective teaching, a missionary program that isn’t actually so concerned with missionary work itself but is more about indoctrinating the missionaries themselves. This is a very broken system in just about every way.

    Real growth that exists is almost entirely in third world areas that both have high attrition rates, high inactivity rates, and also super high poverty rates that tend to create a burden on the organization at large. If we have decline in the USA with major growth in other areas, this is quickly heading to other problems. I guarantee you, if you could be a fly on the wall in the board room, the church doesn’t want massive growth in places like Africa. It certainly wants growth, but at a controlled rate, balanced with tithing revenue. The church is a massive bureaucracy that employs many tens of thousands of people, a large portion of the UT economy depends on it. Even a small dip in tithing can result in a shockwave of economic depression within UT and the church. So multiply declining revenue by increasing costs, do the math.

    I could go on and on… TLDR, the church is not being honest about its growth. In keeping with tradition it pretends that all is well in zion, that we’re the fastest growing religion in the world and all that. Hype prevails. Some day maybe we’ll accept reality, and that will need to happen long before we can start fixing these problems and correcting course.

  • 8 years after the church was organized, there were 20,000+ members, so none of them would have been baptized as children. So lets see, what is that about a billion % growth without any baptized because their parents raised them excuse? The restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ is here to stay, The mobs could not stop Joseph. Obviously he was protected until the church was fully restored. Nobody can stop it. The Lord will have a Temple to return to. Actually he has already appeared in the Kirtland Temple and likely in many more.

  • I agree with many of your points, but I don’t think the current situation is as dire as you present it. Yes, the “all is well in Zion” fallacy really fuels the problem even more. Rushed prebaptismal preparation continues to be a major problem, but a lack of member involvement in missionary work is the greatest deterrent. Convert retention rates after baptism are 40-70% one year after baptism for most missions currently. The highest retention and activity rates are in West Africa. These findings are based on approximately 1,300 surveys I have collected from recent returned missionaries from around the world.

  • What bugs me in your analysis is your COMPLETE miss as to what YOUR responsibility is in all of this. It is the missionary’s primary job to teach and baptize people. It is your job and my job to invite people. I am one of those transplants…..just moved to Dallas, TX three months ago (McKinney, to be precise) from the Midwest (in full transparency I’m originally from Salt Lake City, Utah). I can’t believe the general attitude around here regarding member-missionary work. Meaning, it is non-existent. Can you honestly tell me the last time you invited your “normal” texas friends to church? Or to come over to your home for dinner with the missionaries? Or to read the Book of Mormon? Be honest, now…….. Exactly. I can’t stand your attitude and many people here in Texas seem to share it. Well, I’m not going to drink the Texas Tea or Kool-Aid or whatever you call it. Nope. I’m going to do my part, you watch. And hopefully you and others will follow my lead.

  • Andrew, when you consider that to join the LDS Church you have to agree not to smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs, to refrain from sex before marriage, and to pay 10% of your income to the Church, it is a miracle that the Church gets any convert baptisms. Society is becoming more wicked and it makes it harder and harder to get convert baptisms.

  • Your analysis is quite far-fetched… Assuming the most optimistic exponential growth for Mormonism and logistic growth for all other populations.

    At best, Mormonism will peak at 20 million in the 2040s. This estimate doesn’t even take into account all the demographic trends that will increasingly negatively impact Mormon stats. Millennials and third world populations will continue to have fewer and fewer kids and become more and more secular. Baby boomers will start dying out and will not be replaced by faithful grandchildren. The missionary force will dwindle no matter how young they send them out. The true historic and doctrinal issues will be translated into more and more languages.

    Sorry Raymond, but there will likely never be more than 20-30 million Mormons… And they will become a smaller and less influential sliver of the world population, along with many other religions.

    http://www.mormonism101.com/2015/04/number-of-mormons-to-peak-at-20-million.html?m=1

  • Stake and new congregation growth are still the best measures and indicators of REAL church growth. Far gone are the days when the Church and its leaders even care about baptism numbers if they can’t lead to long-term active membership in the Church. This is one of the reasons why total growth rate (i.e., membership growth rate) has halved in the last decade, but REAL growth rate (i.e., activity growth rate) has doubled.

    Critics of Mormonism will say that the Church growth rate is slowing, but to anyone with half a brain, it is actually increasing. It does no good to the Church to baptize someone if two years later they are no longer attending Church, receiving a temple endowment, paying tithing, magnifying a calling, etc.

  • If the LDS Church would be allowed to proselyte in China, you would see TREMENDOUS growth in a very short time. China is starving for spiritualism vs. materialism (I travel there 3-4 times per year and was a missionary in Taiwan in the early 80’s). The issue will be – are there enough missionaries and leaders to support the potential growth? Will China allow the potential growth without putting additional political restrictions on a growing organization like they did with the Falun Gong which was hijacked by political activists?
    As far as the number of “the Elect” that may be living on the earth at any one time, it is the missionaries duty to seek out and teach. If “every member is a missionary”, then all LDS should be engaged in living the gospel as they have covenanted so the Spirit may accompany and bear testimony of the truth. If members are not engaged in attending church meetings, then, over time they can become less intent on living the gospel principles which may cause them to lose the motivation or experience the happiness that comes by way of the Spirit while doing missionary work. If you read the prophet Zenos’ Allegory of the Olive Trees in Jacob 5 Book of Mormon, you can see that “the Lord of the Vineyard” (Savior) was continually “working” alongside his servants to cultivate and preserve “good fruit” to be stored up before the end of the world.
    The Savior works alongside those who want the same thing He does and will strengthen those that are willing and able to “thrust in their sickle” and work with full purpose of heart, mind and strength. I’ve seen many people re-activated as members when their perspective on life becomes more mature, when one of life’s questions arises and they are searching for answers, and they re-find the answers as members or missionaries contact them and they are touched by the Spirit, and the Spirit speaks to their heart and their lives are reignited with joy and a hope for greater happiness that LIVING the gospel and teachings of Christ provides.
    May God Bless.

  • The REAL growth of the Church isn’t measured in baptisms, it is measured in new congregations and, most important, new stakes. People need to pay attention to the net new congregation and net new stake growth rate, which is actually approaching a new all time high this year in 2016 as was NEAR an all-time high record in 2015.

    First, the Church in the last decade has greatly improved its total membership reporting standards to the point where it now accurately reports for deaths and voluntary/involuntary membership terminations much more accurately — and, I might add, FAR more accurately than any other religion. A few years ago, the Church caught serious flak for using reporting standards for membership that (shock and gasp) EVERY other Church and religion on the face of the planet was using. (I know, the “horror.”)

    But, the Church actually took the (somewhat silly) criticism to heart and made the decision to more accurately report its numbers. This is one of the reasons why you see the total LDS Church growth rates slowing, but other Church growth rates (i.e., Seventh Day Adventists and JW’s) continue to remain high. (The LDS Church is now using a much more accurate measuring standard for total growth while the other denominations still continue to use an older (and much more inaccurate) system.)

    Second, and much more important, it does ZERO good to baptize someone if they are not going to remain active in the Church. This is especially true for Mormonism which believes strongly in a lay clergy and relies heavily on local leadership — perhaps more so than any other faith group. The point is this: despite what critics say, the Church can’t fudge the numbers when it comes to new stakes and, particularly, new congregations. New stakes and new wards simply cannot even FUNCTION if the requisite active membership and leadership is not present.

    So the takeaway is this:

    Yes, the total Church membership growth rate is decreasing. But, the REAL growth rate of the Church is nearing an all time high. Long gone are the days when the Church even cared about baptism (i.e., total growth) numbers. The only numbers that even matter to Church leadership these days are:

    1. Sacrament Meeting Attendance — A lot of people don’t realize this, but the ward clerk going up and down the chapel during sacrament meeting is not just tracking a number of people in attendance, he is actually tracking individual persons and actual families in attendance. For example, if Mr. Smith and his family are coming fairly regularly to Church, and some 400-500 other individuals are doing the same, then the time may be ready to open a new Ward.)

    2. Net New Stake Growth — This is BY FAR the best indicator of REAL Church growth (i.e., active growth) plus leadership capability growth. You simply can’t have new stakes without new stake presidencies, high councillors, high priests group leaders, stake YM presidents, stake primary presidents, and many many others. Given that the lifetime activity rate for high priests and their spouses, once they are ordained, is in excess of 97%, the creation of new stakes is a HUGE indicator of REAL and ACTUAL Church growth.

    2. Net New Congregation Growth. This is especially true with respect to new “Ward” growth as opposed to new “Branch” growth. In 2015, we saw not only 395 new congregations worldwide, but the VAST majority (i.e., over 90%) were Wards, not Branches. In 2016 so far, we are seeing a record-breaking year for new congregations and new Stakes. Again, thanks to a belief in and total reliance upon local lay leadership, you can be rest assured that the Church can’t make up those numbers. In other words, it is clear that while total baptism rates are decreasing, long-term active membership rates are actually increasing significantly

    3. Net new meetinghouses owned. This should be a given. Meetinghouses are not built by the Church unless the ACTIVE growth of the area demands new meetinghouses to be built. The Church built almost 100 new meetinghouses/stake centers last year worldwide. That statistic right there should tell you something.

    4. Net new temples built. Especially in Mormonism, a temple is a worthless building if there are no active members to serve as workers and attend as patrons. Net new temples built is a very good indication of the active and endowed membership growth. The Church increased its total new operating temples last year by almost 3%. Many of these temples were also built in areas that already had temples. Think about that for a minute.

    5. Net new temple endowments and sealings (which are tracked but are not reported at General Conference). These are tracked by the Church, but are not released at General Conference. The fact that new temples are being built, however, is a good indication rates of growth for new temple endowments and sealings are increasing as a whole worldwide.

    6. Net increase in temple attendance (which is not tracked at the individual member level, but at the attendance rate at each temple as a whole). Again, these numbers are not released at General Conference. However, the fact new temples are being built worldwide (and even in well-established areas that already have a temple) is a clear indication that temple attendance is increasing.

    If you really think about it, those are really the only numbers that matter. As the author stated, most Churches these days would KILL for a 1.7 percent annual increase in total membership. When taken into consideration that those number are actually VERY accurate (especially when compared to other religions), that is a lot of growth. Indeed, that is almost DOUBLE the approximate 1 percent growth rate of the world population in 2015.

    But that is really just the tip of the iceberg. The much more important statistic to note is that new stake and new congregation growth were up in 2015 around a full 2 percent. (Remember, reactivation rates are also not taken into consideration in baptism numbers.) New operating temples also grew by almost a full 3% This is the “real” and “active” growth of the Church. Even when speaking to the critics of Mormonism, you can’t argue with new congregation and new Stake growth — it is just impossible given the Church’s reliance on local lay clergy and local lay leadership. You also can’t argue with new temple growth, especially when they are built in areas that already have an existing temple.

    In the end, the REAL growth rate of the Church is actually about the same rate as it was in the 80s and 90s. The Church really never grew by 4-8% in the 80s and 90s because so many of those baptisms were people who never stayed active in the long term. Yes, fewer net individuals are joining the Church, but the net long-term retention and activity rates are much higher than they ever have been. Reactivation rates are also higher than they ever have been. Which, taken in total, is actually MUCH better for the Church.

    As an active member myself, I would much rather see the Church total growth rate decline and the real growth rate increase than the opposite. Wouldn’t you agree?

