Monson’s Wishful Thinking?

ThomasMonsonIn his First Presidency message in the June, 2014 issue of Ensign magazine titled, “Hastening the Work,” Mormon President Thomas S. Monson spoke of the “accelerated rate” at which the Church of Jesus Christ is growing. Monson writes:

“Do you realize that the restored Church was 98 years old before it had 100 stakes? But less than 30 years later, the Church had organized its second 100 stakes. And only eight years after that the Church had more than 300 stakes. Today we are more than 3,000 stakes strong. Why is the growth taking place at an accelerated rate? Is it because we are better known? Is it because we have lovely chapels?”

Monson went on to say that “the reason the Church is growing today is that the Lord indicated it would in the Doctrine and Covenants. He said, ‘behold, I will hasten my work in its time.’”

First of all, an increase in numbers does not necessarily mean a movement, or church, or organization, has received divine approval. While it is expected that the LDS Church will increase in numbers, the percentage of that growth has slipped substantially over the past several years. In fact, it appears that the dramatic growth that Mormons have often boasted about, is now a thing of the past.

In our book Answering Mormons’ Questions, Eric and I discuss this by citing a statement by Brigham Young University professor Daniel C. Peterson. He acknowledged this downturn in recent years, writing,

“Today, we have been allotted tools for sharing the gospel of which [Book of Mormon prophet] Alma could never have dreamed. But we may have become complacent. Don’t we send out full-time missionaries? Isn’t that enough? Aren’t we ‘the fastest growing religion’? Actually, we’re not. Church growth has been falling for many years, and our current rate of missionary success is the lowest it’s been for decades. The harvest is great, but the laborers are still too few” (“The Internet Aids Missionary Effort,” Mormon Times, April 7, 2011).

While I certainly agree with Dr. Peterson that church growth has been falling for many years (convert baptisms peaked way back in 1990), I don’t personally attribute this phenomenon with complacency or even a lack of laborers. LDS leaders are firmly aware that people are leaving the LDS Church in record numbers, and they have implemented a number of  new programs to improve this situation. For example, the leadership has encouraged members to be more active in social media and many have responded to the call. However, attempts to defend the faith in this arena can be very risky since it allows people to respond to some of the bad arguments Mormons post on Facebook or blog sites.

Consider also that the LDS Church substantially increased its number of full-time missionaries when it lowered the eligible age for service among males to 18 and females to 19. In an April 26, 2014 Salt Lake Tribune article titled, “Mormon conversions lag behind huge missionary growth,” Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote,

“The stats are staggering. In the year and a half since the LDS Church lowered the minimum age for full-time missionary service, the Utah-based faith has seen its proselytizing force swell from 58,500 to more than 83,000. That’s a 42 percent leap. The number of convert baptisms last year grew to 282,945, up from 272,330 in 2012. That’s an increase of — less than 4 percent.”

That 4 percent increase doesn’t seem that encouraging when you consider that 12 years ago, 283,138 people converted to Mormonism. In 2002 the missionary force totaled 36,196.

Numerous suggestions have been offered as to why the LDS church has been struggling. The secularization of the western world is certainly a plausible explanation. However, I maintain that as many more people have the opportunity to seriously examine the history and doctrinal claims of  the LDS church, Mormonism will find fewer people interested in what it offers. To put this in marketing terms, potential “customers” who have become “product savvy” are finding Mormonism to be an inferior product. It only makes sense that the free flow of information on the Internet will continue to shrink Mormonism’s potential “customer base.”

The Mormon church is between a rock and a hard place.  It can no longer hide or ignore its past so it is forced to explain the dubious behavior of its founder and the myriad of contradicting teachings among its leadership. In recent months it has been trying to meet this challenge via a series of “Gospel Topic” essays posted on, but when you have a bad product, how will this new transparency help when it appears that the LDS church is now admitting that its critics were telling the truth all along?

While we are extremely pleased that efforts to expose the error of Mormonism are having a positive effect, this is only phase one in trying to reach the millions of people who are still members of the LDS church. Phase two can, and often is, much more difficult as we attempt to convince disaffected members that the truth claims of Jesus are still worth considering, despite the fact that they were deceived by Joseph Smith.

