Monday, January 30, 2012

The truth will set you free

Reuters has a report out on the major struggles that the mormon church is facing today, including mass defections. The article interviews "Elder" Marlin Jensen and he is unusually frank and honest for a mormon leader. From Special report -Mormonism besieged by the modern age
Jensen, the church's official historian, would not provide any figures on the rate of defections, but he told Reuters that attrition has accelerated in the last five or 10 years, reflecting greater secularization of society. Many religions have been suffering similarly, he noted, arguing that Mormonism has never been more vibrant.

"I think we are at a time of challenge, but it isn't apocalyptic," he said.

The LDS church claims 14 million members worldwide -- optimistically including nearly every person baptized. But census data from some foreign countries targeted by clean-cut young missionaries show that the retention rate for their converts is as low as 25 percent. In the U.S., only about half of Mormons are active members of the church, said Washington State University emeritus sociologist Armand Mauss, a leading researcher on Mormons.

Sociologists estimate there are as few as 5 million active members worldwide.

In Africa and Latin America, however, Jensen said that interest in the LDS was so strong that the church has cut back baptisms in order to better care for new members.
I think that what is interesting is that where mormonism is thriving (supposedly Africa and Latin America), people have less ready access to information about the church whereas in America anyone can read about the sordid past of mormonism at will. Unlike Christianity which has nothing to hide, no secretive doctrines that no one talks about, mormonism takes great pains to gloss over issues like racism and polygamy and hides major areas of doctrine like their sacred garments, the nature of God and man and the temple ceremony.

Mormonism simply cannot face serious investigation and the article makes that clear. When you claim 14 million members but only 5 million are active, what you have is not a vibrant and thriving church, it is a house of cards.

2 comments:

Carl Thomas said...

I know this is an old post but regarding the reports that Mormonism is growing in Latin America.

I regularly go to Nicaragua and there is a Mormon (church?) across the street from a church I normally minister at. When I went back this year they had built a larger building next door.

The Mormons said they needed it because of the growth but my friend told me that nobody ever goes there.

He said nobody went to the old temple and now nobody goes to the new, bigger temple.

Reminded me of the false, inflated kill reports during the Vietnam war. Folks need to look good to the higher ups and nobody really wants to hear the truth.

Arthur Sido said...

Hi Carl

That would not surprise me, a lot of mormon propaganda is based on inflated reports of growth and membership numbers when in fact they are bleeding members. That is some of the reason they have abandoned the tactic of emphasizing differences with orthodox Christianity and instead try to convince Christians that they are just part of the church.