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 Post subject: Is the LDS Church the fastest growing church on the earth?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:50 am 
2nd Quorum of Seventy

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:17 pm
Posts: 702
When I joined the Church, it has barely 4 million members. Now it has 14 million. Many Mormons, especially older ones, will see that as "proof" that the Church is favored of God! Tremendous growth. When I was an active Mormon, I heard over and over again: "The Church is the fastest growing religion on Earth!" I saw Gordon B. Hinckley say that on the BYU channel. I heard Elder Faust (of the Twelve) say that, and both advanced it as "divine evidence" the Church was true.

The TRUTH is...of course...the Church has never been close to the fastest growing religion, nor the fastest growing church, anywhere! The Assemblies of God, JWs, and many, many other churches and religions grow much faster. Much, much faster. One example is the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Brazil, a Pentecostal Church.

Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG, from Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, also known as UCKG HelpCentre) is a Pentecostal Christian organisation established in Brazil on July 9, 1977, with a presence in many countries. According to a major Christian newspaper the UCKG has 13 million members worldwide and in Brazil alone has reached 5000 temples and 15.000 pastors.

By "temples" is just meant very large meetinghouses. They are lucky, they don't have to sit through three hours of UBER-boring meetings every Sunday. They are there for 90 minutes max. They are building a replica of the Temple of Solomon in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that in the inside strikingly reminds one of the LDS Conference Center.

The LDS Church has 14 million, and it began in 1830.
The UCKG has 13 million, and it began in 1977.

Yep....the LDS Church "wins"! It must be true....it has one extra million!

Sorry, I was reverting back to Moron-think.


Jesus has returned every century since the first century, as miracle-working Prophets. Some we know. Some we don't. In the 20th century, He was born with the name "Prince of Peace" in Jerusalem, in 1912. He became known as "Duktur Dahesh" (Arabic: "Teacher of Wonder" or "Wonderful Counselor"). He was the miracle-working Prophet of Lebanon. In a reply to prayer, He appeared to me in my room in 2005, when I was WIDE awake (had been for six hours), not on drugs or any medication, no head injuries. Not waking up. Not sleeping. Go to the "Off Topic" forum to learn more about Him.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the LDS Church the fastest growing church on the eart
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:05 am 
God

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:52 am
Posts: 7306
Here is a slightly off centre response to your OP by people in the know.


Quote:
Q: Retention Rates and Future Missionaries October 9th, 2008


Number of Views :9336

Q: I am researching the recent changes in missionary work and am trying to find out how to get a hold of retention rates for the church as a whole. Do you have any idea how I might find this type of information? I am also trying to figure out how to get numbers of potential missionaries, that is, the number of young men ages 19 that are the right age to serve missions so that I might be able to compare percentages before and after raising the bar on missionary standards. Finally, I want to make sure I have not missed any recent works about this topic including dissertations, articles, etc.

A: This is an interesting question. Unfortunately, it is also one that is a bit difficult to answer, primarily because the LDS Church does not release the data it collects on its members. As a result, the best we can do as researchers is find alternative ways to estimate this information. You may find the following estimates useful.

First, regarding retention rates… As noted above, the LDS Church does not release this information. But there are ways to estimate this and several researchers have done so, giving us our current best estimates. For instance, Rick Phillips (2006), using census data for a variety of countries, compared the membership information supplied by the LDS Church in its annual almanac to the self-reported membership identifications of people in those countries and found that the LDS Church over-estimated its membership. The actual number of Mormons in those countries ranged from 20% to 70% of what the LDS Church claimed. The major implication of this finding is that retention rates of Mormon converts are fairly low.