Even if the LDS church collapsed tomorrow, our missionary efforts will be far from over as we will find ourselves much more engaged in convincing those who erroneously believed the oft-quoted claim that, “if the LDS church isn’t true, nothing is.”

This article is reprinted from the July-August 2014 issue of Mormonism Researched.

This entry was posted in LDS Church, Mormon Missionaries and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Monson’s Wishful Thinking?

  1. cattyjane says:

    When I told my LDS friends that I was leaving the church to convert to another faith they told me that I should research the doctrine of the Mormon faith to make sure that I was making the right decision. I think its funny that all that research did was solidify my decision for leaving and made sure that I would never return.

  2. falcon says:

    I think an interesting number is that two-thirds on the rolls of the LDS church are inactive. But here’s one of my all time favorite MM practices from the past as described by Michael Quinn.

    How did the church grow so fast and what kind of pressure came along with that?

    Well, this was a terrible thing. I was a missionary, and my experience is true of all LDS missionaries. You’re separated from your family, very often for the first time in your life. You’re in an unusual environment. … And then to be put under the situation that if you’re really going to please your mission president, who’s your kind of substitute father, you’ve got to come up with high numbers of baptisms. … Missionaries just threw ethics to the wind, and they did whatever was necessary to do to please their mission presidents. …

    When was this and what was the scope of the problem?

    This period of tremendous growth, coupled with missionary abuses because of the pressures put on them, was happening during the period basically from about 1953 to 1960, and it was happening throughout the world. …

    One of my missionary friends in England came to me one time when I was talking negatively about baseball baptisms, and he said, “Well, you know, I’m a baseball baptism. But,” he said, “in Louisiana we called it beach baptisms.” …

    The missionaries would come to them in these backcountry areas and say: “We’ll take you to the ocean. You’ve never seen the ocean before. The LDS Church will pay for us to take you to the ocean so you can have a beach trip. Tell all your friends above the age of 8 to come on this trip.” They’d hire these buses, and they would drive the hours necessary to get from the hills of Mississippi or Alabama or Louisiana down to the beaches. Then when they were down into the beaches, these missionaries would dunk these kids into the surf, and the kids thought they were just playing. Then the missionaries would be writing down names and keeping records, and as the kids were going back during the several-hour trip, then the missionaries were talking about religion, and they found out that they were members of the church. …

    The mission presidents were in competition with each mission to get the highest numbers of mission baptisms. Then every missionary within a mission was put under this kind of pressure, and it resulted in these worldwide abuses. …

    There is a definite problem when it comes to playing the Mormon numbers game. They really want to couple conversions with truth. The real problem that they have is being able to “Mormonize” converts before they found out the truth about the sect or simply don’t dig the program.

  3. Kate says:

    The numbers game LDS love to play is extremely annoying to me. Not only are they small in number compared to other religions, the fact that they believe numbers make something more true is ridiculous! If that’s the case then the Seventh day Adventists are more true than the LDS, along with Catholicism , Hinduism, Buddhism , and even Voodoo!
    None of the previously mentioned religions have a sales force as large as the LDS out selling their religion door to door, and they still have millions more members. I wish Mormons would think seriously about their pitiful membership numbers before spouting off about their amazing growth!

    I’ve read where the LDS church has about 5 million active members worldwide. That’s still 5 million people believing in a false, manmade god and a false Christ who cannot save them. That number is important and very, very sad.

  4. MJP says:

    The numbers are distorted, I have no doubt.

    But what struck me in Bill’s article is his plea to stay diligent with the disaffected Mormon population. While we certainly want people out of Mormonism, we want them in Christ more. That’s what I hope to achieve by posting here: not just to expose the fault’s in Mormonism, but to awaken people to the true Jesus, the one who we know and who knows us in a real and personal way, and who seals our eternal fate upon belief in Him.

  5. falcon says:

    I believe this is a pro-LDS website thus I found the information quite interesting. The whole essay is very interesting and related directly to our discussion here.