    In the end, Mormonism continues to not only grow in total membership much faster than the world population growth rate, but its actual and REAL growth rate is near an all-time high.

    Despite what the uneducated critics say, the growth rate of Mormonism will be just fine so long as active and real growth indicators continue to remain high — and, indeed, they are not only remaining high, but are actually increasing.

  • Thanks Andrew for filling in the details. It’s my observation that, due to redeemed and/or unredeemed conditions, people running major institutional faiths are guilty of tilting the humbers toward the positive. That’s because the careers of those tilting the numbers are at stake! “Professional Christians” I call them, having emerged from that particular sect.

    The guy being interviewed says it’s not the internet. I’m not going to swallow that. Anyone with an internet connection at Starbucks can cruise the myriad of opinions, articles and informational sources that make the supernatural faith groups -Mormons, Christians, Muslims- look like visitors from alpha centauri. Information is key when freeing people from cults… and really, under their finely constructed bureaucracies, rituals and financial wealth that’s all the major faiths really are.

    It seems to me that human beings are moving toward the establishment of their own belief systems for living out their lives. Do these systems incorporate ideas from the major faiths? Sure. Perhaps to be pleasing to a God who doesn’t care if you or your kid gets hit by a bus or screwed by a priest/pastor/elder, so much scurrying about like mindless ants is unnecessary?

  • While we are at it, we may take a look at membership statistics of those churches which have gone the “politically correct” route — embracing concepts like inclusiveness, diversity, etc, while advocating liberal political positions.

    The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) with a membership of about 2.8 million in the mid-1950s, has now declined to about 1.7 million. The United Methodists (UMC), at over 11 million in the mid-1960s, are now down to less than 7 million. The Episcopal Church, at about 4.5 million in the mid ’60s, has now lost fully half of its membership. The mainline Lutherans (ELCA, with about 5.5 million members when it was formed in the mid-1970s, is now down to about 3.8 million. The United Church of Christ (UCC) has experienced similar declines. The Unitarians, meanwhile, were at about 150 to 200 thousand in 1960 and are now still at about that same level. All of these churches have been . or are, moving in the “politically correct” direction (advocating for abortion, same sex marriage, “inclusiveness” etc); All, except for the Unitarians, are members of the National Council of Churches, which has been advocating liberal-left political positions since the 1950s. Most of them are experiencing significant absolute declines numbering in the millions. (This is despite that fact that the overall population of the United States is currently about 100 million more than it was in the mid ’60s.)

  • REAL and ACTUAL growth does not have to come from baptisms — and especially does not have to come from baptisms in a particular area.

    For example, I know for a fact that baptism rates in states like Oregon, Utah, Idaho, and California are high all things considered. Many stakes in Utah have over a 4-5% growth rate from convert baptisms per year.

    Creating new wards in Texas due to move ins from other states is not “fake” growth. The Church lay clergy system and reliance on a minimum critical mass of active congregants per ward and stake ensures they cannot operate “fake” wards and “fake” stakes. Yes, baptisms are lower than average in Texas — (they have ALWAYS been lower than average in Texas). But that does not mean new wards and stakes in Texas are not REAL and ACTUAL growth because of move-ins.

    For example, they can be baptized in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah and then move to Texas and still have it be considered REAL growth. Because I can guarantee you the stakes in Utah, California, Idaho and Oregon are going to baptize PLENTY to make up for the loss of the emigration PLUS support their own growth over 99% of the time. In other words, just because the growth is “ORIGINATED” in one state but ultimately “REALIZED” long-term in another doesn’t make it any less “REAL” growth. Despite all that growth in your area of Texas from move-ins. New congregations and stakes in, say, Utah seem to be growing just fine.

    Think of it this way, if all of the growth in your area is really due to move-ins, all of that growth is really decreasing the active growth in, say, Utah. BUT, I can tell you that despite the occasional emigration away from Utah to another state in my home stake (in Kaysville, Utah), we are going to be more than able to handle it and STILL will grow even FASTER than your stake — I promise.

    For example, in my own home ward in Utah, a family just moved out to DC a few months ago. That same month, we reactivated an inactive family in the Ward with twice as many young kids, we baptized 10 new child baptisms besides, and had 3 new convert baptisms besides (a young couple and a young single mom). Then, to top it all off, the family that moved out of the ward move BACK IN just last week.

    Even though we have lost several families in my ward over the last couple of years to emigration to other states (and countries), our stake still “grew” with reactivation, new baptisms and new young move ins to the point they split us last year, and this year created another brand new ward in our brand new stake.

    In other words, think of it this way. You are experiencing growth in Texas largely due to move-ins. We are experiencing growth due to baptisms and reactivation. It doesn’t matter does it because we are both GROWING. Just because the growth that originated in Utah is being ultimately realized long-term in, say, Texas does not mean it is any less “real growth.” A new ward is a new ward and a new stake is a new stake — because our church relies HEAVILY on local lay leadership and active congregants, the Church can’t “fake” those numbers.

    Put it this way, I promise you that for every active member in my home stake that either (a) dies, (b) goes inactive, or (c) emigrates to another state, like Texas, or foreign country — we are ultimately going to baptize or reactivate 5-10 more and at least 3-7 at a minimum are going to remain active long-term if not for the rest of their lives.

    Plus, I can promise you that not all of the growth in your area is just move-ins. Twenty bucks the vast majority of growth is still some combination of baptisms and reactivation –especially when it comes to child baptisms (which have an over 80 percent chance to remain active their entire lives).

    And that is the way it is in the Church right now. Occasionally, people leave (sadly) yes. BUT, for every active member in the Church that (1) goes inactive, (2) voluntarily/involuntarily is excommunicated, or (3) dies, ultimately somewhere in the world 3-10 new convert/child baptisms or reactivated people are going to take that person’s place. AND (depending on a variety of factors) many if not most of them will remain active long-term. This is especially true for child baptisms. AND, yes, the average active mormon female in the world still gives birth in her lifetime to 3.4 kids (MUCH higher than the national and world average).

    P.S. — Also, economic decline in Utah? Are you crazy? Utah has has been one of the top 3 fastest growing economies in the nation per capita for the last 6 years in a row. Idaho hasn’t been too far behind either.

    Consider your LDS growth in Texas and now triple it — that is what is happening in Utah right now.

  • Don’t know about tremendous growth in China when Mormonism sees healthy hot drinks like tea as evil?

  • There is no decline in Mormonism. You need to read the article.

    The Church still grew in total membership by 1.7%. That in itself is a good number and much higher than the average rate of growth of the world population. In areas where the Church primarily operates, it is about DOUBLE the average growth rate of the population on average. But comparing new net total membership to total membership is moot and irrelevant.

    What one NEEDS to compare is net new ACTIVE membership to total ACTIVE membership. This is what we economists call REAL growth of an organization.

    The best indication of REAL growth of the LDS Church in 2015 is net new congregations (over 90% of which were wards) and net new stakes. Because of the Church’s COMPLETE reliance on local lay leadership and active local lay congregants, the Church simply can’t fudge those numbers.

    The Church grew by an almost full 2% in both new congregations and new stakes in 2015. In 2016? For 2016 to date, the church is currently on track for about a 4% increase — though it will probably end up with a 3-4% increase before the end of the year. Given the Church’s absolute reliance on local lay leadership and active congregants for stakes and wards, it cannot fake these numbers and it would be ignorant to even attempt they could to anyone who knew anything about Mormonism.

    Another indicator of net new active membership compared to total active membership is new meetinghouses and new temples. The Church built almost 100 new meetinghouses and stake centers in 2015. It built 4 new temples. Most of these temples were in areas of the world that already had a temple — meaning there is no need for a new temple in the area if rates of attendance including new endowments and sealings are not increasing. The Church saw an increase in new operating temples of about a full 3%. In 2016, there are set to increase that number to 4%.

    Now, a thinking critic would say this: but couldn’t the Church fudge the numbers of new meetinghouses and new temples by just spending more money? As an attorney and a top 50 law school professor (teaching legal finance and tax courses), let me say that I swear all logic is thrown out the window by critics of Mormonism.

    Indeed, which one is it? Is the Church “all about the money?” Or, is “Mormonism in decline?” Indeed, these both seem to be two of the chief arguments of the ignorant critic.

    I would, of course, argue it is neither — but we KNOW it is at least not BOTH. If the Mormon Church is “all about the money” and “Mormonism is in decline,” then why spend hundreds of millions if not billions every year on building new stake centers, meeting houses, and temples? Do you have any clue what the international legal fees alone must cost for that type of endeavor? And, this says nothing of utilities, taxes and maintenance — because, yes, in some areas of the world the Church would still pay a property tax for these buildings. Any clue what maintenance costs and utilities would be even IF the local members actual helped to the cleaning?

    Can you not see how irrational it would be to have both of those opinions about the Church at the same time? If the Church were “all about the money” there would be ZERO incentive to spend hundreds of millions if not billions each year to build and maintain new and existing meetinghouses, stake centers, seminaries, offices, temples and the like. (It would much rather do what the Bahai faith does and “limit” the number of “temples” per continent regardless of active membership.)

    Thankfully, the Church can’t fudge the numbers on new stakes and new congregations — especially if most of those congregations are wards and not branches (as over 90% of the new congregations in 2015 were). It takes dozens of high priests and thousands of highly active members to run a stake. It takes at least half a dozen high priests and hundreds of highly active members to run a ward. Moreover, you need highly active and devout leadership (male and female) for BOTH.
    Yes, we see it every year that the Church discontinues a handful of stakes during the year. It occasionally combines and discontinues wards. If the Church were trying to “lie” to you, then why would they do this? Why discontinue any stake or ward? Why not just look like the Church is growing EVERYWHERE in the world? Ultimately the RATIONAL mind would come to this conclusion: the Church has no choice but to discontinue wards and stakes if the leadership, priesthood, and active memberships just isn’t there. thankfully, we have a clear mechanism for ensuring the honesty of the Church for those who insist on irrational thought patterns.

    More important, what we see is this, for every stake that is discontinued, 10-13 new stakes are created every year. For every congregation that is discontinued, 50 new ones will arise — and most all will be WARDS (at least they were in the last two decades).

    From this, it is quite easy to see that the REAL and ACTIVE growth of the Church in 2015 was somewhere between 1.83% and 2% AT LEAST. Based on ratio of new operating temples built or announced, it COULD have been as high as 3%-4%. However, I personally doubt it was this high. I mean, given the VERY accurate reporting standards of the Church (i.e., which are much higher now that any other religion I can think of by the way), that would easily put Mormonism on the same ACTIVE and REAL growth rate track as Islam and Atheism. To be conservative, I think rather that this statistic only serves to solidify my point, that the active and REAL growth rate of the Church in 2015 was about 2%. That, and the already active LDS population is becoming increasingly more active — at least as far as temple attendance is concerned…which to me is interesting.

    But that is the point of the article that you apparently missed. I am only explaining it to you again in mere economic terms. Comparing the growth rate derived from net total new membership to total membership is moot. The LDS Church and its leaders have long since stopped caring about that number. Focusing on that growth rate number in the 80s and 90s only created problems.

    No, the Church and its leaders are really only focused (at least at this time) on ACTUAL or REAL growth — i.e., comparing net new ACTIVE membership to total ACTIVE membership. That growth rate is clearly somewhere between 1.83% and 2%…AT LEAST, it could at least be as high as 3-4%.

