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Ebaroldy
Post  Post subject: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:10 am
Sunbeam

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I'm curious if anyone would know, but I know that, since we have the Internet and other sources available to us exposing the church's true colors, are there any less converts, and members leaving the church? I've been to a few gospel principles classes in the past where the topic was "stay away from the Internet" garbage, and all members seem to agree that it's bad to look at outside sources... Where does the church stand, is it growing as they say, or no?


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Abinadi
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:56 pm
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A recent thread contains a link to an abc article:
http://exmormonforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=49131
The inclusion of "We forgive you. Return to the love of the Church" or however they say it, seems to have taken on a more desperate tone than when it was first made, several years ago. That surely must be a sign that the leadership recognizes there is a problem with attrition - too many leaving. It's not just that they may lose their blessings and their salvation, but even worse than all that, it makes the Church look bad to have very many people leave it.


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productofchoice
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:58 am
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This was in the Bangor Daily News:

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/05/o ... BoxOpinion

Peace

----
A Mormon church in need of reform
By Carrie Sheffield, Special to the BDN
Posted Feb. 05, 2012, at 6:15 p.m.

There has been much talk recently about whether America is ready for a Mormon president. This tolerance question should cut both ways.

Nearly a quarter of Americans told Gallup last summer that they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon president, which is unfortunate since former Gov. Mitt Romney and former candidate Jon Huntsman are both smart, capable men.

Meanwhile, though the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life recently found that 56 percent of Mormons think America is ready for a Mormon president, the church isn’t exactly welcoming of outsiders. Mormons account for 57 percent of Utah residents yet some 91 percent of Utah state legislators self-identify as Mormons. The state that’s home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has elected only two non-Mormon governors in nearly 116 years and has sent just one non-Mormon to Congress in the past five decades.

Some of this distrust of outsiders is understandable because the church has been persecuted by religious and secular foes since its inception. Many mainstream Christians consider Mormonism a cult — a fact thought to have given Romney trouble in South Carolina’s primary. To combat anti-Mormonism, last year church leaders expanded a multimillion-dollar image campaign begun in 2010 that is nearly identical to the “I Am A Scientologist” campaign from a year earlier: On airwaves, YouTube, billboards and more, smiling, family-oriented people declare, “I’m a Mormon.” It’s part of a series of efforts to buy public affection.

Yes, Mormons love families. But the family-values facade applies only if you stay in the fold. Former Mormons know the family estrangement and bigotry that often come with questioning or leaving the church.

The church I was raised in values unquestioning obedience over critical thinking. This caused trauma and cognitive dissonance when I questioned church doctrine and official history. In online forums and support groups, former and questioning Mormons gather and offer comfort. Some of us are prominent, such as Steve Benson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, or singer Tal Bachman. Most of us are quiet dissidents who wish to lead conscientious lives.

I was born into an multi-generational Mormon pioneer family. The mantle of those ancestors who made the ultimate sacrifice while crossing America’s plains to Utah weighed heavily on me as I grew up romanticizing the church’s worldwide missionary successes.

But I struggled after realizing that Mormonism’s claims about anthropology, history and other subjects contradict reason and science. While many faiths’ irrational claims are obscured by centuries of myth and rubble, the LDS church lacks the moderation and scholarship of its older peers. It also stifles efforts to openly question church pronouncements, labeling such behavior as satanic.

Critics of Mormonism include geneticists, Egyptologists and even the Smithsonian Institution, which stopped Mormon apologists from claiming the institute viewed the Book of Mormon as a factual document.

While studying at Brigham Young University, I spiritually imploded after learning these things and other facts outside official church curriculum. Disturbed, I met with a high-ranking Mormon leader who told me to quit reading historical and scientific materials because they were “worse than pornography.” BYU’s dean of religious education wouldn’t answer my growing list of questions. Ot her leaders told me that questioning is acceptable so long as it’s done secretly. I became distraught. For years my faith was an unshakable part of my identity, and if I openly voiced my concerns I risked rejection from the community I loved. Since Mormonism is highly centralized, without the local doctrinal flexibility that exists in Judaism and many Christian churches, I had no place to live a moderated, reformed existence.

Salt Lake City’s male gerontocracy told me to avoid books and marry, but I could not stomach all their teachings. For example, mainstream Mormons banned polygamy in 1890 to obtain Utah’s statehood, but they continue to perform temple ceremonies that “seal” one man to multiple women in the hereafter. My idea of heaven did not involve a husband whose love could be shared with many wives.

Staying in the church meant I would have my family, but I couldn’t pretend to believe. And it was difficult to live a fulfilling life without Mormonism. My parents shut me out of their home for nearly five years because of religion, and some former friends shunned me.