    From the essay:

    This essay identifies reasons for the Church discontinuing stakes, the ramification of stakes closing on local LDS populations, methods to avoid future stake closures, and an outlook for future trends in discontinuing stakes.
    100 of the 122 discontinued stakes between 1990 and 2011 operated in North or South America (82%). Provided with the number of stakes discontinued, countries which had stakes discontinued since 1990 include Chile (43), the United States (35), the Philippines (10), Brazil (6), Japan (6), Peru (5), Colombia (3), Ecuador (2), Germany (2), Guatemala (2), Mexico (2), Australia (1), Bolivia (1), the Dominican Republic (1), Hong Kong (1), Liberia (1), and Nigeria (1).
    Stakes which operated for the most years that were closed between 1990 and present include the Ogden Utah Mount Ogden (82 years), Salt Lake Park (68 years), Glendale California (58 years), Walnut California (49 years), and Barstow California (49 years) Stakes. Six stakes operated for three or fewer years which were closed after 1990 and include the Esmeraldas Ecuador San Rafael, Iquitos Peru Mi Peru, Iquitos Peru Sachachorro, Kidapawan Philippines, Ozamiz Philippines, and Kyoto Japan South Stakes. On average, stakes discontinued between 1990 and 2011 operated for 15 years. The median number of years discontinued stakes operated was nine whereas the mode number of years a discontinued stake operate was five. Chile is the country which has had the highest percentage of its stakes discontinued over the past 20 years (37%) whereas Mexico has had the lowest (0.9%). Years between 1990 and 2011 which had the most stakes discontinued where 2002 (26), 2003 (19), 2001 (10), and 2011 (10) whereas no stakes were discontinued in 1990 and 1997 and only one stake was discontinued in 1994, 1995, and 2010. The average year between 1990 and 2011 had five or six stakes discontinued. The average stake discontinued between 1990 and 2011 was organized in the late 1980s and discontinued in 2002.
    Low member activity and poor convert retention rates are the primary reasons for the Church discontinuing stakes outside the United States. Oftentimes many of these stakes were organized during the years of the most rapid membership growth experienced by the Church in Latin American countries and the Philippines and also during the years when convert retention rates were the lowest.

  6. Mike R says:

    Mr. Monson said : ” Why is the growth taking place at an accelerated rate? Is it because we
    are better known ? Is it because we have lovely chapels ? ”

    I think most of the growth is in poor counties ( Africa etc ) where it is more difficult to access
    information about Mormonism so that people can see what they’re getting into . MRM and
    other ministries/ organizations provide this info .

    AS far as being ” better known ” goes , I believe that because the Mormon church has a top notch P.R. Dept it has given the public a image of Mormonism that has in deed sold well . With
    Mormonism it’s all about continually striving to be accepted as another Christian in the
    neighborhood etc , so they have crated a strategy to gain that position . They’ve garnered
    much success with that strategy in the last 25 years .

    another thing to remember is that in measuring “churches ” numbers of growth or loss can be somewhat relative because there are some of the older ” christian ” denominations that have
    lost members in recent decades , so I personally don’t put much stock in numbers , because for
    one thing even Islam is growing rapidly , so now what ?
    I believe that the N.T. teaches that in the last days a apostasy will occur , many will walk away
    from the christian faith . But at the same time many people in the world be getting saved because
    of the gospel being preached to them .
    All I know is to stand fast , keep serving Jesus , and never stop reaching the lost with the gospel
    of salvation .
    The Mormon people need to hear that gospel .

  7. falcon says:

    I think if they are looking to have self-sustaining “units” in these third world countries, they will find that it probably isn’t going to happen. Being a full-on temple Mormon not only takes an unusually high commitment level but also some cash. They were building smaller temples, tagged McTemples, so that there would be more opportunities for Mormon folks to get with the program. The LDS church has to face reality that it’s going to be a small percentage of active Mormons who are actually going to “do the work”.
    Kate has discussed the fact that her husband had no interest in being at that level in the LDS god-maker program. That’s a real problem for many LDS women. Often times there husbands are low commitment members as far as the temple piece goes.
    Just figure that the LDS church is much like a fraternal organization. There are guys who just sign on and others where it’s a major life activity. To find men, for example, who will join the LDS church in the first place, stay with it and becoming fully invested in the temple is pretty slim.

  8. Ironman1995 says:

    My last time at church was Sep 11, 2011 going on 3 years.
    I remember having a couple of talks on the phone with the stake Prez , wondering if i wanted my name removed, I said no , what ever they want i will always do the opposite .
    So i love the fact i am counted even though I am not there .
    And the less i think about it , talk about it , so much better.
    I know when i first left wanted to be like a Sandra Tanner, Lee Baker , Lynn Wielder , but I decided to be me again , which had not happened since 1975 .