Rick, in response to your question, gave this example: If data from the Canadian census is representative, then the disparity between official membership totals and the number of self-identified Latter-day Saints is increasing. LDS demographer (and MSSA member) Tim Heaton observes: “In the 1981 Canadian census … 82,000 people stated Mormon as their religious preference, yet LDS records reported 85,006 members. The difference implies that 3-4 percent of members on the records [at the time did not] consider themselves Latter-day Saints.” By the next decennial census this disparity had widened. In 1991, about 94,000 Canadians identified themselves as Mormons, but the church claimed 130,000. Thus, in the space of 10 years the LDS church went from over-reporting its Canadian membership by 3-4 percent to over 28 percent. The latest data show that this trend continues. The 2001 Canadian census lists 101,805 self-identified Mormons, compared to the church’s claim of over 160,000. This means that over a third of the Canadians now listed on LDS church rolls do not profess to be Mormons. Outside traditional Mormon strongholds in Alberta, disparities are even wider. A similar pattern is observed for New Zealand, and other MSSA members can probably report on other nations as well.

Rick also notes that, with respect to the United States, two censuses of religious bodies, conducted in 1990 and 2000 by the Glenmary Research Center, found that Mormon membership in the U.S. increased 19 percent between the two enumerations. The Glenmary data relies on information furnished by participating denominations, and hence this conclusion is based on figures provided by the LDS church. By contrast, two large-scale surveys of self-reported religious identification, the National Survey of Religious Identification (NSRI) and the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), conducted in 1990 and 2001 respectively, tell a different story. The 1990 NSRI estimates the adult LDS population at 2.5 million, while the 2001 ARIS estimates it at 2.7 million—a 1.3 percent increase. Differences between the Glenmary data and these self-report surveys imply that many of those who were baptized Mormon in this decade defected, but are still counted as members by the church. Kosmin, Mayer and Keysar write: “[Mormonism] appear[s] to attract a large number of converts (‘in-switchers’), but also nearly as large a number of apostates (‘out-switchers’)” This same finding is echoed in a new report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Rick Phillips has also pointed out that that retention rates are strongly negatively correlated with growth rates, and that those nations that have high growth rates have low rates of convert retention. Rick discusses Mormon convert retention in two articles, one currently published (2006) and one coming out in the next issue of JSSR (see references below). The bibliographies of these papers cite most of the research on this subject. If your library does not carry these journals, we can provide offprints.

Rick also suggested some other sources, depending on your definition of “retention.” If you want to define “retention” as some level of church participation, then Tim Heaton’s “Vital Statistics” entry in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism is the best place to start. You may also find this discussion of retention by Elder Oaks instructive.

There are some other sources of information on retention in the LDS Church. For instance, Henri Gooren (2008) found in his field research in Central America that half of all new members left the religion within a year; more leave after that. That would indicate retention rates lower than 50%. David Stewart, in his book on Missiology and Retention, claims various retention rates, but most center around 20% to 30% (see pages 257-280). Stewart cites several mission presidents in his book who admit retention rates ranging from 8% to 18% (p. 278). Unfortunately, many of the retention rate estimates in Stewart’s book are not referenced and it is unclear how he arrives at his numbers.

In sum, best estimates of retention rates for converts to Mormonism would probably put the number somewhere between 20% and 50%, depending on the country. (Mormon Sociel Science Association)

_________________
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Keith McMullin - Counsellor in Presiding Bishopric

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Thomas S Monson - Prophet, Seer, Revelator


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 Post subject: Re: Is the LDS Church the fastest growing church on the eart
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:42 pm 
2nd Quorum of Seventy

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:17 pm
Posts: 702
Thank you. Also, I might add, that the LDS Church counts EVERYBODY baptized and also "children of record". Most other churches don't do that. For example, the JWs count only their members who have completed the required 8 hours of monthly "publishing" (door to door proselyting). The SDA Church counts only adults, etc.

The LDS Church grows at about 4 per cent, which is quite low compared to many other churches and religions.



Drifting wrote:
Here is a slightly off centre response to your OP by people in the know.


Quote:
Q: Retention Rates and Future Missionaries October 9th, 2008


Number of Views :9336

Q: I am researching the recent changes in missionary work and am trying to find out how to get a hold of retention rates for the church as a whole. Do you have any idea how I might find this type of information? I am also trying to figure out how to get numbers of potential missionaries, that is, the number of young men ages 19 that are the right age to serve missions so that I might be able to compare percentages before and after raising the bar on missionary standards. Finally, I want to make sure I have not missed any recent works about this topic including dissertations, articles, etc.

