36% activity rate in LDS Church

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Re: 36% activity rate in LDS Church

Post by turinturambar » 19 Oct 2014, 17:06

Realistically, I think that the Deseret News is an organ of the Church, and an important part of PR. We've been pushing this "15 million strong" thing for the last few years, so I can see how the statistic would be embarrassing for some, and necessitate "editing".
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

(New Testament | 1 Corinthians 13:2‎)‎

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Re: 36% activity rate in LDS Church

Post by West » 26 Oct 2014, 21:40

I live in Utah, and in the young single adult wards, we're sometimes looking at less than half the total members as active members, at least in one of the wards I keep track of (I like keeping track of things; I'm weird like that). They're really big on ward missionaries and working toward reactivating members. I remember years ago in institute at the local university that one of the teachers said a little less than half of the returned missionaries on campus were inactive. There are a lot of ex-Mormons I work with, too, way more than active Mormons. Utah is an interesting place.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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Re: 36% activity rate in LDS Church

Post by Porter » 27 Oct 2014, 11:02

What is the real denominator?

Is it the 15 million members worldwide so we can assume about 5 million in Sacrament meeting on an average Sunday? Or is it the number on your ward roster after an aggressive clerk has cleared out all the lost sheep and shipped them off to the great big computer in the tops of the everlasting hills.

In Utah when my dad was the ward clerk about 40 years ago, he could walk past the houses of every member in the ward and all the few non-members each week and check to see if they had cut their grass or shoveled their snow. He often knew early if there were any problems and he knew exactly how many people lived in that area and who went to each meeting, etc. One of my aunts as the RS president went so far as to use a step ladder to peek in people's windows. She saw a young wife in bed with a man not her husband. She fell off the ladder and broke her leg. I think those days are gone.

About a half a million people live in my ward boundaries. For awhile they were reading in the names every week of new members, 20 or 30 at a time. Weeks would go by before anyone on those lists was actually there. I think our rolls carry about 2 or 3 times as many names as attend church. But I think many times that number live quietly under the radar and off the rolls. It is hard to know how fast they move around but it has got to outnumber the people we have on the rolls.We have no mechanism to clear them off the 15 million roster until they live to be 110 and are assumed to have died.

I live in the South. We are stronger here than in populous New England and across the midwest, but weaker than in the far west and obviouly Utah. If I assume I live in a statistically average ward and that 7.5 million of the 300 million Americans are Mormon, that predicts 2.5% LDS in the half a million in my ward. Our ward should have 12,500 attending it. Last week we only had six there sitting in the congregation; in addition to those on the stand and doing the sacrament. About 60 or 80 did trickle in at various stages of late and later. I take that 36% number as more a measure of how fast the ward clerks are clearing them out in comparison to how fast the missionaries are dunking them.

I remember sitting in a meeting with an EQP who was functionally illerate. He had a heart as big as Texas but he could only read at about the third grade level and he could not do fractions or percents. He was asked by some visiting authority what the home teaching percent was in our quorum and he asked me if I had done mine last month. I said, no. He looked up at the ceiling for a minute and then said 36%. I asked him later how he made the calculation, and so quickly without paper or a calculator. He replied that if I had said yes, it was going to be 63% and if I had said no it was going to be 36%. That was about as accurate as he could get factoring in all the lying and faking going on anyway. I guess he was onto something.

We can't keep kicking this can down the road indefinitley. It will only get worse. A single figure without any context is meaningless. Is anyone capable of just telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth any more?

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Re: 36% activity rate in LDS Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 Oct 2014, 16:15

Bad statistical analyses are meaningless, as are horror stories that have nothing to do with a post.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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