    Its so nice to be free, not to drink, still don’t, or smoke, never have, but to feel a large boulder off of my heart and mind .

  9. cattyjane says:

    I have considered having my name removed a couple of times. I just don’t want to be connected with that organization in any way shape or form. I had decided I was going to do it and was looking through the internet to find the instructions of how to have it done. I read through it and just got scared. I couldn’t do it. I’m not being bothered right now and I’m afraid if I go through with that its just going to be a mess and I don’t want to deal with any repercussions.

  10. Old man says:


    Resignation applies only to a person working for an organization on a salaried or voluntary basis, the Oxford dictionary defines it as “An act of resigning from a job or office:” so the LDS, which by the way isn’t even a church in the biblical sense of the word, are talking through their hats.

    This is just a power game to them and by expecting you to resign they are in effect saying “you belong to us until you sign a piece of paper” however, what they want you to think is irrelevant as you stopped being a member on the day you stopped believing the church was true.

    The best way to deal with that kind of mindset is to simply walk away, have nothing more to do with their nonsensical mind games.

  11. cattyjane says:

    Old man,
    Thats how I feel about it as well. I dont consider myself a member of the church anymore except by record. As far as spiritual membership not one bit! It just feels like this dark little cloud over my head that I cant get rid of. I just dont want it to come back and bite me should I convert to another faith. I feel like I need to have a clean slate out there is all.

  12. Kate says:

    Don’t be intimidated. I resigned and had my records removed. Heart of the matter with Shawn McCraney has a good resignation letter you can use. I used that and didn’t take the time or effort to add anything. One word of advice is for you to add that you want it done immediately without any waiting periods or you will contact your attorney. We are going to send in a letter for my kids and we will be adding that. I’m not afraid of getting our attorney involved either. They will try and drag it out for months claiming it’s an ecclesiastical matter if you don’t mention or involve an attorney.
    I couldn’t keep my name on the books and move on. I have a cousin who had done that but I just needed it off of me! I have felt so free since the day I received my confirmation letter stating I was no longer a member!
    I was love bombed at first and have had missionaries at my door but I just tell them I’m not interested. I still get invitations stuck to my door for relief society parties and sometimes ward parties but I just throw them away. I’ve thought about calling the stake president and telling him to take my name off of whatever list they have me on and stop sending missionaries here. I would like to be left alone.

  13. Old man says:

    Forgive me if I seem to be speaking out of turn. I could be really wide of the mark on this but reading between the lines I sense that you feel a need to have your name removed as an act of commitment to Christ. That, in my opinion anyway, is the ‘dark cloud over your head, it’s completely unnecessary and is probably the result of Mormon conditioning. It’s one of the ways they keep the members in line when they tell them “You must do this or that to show your commitment to Christ” The reality is that they’re actually showing commitment only to the LDS.

    You showed your commitment when you left the Mormon ‘church’ and acknowledged the true Christ. The ‘slate’ was wiped clean at that moment and nothing more is needed. 🙂

  14. falcon says:

    Just me………………..but I couldn’t stand to have my name on the rolls of the LDS church. I don’t know if they then kick it in gear and send the MM out banging on your door or what their response is.
    Remember, this is a cult. No question about it. Sorry lurkers but it is! And they have no sense of personal boundaries.
    Anyway, you have to just sort of figure this out and come to some sort of peace about it. Many people just want to walk away and never look back. Others have strong feelings about wanting their names off of the list.
    My guess is that the morg still thinks there’s a chance to win you back if your name is on the membership rolls.

  15. MJP says:

    I can understand the hold up of keeping your name on the role of an organization like the LDS church, one where you have fundamental and severe disagreements with. Nonetheless, God won’t care as long as your heart is with Him.

    If one feels better getting it off, do it. Otherwise, who cares?

  16. spartacus says:

    Is it just me or does Monson’s statements here conflict with which said some time ago, ” According to the National Council of Churches, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the second-fastest-growing church in the United States. However, despite its increasing numbers, the Church cautions against overemphasis on growth statistics. The Church makes no statistical comparisons with other churches and makes no claim to be the fastest-growing Christian denomination despite frequent news media comments to that effect.

