Mormon Replacement Rate Negative in United States

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According to the Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Survey the replacement rate of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has dropped to 80%. That means that for every five members who leave Mormonism behind four new converts join the Church.

In 2001, the CUNY Religious Identification Survey had found that Mormons, as well as Jehavah’s Witnesses, recruited large numbers of converts but lost members at the same rates. If the Pew Forum’s findings are correct then the LDS Church is no longer replacing its losses in the United States.

The Pew Forum surveyed 35,000 respondents, which is a magnificent asset for religion researchers because even relatively small religions will be represented with sufficiently large sub-samples yielding reasonable margins of error. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey found that 1.7% of adult Americans are Mormon, which means that the sample contains 595 Mormons.

A random stratified sample of 512 respondents would yield a margin of error of +/-4%.

In this sample, the Pew researchers found that about 162 respondents had left Mormonism but only 132 had joined, which yields a deficit of 33 people (~5.5%). I am not sure but in the absence of information to the contrary, I am assuming that joining and leaving Mormonism applies to the life time of the respondents. Even so, that figure amounts to a substantial deficit.

Just for fun, lets consider the best and worst case scenarios in light of the samples margin of error. In the best case, which assumes the lowest possible number of departers and the highest possible number of converts, the Mormon replacement rate might exceed 1.1. That would mean that eleven members join for every ten that leave.

On the other hand, the worst case scenario would depress the replacement rate to less than 58% where less than six people would convert for every ten departures.

However, the mean departure rate of 80% is most likely the correct estimate. If that number were correct, and that is what the evidence says, it would indicate a substantial demographic challenge for LDS leaders and the Mormon community.

PS: This is a self-identification survey. Respondents will reveal their views of themselves, which means that there will be any number of people who will say that they are no longer Mormons but have not mailed a resignation letter to Salt Lake.

71 thoughts on “Mormon Replacement Rate Negative in United States

  1. I haven’t delved into the details of the survey to know if this is true, but it seems that they only asked what a person was raised as and what they currently identify as. This means that if a person was an adult convert who left the church before taking the survey, their relatively brief stint in the church wouldn’t show up in the study. This would affect the retention rate shown on the study. While the survey might appropriately sample how many people currently self-identify as Mormon, it doesn’t capture the retention rate that I’m most interested in: the proportion of people who have been born into church or have been baptized who stay Mormon for the rest of their life. I’d also like it broken down by age of the convert at time of baptism. I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth I know, but that’s my wish list. 🙂

  2. I think the results of this could at least partially speak to Seth’s point in the earlier thread (Hellmut’s “I’m going back” post). It appears that ALL religions, not just mainstream, are losing adherents. The difference is that Mormons and JWs and the like are actively recruiting new members, where mainstream churches are not.

    So I am not seeing huge evidence that the “high-cost” religions (not referring to tithing specifically, but also to doctrinal/behavioural demands on adherents) are maintaining any advantage over mainstream faiths. I would have made Seth’s same point even a few years ago, as a sociologist (regardless of my personal religious views), but the data now seem to suggest that, the noise from the religious right notwithstanding, there is actually a net overall loss of religious faith in terms of self-identified adherents. And Mormons and mainstream churches are both being hit by this; either the Mormons need to somehow make their missionary/retention efforts more effective, or as Hellmut suggested, play to their strengths and stop shooting themselves in the foot publicly.

  3. Thank you for your kind words, CWC.

    Jonathan, if we had the raw data, we would be able to run some of the cross tabs that you are looking for. There is a chance that the the investigators might be willing to share the data after an initial embargo.

  4. The other piece of the puzzle that would be nice to have is when these people left Mormonism. As interesting as this poll is, it doesn’t lend itself well to trend analysis, except over the lifetime of the average respondent. What I’d love to know is how many have left in the past five years, for instance.

  5. Although the info in the survey isn’t comprehensive, it seems like good news. Maybe we can set a target date of 2100 as a goal for the extinction of the religion.