    Given that the average growth rate of the world population in 2015 was only approximately 1 percent, I think the Church is doing just fine. Its REAL and ACTUAL growth rate is about the same as it was in the 80s or 90s — especially considering declining birth rates worldwide since that time. Considering that the Church largely operates in areas of the world with relatively low population growth rates (i.e., USA, Europe, South America, Central America, Far East Asia) then I would say they are doing AMAZING. (For example, the growth rate of the US last year was only about 0.7%.) Taking also into consideration that most religions are seeing a net DECREASE in membership (and especially in ACTIVE membership) I would say the LDS Church is doing downright miraculous.

    In the end, the ACTIVE and REAL growth rate of the Church is still about double that of the average world population on average. It is surely MORE than double the growth rate of population in areas of the world in which it is primarily is operating. In fact, it could be growing at more than TRIPLE this rate.

    My point: you can’t even begin to logically support that the Church is “all about the money” and “is in decline.” Those are two irrational conclusions that cannot be reconciled. Second, I just proved to you with conclusive proof that your latter premise is entirely untrue in a MAJOR way. The Church still remains one of the world’s fastest growing religions and, overall, is still experiencing REAL growth at rates similar to what it experienced in the 80s and 90s — all things considered including corresponding decreases in world population growth rates of course.

    My question is this, who is telling the lies? If you were clearly wrong about the latter, what makes you so certain you are correct about the former? And if you are wrong about both the latter AND the former, maybe you are wrong altogether entirely wrong about the Church? And, speaking of brains, I can assure you that mine has achieved far more doctorate degrees and professional certifications than yours. Just sayin.

    Peace.

  • They mostly have an earthly hope, instead of a heavenly one. Let’s face it: This marvelous planet, earth, is, and has always been, our intended home, instead of the heavens. I rather be here than there, any day! ❤️?

  • Mormons only abstain from black tea. Other herbal teas are fine.

    I served a mission in South Korea. We regularly went to the tabang and drank lemon teas and other herbal teas with investigators.

    At the time the discussions clearly made the distinction of hong cha (black tea) as being ande (forbidden). But other teas are fine.

  • These are mission president rules or an addendum to section 89+ correct? Green tea is mormon legit? Oolong tea is worthy? What about white tea? What degree of fermentation constitutes evil for mormons in asia?

  • He also appeared to President Lorenzo Snow in the Salt Lake Temple. You can look up his account of the event at LDS.org.

  • Andrew,

    You are very misinformed.

    Growth rates still place the church as one of the fastest growing religions. Even a 1.7 percent growth rate is MUCH higher than the world population. To put it in perspective, the U.S. grew by 0.7 percent last year.

    The average lds female bears 2.7 to 3.4 kids. And, child baptisms almost always stay active thier whole lives in the lds faith. Long term retention of child baptisms are over 80 percent.

    In contrast, world poulation growth and birth rates are decreasing pretty much everywhere else on the globe excepting Islamic countries. In the Us, birth rates per woman are averaging about 1.2 at present and are declining rapidly.

    In other words, your “analysis” and opinion are just silly and completely unfounded. Even if the mormon missionaries stopped baptizing coverts altogether, which they won’t, Mormon birth rates alone will guarantee exceptional positive growth long term.

    Unless you expect mormon women to stop having kids (don’t hold your breath), you can guarantee that active mormon growth rates will continue to grow MUCH faster than the world population.

  • Andrew, not only did you get ranty, but you haven’t made any sense either.

    I could go on (and already have), but you are SEVERLY misinformed.

    Mormon birth rates are 2.7 to 3.4 children per woman on average. Mormonism has one of the highest (if not the highest) long term retention rate for children born in the faith than any other faith group.

    In contrast, the average woman in the U.S. bears 1.2 kids and that rate is sharply declining.

    The church could completely shut down the missionary program if it wanted to and still see long term positive growth based on nothing but child baptisms. Interesting enough, one of the ailments of a secular and selfish world is declining marriage and birth rates. While Mormon birth rates have declined a bit, it is NOTHING in comparison to a world that increasingly teaches “me” first.

    Anyone who can do math knows the Church is only going to continue to grow in active membership at rates that far exceed the average world growth rate. Unless you expect mormon women will stop making babies (don’t hold your breath), you can be rest assured that your opinions on this matter are entirely erroneous.

  • All those things listed, 10% tithing, no smoking or drinking or drugs or sex and on top of that, what seems like endless meetings is not what will bring people to Christ. In all of this discussion, I’ve not noticed the idea or witness that Christ is the Savior of humankind. The Church does not save us. The Prophet does not save us. The programs do not save us. Unless one is converted by the Spirit and “knows” Christ, not just knows of Him, all the programs are ultimately useless. I could invite non-believers over for eternity, but if I never have had, literally, a “come to Jesus” experience to share, then it’s just an institutionalized exercise.

  • Where are you from in Utah? I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve seen less than a handful of convert baptisms in all those years. We’ve had one convert baptism in the last 6 years…a non-member girl that was baptized just before marrying a member. They haven’t been back to church since the Sunday after her baptism. Wards are closing / being consolidated in aging areas along the east bench as well.

  • Hop53, I agree with you that only Jesus Christ is our Savior. Millions of Mormons have had “come to Jesus” experiences with the Holy Spirit and know Christ. As our Savior, Christ has specified the conditions for salvation and there are very few people who are willing to comply with those conditions.

  • 40-70% is pretty good. I’d estimate that ~90% of the converts in my mission (Brazil in the 90’s) were inactive within a year. There just wasn’t any leadership or strong long-time members to support the new members. There were wards with a couple thousand members on the records, but only about a dozen active members (and not enough priesthood to really be a ward in the first place). I haven’t been back in 20 years, but I’m assuming things have gotten much better. I know my mission got their first new stake since I left just last year.

  • 100+ million, even in 100+ years, is extremely far fetched. There were leaders in the 80’s extrapolating growth trends at the time and saying there would be 50 million members by 2020. They were obviously way off. There are, at most, ~5 million active members today (~30k congregations). Growth from convert baptisms is down and half of those converts are gone within a year. Even with positive demographics, there is no way to get to 100 million members by 2130. Of course, I don’t know many members that believe the church will exist in 2130 (second coming).

  • I think you may be focusing on the gnats instead of the camel (this is also called “looking beyond the mark”) when people try to focus on minutia that is needless to dispute.
    When dealing with the “Word of Wisdom” found in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 89, we don’t really focus on the “Don’ts” because the promises to follow these warnings on how to maintain good health for our bodies so our spirit is clean and free from addictions is wonderful! Those that are truly converted “by the Spirit” lose their desire for things that are not necessary for happiness, even if they are not that intent to cause unhappiness. Nitpicking at caffeine in chocolate and Coca-Cola vs. caffeine in Coffee or tea, instead of focusing on what is practical for good health is not as important to those that wish to adhere to maintain their spirituality. The promise of the Lord for following the Word of Wisdom is as follows:
    “18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
    19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
    20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
    21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.”
    In light of the promise, it is not difficult to focus on the blessings instead of on the “sacrifice” to not partake of potentially harmful substances.
    In Matthew 19:20-22, there was a certain rich young man who wished to know how to attain heaven… the Lord told him to “sell all your possessions and give them to the poor… and follow me.” The young man apparently liked his “treasures on earth” more than the potential to rid himself of them so he “went away” and did not follow Christ.
    What is required of us, individually, to “give up” to show our devotion to God? For each of us it may be something different, but if it’s just to give up smoking, or coffee, or tea, or beer…. is it such a big sacrifice if the promise in the here and now is “better health”, and in the life hereafter a show of our faith in the Lord?
    This is a question for each of us to contemplate on…

  • Not true. Served in Korea and also lived in China. Area Authority over Korea and Japan declared Black and Green teas forbidden. Oolong is probably questionable. I knew members who drank Jasmine.

  • Right, green tea is not allowed. But lemon teas, jasmine teas, herbal teas, ginseng, barley and wheat teas, chamomile teas — we drank these all the time at member homes when I was a missionary.

  • Nice try. Good to see you giving up on refuting the point on actual member numbers. You see, I’m not sure if you know how math works but if the average lds female bears 2.7 to 3.4 kids and the church tells you there are 8 million lds females but actually there are only 2 million truly active lds females, then your silly “rates” don’t mean half of what you think they do.

  • What would those conditions be more than the 4th article of faith and the Doctrine of Christ as stated in the BM?

  • They could always Re-re-introduce the polygamy motif. Imagine holding the priesthood then. It would be a sacred responsibility to build up the church.

  • Tea isn’t “evil.” The Word of Wisdom is just the Lord’s law of health. Which, I might add, non-LDS researchers at UCLA have determined is a major factor as to why Mormons on average live much longer and much healthier lives than the average population. According to non-LDS researchers at UCLA, Mormon “high priests” live (on average) 5-10 years longer than the average white male — leading the researchers to conclude that the number one thing men of all ages could do to live longer lives would be to convert to active Mormonism. Mormons (of course) still have free agency to choose what they drink or not. But if you are trying to keep the Word of Wisdom, then you probably should not drink coffee or “tea” from the C. sinensis plant — or caffeinated soda for that matter.

    Having lived in Asia for some time, the members drink lots of barley, wheat, fruit and herbal teas — which are actually very common. For example, in Korea — I know a lot of members who drink ginseng tea. It is really not that big of a deal. My understanding it is just not the C. sinensis plant, which interesting enough by the way in recent studies has been tied to increased rates of esophageal cancers, liver cancers, and prostate cancers — not to mention contains high levels of caffeine (which can be “addictive”).

    Not saying C. sinensis tea is “bad.” But, recent studies are clearly starting to show why Lord has forbidden Mormons from drinking it. Remember also that Section 89 was given at a time when it was widely believed that tobacco use was healthful and could keep one’s appetite in check and avoid overeating. 200 years later, we now know that tobacco use is one of the worst things you could ever do for your long-term health. Just sayin.

  • Green tea is a healthy tea, that’s what we’re trying to say is that the details on what tea is allowed and what is not is just a modern invention, and doesn’t match up with the spirit of the 89 revelation. We all know that Joseph drank wine at carthage and had a “glass of beer at Moessers” and there is nothing wrong with that. We’re just trying to live the teachings of Jesus. See Matthew 15:11,16-18

  • Um, no. Please read what I said.

    I have never tried to support actual (or total) member numbers, Jack. You need to read what I said. Those matters are worthless because, like all religions, the ACTIVE and REAL membership of the Church has never in its history been anywhere near 16 million.

    Like ALL world religions, there are also many inactive members in Mormonism. What I have been saying in several posts now (quite clearly I think) is that (as the article points out) comparing total new membership numbers to total membership numbers is a moot point. In fact it is absurd and the Church leaders KNOW this. In fact, caring at ALL about total membership is moot.

    What isn’t absurd is to recognize REAL church growth — i.e., comparing new ACTIVE member growth to total ACTIVE member growth — which exactly what the author argues is why the numbers are GOOD for the Church.

    One of the key factors in this growth is ACTIVE LDS women who, on average, bear 2.7-3.4 kids. You make a fatal flaw in trying to prove a erroneous point by making an irrelevant comparison between net new child baptisms and active member birth rate to total membership — which total membership is (again) moot and ALWAYS has been.