Many other dissident Mormons find themselves discouraged from voicing doubts and ostracized if they do. Those whose spouses leave the church are sometimes encouraged to get divorced and remarry a faithful Latter-day Saint. Non-Mormons are not allowed to attend family members’ weddings in Mormon temples. Many gay Mormons have been driven to suicide, deeply conflicted about whether acting on their sexuality is, as the church teaches, a sin.

With public interest in Mormonism so high, I hope the scrutiny will help break down the church’s fundamentalist trappings: secrecy about its finances, anti-women doctrine and homophobia, to start. Perhaps someday the church will not excommunicate, fire and demote people who want honest, church-wide dialogue about Mormon history and doctrine.

Some Mormons compare Joseph Smith, the church’s founder, to Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer who exposed Catholic power abuses and doctrinal inconsistencies. Mormonism needs a Luther of its own.

_________________
I resigned from the Church of THE Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Feb 2011)

"For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad." - Luke 8:17


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Abinadi
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:19 pm
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Thanks, Product:
Quote:
I met with a high-ranking Mormon leader who told me to quit reading historical and scientific materials because they were “worse than pornography.” BYU’s dean of religious education wouldn’t answer my growing list of questions.
From the fifth chapter of Daniel, translated from the Reformed Egyptian papyrus, by the power of the Urim and Thummim:

"With no forewarning, it was as though the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the outer wall of the [Church Office Building], near the lamp-stand in the royal palace. The king (prophet) watched the hand as it wrote (read the reports). His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking. The king (prophet) summoned the enchanters (BYU professors), astrologers (FAIR scholars), and diviners (Apostles). Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple (possibly, the color of the special apron in the Temple, worn only by those who have their election and calling made sure) and have a gold chain placed around his neck (indicating his enslavement to Mammon), and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” (Guaranteed a secure position in the Third Heaven, the Celestial Kingdom.)
“This is the inscription that was written:
- Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin -
“Here is what these words mean:
Mormon: You have enjoyed a monopoly on progapanda for long enough. Now other voices will be heard.
Mormon: God has numbered the days of your reign, o Usurper, and brings it to an end.
Trickery: You, your teachings, your corporate obsessions have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
Perish: Your kingdom is divided and given to others.”


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paladin
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:05 pm
Abinadi wrote:
Thanks, Product:
Quote:
I met with a high-ranking Mormon leader who told me to quit reading historical and scientific materials because they were “worse than pornography.” BYU’s dean of religious education wouldn’t answer my growing list of questions.
From the fifth chapter of Daniel, translated from the Reformed Egyptian papyrus, by the power of the Urim and Thummim:

"With no forewarning, it was as though the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the outer wall of the [Church Office Building], near the lamp-stand in the royal palace. The king (prophet) watched the hand as it wrote (read the reports). His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking. The king (prophet) summoned the enchanters (BYU professors), astrologers (FAIR scholars), and diviners (Apostles). Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple (possibly, the color of the special apron in the Temple, worn only by those who have their election and calling made sure) and have a gold chain placed around his neck (indicating his enslavement to Mammon), and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” (Guaranteed a secure position in the Third Heaven, the Celestial Kingdom.)
“This is the inscription that was written:
- Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin -
“Here is what these words mean:
Mormon: You have enjoyed a monopoly on progapanda for long enough. Now other voices will be heard.
Mormon: God has numbered the days of your reign, o Usurper, and brings it to an end.
Trickery: You, your teachings, your corporate obsessions have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
Perish: Your kingdom is divided and given to others.”


:clap: Right on the button.


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tumbo
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:47 pm
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In need of reform, that’s an understatement! IMO here’s the top ten reforms that need to be made.

1. No hating or shunning.
2. Church is 1 hour MAXIMUM per week. Unless you want to participate in real meaningful service projects that are voluntary and no one will look down on you if you don’t. And church service is uplifting and motivating not boring/guilt trip.
3. Tithing is voluntary and anonymous and only goes to real charities and people in need.
4. Women can hold the penishood. :titter:
5. Members can invite anyone to their weddings. Because:
6. No one not even a bishop has the right to judge anyone’s “worthiness”.
7. They come out and admit and apologize for everything in the church history.
8. Throw out the BOM, POGP, and D&C
9. No more brainwashing children.
10. Change all of their doctrines and teachings.


Well actually I guess there is nothing worth salvaging. The only way to make it right is to close up business and refund everyone’s tithing.
{:-D Tumbo


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Abinadi
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:03 am
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I like your list, Tumbo.

One hour church, wow, those were the days. Actually, it was two in the morning and one in the evening. Even that was better than the current marathon. Not because three hours is so long. If things are interesting or exciting, three hours go by fast.