  6. That’s true, ElGuapo. However, we do have the 2001 figures of the CUNY study, where the replacement rate was 100%. In 2001, as many people left as joined the LDS Church.

    The current measurement is only 80%.

    That’s a substantial decline, which is all the more meaningful because the trend line has become unsustainable.

  7. Very interesting analysis, Hellmut. There have been a lot of tea leaves showing declining US growth, then no US growth. If we really already are to US active membership decline, the change rate seems to be moving rapidly.

  8. Thanks, John. Your praise reminds me of one more disclaimer. There is always a chance that the sample is not accurate. That is inevitable because sampling is a matter of probability.

    Just as it is possible to roll six sixes in a row with a true dice and without cheating, it is possible for a random sample to be off.

    In a standard opinion poll, the probability of an unrepresentative random sample is five percent. That means out of twenty perfectly executed polls, on average, one will be wrong.

  9. I’ve been saying (professionally) Mormon growth in the U.S. is non-existent for about the last 3 years. This data bears that out – or indicates it is actually declining. That fact doesn’t bode well for the Mormon PR machine.

  10. The logical problem with your reasoning Hellmut in regard to this (and which affects all statistics) is that you can’t use statistics to say what will happen. (Hence you get the foolish predictions of people like David). You can only use them to analyze what has already occurred.

  11. That’s, of course, correct, DPC. I am a little bit confused by your criticism because the post does not contain any language in future tense, much less predictions.

    The present trend is unfavorable for the Mormon leadership and has been getting worse since 2001.

  12. I would like to know who is leaving, are they converts or BIC. In the future there will be fewer and fewer missionaries to reach new members, meaning there will be fewer converts. The average age of church members must, like the general population, be over 40 if not higher. I see a massive decline in the actual numbers.
    The replacements need to be young.
    As for changing the message to meet the new situation, I think it will be difficult. How long does it take to write, edit, print and disburse a new RS/PH Manual? Not less than 2 years I bet. The churches plan for the next 3-5 years are probably set.

  13. Hellmut:

    I guess I must have misunderstood when you said :

    If that number were correct, and that is what the evidence says, it would indicate a substantial demographic challenge for LDS leaders and the Mormon community.

    I originally thought that you meant this applied to the long-term, but (and correct me if I am wrong) you see this as a current problem that needs to be addressed?

  14. #16

    Well, if it’s a current problem, and it’s not addressed, it’s likely to still be a problem at least in the near term. And, although statistics are always historical, one could certainly do some modeling with this data to look at potential future scenarios, including possible interventions and what kinds of impacts they may have.

  15. I’m concurring with CWC – any good statistician will recognize that you can, in fact, make “predictions” (we often use the term “forecasts”) with data on past trends. That said, good statisticians also say things like, “Assuming all of the forces currently affecting X remain the same, we can expect X.”

    Think about it – the UN’s Statistics division forecasts world population growth all the time (and demographers at the US Census Bureau do the same thing with US growth). The whole purpose of science is a combined – “understand and predict.” Ergo, we can, in fact, predict Mormon “growth/decline.”

  16. So here’s a question someone might have a quick (and accurate) answer for- Does anyone happen to know if the LDS birth rate is sufficiently higher than the average to make up the difference for the negative replacement rate that Hellmut describes? That is, are there enough children being born that they can make up the difference in the number of people leaving? Profxm, do you recall offhand?

  17. According to Heaton et. al.’s recent book using GSS data, the average number of kids in a Mormon family is 2.63 (national average is around 1.99). In terms of offsetting losses, that’s tricky. If Hellmut’s calculations are correct (which they probably are), that tells us what percentage left over a certain period, but it doesn’t tell us the period. I’m assuming the question wording was something like, “In which religion were you raised?” and “What is your current religion?” Ergo, we don’t have a time period for calculating the loss rate, just a general loss rate of about 5.5% over an unspecified period of time. (I’ll come back to this.)