    The point is that the worldwide ACTIVE membership of the Church has NEVER been anywhere NEAR 16 million. (Though it is also MUCH higher than 4 million just to let you know. :))

    But that is the point of the entire article — and mine as well. The Church members and the Church leadership could care less about “total membership.” We are not evangelical Christians. Mormons actually believe it could be a BAD thing to baptize someone into the Church only to have them go inactive for the rest of their lives.

    My point is this if you compare the ACTIVE birthrate to the overall ACTIVE population of the Church, then (given that most all of this children remain active their whole lives) it actually does ensure REAL and ACTIVE growth of the Church at higher growth rates greater than the average population growth rate.

    I am talking ACTIVE and REAL growth rates here — which are still MUCH higher than the average population.

    Total membership again, is moot. It might matter to evangelicals or Seventh Day Adventists, but not to Mormons. What matters is ACTIVE membership growth — period. And, yes, the astronomically high average birthrate of ACTIVE LDS women ensures the Church will ALWAYS continue to build the ACTIVE Church membership at a faster rate than the average population growth rate.

    Until LDS women stop giving birth (again, don’t hold your breath) the Church and its REAL growth won’t slow down anytime soon.

  • Where do you live and which “East bench” are you talking about? Maybe, Salt Lake City? Because, yeah, I am not even familiar with the term “East bench” and I have lived in Davis County for 37 years now (almost 38).

    Assuming you are talking about the “East bench” of Salt Lake (which I can assure you is local city speech), yes it is becoming far more “diverse” and has been for decades now. But that is like the ONLY area in all of Utah where active membership could be on the decline — especially in Sugarhouse. Everywhere else in the State it is exploding.

    Indeed, when was the last time you saw any big new home development on the East side of Salt Lake in the last 10 years — (not including Draper)? No offense, but there is not a lot of growth in the Salt Lake Valley right now when compared to the rest of the State. In fact, St. George metro, Layton metro, Odgen metro, Logan metro, and Lehi metro are some of the top fastest growing metro areas in the U.S. right now. And, yes, the vast majority building and moving into those areas are active LDS and wards and stakes in those areas are growing, not shrinking.

    You need to get out of Salt Lake more. Northwest Davis County (where I live) is exploding in both new residential, population and active LDS Church growth. West Farmington is downright a new City as is West Kaysville, West Layton and Syracuse. North of Ogden (North Weber) and Lehi (Northwest Utah County) is experiencing the same type of active LDS growth. So is all of Washington County.

    And, yes, these areas are experiencing large growth and it does not seem to be slowing down at all.

    Which is exactly why the Church, in my opinion, will likely build new temples in the Layton and Lehi areas very soon — because there is no way Mt. Timp, Bountiful, and Ogden temples are going to be able to handle this growth long term. I recently took my daughter who turned 12 to do baptisms for the dead at the Bountiful temple. It was 5:00 on a Friday. It took us over 2.5 hours to do 5 names because there was so long of a wait. BOTH parking lots were full and there was a literal ring of cars parked on the street around the temple.

  • Yeah, I live on the west side of the Salt Lake valley. There is tons of new construction, and wards and stakes being created left and right, but the missionary work is dead. As I mentioned, there are no new converts.

  • One would be “enduring to the end”, stated many times in the BofM. “Fleeing fornication”, as given by Christ in the New Testament, BofM, D&C. “Repentance”, which means obeying the commandments given by Christ through his prophets, including the prophet Joseph Smith and later prophets. Obeying all of the Ten Commandments as given by Jehovah in the Old Testament.

  • Go Team Mor(mini)ons. We are winning? Desperate times call for desperate measures. How many of those dead people said yes?

  • Interesting. One of my partners is a bishop in West Valley and he says there is at least significant convert growth in his ward — about 5-10 individuals or 2-3 families a year.

    In any case, it does not really matter though. That is the beauty of the Church. The strength of REAL, active,actual and active Church growth has never been the missionary program. Much rather, it is the strong families that raise, on average 2.7-3.4 kids whom almost always stay active their entire lives.

    The Church knows this. As long as young people get married, are sealed in the temple, and raise strong families in the gospel, the actual and active and REAL growth of the Church will continue to rise at much faster rates than the average world population. Converts and reactivation are just the added bonus. For some reason some people in the Church think that convert baptisms are more “meaningful.” When, in actuality, it is child baptisms and reactivation members that almost never leave.

    And, converts come in cycles. Right now Africa is going gangbusters in coverts. Indeed, we really have seen nothing like it because not only is the Church growing exponentially there in converts, but these new converts are most often staying active long-term. So are large parts of South East Asia and, of course, certain parts of Oceania. India and Russia are doing well as are certain parts of South America and certain limited parts of Europe. But it will all change again.

    Right now is the time in the U.S. to support the brethren, raise strong families, and teach children the gospel as it actually exists. Strengthen your ward members, perfect the saints, attend the temple, and at least attempt assistance with reactivation and missionary work within your ward.

    We are still having converts in the states, but most of the growth is from child baptisms and reactivation — which honestly is just fine. In Africa and certain other parts of the world, it is the opposite where growth is largely from converts. But it all evens out. As I explained before, the Church really never grew in REAL and ACTIVE membership by anything higher than 2-4 percent in any given year. Right now, we are still somewhere around 2-3 percent — so not much is changed. Moreover, REAL growth in 2016 seems to be setting some new record and is growing between 3-4 percent so far.

    Which should tell you several things:

    1. The Church is doing just fine pretty much worldwide with FEW exceptions.

    2. Overall, the REAL and ACTIVE growth of the Church still far outpaces the average world population growth rate.

    3. In some areas of the world, new converts are jointing the Church in mass numbers.

    Yes, the Church is filling the whole earth and will continue to do so. It will continue to slowly grow and enter new areas worldwide. But also remember the words of Nephi.

    12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.

    It has been prophesied we will never be a large religion or a big church — at least not in comparison to the other religions of the world. But we will still “fill the earth” and be upon the face of the Earth — which, indeed, has already accurately been prophesied.

    My prediction is that the REAL and ACTUAL and ACTIVE growth of the Church will continue to grow at rates greater than the average population growth rate as a whole worldwide, but that, in the end the our Lord and Master will come long before we are anything which could be considered one of the larger world religions — but we will continue to grow at faster rates than the average world growth rate is my personal belief, yes. And, indeed, we are and then some.

  • Who’s desperate? Are you illiterate or did you just not read the article?

    There is a real funny thing about increasing secularism and the culture of “me.” The average population growth rate of most developed nations where the Church operates has now fallen to around 0.8% a year — (in the U.S., it has fallen to 0.7%).

    Meanwhile the real and active growth of the Church on average worldwide is about 2-3% when averaged. Even in the U.S. where growth has slowed, the REAL and ACTIVE growth rate is still at or greater than 1.5%.

    Which means that unless you plan on living in China, Iran, South Korea or Germany the rest of your life, you will quickly recognize that the number of active Mormons in an area near you will continue to double the growth rate of your hometown. (And even in China, Iran, South Korea or Germany, it is no guarantee long term.)

    “Deal with it.”

  • Sure. But Green tea is probably the most popular tea in Korea. It was a significant hurdle for many people.

  • I really feel like you should write that total church membership is moot and not relevant one more time. Maybe you’ll actually believe it. You keep trying to convince yourself but clearly you are not succeeding which is why you have to keep reminding yourself of the lie you are trying to believe and desperately propagate on this forum.
    This is such an easy argument to refute because the LDS brass have never, not even once, provided an “active” membership number or estimate, and instead every conference and in many press releases and interactions with the media, they tout TOTAL MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS. Do you know what numbers are important? The ones you record and present to the world. The fact that these numbers are hugely important to the LDS brass is further evidenced by the fact that it is such a difficult process to remove one’s name from the church rolls. That is because the LDS brass only like to see those numbers go up, not down. It’s really quite simple for any logical person without blinders on to see.

  • Are your really that blind?

    The Church produces a worldwide estimate of active members each year in the form of “net new stakes” and “net new congregations.” I really don’t know what you would want them or expect them to do more than that.
    Because of the LDS faith’s TOTAL RELIANCE on active lay clergy priesthood, lay leaders of both genders, and active lay congregants to even establish a new “ward” or “stake,” this is by far the best measure of active membership you could even hope for. (Not to mention, it is FAR more than any other faith group in the world provides, so why do you have such an unhealthy beef with Mormons?)

    Speaking of blinders, had you actually read the above article, you would know that “net new stake increase” and “net new congregation increase” provided by the LDS Church is the best “estimate” of active membership you could hope for. Is it exact? No. But that is because the term “active” in and of itself is ambiguous and would be impossible to track.

    What, indeed, does “active” mean? Does it mean attending sacrament every week but refusing to hold a calling? How about paying tithing, but only attending Church once a quarter? How about attending the temple once in a lifetime, but never again even though you go to Church every week?

    My point (and I think it should be obvious): there is no way to provide any additional number other than what they have given you. Yes, the LDS actually DO close down wards and stakes if the active membership cannot support the ward or stake. This alone should prove the integrity of the estimate they have already provided plain as day — whether that integrity is actual (which I think is obvious) or forced (which I am certain you would espouse).

    As I have discussed with many Mormon critics, there is just no argument. From Tom Monson to John Dehlin, all can admit that the number of net new stakes and net new congregations is the best indicator of active and REAL church growth. Indeed, as a law professor and an economist, I would argue that it is also the best indicator of active membership provided by ANY faith based group. Indeed, no other faith based group even comes close to the level of accuracy in disclosure of active and real membership/growth. The good faith estimate (whether genuine or forced) is plain as day for all to see.

    Again, the integrity of the estimate system is “inherent.” It takes dozens of “active” high priests and thousands of “active” members to support a stake. It takes about a dozen active high priests and hundreds of active members to support a ward. And, it takes dozens if not hundreds of active congregants to support a branch.

    On a worldwide basis, I don’t know what it is you expect the Church to do more than they already have done. Moreover, I think it clear they are already doing that which you are accusing them of not doing. Last, they are not only giving you an estimate, but they are giving you a good faith estimate having an inherent “safeguard” mechanism built into it that anyone (critic or active congregant) can trust.

    No other religion in the world is doing more than this, so what is your beef with the Mormons? Do the Catholics report “active” numbers or give an estimate — because THAT would be REALLY interesting? Do evangelicals (which, again, I am sure would be a real interesting number)? How about Bahi? Muslims? Jews? Protestants? JWs? SDAs? And, even if they did, how are those estimates more accurate than the one the Church is already providing?

    Get a grip and get real.

  • Yes, “brilliant” … and, yet, entirely unsupported by any fact and flies in the face of all statistical data.
    It must be tough kicking at the pricks.

  • Umm…yeah…not even close.

    Even IF the LDS Church were to STOP reactivation and missionary efforts (don’t hold your breath), Mormon birth rates compared to the declining world birth rates PROVE you are wrong on ALL accounts.

    pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/22/mormons-more-likely-to-marry-have-more-children-than-other-u-s-religious-groups/

    It is difficult to predict what actual LDS membership will be in 20 years let alone 100. But, Mormon or critic, you can’t argue with birth rates and statistics. Unless the active Mormon women stop having babies (again, don’t hold your breath), you are just dead wrong on that. Just sayin.

  • Umm…yeah…not even close.