  17. Ironman1995 says:

    I really don’t care about my name on the record, does not matter in the big picture, its how we treat each other.
    I was walking through the door of a major store and going out of the store was a couple that i knew in the church, you could tell she was not going to say one word and she walked out of the store , he remained , since I am a triathlete and he is a former cyclist, i told him of my latest purchase of a vintage bike.

    And it was nice , nothing about the church in anyway shape of form, and that is how I am about it now .
    I come on here now and then, but the longer i go without thinking and talking about it , the better i feel .

  18. falcon says:

    Interesting thought. I’ve seen former Mormons go through a flurry of activity as the discover it’s all a sham and then fade away as the discovery faze and anger subside. Some continue to post etc. but I can certainly see where having been there and gotten out; how someone would then like to leave it all in the dust.
    LDS folks have a favorite saying, “…….they leave the church but they can’t leave it alone”. It’s a cheap shot but makes them feel much better sticking it to the former members who continue to do spiritual battle.
    Again, I think it’s really a small number of LDS folks who move along the path and become dedicated temple Mormons.

  19. cattyjane says:

    What I don’t understand is how once someone finds out the church is a lie, how do they continue to be involved and expose their children to it? The only way I can see someone doing that is if they don’t have a true understanding of the power and authority of God. If a person truly understands that God does not accept whatever kind of worship we deem right but only the worship he says is right than they wouldn’t be able to continue to risk their own eternity and the eternity of their children mingling with deceit.

  20. falcon says:

    I think maybe a good come back to the “………..they leave the (LDS) church but they can’t leave it alone” might be, “…….we leave the LDS church but the LDS church can’t leave us (alone)”.
    I can’t tell you the number of blog posts etc. I read with the same refrain about the MM banging on the inactive/former members’ doors trying to win them back to the one true church.
    I suppose the LDS faithful think it’s their duty and obligation to not only win over those that aren’t in the one true church, but to also bring those back in who have left. I guess there is a process where by a person can resign from the LDS church, have their name taken off the rolls and ask to be put on a “do not contact list”. I’ve heard that in many cases this doesn’t even stop the tap-tap-tapping on their doors.
    As I’ve said before, the LDS church is like the Hotel California where you can check out but you can’t leave (with credit to the Eagles).
    Good article from one of our favorite websites about leaving.

  21. cattyjane says:

    I really try to stay away from analogys when explaining my perspective on things. I like to just stick with the facts and not put alot of personal opinions on things. I also think pasters have over done analogys to the point that things lose their meanings altogether. However I think this is a good time to use an analogy.
    This article stated that members who leave the church cant leave the church alone. They are right! And I hope members who have left continue to expose the darkness in the lds church and their disgusting roots of kabbalah and masonic practice. What do people do who become seriously injured or died because of a physician who made a mistake? They sue them for mal practice, expose their faults, and warn everyone they know not to go to them. How much worse would it be for a physician who KNEW they were giving bad advice or bad medical care and yet kept doing it?
    I believe this is the same thing the lds church is doing. The leaders are the physicians who are knowingly giving bad medical care and the members and missionaries are the physicians who have received bad training and are unknowingly killing the people they care for.
    I refuse to sit back and watch friends and family receive care from a physician I know to practice bad medicine. Just because he has good advertisement and a pretty building doesnt mean he knows what hes doing.
    That statement of “they leave the cjurch but wont leave the church alone” is intended to make people like me feel like im doing something wrong by speaking out. That is the same type of tactics bullies and child abusers use on their victims. I wont be bullied. All that statement did was make me want to dig my heels in because that statement stinks of fear. That tells me they know they are wrong and want people to shut up. I will shut up when they stop misguiding people and teach the truth.

  22. Kate says:

    I haven’t had anyone shun me yet. I expected it but it hasn’t happened. I live in a small community and have known these people my entire life. Maybe they think if they just love me I will come back, who knows. We recently had a death in our family and I received a sympathy card in the mail from the relief society, with dozens of signatures of women from my former ward. It was nice, doesn’t make me want to rejoin though.

    Mormons aren’t the only ones who shun. I have a cousin who is a Jehovah’s witness and she recently posted on Facebook how nice it is to be back in the fold and able to attend a conference they were doing. She had been shunned for something for months. Her own mother wasn’t allowed to speak to her. It’s all so bizarre! When this same girl got married, her brother had to sit in the back of the Kingdom Hall and speak to no one. He was being shunned. He has since left and converted back to Mormonism.

