For those who aren’t familiar with this phrase, it basically is asking someone who is bluffing, particularly in gambling – to ante up. To prove they can back up their boast.
I would like to officially ask why, in the twenty first century, with all the data and resources available to reporters and reviewers that the Utah LDS church is still being called “one of the fastest growing churches worldwide”. (Please see the attached review on Salon.com for an example of these types of claims).
While Andrew O ‘Hehir doesn’t mention the “fastest growing” claim, he does cite the number of LDS worldwide as 13 million.
I would like LDS Inc. to put their money where their mouth is. I think many of us in the exmormon/post mormon community would like to see independent verification of the thirteen million number.
I would like to see this fact verified by reputable auditing firms with no financial stake in the outcome.
It may be true. LDS Inc. may be one of the fastest growing religions on the planet. Unlike an opinion like “LDS Inc is the world’s best religion” or “Aerin is the world’s best Mom” – the membership numbers can be counted and proven.
I would hope if LDS Inc. does decide to hire some sort of independent auditing firm, that there is a clear definition of who is and is not a member.
I would hope that I would not be included in the 12 million number (seeing as how I officially had my name removed in 1999). Or Natalie’s (of Trapped by the Mormons fame )- who has repeatedly tried to have her name removed and has not been successful.
I would hope that only living people would be included. I would also hope there was some sort of one year/seven year attendance policy. I would assume that someone who hadn’t attended a ward meeting in seven years is not considered a member. And if they are, it seems to me that’s an issue between that person and their bishop.
LDS Inc. claims to be the fast growing church is the world. In comparison, lots of Fortune 500 companies claim lots of things – increasing sales, growing markets, etc. Typically they are required to back up those claims – particularly for their shareholders. Many LDS shareholders/members might argue that the exact number doesn’t matter. Whether or not LDS Inc. is the fastest growing religion is not important to them. And that’s their right.
But I believe it’s important because it’s dishonest to make a claim you cannot prove. If one person joins mormonism/LDS Inc. because of this possible lie/exaggeration (13 million people can’t be wrong) that’s unethical. It goes against everything I was taught growing up Mormon – to be honest and true. To show integrity in all my dealings.
Particularly with the current US Presidential campaign, I’m certain that we may repeatedly hear this statistic. I would like to point out that it’s an empty statistic until there are valid numbers that can prove it.