    Even IF the LDS Church were to STOP reactivation and missionary efforts (don’t hold your breath), Mormon birth rates compared to the declining world birth rates PROVE you are wrong on ALL accounts.

    See Pew Research on “Mormons More Likely to Marry, have more children than ANY other U.S. religious group.” (And, I would also add this statistic hold true for ALL religious groups worldwide and is even higher than average muslim birth rates.)

    It is difficult to predict what actual LDS membership will be in 20 years let alone 100. But, Mormon or critic, you can’t argue with birth rates and statistics. Unless the active Mormon women stop having babies (again, don’t hold your breath), you are just dead wrong on that. Just sayin.

  • Matt, the strength of the REAL growth of the LDS Church — which remains one of the fastest growing religions in the world as far as ACTIVE and REAL growth is concerned and as accurately measured by new congregations and new stakes — has NEVER been in the missionary program. It has ALWAYS been in strong families that give rise to birth rates that are MUCH higher than the active population.
    That is a long sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all you are doing. But the Church could stop its entire missionary efforts tomorrow and, guess what, the Church would still see active REAL growth that exceeds the growth rate of the world population.
    Why? Because the average active LDS woman gives birth to somewhere on average between 2.7 and 3.4 kids. Compare that to, say, the Average American woman statistic of 1.2, and it is not hard to see that the Church is going to continue its real and actual growth long term. Further, even that American statistic is supported internally and inherently by, you guessed it, a healthy Mormon population.
    It would be interesting to see what the REAL statistic is for non-LDS American women, but we KNOW it is less than 1.2. Just sayin.

  • If you mean the steady “drip” of new child baptisms and increased reactivation of members (not to mention rising retention rates of new converts), then objective statistics with inherent mechanisms of integrity would agree with you.

    If you mean the LITERAL AND PROVERBIAL “drip” of net negative people going inactive or leaving the Church voluntarily/involuntarily, then these same statistics PROVE you are just (again) “kicking the pricks.”

    “Deal with it.”

  • Two words: net new stakes
    Two other words: net new congregations
    Right there is the transparent estimate you desire and, (*shock and awe*) it is MORE accurate than any other estimate of active membership given by ANY other faith group in the HISTORY of the PLANET.
    Who has “blinders” again? I mean, the data you so desperately want has already been GIVEN to you in front of your face on an annual basis every general conference for, what, the last 200 years!!! And, it even has a handy-dandy and inherent “fudge proof” mechanism. Nice.
    Must be hard to “kick against the pricks.”

  • Yeah, it was a significant hurdle. But so was tobacco use in the 1930s. So, is alcohol even today.
    And, yet c. sinensis has been recently at least “linked” to increased prostate, esophageal, and liver cancers. Interesting. And, yet, non-LDS researchers at UCLA have determined that active Mormon high priests live an average of 10 years longer than their average white male counterparts, again interesting. And, yet, up until the 1930s, it was WIDELY believed in the medical profession that smoking tobacco and cocaine use were BENEFICIAL to one’s health because they curbed appetite, increased focus and prevented weight gain. And yet, just last year in 2015, it is conclusive that eating large quantities of red meat not only can increase your risk of heart disease, but will surely increase your risk of pretty much all types of cancers as well.
    2015 Mormon Critic: Huh, that is WEIRD? I mean don’t these weird Mormons know that green tea is GOOD for you?
    Answer by Mr. 1900-1930 U.S./UK Physician: I know, right? They also believe that eating large quantities of meat is bad, but everyone knows that meat is what makes one’s heart, arteries, and long-term health stronger, especially red meat or meat when it is eaten raw or half-cooked. Also, what is up with them not using the tabbacee? They are all going to get FAT. I tell all my patients to smoke or chew at least 3 times a day if they are trying to lose weight. This is so good for you. And, cocaine is the new WONDER drug. It cures literally everything and is so healthful. I am so glad they finally made it into a soft drink so we can give it to our kids. Mormon kids will NEVER do well in school compared to other kids who drink cocaine in coca cola. It is right up there with an alcoholic drink each meal for adults to calm the nerves. And, alcohol is so helpful to the blood and the liver. Those Mormons are just so weird eating all those whole grains, fruits and vegetables. It is just a waste of time. Everyone knows there is no difference between that stuff and plain sugar, or at least white flour. It is the same nutritional value and it tastes so much better. And, caffeine is not at all addictive and has no side effects, neither does cocaine or alcohol. Silly Mormons. Thanks to modern science, we know what is best.
    Yeah, I will admit I don’t know everything about coffee and tea. But I know enough to know that good old Section 89 (especially as it has been interpreted in modern times by the brethren) has not been wrong yet. Yeah, it might take a long time for the truth to finally come out, but eventually, it does. The most recent case and point are the studies of red meat just last year.
    Eat meat (but do it sparingly). Eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid all addictive substances of any kind, including tea, coffee, alcohol and tabacco unless needed for medical purposes under the direction of a licensed medical physician. Even then, you need to educate yourself and consider all risks to your physical, mental and spiritual health. Let your medicine be the food you eat. Herbs of are for the use of man. Early to bed and early to rise. Get plenty or rest but don’t oversleep. Work hard and get plenty of exercise.
    Do all this and you will run and not be weary. You will walk and not feint. The destroying angel shall pass you by.
    Words to live by that have been proven to (on average) increase your average life span by 10 years.

  • I don’t disagree, but that can’t be all. There must be hundreds more. What are those other commandments to fulfill the conditions for salvation? What happens if one is skipped or left undone?

  • I have already mentioned all the commandments necessary for salvation. If one is knowingly skipped or left undone, it will prevent that person from attaining celestial kingdom salvation unless they repent during their life.

  • So, if I understand correctly, if the commandments are unknowingly skipped then it doesn’t count? Also, if the demands of the commandments are knowingly not met by the individual, then no salvation for them? How many times does one have to repent? Does repentance mean just stopping our bad habits?
    As far as listing the commandments necessary for salvation, I’m still not clear on the one’s given to us through Joseph Smith and later prophets. What exactly are they?

  • Your point about Mormon birth rates doesn’t prove anything. Everyone knows Mormons have bigger families than almost every other measured group… But what are the trends? Mormon birth rates are at all time lows. Mormon family size is at all time lows. The rate of decrease is faster than the rest of the world. Just like all other religions, Mormonism has a huge problem with millennials leaving. Many of these millennials are still on the roles of the church but are not raising their kids as Mormons. The church is Ina losing battle with he Internet and this problem will get even worse for the next generations.

    If you look at actual unbias statistical analysis you’ll see that the rosy assumptions of exponential growth are a complete illusion.

  • Hop53, you seem to have an unending list of questions, but knowing the gospel will be of no benefit to you unless you obey it. The answers to these questions are in the scriptures. You need to do what the rest of us have had to do–study the scriptures and pray for enlightenment. If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then I recommend you take these questions to your bishop. If not, then I recommend you contact the missionaries for our Church in your area.

  • When you say the church would still grow by leaps and bounds even without converts and reactivation, I don’t think you’ve done the math. Let’s look at two numbers from 2015… Net growth was 261k and converts was 257k. Take out converts and you have growth of a few thousand. You keep touting the high birth rate… You do realize that people die and leave the church right?

  • Hahaha, you choose this guy to praise for math!? Let’s meet again on this thread in 20 years and we’ll see whose estimates are closest.

    You two take the rosiest figures you can conjure up about Mormon growth and then extrapolate it out into the future as if nothing is changing. You ignore trends and take the most negative stats on the rest of the world and extrapolate out. The battle against cognitive dissonance is a hard one… But I’m sure you’ll both come around by 2050 (hopefully!). If we were arguing about this in the 80’s you’d have been saying that Mormon membership would be at 50 million right now and 180 million in 2080. It’s not happening fellas!

  • 1.7% Mormon growth does not double world population growth, which is at 1.3%. Again, Hoist, stop ignoring the trends. They are staring you in he face and you are intentionally overlooking them.

  • Some food for thought from Cumorah dot com (comparing Mormon congregational growth to two similar small religions):

    Congregational Growth, Convert Retention, and Member Activity

    The percentage increase in the number of Adventist and Witness congregations has dramatically outpaced growth rates for the LDS Church in nearly every nation where all three denominations operate. In 2011, the LDS Church reported 14.44 million members meeting in 28,784 congregations worldwide.[12] Between 2001 and 2011, the number of LDS congregations increased by an average of 270 per year and LDS membership increased by an average of 304,683 members per year. Membership increased by 26.7% whereas the number of congregations increased by 10.4% during this period. Due to noncommensurate rates of growth, the average number of members per congregation increased from 437 to 502.

    In contrast, the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 2011 reported 17.21 million members meeting in 71,048 congregations worldwide.[13] Between 2001 and 2011, the number of Adventist congregations increased by an average of 1,996 a year and Adventist membership increased by an average of 489,384 members per year.[14] Membership increased by 40% whereas the number of congregations increased by 39.1% during this period. Commensurate rates of growth for membership and the number of congregations resulted in no significant change in the average number of members per congregation between 2001 and 2011 as the average congregation increased from 241 members to 242 members.

    In 2011, Jehovah’s Witnesses reported 7.66 million active members and 19.37 million people attending memorial attendance. At the time there were 109,403 Witness congregations worldwide.[15] Between 2001 and 2011, active membership increased by 27.7%. No congregational totals were accessible for 2001 at the time this case study was written. In 2011, the average Witness congregation had 70 active members and an average memorial attendance of 177.

  • Here’s some more to think about regarding your precious stake statistics (from Cumorah again):

    In December 2012, the LDS Church reached its 3,000th stake milestone upon the creation of the Freetown Sierra Leone Stake. Increasing numbers of stakes are one of the most robust and holistic church growth indicators as stakes must meet certain requirements in a particular geographic area pertaining to membership totals, activity rates, and the number of active, full-tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders. However, it has taken the Church significantly longer to reach the 3,000th stake milestone than it took for it to reach the 2,000th stake milestone. The number of stakes doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 between 1979 and 1994 (15 years) whereas the number of stakes increased from 2,000 to 3,000 between 1994 and 2012 (18 years). In 1980, the official LDS Church magazine the Ensign projected that there would be 3,600 stakes by the year 2000 and 11.14 million members[1] whereas the Church reported only 2,581 stakes at year-end 2000 – a thousand less than anticipated 20 years earlier.

    It is unclear how many years it will take for the Church to reach 4,000 stakes due to the variation in the annual increase of new stakes over the past decade from as few as -5 (2002) to over 50 in 2012. If the Church replicates its growth trends in the 2000s until the Church reaches 4,000 stakes, it will take three more decades – or the year 2042 – to meet this milestone.

    Me again… So 4,000 stakes by 2042… That adds up to 17 million members assuming the same average per stake membership of 4,200. Let’s be generous and say that stake growth exceeds recent trends and there are 5,000 stakes by 2042… That’s still only 21 million members. That’s a far cry from your and other’s fantastic predictions of exponential growth.

    HoistDude, you’ve been quite arrogant and belittling on this thread… Telling other’s they are illiterate and to educate themselves. Your pride is blinding you to reality buddy. It’s ironic that you are the one making outlandish claims backed up by zero evidence.

  • As long as you keep believing the fake numbers given to you by your corporate lackeys you will continue to believe that your church is growing

  • I will forgive you for the shame you must feel to have to constantly defend the Mormon cult. Rarely a week goes by when they are not stepping in it.