    If you look at the new member rate (converts and child baptisms per 1,000 alleged members) in the U.S. for 2005, it’s 16.31 (93,197 new members). That means for every 1,000 members claimed by the LDS religion (there were a total of 5.7 million in 2005), there were 16.31 new members.

    Just for fun, let’s parse these numbers a bit into child baptisms. The birth rate in Utah (which is only 60% Mormon) is 90 per 1,000 women (aged 15 to 44). If we take the reported membership numbers as accurate (which they’re not), then we can whittle down the members into just women between 15 and 44: 1/2 are men (that leaves 2.85 million) and let’s say 2/3 of those are outside the age range (very conservative estimate), leaving 942,569 Mormon women in the U.S. between 15 and 44. If there are 90 births per 1,000 women every year for this group, that translates into 84,831 births. Do note, this number would not have changed much in the last 8 years as growth is slow and birth rates are falling. So that’s how many child converts there should be every year in the U.S. alone.

    So, what does this mean? If there really were 93,197 new Mormons in the U.S. in 2005, 84,831 of them were child baptisms. That leaves less than 10,000 as converts. Intriguingly, the LDS religion claimed that there were a total of 94,000 child baptisms in the entire world in 2006. Do you really think that over 90% of them came from the U.S.?

    This leaves us with the following possibilities:
    1) The birth rate isn’t reported by the LDS religion but rather by the Census Bureau, so that’s solid. Maybe Mormon women are having fewer kids than the non-Mormon women in Utah? But Heaton’s data refutes that.
    2) Child baptisms outside the U.S. are almost non-existent. Don’t buy that.
    3) Lots of Mormon parents don’t baptize their kids. That would be interesting… but again, Heaton’s data refutes that.
    4) There are a lot fewer Mormon women in the U.S. than I just estimated. If we assume U.S. Mormons contribute about half the child baptisms, that means there are about 55% of the Mormon women I estimated (around 500,000 is all). Which also falls in line with the ARIS data from 2001 – there are about 2.3 to 2.5 million Mormons in the U.S.
    5) If there really are only 2.5 million Mormons, and if we assume that the percent lost every year is Hellmut’s 5.5% (which is probably on the high end), that results in a loss of 137,500 members every year. (I’d say it’s probably closer to 1 to 2%.)
    6) The LDS Church reported a net gain of 93,197 members in the U.S. in 2005, which means there would have to be a gross gain of 230,697 members to offset the members lost, assuming all of those people resigned.

    My interpretation: There very well could be 100,000 people leaving the LDS religion every year, but fewer than that (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 formally resign). This results in the huge overstatement of membership by the religion. The child baptisms aren’t sufficient to offset the losses, but with converts (there have to be more than 10,000 per year in the U.S.) the losses may be offset, but probably not by much. If I had to guess, I’d say Mormon growth in the U.S. is miniscule at best – a few thousand a year, 10 to 20 thousand at best – and flat or non-existent at worst.

  18. The following summary was taken off the LDS website. Compare them with your own numbers. 1 Million new members worldwide, every 30 – 36 months.

    You know that not all of the members of your congregations are superbly active and on average fewer than 60% attend any meetings in a month and fewer yet contribute any significant money to the Church.

    Between 1971 and 2008 to have over 400% increase in members is pretty impressive. We are all aware that members join churches and leave for their own reasons.

    The major factors in birthrate are very simple. Most young women who are brought up LDS will have many more children – 4 to 6 children – than will adult women who join the church but most of the female children of those convert women will desire a large family. In many LDS churches well over half the total congregation is 12 and under.

    If your numbers are better than the LDS, you are doing well. From the look of it, I wouldn’t bet the LDS Church will collapse any time soon.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally organized in a small log cabin in upstate New York in 1830.

    It took 117 years until 1947 for the Church to grow from the initial six members to one million.