A: This is an interesting question. Unfortunately, it is also one that is a bit difficult to answer, primarily because the LDS Church does not release the data it collects on its members. As a result, the best we can do as researchers is find alternative ways to estimate this information. You may find the following estimates useful.

First, regarding retention rates… As noted above, the LDS Church does not release this information. But there are ways to estimate this and several researchers have done so, giving us our current best estimates. For instance, Rick Phillips (2006), using census data for a variety of countries, compared the membership information supplied by the LDS Church in its annual almanac to the self-reported membership identifications of people in those countries and found that the LDS Church over-estimated its membership. The actual number of Mormons in those countries ranged from 20% to 70% of what the LDS Church claimed. The major implication of this finding is that retention rates of Mormon converts are fairly low.

Rick, in response to your question, gave this example: If data from the Canadian census is representative, then the disparity between official membership totals and the number of self-identified Latter-day Saints is increasing. LDS demographer (and MSSA member) Tim Heaton observes: “In the 1981 Canadian census … 82,000 people stated Mormon as their religious preference, yet LDS records reported 85,006 members. The difference implies that 3-4 percent of members on the records [at the time did not] consider themselves Latter-day Saints.” By the next decennial census this disparity had widened. In 1991, about 94,000 Canadians identified themselves as Mormons, but the church claimed 130,000. Thus, in the space of 10 years the LDS church went from over-reporting its Canadian membership by 3-4 percent to over 28 percent. The latest data show that this trend continues. The 2001 Canadian census lists 101,805 self-identified Mormons, compared to the church’s claim of over 160,000. This means that over a third of the Canadians now listed on LDS church rolls do not profess to be Mormons. Outside traditional Mormon strongholds in Alberta, disparities are even wider. A similar pattern is observed for New Zealand, and other MSSA members can probably report on other nations as well.

Rick also notes that, with respect to the United States, two censuses of religious bodies, conducted in 1990 and 2000 by the Glenmary Research Center, found that Mormon membership in the U.S. increased 19 percent between the two enumerations. The Glenmary data relies on information furnished by participating denominations, and hence this conclusion is based on figures provided by the LDS church. By contrast, two large-scale surveys of self-reported religious identification, the National Survey of Religious Identification (NSRI) and the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), conducted in 1990 and 2001 respectively, tell a different story. The 1990 NSRI estimates the adult LDS population at 2.5 million, while the 2001 ARIS estimates it at 2.7 million—a 1.3 percent increase. Differences between the Glenmary data and these self-report surveys imply that many of those who were baptized Mormon in this decade defected, but are still counted as members by the church. Kosmin, Mayer and Keysar write: “[Mormonism] appear[s] to attract a large number of converts (‘in-switchers’), but also nearly as large a number of apostates (‘out-switchers’)” This same finding is echoed in a new report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Rick Phillips has also pointed out that that retention rates are strongly negatively correlated with growth rates, and that those nations that have high growth rates have low rates of convert retention. Rick discusses Mormon convert retention in two articles, one currently published (2006) and one coming out in the next issue of JSSR (see references below). The bibliographies of these papers cite most of the research on this subject. If your library does not carry these journals, we can provide offprints.

Rick also suggested some other sources, depending on your definition of “retention.” If you want to define “retention” as some level of church participation, then Tim Heaton’s “Vital Statistics” entry in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism is the best place to start. You may also find this discussion of retention by Elder Oaks instructive.

There are some other sources of information on retention in the LDS Church. For instance, Henri Gooren (2008) found in his field research in Central America that half of all new members left the religion within a year; more leave after that. That would indicate retention rates lower than 50%. David Stewart, in his book on Missiology and Retention, claims various retention rates, but most center around 20% to 30% (see pages 257-280). Stewart cites several mission presidents in his book who admit retention rates ranging from 8% to 18% (p. 278). Unfortunately, many of the retention rate estimates in Stewart’s book are not referenced and it is unclear how he arrives at his numbers.

In sum, best estimates of retention rates for converts to Mormonism would probably put the number somewhere between 20% and 50%, depending on the country. (Mormon Sociel Science Association)


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