  • Check stats for 2016. Mormon Church is on a role in 2016 — setting a new record for new stakes and congregations so far this year. 4 net new stakes just this week. Seems it is you who are mistaken. 2016 is turning to be a banner year.

  • What is there to defend? As I have stated many times. The Church doesn’t need my defending. They could stop their missionary program tomorrow and it would still grow faster than pretty much any organization you could think of — literally ANY single bloody organization you could POSSIBLY thing of.

    Now, speaking of people who have it hard, um…yeah setting up your discuss ID based entirely on fighting against a the spread of one of the world’s fastest growing religions you don’t believe in and which you possibly can’t even begin to manipulate or stop?

    That is like spending your life pushing against the Great Pyramid of Giza hoping it is going to fall over. Or, like throwing pebbles in a raging river hoping to create a dam.

    It must really suck. Huh? Don’t let that stone crush you on your way out.

  • Oh, got me there!!! (*sarcasm*)

    Not so coy now are you that you have literally NOTHING to back up your arguments.

    Oh, by the way, the Church just announced 4 net new stakes and 1 new district today. That is almost 40 net new stakes and several new districts in less 4 months. In case your didn’t know, that’s a record breaking year for REAL and ACTIVE growth (even better than 1998 so far)

    After all this, and the numbers for 2015 were, in the end, just a fluke. Go figure.

    You are going to need a LOT more pebbles there bud.

  • TJ, no offense, but that’s a cop out answer. All my life as a member I been told ” live the commandments and you will be saved”. I have no problem with commandments per se, but no one ever has given me a straight answer as to how many commandments there actually are to keep. “After all you can do”, they say and then I would ask “what is all you can do?”. “Well, everything” they say and I ask “what is everything?”” All the commandments” they say and I ask, “what and how many are those?” That’s when I get everything from a brush off to heated anger from the person I’m conversing with, because they can’t come up with the numbers and they say so. Then I ask, “aren’t we condemned if we can’t name all those commandments?” In my view, some Mormons, can seem somewhat arrogant and self righteous when it comes to this subject, thinking they, somehow, will fill the full measure of justice with their works; being found innocent by the law and not by Grace. Choosing whether I am to be saved by my finite works or saved through the infinite work and Grace of Jesus, I pick Jesus. In choosing Him, then and only then does the law become easier to try to keep. In other words, the law is dead, but I am made alive in Christ, therefore I will try to live the law.

  • Oh, Hop53, I see you more clearly now. You refer to your life as a member of the Church, but it is clear that you have apostatized because you have accepted the idea that it is only by grace that you are saved. The truth is that we are saved by both grace and works. Since you already believe in the importance of grace, I will only refer you here to some of the scriptures that teach the importance of works:
    (1) Jesus’ teaching: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21);
    (2) Jesus’ teaching: “For the Son of man, shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works (Matthew 16:27);
    (3) Jesus’ question: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46);
    (4) Jesus’ teaching: “Be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48);
    (5) Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. . . . He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me . . .He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” (John 14:15, 21, 24).
    (6) John saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the dead were judged “according to their works”(Revelations 20:12);
    (7) Paul’s teaching: “[In the judgment day God] will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6);
    (8) Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,” (2 Corinthians 5:10);
    (9) Paul’s teachings to the Galatians: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7);
    (10) James’ teaching, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20);
    (11) John’s teachings: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (I John 3:7);
    (12) See also Matthew 25:35, I Corinthians 3:8, I Peter 1:17, Revelations 2:23, 22:12.
    You say that no one you have asked has been able to give you a number of the commandments we must keep in order to gain salvation (and exaltation). I made a ten year study of this issue and my answer to you is 48. I arrived at this number by a study of the scriptures; perhaps someone else studying the scriptures would count the number differently. The point is that knowing the number of commandments is not as important to our salvation as living all the ones we know and continuing to seek enlightenment about any additional one we should be living.
    I think you are copping out because instead of living the commandments that you know God has given to us you are trying to excuse yourself by saying it is sufficient if you just believe in Christ. Let’s try some easy ones: Are you attending Church 3 out of 4 times a month and taking the sacrament? Are you praying at least twice a day? Are you studying the scriptures every day seeking to understand the character of God and the commandments He has given? Are you holding a Church calling and paying your tithing and trying to build up and strengthen the Church? If you do these things, you will learn at Church and by reading the scriptures the things you need to do, but if you are not, the Holy Ghost will not teach you these things, because it would be a condemnation for you to know these things and for you not to live them.

  • I’m not sure how clearly you see, but your judgements are clear. How’s that “self perfection” project going? Thanks for the observation of my commandment keeping and the questionnaire of my membership.

    , my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

    2 Nephi 10:24

  • You are proving my point that you choose some random piece of positive data and think it proves everything you’re saying and disproves anyone who disagrees. You’re ignoring actual statistical analysis. 2012 was a record setting year, but if it is one good year out of ten it doesn’t mean much.

    So what am I mistaken about exactly? I posted actual meaningful data spanning decades that you ignore and use you few months this year to “disprove”.

  • Do you see the irony of quoting a scripture from the Book of Mormon supporting the importance of grace, but not fully embracing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or obeying the commandments in the Book of Mormon and that came through the prophet Joseph Smith?
    As far as my “self-perfection” project is concerned, I continue to work on being perfect as Jesus commanded us to do, but I accept that I will not achieve it in this life, except insofar as I qualify for the atonement of Jesus Christ and He pays for my sins.

  • Did your pathetic church announce any new hospitals, community centers, battered women’s/ homeless centers. 8 BILLION dollars a year spent praying dead people into heaven. Well played Mormons, well played. With a 30% activity rate and the greatest apostasy since Kirtland. Things are going great for your ilk.

  • Commandments mean nothing without the infinite application of Grace from Jesus. No where have I said that they weren’t important. Living them keep us focused on Christ, not to earn future credits or merits. And why do you keep saying “that came through JS”? The BOM is The BOM. JS didn’t create the book or the commandments. I’ve got news for you, good news, the Atonement is a free gift. You could never in all eternity “qualify” or earn the Atonement. We are all beggars. Living the commandments show gratitude for it, not earning credits to obtain it. If it makes you happy to think you’re one of the few elect of the billions and billions of humans, that is earning his salvation, knock yourself out, brother. I live and serve out of gratitude for that gift, instead of serving out of servitude or fear.

  • Hop53, tell me about your faith in and testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Most of us are onto the failed “flying spaghetti monster” mythology and are quite frankly over it.

  • My faith is in the Lord, Jesus Christ. The church is true, because He is true. The prophets are true, because He is true. The church does not save souls, He does. The programs of the church do not save souls, He does. Can they be helpful to bring us to the Savior? Sure, but in and of themselves, by themselves, they have no power to save eternally. I don’t pray in the name of the church or the prophets.

  • My faith is in the Lord, Jesus Christ. The church is true, because He is true. The prophets are true, because He is true. The church does not save souls, He does. The programs of the church do not save souls, He does. Can they be helpful to bring us to the Savior? Sure, but in and of themselves, by themselves, they have no power to save eternally. I don’t pray in the name of the church or the prophets.

  • He’s a Mormon and Mormons are God’s chosen… He is always right. God told him. And gosh darn it if he can’t convert them his polygamist roots commands him to spawn them. With a word like “Cumorah” seriously?

  • Your church brings in over 8 BILLION a year conservatively…. and buying 2 BILLION dollar malls in SLC seems kind of like not exactly God’s plan even to most Mormons. So what to spend it on? With a “lay clergy” no money is necessary for that. Let’s see… the missionaries pay their own way including buying their own bicycles and I-Pads. We have 1 million acres of farmland in Florida we are converting to residential…. hmmm. The fleecing of America is about done. If only we could re activate those that have told our salespeople to “go play with your own factories” Your church is truly in the latter daze.

  • Your church is doomed to have 90+ year old Profits $eers and Revelators for the foreseeable future. The joke is on you.

  • If your faux faith paradigm wants real growth… try being nice to people and not lying to them and demanding obedience.

  • That didn’t work out so well for Jeremy Runnells and his letter to the CES Directors… just google his name.

  • In “The Book of Mormon” (Broadway version) there is a song with the African words… Hasa Diga Eebowai. Google em.

  • What if the Mormon women catch on to the scheme?
    Polygamy sounded like a great idea to all but Joseph Smith’s wife Emma.

  • More than one word…. “we have the resources thru our members to keep growing despite the realities” Keep tithing your church needs you.

  • I’m guessing your Mom wasn’t much of an influence?
    I’ll bet even Joseph’s Myths father was proud of him for being a profit.
    I will guarantee you he made more money than his Dad.

  • Really? The authors of the study advised all men to convert to Mormonism? Somehow I doubt that.

  • So you have been told by people who took your money for the tip. You might just find out you wasted your life believing in fairy tales. Amazing how one of us is going to be very wrong. I take my chances with reality. No need for mythology.

  • LOL LOL LOL. So I suppose I better get going on my daily beer like good ol Section 89 espouses. What do you think “barley for mild drinks” is? It’s beer. Duh. But then again ol Section 89 has never been wrong you say. Even though you’ll next tell me that “modern prophets” have revealed beer to be bad. Some serious mental gymnastics are about to be attempted. Let me grab some popcorn first. Bytheway, where are the mormons on the hot drinks? I see hot chocolate getting sold by the dozens at Utah events in the winter and that seems like a pretty obvious contradiction. The good word seems pretty clear on that one with no ambiguity. Just admit y’all pick and choose what to follow from “revelation” according to your current modern “prophet” who may or may not be thrown under the bus like Brigham Young who is now being denounced by LDS inc for his racism and also his Adam-God theory. Whatever is convenient right? Prophet leading the church by God when you want him to and off track leading the church as a man when his beliefs don’t coincide with current popular thinking.

  • Tommy seemed barely lucid at the last GC, so if that is what the church needs as your Prophet, so be it. No wonder no one outside of Mormonism has a clue who he is.

  • Really? Is it more accurate? Is it? There are no rigid requirements for a stake, a ward or a branch. A branch could be 10 people or 100. A ward can fluctuate between 100 and 300. If every ward in the world has seen a 30% drop in membership, they could still net new congregations/stakes by redrawing the boundaries and making a sure a few dozen old guys resided in each location. Nice try. Thanks for playing. The church likes its big defining current membership number. Period. It’s the number they emphasize and publicize at every turn. Which is the reason why they manipulate it and count every soul who has taken a single breath as a mormon in their life. Whether they still consider themselves that or not. If it’s hard to “kick against the pricks” you should let us know!