    The two-million-member mark was reached just 16 years later, in 1963, and the three-million mark in 1971. Church membership in 2008 is over 13 million.

    This accelerating growth pattern has continued with about a million new members now being added every three years or less.

  19. If your numbers are better than the LDS, you are doing well. From the look of it, I wouldnt bet the LDS Church will collapse any time soon.

    Neither do I. But the independent data indicates that the missionary program has collapsed.

    First in Europe, then in South America and the Philippines where Apostles have had to close hundreds of wards. The CUNY Religious Identification Study of 2001 revealed that retention was around zero. The measurement by Pew proves further deterioration to negative levels.

    In light of the Church’s investment and the members’ sacrifice to the missionary effort, that has to be troubling to every well meaning Mormon.

  20. This accelerating growth pattern has continued with about a million new members now being added every three years or less.

    This growth pattern is a mirage. It is the product of baseball baptisms and other manifestations of the numbers game.

    If you audit the statistical reports published in the Ensign at general conference from the 60s, you will find that the numbers do not add up.

    In some years, there are hundreds of thousands too many people on the roles, which would require resurrections to reconcile the discrepancies.

    Unfortunately, the LDS Church is so poorly led and managed that it cannot even count its membership accurately. Therefore, we have to rely on other indicators than the statistical report such as ward closures, the multitude of anecdotes, and, most importantly, scientific surveys by CUNY and Pew.

    If we had reliable numbers about retention, I suspect that we would see that real growth rates peaked in the sixties. By now, they have declined to negative levels on three continents: first in Europe, then in South America, and most recently in North America.

    I would not be surprised if that was true of East Asia as well. There might be growth in some African countries, which will, in my opinion, not be sustainable either.

  21. They had 6 members in 1830 and have several millions now. If they had 6 million now instead of the 13 million, that is still 1 million times more people. Don’t know of any other group with the same kind of numbers or percentages.

    I expect that most, if not all of the closing of any units of the church – if it did happen in Europe anyway, had more to do with bringing the American military servicemen home from those countries and I also expect that any other issues that affect their churches also impact every Christian/Protestant/American church, not just LDS.

    The tone of your statements makes it seem that you would be very likely to be making the same kind of criticism of the churches that were established by the original Apostles and you were one of the Leaders of the Jews in Jerusalem.

    I expect that you consider your comments to be Christlike. I wonder how the Savior views your comments or whether He just might figure you have something more fruitful to use your time to accomplish.

  22. Keith –

    I’d suggest you watch this YouTube clip from a fascinating conference held at UVU last year.

    Featured are Val Edwards, Gary Lawrence, Richard and Claudia Bushman:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXfkYvYRkSU

    As Gary points out toward the end of the clip, the LDS church isn’t even keeping up with population growth and – ergo – will always be small.

    After watching that clip, if you find yourself feeling more worthy or informed than the folks on the panel, pls let me know and I’ll be glad to put you in touch with the panelists.

  23. Keith, there is a mountain of evidence working against your arguments. Seventh-day Adventists are growing faster than Mormonism and have been for the last 10 to 20 years. Plus, we know their growth is legit because they actually audit their roles.

    Wherever there are censuses that include religion, Mormon membership numbers are over-stated by 20% to 70%. If you take the average of that, it comes out to 50%. Thus, Mormon membership is likely over-stated by about 50% internationally. In the U.S. it is over-stated by about that amount as well (per the ARIS and Pew surveys of 2008 and 2007, respectively). Ergo, there may have been 13 million people who were baptized as Mormons at some point, but only about half of them still consider themselves to be Mormon and maybe 1/3 of the 13 million are actually involved – meaning close to 4 million internationally. That puts the Mormon Church well below both JWs and SDAs.