As for expecting apologies, they have not even apologized for Mountain Meadows. The best they can do is "let's forget the past". Except for a few inspiring stories about persecutions by anti-mormons, lot's never forget all those.

There are always people willing to believe mighty strange things.
There may always be Mormons, but I don't think they'll ever get big numbers again. They'll probably peter down to about 25,000. Then they'll go the way of some of the other churches that believed the Book of Mormon. Some of them have only a couple of thousand members, others only a few hundred.


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smartenough
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:38 am
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Abinadi wrote:
I like your list, Tumbo.

One hour church, wow, those were the days. Actually, it was two in the morning and one in the evening. Even that was better than the current marathon. Not because three hours is so long. If things are interesting or exciting, three hours go by fast.

As for expecting apologies, they have not even apologized for Mountain Meadows. The best they can do is "let's forget the past". Except for a few inspiring stories about persecutions by anti-mormons, lot's never forget all those.

There are always people willing to believe mighty strange things.
There may always be Mormons, but I don't think they'll ever get big numbers again. They'll probably peter down to about 25,000. Then they'll go the way of some of the other churches that believed the Book of Mormon. Some of them have only a couple of thousand members, others only a few hundred.


yeah i have a copy of the pogp,bom, as well as the doctirnes and covenants and i have been reading quite a few articles and book about mormonism. i do understand that the lds church has lost quite a few members in the last year or so. however the lds church has always has a problem to a degree with member retention but the bigger problem imo, is the fact that a really low pertencage of active mormons have actually read the book of mormon. i hear only 46 percent of active mormons have read the BOM. but i must agree with you abinadi that the lds church will probably drop to membership of 25000 members like other extremist religious groups have.


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ojoyo
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:57 pm
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Can you imagine what will happen to all the temples if the church pop really dropped below 100k?

You would have private real estate buyers gobbling them up as summer homes LOL.


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agentpi
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:05 am
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Abinadi wrote:
There may always be Mormons, but I don't think they'll ever get big numbers again. They'll probably peter down to about 25,000. Then they'll go the way of some of the other churches that believed the Book of Mormon. Some of them have only a couple of thousand members, others only a few hundred.


You think that'll happen? Their growth may slow, but they've become such a huge entity financially that I feel like they'll always have impressive resources...enough to at least maintain presence in the media to the point where they'll always be able to bring people in, even if it won't be in the same numbers as their heyday.

It'd be interesting if Mormonism begins to decline so badly that the membership can't deny it anymore. It'd really screw with the manifest destiny attitude they have regarding missionary work.

_________________
Challenging Mormonism


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smartenough
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:24 am
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agentpi wrote:
Abinadi wrote:
There may always be Mormons, but I don't think they'll ever get big numbers again. They'll probably peter down to about 25,000. Then they'll go the way of some of the other churches that believed the Book of Mormon. Some of them have only a couple of thousand members, others only a few hundred.


You think that'll happen? Their growth may slow, but they've become such a huge entity financially that I feel like they'll always have impressive resources...enough to at least maintain presence in the media to the point where they'll always be able to bring people in, even if it won't be in the same numbers as their heyday.

It'd be interesting if Mormonism begins to decline so badly that the membership can't deny it anymore. It'd really screw with the manifest destiny attitude they have regarding missionary work.



yeah i thought about this last night before i went to bed. would would happen to all the moeny,land,hotels,temples and shopping malls if the total number of mormons active and inactive were to fall below 100k. it is hard for me to imagine what would happen but situations i thought about were near collapse and closing of a lot of temples to the war room going into 6th gear and starting another pr campaign inorder to get new converts into TSCC. Either way, imo, now is a good time to keep this site as well as other sites like exmormon.org and mormoncurtain.com going. Speaking of websites as a side note, i recommend visting the utah lighthouse ministries website as well. the Tanners are really godd,imo, at talking about TSCC.


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Abinadi
Post  Post subject: Closing the Book on Mormon (ism)  |  Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:41 am
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Less members equals smaller number of professionals,
which equals smaller number of experienced professionals - lower quality of financial expertise, intuition and foresight, and weaker grasp of management principles in human resources, inventory, marketing, etc.,
which equals poorer decisions and weaker application of those principles that are grasped, less strict monitoring, and poor follow-up,
which equals dwindling productivity, dwindling profits,
which equals selling off companies as a revenue source to replace the lack of revenue once provided by those companies,
which equals financial collapse of the Church as a corporation, although individuals may still do well through personal portfolios managed by professional Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Islamic brokerage firms.

Decreasing members = decreasing revenue.
Decreasing members and decreasing revenue = insubstantial presence: economically as well as in all aspects related to people: political power, cultural significance, self-promotion, gaining new members, effective apologetics, and respectable universities.


"What does it mean when there's a * in a sentence?"

