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 Post subject: Mormon retention rates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:18 am 
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I was on RFM, and a topic came up that has interested me lately. Namely retention rates among BIC members

Quote:
http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agora/ ... 1170402153

My TBM dad (who, I have to admit, gets mellower and cooler with each passing year) told me today about a recent LDS leadership meeting that he participated in. It was stated that if current trends continue, only 7% of today's 22-30 year olds were expected to remain reliable, faithful members in the coming decades. This was the morg speaking.

Of course I found it hard not to crack a smile at this. Kind of made my day!

Has anyone heard similar stats? I'm curious whether this trend reflects a discontent from with-in (boredom, ennui, cognitive dissonance, uninspiring leaders) or an influence from with-out (the internet, availability of information, cultural diversity). The easy answer is "both" of course, but can anyone here who's close to the morg offer any thoughts?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:46 am 
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I don't know why people would be suprised by these numbers. The reality of the world is that religion is boring. Going to church is boring. If people have a chance between church and something else (something fun) they'll take the fun. Who wants to listen about what's going to happen to you when you die?

The only way church can grow is if it's NOT boring. The rise in these mega-churchs can't be that suprising. They play great music, they have a positive message, they don't get too specific about anything, and they don't get in your face about personal crap. Nowadays people don't want you in their face about personal crap. If you could go to a mega-church (where you can just blend into a crowd) or a small church (and be asked anything under the sun) which would you choose?

I think people are just more skeptical today. Some illiterate Russian peasant who never leaves the farm is going to believe whatever the local priest says, but todays 20 something (yours truly) has enough reference material at their disposal that they can look at a subject from a dozen different angles. My guess is people realize that a religion that makes bold statements (Kolob, Book of Mormon American style arguments) that can't be backed up are crap.

Bond

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 Post subject: Re: Mormon retention rates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:12 am 
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Sono_hito wrote:
I was on RFM, and a topic came up that has interested me lately. Namely retention rates among BIC members

Quote:
http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agora/ ... 1170402153

My TBM dad (who, I have to admit, gets mellower and cooler with each passing year) told me today about a recent LDS leadership meeting that he participated in. It was stated that if current trends continue, only 7% of today's 22-30 year olds were expected to remain reliable, faithful members in the coming decades. This was the morg speaking.

Of course I found it hard not to crack a smile at this. Kind of made my day!

Has anyone heard similar stats? I'm curious whether this trend reflects a discontent from with-in (boredom, ennui, cognitive dissonance, uninspiring leaders) or an influence from with-out (the internet, availability of information, cultural diversity). The easy answer is "both" of course, but can anyone here who's close to the morg offer any thoughts?



This conflicts with a leadership meeting I was at last year led be a 70.

Now this focuses just on activity rtes for yong men soon to be men.

In that he said that about 1/3 of active Aaronic Priesthood are not ordained elders. He wanted us to emphasize on this group as to advancing inithe priesthood, and this was even more important then a mission. So if I do some math at least for my ward. Making them El

About 70% of the Aaronic priesthood boys are active. If a third never make it to Elder that and go inactive that is 21% of them. Add that to the already 30% inactive then we have about 51% for my ward that will not make it to Elder.

If we assume in the US activity rate is about 50% 16.6% vof the active boys will never be Elders. Add that to the 50% that are already inactive and that means 66.6% will not be active.

I think the number of only 7% is way off. At least as far as the 20-30 year olds I know from BIC families.


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 Post subject: Re: Mormon retention rates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:20 am 
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Jason Bourne wrote:
This conflicts with a leadership meeting I was at last year led be a 70.

Now this focuses just on activity rtes for yong men soon to be men.

In that he said that about 1/3 of active Aaronic Priesthood are not ordained elders. He wanted us to emphasize on this group as to advancing inithe priesthood, and this was even more important then a mission. So if I do some math at least for my ward. Making them El

About 70% of the Aaronic priesthood boys are active. If a third never make it to Elder that and go inactive that is 21% of them. Add that to the already 30% inactive then we have about 51% for my ward that will not make it to Elder.

If we assume in the US activity rate is about 50% 16.6% vof the active boys will never be Elders. Add that to the 50% that are already inactive and that means 66.6% will not be active.

I think the number of only 7% is way off. At least as far as the 20-30 year olds I know from BIC families.


Your information is sort of in line with what I saw in a leadership meeting when I was in the YM presidency. According to them, about half of those males baptized at 8 are ordained deacons (this is the crucial group you are leaving out in your calculations). Somewhere around a third of deacons are never ordained teachers, and then for some reason, nearly half of all teachers are never ordained priests. Finally, about 1/3 of priests aren't ordained elders (I'm guessing that is the stat they were quoting). Those ordained as elders are highly likely to remain active.