    If you want the references for the above publications that illustrate this, I’m happy to provide them. And, FYI, the people in the video Chino Blanco provided are all faithful Mormons but not experts on this. They are simply familiar with the work of the experts: Rick Phillips, Henri Gooren, Ron Lawson, David Knowlton, and Ryan Cragun (you could also include Gary and Gordon Shepherd). Between these 5 people, they have accumulated a mountain of data showing: (1) Mormons numbers are very inflated and (2) Mormonism is not growing nearly as fast as it claims to be. Look them up and ask for copies of their research if you don’t believe me.

  24. Thanks for responding to my post, Keith. I don’t know why you would consider it appropriate to question my motives.

    We are talking about empirical questions. That means that we can decide any disagreement on the merits of the evidence.

    Assembling and analyzing evidence is a worthwhile effort. I don’t know why would disagree with that. Although, I can understand that the evidence of this post is frustrating you.

    The world is what it is. Instead of blaming the messenger, in my opinion, our time is better spend to determine what is going on so that we can deal with the problems that make our lives harder.

  25. I expect that most, if not all of the closing of any units of the church if it did happen in Europe anyway, had more to do with bringing the American military servicemen home from those countries . . .

    Troop reductions might certainly be a cause of ward closures but it would not make much sense to blame management for that.

    I am thinking of the closures of the Cologne II ward in Germany, for example. American soldiers have not been stationed in Cologne since the 1920s.

    In Scotland, the Paisley stake had to close the Johnstone and the Greenock wards in 2008. No American servicemen were stationed there.

    The Bremen ward lost a third of its active members this decade, including two former bishops. The Cologne ward also lost two former bishops.

    Clearly, there is more going on than base closures.

  26. I also expect that any other issues that affect their churches also impact every Christian/Protestant/American church, not just LDS.

    That’s fair. A lot of churches are in trouble. But others prosper. What can we learn from the example of the Seventh-day Adventists, for example?

    They audit their membership numbers carefully, making it difficult to play the numbers game that permeates the LDS missionary program. That’s a lesson that would benefit us.

    Also, most Protestant churches do not deploy tens of thousands of missionaries. Since we are devoting so much more resources than most others, I tend to think that we should be doing a lot better than anyone else.

  27. The LDS Church invests heavily in proselytism, so for them to have negative growth shows a complete failure of their sophisticated missionary program.

    If we are doing wish lists of studies, I’d like to see the impact of the missionary program on the church. How would the church fare if the program were halted or dramatically scaled back? Would the church lose converts that would stick, or just the ones who almost immediately leave?

    What about the impact on the missionary and his/her family? Does the mission really lead to a lifetime of activity, or do people who would likely remain active anyway go on missions?

    The missionary program is extremely expensive if you include the contribution by LDS families and the opportunity cost of the missionaries’ time and efforts. A cost/benefit analysis would be interesting to see. Just how much does it cost to get and retain a new convert, and does the mission really keep RMs in the church?

  28. The missionary program is extremely expensive if you include the contribution by LDS families and the opportunity cost of the missionaries time and efforts.
    You hit the nail on the head, Axel. The LDS Church has externalized the lion share of the missionary program. Since the brethren and the COB do not have to pay for the missionaries’ time, there is no accountability, which in turn results in waste.

    It’s pretty sad, isn’t it?