  • I also Served A Mission In 1981-82 In The Taiwan Taipei Mission at which time I had the opportunity to serve with my first AP’s, Elder Anthony Perkins and Elder Jon Huntsman, Jr., as well as with President Spencer Kimball”s grandson, Spencer Kimball, and an Elder Romney, all very well-known Church leadership names. We always talked about whether we would someday later in life be called to serve a Church mission to “the mainland”. Jon Huntsman, Jr., of course, was a former Utah governor & U.S. ambassador to China. Johnny Lingo62 I do not recognize that name as a fellow missionary in the Taiwan Taipei Mission serving under Pres. Powelson & Pres. Hyer. Lol

  • Joseph Smith’s father whom Joseph was named after was a very spiritual man himself whom believed Joseph’s “First Vision” glorious experience of being visited by God the Father & God the Son and Joseph’s many subsequent angelic visitations which led to the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ & Christ’s personally-led Church by the gift & power of revelation. Joseph’s father like his son was looking for the true Church of Jesus Christ as plainly spoken of in the New Testament wherein there were Twelve Apostles with Simon Peter being the “chief apostle” or “the living Prophet” after the Resurrected Saviour’s Ascension into Heaven. The Church of Jesus Christ of “Latter-Day” Saints founded under the divine & prophetic calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., has the same Church organization & Holy Priesthood as Christ’s original Church which He personally established during His perfect mortal ministry in Jerusalem. Joseph Smith Sr. like his famous son was a very faithful member & gave valuable fatherly counsel to his beloved son and was a beloved & faithful leader in the Church himself until his death just a couple years prior to the Prophet’s own prophesied martyrdom wherein he sealed his powerful testimony of his divine calling as the Prophet of the Restoration with his own innocent blood like many of the prophets & apostles of old!!!

  • He was a poor, treasure seeking drunkard… but it’s not like history and facts matter to Mormons.

  • People are becoming more aware to what is around them and learning at a faster pace than at anytime in history. It is the Internet, we can make decisions now like never before and being able to do it at our own pace. The Mormon religion or any religion will not be able to expand there base as they did in the past,because of the Internet.People will be deciding what directions to take without the pressure of others.Also people will discover that you can develop a personal relationship with God, that you haven’t been able to develop through the “Church.”

  • Welll since I lived in Korea for a long time, I know that it is common for men to go out after work and drink. So tea is a trivial issue compared to that.

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the only Church on the face of the earth today (and for almost the last 200 yrs.) which is led by the spiritual gift & power of revelation given by the Resurrected Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ Himself to His chosen living Prophet & Apostles has never and will never be considerable in membership numbers compared to the world population. The scriptures including the biblical record have shown that since Adam & Eve there has always been a very small number of the overall population of the earth whom have been blessed with the true knowledge of The Lord Jehovah, Jesus the Christ, the foreordained Saviour of all mankind, and His merciful Atonement & glorious Resurrection, through which the Saviour provided “unconditional” salvation (immortality thru grace) & offered “conditional” salvation (eternal life with God our Father thru obedience to His commandments & the steadfast keeping of our sacred covenants we must make with Him). Every spiritual son and daughter of our Father in Heaven has been given their “agency” to choose whom and what to believe and how to act but at some point after the end of their mortal journey here on this earth there will be a “day of reckoning” or Final Judgement by the Great I Am, the Lord Jehovah, Jesus Christ, pronounced upon every one of us, God our Father’s spiritual children! The Lord said “Mine elect hear my voice (thru the gift & power of the Holy Spirit) and harden not their hearts” but speaking of those “elect” true followers or disciples (aka “saints”) He also declared “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it” that life namely being ETERNAL LIFE! Amen.

  • It is true. Though the biggest problem right now in Korea is emigration. Too many people get baptized in Korea, become active in the Church, make friends with LDS missionaries, (many of whom are from the U.S.), and then use their newfound contacts to emigrate to the U.S. I have a lot of Korean friends who are members of the Church here in Utah. Many of them are former bishops and stake presidents when they lived in Korea. It is hard to grow a Church if the ecclesiastical leaders keep emigrating out of the country for work, retirement, etc.

  • Want to take any bets?
    How about this for an idea? Let’s both live our own lives the way we want. I will live mine counseling the dying, giving to the poor, fasting every month, praying, serving my family, living healthy and being a “Mormon.” You live your life doing — whatever anti-Mormons with nothing better to do actually do.
    In the end, we will see who is right and who is wrong. If I am wrong, I still end up living on average 10 years longer you (at least). I also have an empirically demonstrated and justified higher standard of living, education and stability in my personal relationships. I spend my life brining hope to the dying and avoiding things like bankruptcy and divorce. On average, I indicate a much higher level of happiness than the average person throughout my life.
    If I am wrong, oh well. What is the worst thing that could happen?
    Now if you are wrong….yeah, wouldn’t want to be you. I think I will take my chances with the LDS.

  • You know what makes you smarter? Going to a top-ranked university and obtaining not just one, but two doctorate degrees (like me). And, then TEACHING with a professorship at a top-ranked graduate program (like me).
    Just FYI, empirical data conclusively demonstrates that, on average, Mormons obtain higher levels of education than ANY other faith group. This INCLUDES atheists and jews — the latter being the group with the second highest average level of education.
    Moreover, empirical studies also conclude that the more level of education a Mormon receives, the more likely he or she is to remain active his or her entire life in the Church. (Why else do you think the brethren emphasize the need for an education?)
    Just FYI.

  • No more and more people are like you — lazy, uncouth, uneducated, selfish, pretentious, etc.
    Of course, all of this has long been prophesied.
    This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent fierce despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof — from such turn away.
    How to feel to know that, notwithstanding your hard work fighting against the Church, you really are just a pawn of prophecy?

  • And empirical data will demonstrate that they are happy and healthful for it — at least much more so that then average person. So, what is your beef? What do you have against people living their lives the way they want to live it and, by the way, in a way that is PROVEN to lead, on average, to greater levels of health and happiness than any lifestyle known to man?

  • Apparently they all seem happy to you, unless you count the record prescription opiate and anti-depression drug use in Utah. The addiction to pornography is also epidemic in your state. So not all is well in the jello belt. Despite what you’ve been told and want to believe.

  • That you believe that an invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster is controlling your world is funny on the surface. Any religion where someone sticks their head into a hat to make up a fictitious story about a long lost tribe of people who never existed is the stuff of pure science fiction. L.Ron Hubbard would be proud. Boy are you going to feel like a chump when judgement day comes and the only thing you have to show for it is 10% less money than the rest of us. If you are so morally bankrupted that you feel someone else needs to provide the rules and lessons for life for you, maybe you should reevaluate your path.

  • Let’s see I graduated from UCSD and I’m guessing you went to BYU, care to see which one is higher ranked.

  • If you think that telling dying people that they’re going to live forever with their families in Mormon Heaven is somehow helpful go to town, in the meantime prepare to give 10% of your salary and most of your free time to the church.

  • How cute, all of my fairy tales end with …. “and they all lived happily ever after without the help of a non existent deity”

  • The empirical data says you can’t breed them faster than they run away… but who’s counting? Mind control isn’t as popular as you think it is.

  • PS my ilk has been called lots of things… but bravo for this zinger. “incontinent fierce despisers of those that are good”

  • The Fellowship does home worship, and it was started in November of last year. He didn’t really start “attending” until about a month before his birthday. We’ve also recently attended the Community of Christ, just once, and all of our kids ask that we attend that branch of Mormonism more often as the people were nicer than the in wards of the LDS branch they’ve been in. So, yes; the fact that our kids have never felt good about the LDS branch of our faith may have played a factor. Time will tell.

  • I live in the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington, a metro area of about 300,000 people, with the economy split between agriculture, light industry, and the scientific and engineering work associated with the Hanford Nuclear Site. Historical surveys of all religious groups show that the LDS church is the largest denomination in this area, even more than the Catholics, despite the many Hispanic people who work in agriculture in the region. We are about 12% of the population. In the 8 years since we moved here from Idaho, our house has been in 4 different wards as new wards have been created in our stake boundaries and the ward boundaries have been realigned. We have a pair of missionaries assigned just to our ward. The total number of Mormons in our county has doubled over the previous 20 years. The Church is doing pretty well in this area.

  • I graduated from BYU, IU-Bloomington, UCLA, and DLI, and I am reasonably confident that I am dumber in many respects than all ya’all. But I am happy, Jesus saves, He allows me to bear His priestood and I love His Gospel, giving us so many chances to improve.
    I drank a lot of tea and coffee in my Chilean mission. Not much caffeine. Loves me some chocolate and always trying to drop 10 pounds. Stay active, run your heart and lungs!

  • The Lord only needs a few faithful. I hope to be one of them; but my ward is strong and we see re-activation as a bigger tool than convert baptisms. We welcome both.

  • Even if the LDS faith is false in its belief system, tithing still helps many who need it.
    I happen to believe in the Lost Tribes. I am part of one.
    Best wishes.

  • Good news is Gospel: that means I obey fundamental rules like staying faithful to my wife, kids, nation, traffic laws, physics (not good to fly off mountains or buildings), things that make sense. I don’t get inebriated or addicted to opioids, I give to charities and I help the less fortunate as I can. I go to church to learn, share, consecrate myself and meditate, look out for others. I am sure you follow most of the fundamentals, but you might want to be honest about your needs. Or those of others.

  • The LDS Church in its first 200 years has grown at twice the rate of what the original Christian church did. But you are right, far more people do not accept the message of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. Somebody might be losing out. Could be me for believing it all. We shall see.

  • Mormons teach there god was a fallen, exalted, saved, finite man like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob . So you have to expect a loss of membership teaching such heresy

    “The Gods who dwell in the Heaven…have been redeemed from the grave in a world which existed before the foundations of this earth were laid. They and the Heavenly body which they now inhabit were once in a fallen state….they were exalted also, from fallen men to Celestial Gods to inhabit their Heaven forever and ever.” (Apostle Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 23)

    Would you think fallen means sinner In the 1844 LDS publication, Times and Seasons, volume 5, pages 613-614,… Joseph Smith reiterated that God was an exalted man and that Mormon men could also become Gods. This teaching is well documented, as is their claim that God is not a spirit being, but that he has a body of flesh and bone.

    “God is a perfected, saved soul enjoying eternal life.” (Second Counselor in the First Presidency, Marion G. Romney, as per Salt Lake Tribune, April 3, 1977.)

    It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being; and yet we are not in such close communion with him as many have supposed. He has passed on, and is exalted far beyond what we can now comprehend. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 334

    Doctrine and Covenant’s 132:
    20: 20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

    37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

  • “The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism…the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances.” Hugh Nibley Approaching Zion Vol 9

  • I’ve been to the Temple on Gage Blvd in the Tri-Cites – and I know Mormon is a Pagan Religion

    Adam and Others helped in creation, it is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why not Joseph Smith. Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 1 p 74-75

    The Bible says God did the creation alone ?

    Isa. 44:24

    Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
    And He who formed you from the womb:
    “I am the LORD, who makes all things,
    Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
    Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;

  • Actually the Book of Mormon never teaches we are Spiritual sons and daughters of God the Father and the Bible teaches we are by adoption.

    • Ephesians 1:5
    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    • Galatians 4:5
    5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

    • Romans 8:15
    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    • Romans 8:23
    23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

    • Romans 9:4
    4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

    “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (Jn. 1:12).
    “For you [the Christians in Galatia to whom Paul is writing] are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26).

    Romans 9

    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

  • Don’t bother trying to get the last word with morminion. He’s probably on uppers so he’ll be awake for the next 72 hours with nothing to do.

  • What are you talking about JonnyLingo62?? Mormonism is ALL about MATERIALISM you dork, what do you think “blessings” means? You talk about the Savior, but you have NO IDEA who you really are talking about!! Is your Savior the son of ADAM, or the son of God? Is God Adam? Perhaps you should find out who the Savior really is, or maybe I should say….whom the Savior was taught to be, by the Mormon church…..your lost my friend, & blind, you have no idea whom you pray to…Heavenly Father..is who??? ADAM????!!