I would imagine that 7% is too low.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:21 am 
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Bourne - I think you're assuming constant rates. What if you assume declining rates in the coming decades (I can't support declining rates, but I'm pretty confident about it)? Do your math again assuming declining rates in the coming decades - I'm sure you'll be a lot closer to 7%.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:27 am 
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Who Knows wrote:
Bourne - I think you're assuming constant rates. What if you assume declining rates in the coming decades (I can't support declining rates, but I'm pretty confident about it)? Do your math again assuming declining rates in the coming decades - I'm sure you'll be a lot closer to 7%.


Sure if each say five years this holds true. But also, you ignore the fact that the active ones will make more little active ones. I am not a statistician though.

I do know that in our stake there is a VERY HIGH number of 20-30 year olds that are not active. How many came from BIC homes I am not sure. Two are mine, well, they are not in our stake right now. But they are two out three of my over 20 year olds that at least currently, are not active at all. What they will be in five year, who knows? (No pun on your name here intended).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:30 am 
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Bourne - I have no idea either. My point was that if you factor in declining rates - it's probably very easy to get to that 7%.

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Will Schryver: "No, he didn’t." 3/19/08
Still waiting for Will to back this up...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:47 am 
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Who Knows wrote:
Bourne - I have no idea either. My point was that if you factor in declining rates - it's probably very easy to get to that 7%.


Yes, I agree.


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 Post subject: Re: Mormon retention rates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:32 am 
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Sono_hito wrote:
I was on RFM, and a topic came up that has interested me lately. Namely retention rates among BIC members

Quote:
http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agora/ ... 1170402153

My TBM dad (who, I have to admit, gets mellower and cooler with each passing year) told me today about a recent LDS leadership meeting that he participated in. It was stated that if current trends continue, only 7% of today's 22-30 year olds were expected to remain reliable, faithful members in the coming decades. This was the morg speaking.

Of course I found it hard not to crack a smile at this. Kind of made my day!

Has anyone heard similar stats? I'm curious whether this trend reflects a discontent from with-in (boredom, ennui, cognitive dissonance, uninspiring leaders) or an influence from with-out (the internet, availability of information, cultural diversity). The easy answer is "both" of course, but can anyone here who's close to the morg offer any thoughts?


My emphasis added. I think when they say "Reliable, faithful members" they mean "full tithe paying temple recommend holding members." One can be reliable and faithful without paying a full tithe or holding a temple recommend. Unfortunately, our leaders don't see that.

I am not surprised by this number. Our leaders cannot seem to get us out of the 50's (see the recent comments by Boyd K. Packer as a testament to that); they focus on nitpicking, instead of on the important things. Do they think the younger generation are as stupidly blindfolded as their parents are? They aren't. What their parents don't know and refuse to learn, the younger generation already knows and is using in their daily lives. The times, they are a'changin', but our leaders are stuck (mainly because the vast majority of our leaders are elderly, white, rich men... not a group known for innovation and support for dynamic change).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:19 am 
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Hey James... :-)

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but todays 20 something (yours truly) has enough reference material at their disposal that they can look at a subject from a dozen different angles. My guess is people realize that a religion that makes bold statements (Kolob, Book of Mormon American style arguments) that can't be backed up are crap.


Your post made me feel hopeful and resonated with a few thoughts.

I think young people today are so much more well informed than every. (Duh)!! Thanks to the internet pretty much anything you ever wanted to know is at your fingertips.

I remember years ago trying to learn about how the America's were populated. This was pre internet and pre inter-library loan days. (smile). It took me months and months to get some basic information on scientists. I didn't have access to various research articles or journals. One had to scour various books and basically it was tedious and nearly impossible to get much information.

So, of course one could accept information that didn't seem to counter scientific info. But today, everything has changed.

In today's world, where the world is telling you the world is round, how long can you hold onto the belief it is flat?

I think the shared knowledge of our world is going to bring some pretty amazing changes in the next hundred years or so.

The other thing, as has been mentioned, a church or organization will only survive so long as it meets the needs of the people. The chuch is run like a group from the 1950s but the needs of that time were quite different than today. IMO, unless the church makes some changes to help people in today's world, it will lose its membership... at least those who are existing in the real world.