  29. I grew up in Schenectady, New York in the 60s and 70s. Up until about 1968 there was one ward in the area with about 250 active members. That ward split into two wards around 1968 (Glenville and Sch’dy). Then an Albany ward was added. There is also a Schoharie ward, plus a branch in Greenville. I would say that active membership in NY’s capital region has at least doubled since 1968, maybe tripled. This, in an area were Mormons are far from loved or common. No, this area is dominated by Catholics, members of a “church” based on the twin pillars of beer and cigarettes, most members of which were always extremely interested in “how many mommies I had”.
    Unfortunately for Mormon growth rates, be they positive or negative, the Mormon heirarchy has hired an advertising firm described by Mike Wallace as a “Jewish-owned public relations firm”. Resulting from this is the recent spate of sick billboards that do not appeal to positive people, but rather depressed, lost souls. Anyone is worth saving, but the old commercials that focused on strong, happy families made a lot more sense for building and maintaining a strong, healthy, appealing church.
    Lastly, I think, by definition, anyone focusing on the decline in Mormonism and focusing on and reinforcing the negative side of that arguement is an anti-Mormon. I certainly think it is fair to question their motives. And, “they won’t leave me alone” is not much of a defense for being anti-Mormon.
    So-called anti-Semites always have their motives questioned. Do any of the anti-Mormons writing here want to defend the anti-Semites. I doubt that any of the anti-Mormons writing above are deep believers in Judaism or spend a lot of time focusing on Judaism in decline. Would one of them like to make an anti-Semitic comment – or is it just too much fun picking on Mormons who have never done anything to anyone, but “won’t leave [you] alone”? Not allowed to make an anti-Semitic comment for fear of causing another Holocaust? The Mormons were run out of NY, MO, OH, and IL and died by the thousands. Do you now want to run them out of Utah? Why are you wasting your time on this?

  30. Lastly, I think, by definition, anyone focusing on the decline in Mormonism and focusing on and reinforcing the negative side of that arguement is an anti-Mormon.

    Not allowed to make an anti-Semitic comment for fear of causing another Holocaust? The Mormons were run out of NY, MO, OH, and IL and died by the thousands. Do you now want to run them out of Utah? Why are you wasting your time on this?

    Anyone caught discussing Mormon demographics (eg. the decline in birthrate) is automatically an “anti-Mormon” — and is encouraging a Mormon holocaust…???

    Sorry, but that is a really big leap.

    Many faithful Mormons are interested in examining the Mormon growth rate in order to understand why it’s declining and possibly reverse it. Burying your head in the sand isn’t a good way to find a solution to a problem. It’s an interesting subject, and we’re not “wasting our time” — nor hating on Mormons — by discussing it.

  31. I find the parallel between Missouri and the Holocaust to be disgusting. If you want to be taken seriously, I would avoid bring up ‘Hitler’ and ‘Nazi’-type accusations.

    Just sayin’.

  32. I don’t think it’s disgusting at all.

    If the Holocaust is not available for parallels to anything except events exactly meeting or surpassing its own magnitude, then I would submit that all those Jews truly did die for nothing, and we truly are unable to learn from our own history.

    These sacred cows do us no favors. They merely deny us of tools for explaining human behavior and, hopefully, avoiding such behavior in the future.

    That said, I don’t think the magnitude between the two historical events was really comparable at all. But the same human emotions and flaws certainly informed both incidents.

  33. If the Holocaust is not available for parallels to anything except events exactly meeting or surpassing its own magnitude, then I would submit that all those Jews truly did die for nothing, and we truly are unable to learn from our own history.

    Seth, I completely agree with that.

    However, using the comparison willy-nilly in places where it’s absurd (eg. discussing Mormon demographics => holocaust) makes it that much more difficult to make the comparison in a serious way in cases where it makes sense.

  34. Lastly, I think, by definition, anyone focusing on the decline in Mormonism and focusing on and reinforcing the negative side of that arguement is an anti-Mormon.

    Please, whether the LDS Church is growing or not is an empirical question. That means it is a matter of evidence, not opinions.

    I am troubled by your opposition to free speech and religious freedom.

    Reality is what it is. Shooting the messenger has never been helpful.

  35. #24 Keith Pendlebury ~ Dont know of any other group with the same kind of numbers or percentages.

    The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 from a general council of 300 ministers from other Christian traditions. It now has around 60 million members worldwide. I don’t know how many members the LDS church had in 1914, but it was a lot more than 300, and they don’t have anywhere near 60 million members now.

    Pentecostalism had its origins in the late 1800s among the Holiness movement. It now has an estimated following of 500 million members worldwide, with some sociologists arguing that it ought to be counted as the fourth major branch of Christianity alongside Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism (for comparison, there are an estimated 2 billion Christians in the world).

