LDS, Inc. is hemorrhaging members, particularly young people, and they are trying to adjust their organizational structure to stem the tide. The recent change in ward structures in Salt Lake is a direct response to the mass exodus of young people out of LDS, Inc.
When I saw the initial announcement about the reorganization, my initial thought was, “Young people are leaving and they are trying to get them to marry to reduce the exiting.” Statistically, married people are more likely to remain religious than are singles. Ergo, set up LDS “meat markets” for young single adults and get them all married and you’ll slow the flow out of the religion.
With no humility whatsoever and a great deal of bravado, I’m going to assert that sites like MSP have played a role in this exodus. We don’t tout our numbers that often, but over the last year we have averaged about 16,000 unique visitors a month here and over 100,000 hits. If you assume we have, at most, 100 regular commenters, that’s over 15,000 other people stopping by who don’t say much.
I’d say the DAMU and Outer Blogness has got the Church’s attention… More specifically, I think we’ve got the attention of young Mormons. And, that’s a good thing. Let’s get the young Mormons thinking. They don’t have to leave the religion to make a difference; they may very well be the generation that introduces real reform in the religion: equal participation rights for women and LGBTQs, real, open discussions about decisions and beliefs, actual voting for leaders and church directions, financial openness, etc. If we can make that happen, I’ll call it a success.