  • If you think baptizing the dead and other occult practices will get you to heaven you might want to start reading Bible and learn about the real Jesus. The LDS god is Bael. The one True God does live with a goddess and breed spirit babies, that is a lie straight from satin

  • Also I don’t have to bet, because my sins have been paid for and I’ve been set free my God my Savior has ransomed me. By no Acts will you got to heaven it is a gift lest anyone should boast, kinda like you just did, not scriptural.

  • Christian men and women who know nothing of the theology, doctrines, and history of Mormonism wonder about the Mormon Church perplexedly when they see agents of the continual full-time LDS missionary force, the “real” 85,000+ young men and women, averaging in age from 18 to 25 years, on bicycles, in automobiles, and walking. most of them in the USA, and the remainder in foreign nations that will allow them to proselyte, on the streets and roads in towns and cities. Back in the late-1970s through around 1985, when the number of Mormon convert baptisms was soaring, there was no Internet for research use by the general American public. Hence, the Mormon missionaries could pragmatically lie and deceive their Christian investigators with their 6-discussion misrepresentations and distortions of the truth about Mormon theology, doctrine, and history and those vulnerable Christians had no means of fact-checking the Mormon agents to verify their specious claims. The boyish and girlish innocent-looking missionary agents would cajole and manipulate their Christian investigators into believing their mantra assertion that, “who knows more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than we do, fulltime ministers and missionaries of Mormonism?”
    I’ve personally witnessed the full-time Mormon missionary agents at work in Japan, Okinawa, and in the USA through 30 years, 1970-2000, of direct experience as a stake/district/group/ward/branch missionary during 20 of those 30 years. And I was appointed as a ward mission leader in the Mountlake Terrace Ward of the Lynnwood, Washington Stake, during 1999-2000, before my conversion to Christianity and the real Gospel of Jesus. During the 1970s and 1980s, Mormon full-time missionaries were directed by their very pragmatic mission presidents to obtain library cards in the various cities where they were assigned, and to check out all of the Christian publications exposing Mormonism as a pagan cult for the purpose of destroying the book and publications and then lying to the libraries about what they did, saying that they were lost. The 200 billion dollar Mormon Church would then pay for the cost of the books and offer to replace them in the libraries with official Mormon books and publications containing lies and misrepresentations about Mormonism. During this timeframe thousands of books and publications, Christian literature, were destroyed, so the Christian investigators contacted by the Mormon agents would have no means to reference Mormon theology, doctrine, and history unless they went to college and university libraries.
    In the wake of the advent of the world-wide Internet and personal computers, the truth about Mormonism was easily obtainable in the homes of Christians. Therefore, 60 to 70 percent of the Christian doors that Mormon missionaries had found open for them during the 1970s and ’80s started closing very rapidly. From around 1990 until the present-day, convert baptisms began decreasing substantially, showing a 60 to 70 percent drop. So what did the Mormon hierarchy do? They invested hundreds of millions of their ill-gotten gains into a super-cyber structure for Mormon apologetics. They hired professional computer hackers, Mormon apologists, to produce websites for producing lies and misrepresentations to oppose truthful commentary about Mormonism. FARMS, Michael Griffith, Jeff Lindsay, and many other professional Mormon apologists have been handsomely paid to “stay aware” of the Christian websites established for the purpose of exposing Mormonism, and to publish apologetic materials to neutralize their effects.
    The Internet provided the means for the Swedish Mormon General Authority, Hans Mattsson to discover, in 2012, the lies that the Mormon Church had been feeding the Swedish rank-and-file Mormon people about Joseph Smith’s polygamy, theology, and history. Hans Mattsson and many other Swedes are no longer affiliated with the Mormon Church as a result of the theological. doctrinal, and historical truth about Mormonism that was provided by the Internet. Currently the Internet publication of “Lesson 21 – Man May Become Like God,” the last basically surreptitious 20th Century publication of the ultimate destiny of all Mormon men and women, to become Mormon father-gods and goddesses, with a capital G, and the affirmation and veneration of the Mormon father-god of this earth, with a capital G, as a mortal man who was born on an earth-like planet and changed, and changed, and changed over time to become a Mormon father-god, with a capital G, has been responsible for many Christians rejecting Mormon missionary claims. I was able, through the Spirit of God, to contribute to this Internet ministry by providing “Lesson 21” to MormonThink.org and to numerous other Christian websites. In the 21st Century, the Mormon Church is now worth around 700 billion dollars. With that money they are using the power of evil to thwart Christian truth.

  • Anytime I see someone replacing the letter s with a dollar sign, I know I am dealing with a crackpot. No false positives, it is dead on accurate.

  • There is only One ygospel which Jesus gave trough bible ,but he never gave another testament which Smith invented. Jesus clearly say there is no food that is evil ..In what case tea is evil ?

  • Mormons don’t exactly “baptize the dead.” They perform baptism and other ordinances IN THE NAME of those that have gone on before us. From there, provided the church is really true, those individuals can either accept, or reject those ordinances performed on their behalf.

  • It is not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. Find the truth for yourself. Then you may truthfully determine what you know of the LDS church.

  • Whether a church member wants or doesn’t want to pay tithing is entirely up to them. There is no requirement to do so. As far as free time goes, one day a week isn’t hardly a sacrifice. It’s a refreshment, a time to forget about the world for a day.

  • Food is not evil. The Word of Wisdom is there simply for the reason of keeping yourself healthy. If you want to go about drinking these things or taking drugs, than that is your choice. Like many things, you can either follow this guidance, or ignore it. It is never forced on you.

  • The term “Hot Drinks” as mentioned in the D&C refers to beverages such as Tea (not including herbal teas) and Coffee. As stated earlier, the purpose of the Word of Wisdom is to live a longer, healthier life. You can either choose to live the Word of Wisdom, or not. There is no median.

  • In response to your first question, when you break a commandment unknowingly, it is still a sin. However, you can always repent for it. I’ll use an example. Say you decide to engage in a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex. Later on, you come to the realization that you were breaking a commandment. Though you truly didn’t know, it was still wrong. However, If you realize your mistake, and are truly sorrowful and willing to commit yourself to refrain and abstain from those activities in the future, you can be forgiven, and your sins will be forgotten in the eyes of God.

  • Really? Responding to year old comments?
    Actually, the term “Hot Drinks” as mentioned in the D&C refers exactly to what it says. Drinks that are hot. It makes no distinctions about hot cocoa, herbals teas or otherwise. Have you tried actually reading it? It advocates clearly for drinking beer FYI. What you are referring to is your current prophet revisionist history. See, they revise things as they see fit. They claim they were inspired by God to do so and the members play along and keep PAYING along. Then, decades later, if science or current popular opinion strays from what was previously “inspired” and “taught as doctrine” by God’s appointed, then they throw said prophet under the bus and say he was “wrong” and “only speaking as a man not the prophet” and “a product of his time”. That way they can never lose!!! If he was right then he was inspired and if he was wrong then he was speaking as a man and a product of his times and we should give him a pass.
    Bytheway, if there is no median, then 99% of saints do not live the word of wisdom unless they are vegetarian. I’ve never met a single meat eating member that abstained from meat in the summer and only ate meat in the winter and in “times of famine”.

  • The church is emptying itself out all because of validation that is why the members don’t want to do gods work

  • More and More people are choosing to live how they want to live rather than choosing to follow Christ. I think overall any Church attendance is down. There is such a change in how young people behave today too. So many more temptations out there. So I do not believe it is just the LDS Church. Catholic Churches as well even the evangelicals which seems to get bigger and bigger on tv..

  • If you have to put that much effort and vitriol into presenting a shallow-sounding defense of your credentials, don’t expect people to be particularly impressed with them.

  • None of those “teas” from plants other than Camelia Sinensis are actually tea. Tea is one specific plant.

  • Well… there’s no requirement to pay tithing assuming you don’t care whether or not you’re allowed to enter the temple. #honestyisthebestpolicy

  • Lower divorce rate? I think the jury is out on that. But we do know that the divorce rate is much lower if people wait until after age 25 to marry (yet many Mormons marry much younger), and we know that anti-depressants are prescribed in Utah at twice the national average (1 in 5 Utah women are on prescription anti-depressants), and that Utah leads the nation in breast augmentation surgeries. Is all as well in Zion as you claim?

  • Here’s my real point here, HoistDude: You’re a confrontational arse. You won’t convince anybody that way. Your confrontational arguments are easily disputed, your confrontational attitude is off-putting. You’re picking a fight. And if you’re picking a fight, you’ll have plenty of takers, for the fight, and no takers for any kind of a spiritual awakening. I think it’s a safe bet that not one of the people you fight with are going to be converted to anything you have to say, because you, personally, come off as a horse’s arse. If you represent what the church has to offer, nobody could be blamed for walking on. And how do I know that your lack of divorce isn’t actually due to your dear spouse simply being afraid of the financial, moral and religious (e.g., her standing at church) implications of divorce? I’ll refer you back to Utah having, by multiples, the highest anti-depressant prescription rate in the country.

  • Of course, by law, the beer in Utah is “low weight” beer that is only 3.2% alcohol. That may not last much longer, though, as Utah lawmakers are weighing whether to raise the legal limit to 4.8% alcohol in order to, among other things, influence more skiiers to go to Utah than to Colorado. I can’t imagine there’s a profit motive there, though…

  • An odd sidebar but I’m game. 3.2% to 4.8% is negligible when compared to liquor (35%-40%). Back in that day I’ve read that beer ranged from 3.5% – 10% and probably averaged around 5% which is essentially right at the 4.8% current level. Utah potentially raising the legal limit to 4.8% has absolutely nothing to do with skiers and everything to do with the fact that the major brewers are likely going to stop producing 3.2% beer as the few remaining states that previously mandated 3.2% have finally removed those laws. Utah and one other state will be the last 3.2% states standing and it won’t make economic sense for Bud/Coors/Miller or any of the other major brands to continue brewing 3.2%. Grocery and convenience stores would take a huge hit if they couldn’t sell beer and that likely won’t be allowed to stand. Utah has no problem alienating skiers and sending them to Colorado. Look at the new DUI law. I guarantee that is going to cost Utah tourist dollars. In hopes of getting the law repealed, the restaurant industry has essentially guaranteed that with their new ad campaign telling potential tourists in other states they are likely to get a dui for a single drink with dinner.

  • So who translated your version of the D&C? Where does it specifically say Tea and Coffee. It says hot drinks! Did you hat with stones tell you this?

  • Who really cares who god or adam is? Its like trying to decide which starship captain is better – Kirk or Picard. Irrelevant fantasy.

  • If true, why did Utah overwhelming support Trump? Takes one to know one.
    “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent fierce despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof — from such turn away”

  • While Trump received the most votes of any single candidate on the Utah ballot, he did not receive the majority of all votes cast. Hardly “overwhelming”.

  • I guess kindness matters more than credentials and letters after one’s name – just sayin.

  • (Why else do you think the brethren emphasize the need for an education?) Cause more education tends to lead to more income. More income is more tithe. Sorry, just have a B.A. from state. Guess you do not need a lot of education, just common sense.

  • Not a single one of those (lemon, jasmine, herbal, ginseng, barley, wheat, chamomile) is tea. Tea is the camella sinensis plant

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