    Mormonism’s historical growth has been pretty good for what largely amounts to a single denomination on the religious landscape, but it’s nothing the world hasn’t seen before.

  36. Seth if this were a post about the Missouri extermination order, then yes, it might be appropriate to discuss how it is or is not like the holocaust.

    However, it is totally inappropriate to suggest that this discussion of Mormon demographics is akin to either the extermination order or the holocaust.

    The comment started out more or less reasonable, but Madame Curie is right that the commenter can’t expect to be taken seriously if he closes his post with an absurd (and irrelevant) rant.

  37. I think I misread Curie’s post.

    She was saying that likening the demographics topic to Missouri was disgusting.

    She was not saying that comparing Missouri with the Holocaust was disgusting – which is how I originally read her comment.

    Did I get that right?

  38. A comparison between the Missouri extermination order and the Holocaust would uncover similarities and differences. Clearly, they are not the same.

    Keepingmyeyesonyou (that’s a cipher intended to intimidate us), however, asserts that the events in Missouri and the Holocaust are ethically identical.

    That remark reveals troubling levels of ignorance and paranoia.

    Keepingmyeyesonyou needs to stop threatening people in the context of academic discussions. It’s not good for the Church and it certainly is not Christlike.

  39. Actually “keeping my eyes on you” is a Peter Frampton lyric that was running though my head. Didn’t mean to press your paranoia button (or maybe, somewhat subconciously, I did – sorry).
    I just found this site yesterday (while trying to find out if Ray Collins was a Mormon) and after I posted my comment I noticed that on this site you are not allowed to deny that the holocaust (not that I did, of course). Sounds like the religion of the anti-Mormons (oops, I mean post-Mormons) on this site is the holocaust. Amazing, a whole site that denies the Mormon church is true and then spends its time trying to prove that by looking at membership statistics (probably among the lesser of your post-Mormon activities), but at the same time you “faithful [post?] Mormons” (like chanson? good one!) prohibit similar discussion regarding “the holocaust”.
    Is the Mormon church the only church that isn’t true? Or is it merely the only church you care to criticize? What other churches are your criticizing on line? None? Then rather than being a defender of [searcher for] truth aren’t you really an anti-Mormon? Are you denying being anti-Mormons? Are you denying being anti-Mormons? Don’t you, in fact, want to see the Mormon church fail and isn’t that why you are so concerned with with this topic of Mormonism in decline”.
    And now, having looked back to review some of the comments, I see my post was inappropriate for the topic of this chain per your thought police. So, doesn’t sound like I’m welcome here. Maybe I’ll go look for your thread about how the Mormons were “picked on” in Missouri. Probably because they were all thieves. Good-bye thoughtful people.

  40. Keeper, I apologize for misinterpreting your name.

    Analyzing Mormon demographics cannot possibly disprove the truthfulness of the LDS Church nor is it meant to disprove it. I do admit that I do hate the numbers game because it is hurting the members, the investigators, and the missionaries and damages the Church.

    We talk about Mormonism because we are Mormons. If I were Roman Catholic then I would engage the Pope. The latter, I only do occasionally because it is rarely any of my business what is going on in the Roman Catholic Church. By contrast, as a Mormon I care very much about Mormonism.

    You are very welcome here. But we do expect people to treat each other respectfully and humanely. . . . and, yes, that includes opposition to anti-semitism and other forms of hatred.

    As mortals we are making our share of mistakes. It would be awesome if you stuck around to show us the error of our ways. However, you are more likely to convince us with reasons than with testimonies.

    So stick around. I am looking forward to learning from you.

  41. That’s the same old thing, Miss Meyers. The National Council of Churches takes the numbers that the churches themselves provide.

    Therefore people who stop considering themselves Mormons but do not formally resign continue to get counted in the stats.

    However, I have talked with two statisticians who work for the National Council of Churches and both of them were aware that the LDS numbers mean little.

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