For example, the temple. It is based on rituals and ceremonies and clothing common (or accepted in ritual) two hundred years ago. I doubt it was considered really odd or extraordinary at the time. Today, I think it is so far removed from anything that most folks consider meaningful or pretinent that the whole experience is just not working for many young people.

One last point... as the church grows throughout the world, trying to hold onto the Utah culture from a few decades ago will be detrimental IMO. While many LDS folks look upon the Utahn culture as wonderful, it appears odd and uncomfortably remote to the rest of the world.

We'll see what changes come forth in the next few decades!

~dancer~


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 Post subject: Re: Mormon retention rates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:28 pm 
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Jason Bourne wrote:
In that he said that about 1/3 of active Aaronic Priesthood are not ordained elders. He wanted us to emphasize on this group as to advancing inithe priesthood, and this was even more important then a mission. So if I do some math at least for my ward. Making them El

About 70% of the Aaronic priesthood boys are active. If a third never make it to Elder that and go inactive that is 21% of them. Add that to the already 30% inactive then we have about 51% for my ward that will not make it to Elder.

If we assume in the US activity rate is about 50% 16.6% vof the active boys will never be Elders. Add that to the 50% that are already inactive and that means 66.6% will not be active.

I think the number of only 7% is way off. At least as far as the 20-30 year olds I know from BIC families.

The recent push to go after those inactive young men in the category known as "prospective elders" (i.e., any AP holder who has not received the mission president after turning 18) has revealed this is a huge group. A visiting 70 to a recent stake conference I attended gave the percentage as something like 80% of all young men ordained a deacon will become part of the "prospective elders" group.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:41 pm 
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So.... sounds like the church understands this is a "problem".

Why do they think this is so?

In other words... is it Satan? Sifting of the wheat and tares? Or might they look at some dynamics or other issues going on?

~dancer~


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:44 pm 
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truth dancer wrote:

In other words... is it Satan?
~dancer~


No. Much worse. Science.

Satan works for religion because it's the invisible boogie man (the evil to God's good).

Science everyone can see, and it doesn't play favorites when it comes to showing reality. It isn't good or evil, it just is.

Bond...."Big Bang Believer" Bond

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:13 pm 
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Very well put bond.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:45 pm 
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No. Much worse. Science.


Erroneous use of science is more correct. Science is actually a friend to the LDS Church. Regarding churches in general, science does not make any statements about the existence or nonexistence of God. Regarding the LDS Church, a couple of examples.....

1) Though many LDS are mired in a type of Creationism that cannot co-exist with Evolution, the fact remains that Big Bang/Evolution (which I subscribe to as the way God did it) does not contradict LDS scripture or doctrine in anyway. Neither Creationism or Evolution is the doctrine of the LDS Church and either belief fits.

2) Homosexuality. Homosexuals have tried and failed to come up with any evidence that homosexuality is inborn, though if they ever did, Ether 12:27 ensures that it does not matter and LDS doctrine will never change. On the other hand, science is repleat with the dangerous and even consequences of homosexuality, making it a choice that has no basis for legitimization.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:20 pm 
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Yeah, but there are still a lot of unresolved philosophical problems. Free will may be one.

I also think the idea that there is no real cumulative benefit to being faithful to the church throughout life versus simply repenting prior to death poses problems in the minds of many Christians. I've never really heard a satisfactory answer to this and the fact that most people in Church believe and preach ideas about this that I simply cannot agree with seems to remove me from the Church even further. This is probably at the heart of my disagreement with Christianity in general. Yet I agree with enough that I still participate, so that alone isn't enough for me to have my name taken off the roles.

Then you have to deal with the historicity of the Church. The Book of Abraham problems seem pretty difficult to resolve to me. The Book of Mormon has certainly turned out to be a lot different historically than what I was taught. This says some interesting things about what being inspired by the Holy Ghost to know the truth really means. The Holy Ghost certainly didn't inform these people of the Limited Geography theory and why it was the only plausible scenario. What can or better what does the Holy Ghost actually tell people? In my opinion not nearly as detailed information as I was led to believe in Church. Moral knowledge, yes I agree. Scientific knowledge, I've yet to see that revealed to people.

Then the thing that bothers me the most is how much better the GAs live than the average tithe payer, at the Church's expense often times.

These things may not make me leave the Church but I definitely see what is preached from on high in a very different light.

How do Mormons deal with these issues? They don't. Perhaps they simply cannot. Sometimes the way some people resolve those problems doesn't work in the minds of others. What if someone simply does not feel good about the doctrine that is upheld by the Church leaders? Is he simply a bad person? That's what they say at Church. I think there is more to it than that. I group all these philosophical and historical problems under science.

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