Scroll down to first cartoon at: http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/mfl/lowres/mfln2670l.jpg
(Reproduction rights obtainable from www . CartoonStock . com)


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smartenough
Post  Post subject: Re: Closing the Book on Mormon (ism)  |  Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:09 pm
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Abinadi wrote:
Less members equals smaller number of professionals,
which equals smaller number of experienced professionals - lower quality of financial expertise, intuition and foresight, and weaker grasp of management principles in human resources, inventory, marketing, etc.,
which equals poorer decisions and weaker application of those principles that are grasped, less strict monitoring, and poor follow-up,
which equals dwindling productivity, dwindling profits,
which equals selling off companies as a revenue source to replace the lack of revenue once provided by those companies,
which equals financial collapse of the Church as a corporation, although individuals may still do well through personal portfolios managed by professional Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Islamic brokerage firms.

Decreasing members = decreasing revenue.
Decreasing members and decreasing revenue = insubstantial presence: economically as well as in all aspects related to people: political power, cultural significance, self-promotion, gaining new members, effective apologetics, and respectable universities.


"What does it mean when there's a * in a sentence?"

Scroll down to first cartoon at: http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/mfl/lowres/mfln2670l.jpg
(Reproduction rights obtainable from www . CartoonStock . com)



Good points, Abinadi. I never quite thought of that as a possible way that the Mormon Church would possibly fail but it would not surprise me that those would be the steps on the stari case of failure. Less members in the LDS Inc. system would mean an obvious drop in revenue but how money would LDS need to lose before the sales of assets starts?


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teoma2
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:26 pm
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Where the actual future 'tipping point' might appear is a relatively unknown point in the future, given the fact that they, as well as other religions never post fiscal information....when we see ward houses closing or being condensed, serious changes in observable functions within the Corp, like a downsizing of COB personell occurring, more responsibilities pushed over onto the worker bees backs, cutbacks in church sponsored activities/programs, etc.

Much like the Second Coming, it may occur at any time...the sooner the better, IMO.

_________________
"When authority masquerades as a power, a simple question will unmask it."

"Just because you think, feel, or believe something is true, doesn't make it true!"

"The doubt of your faith, is not God testing you, but truth trying to emerge and free you."


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paladin
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:44 pm
The general assumption is that if the church loses a large percentage of members it will collapse, but I don't think that membership and the church's livelihood are connected at the hip. The church has a great deal of money that comes in from financial holdings and as we all know, owns a large chunk of SLC, which does generate a lot of money. I know many people who are non-Mormons who go to City Creek mall and other businesses that are in one way or another provide income to the church, and could care less who owns it. Yes, the church would definitely suffer and eventually fold, but I think it would take longer than most of us would expect.

Call me a pessimist, but the church over the years has shown a remarkable ability to stay afloat under dire circumstances. I don't think the church will disappear in my lifetime- I'm 62. I would love to see it happen, but I'm not holding my breath.

(edit) by way of comparison, the Church of Scientology has less than a million members, but manages to be strong financially, and Scientology is at least as whacked as the TSCC, for sure.


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paladin
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:53 pm
But to continue my thoughts...... the church has definitely painted itself into a corner in many ways, however. Prop 8 was a glaring expose that revealed the bigotry of the church to the world, and they painted a bullseye on themselves for liberals. Evangelicals don't like Mormons because they see the church's mainstreaming efforts as a christian church to be invasive and eeevviiilll. The church has been shown, from the broadway show "The mormons" and other things in the media, to be cartoonish. I think Mitt Romney has single handedly brought about more harm to the church than any other person now living, and he doesn't even realize it. Whatever happens, the road ahead is not positive for the church.


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teoma2
Post  Post subject: Re: The Mormon church now..?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:37 am
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Like Paladin, I'm in my 60's right now and granted we may never personally witness some serious changes in the Morg, as the whole corporation seems to have a wonderful way of staying alive and adjusting to changes in society along with seriously deep pockets to support itself when in need.

However, the internet is a serious and new challenge right now. And when I read comments from someone well placed, like Marlin Jensen, indicating membership loss, I feel good that society at large is correcting itself in this manner....history repeating itself, possibly....I feel that the guys in the COB may not have learned that yet, as in the past their leader, Joseph, sharp as he was, failed to properly read his current society correctly before he wiped out the Nauvoo Expositer. He misread public sentiment and that was a fatal error for him..maybe history will repeat itself here once again, as the interested public is learning a lot of basic factual information about real Mormon History. Given enough time, society will correct itself, and I am happy to be a part of that correction.

_________________
"When authority masquerades as a power, a simple question will unmask it."

"Just because you think, feel, or believe something is true, doesn't make it true!"

"The doubt of your faith, is not God testing you, but truth trying to emerge and free you."


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