    I wish people could see that this is cult behavior. Control is what it’s all about. I’ve been lucky so far and haven’t lost friends or family because of my leaving. I feel for those who’s own parents disown them. I can’t even imagine the trauma that causes. If Mormons are Christians then it shouldn’t matter what church their family member decides to go to, as long as they have a relationship with Jesus, right?

  23. falcon says:

    Well I’m glad you are not on the shun list in your community!
    The groups that are good at shunning are the Jehovah Witnesses, the Amish, the Hutterites, and the Scientologists. I understand that the JWs can be quite nasty. When you think about it, it’s a good way to keep people in line, sort of.
    Consider this:
    “After looking at a lot of material both positive and negative, I have come to the conclusion that maybe I don’t want to join after all. I believe my best friend has become aware of my decision because he seems to have been avoiding me as of late and I believe this is the reason. Is it common for members to shun investigators who decide the church is not right for them?”

    “Most Mormon friends cannot really see you past their religion. If they feel like you have rejected it AT ALL, then they will probably feel like you have rejected them. It is commonly observed that Mormonism overrides personal identity and family relationships, so that same totalism or absolutism especially interferes with friendships with non-members.”

    ” Being shunned common?
    Yes – it’s common. When I quit going to church, pretty much everyone LDS who had been my friend at church, quit being my friend. Oh, sure, they would be “friendly” enough if they bumped into me. Only a couple of people talked down to me and only one turned and walked away from me, instead of speaking to me. But the rest, even the ones who had been my best friends, didn’t bother to ask why I wasn’t at church and pretty much quit calling me to do things. If you don’t fall in with their religious beliefs, they see you as not as spiritual or good as they are and they have no use for you. They will only be nice to you in a fake way in the future, in order to try again to bring you into the church. In fairness, Mormons are so busy 20-30 hours a week with church obligations from personal scripture study to actual church work and attendance and they just have no TIME for people that they don’t trip over at church. They also have most of their social events around the church, so socializing outside of church events is a puzzle to them.”

  24. Mike R says:

    Falcon said , ” I understand that the Jw’s can be quite nasty” .
    That would be an accurate statement once you’ve seen the what the Governing Body has
    taught about this and how submissive Jw’s have carried it out towards ex members . Sad .

    Leaving autocratic religious organizations like Mormonism or the Watchtower Society can
    be a fearful step for members to take but it is necessary in order to be spiritually free .
    That type of freedom comes only as they learn that leaving the organization is’nt rejecting God ,
    and that He wants them to realize that they’ve been lied to , detoured , from the truth about
    a right relationship with Him by a false prophet led organization . Many come to realize this
    and discover the liberating truth about what Jesus meant when He asked , ” come unto Me ” for salvation . There are some who learn this truth quickly , and some only after a long journey .
    Sadly , there some who throw out God altogether .
    Being a ” ex Jw” for example, simply means that a person has left the Watchtower organization .
    Whether they have come to reject the important doctrinal lies about Jesus /salvation
    they once embraced and turned to the true Jesus for salvation , they remain the victims of
    a false prophets lies .
    Patience and understanding is what these precious people need from christians .

  25. falcon says:

    Ok……………I know you probably won’t read all outlined presentation 13 pages but it’s worth skimming through. Perhaps you former Mormons can find yourself there or those of you lurking and questioning might be able to identify your issues.
    An example:
    a. Were never really converted integrated in the first place. Probably
    the largest single group (e.g., low income converts who were never
    active, or who go inactive almost immediately…if they were ever
    active to begin with)


  26. MJP says:

    Falcon, I skimmed it. Nothing too surprising, but a number did jump out at me, in section 5, d. we read that .08% of Mormons may be saved, if I am reading that right. Anyone know what this number is about?

  27. falcon says:

    Shunning to me is like pouting. It’s childish, immature and like corporate breath holding. Does it work? Not with people who don’t believe in the group any more, who have integrity and/or are pretty strong emotionally.
    Piggy-backing on Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs, people join groups to get their needs met. They no longer stay in a group if their needs are not met.
    When someone leaves a group I guess those “in” the group feel rejected. To it’s a form of retaliation. If all people have in common is the “group” then it’s pretty standard practice to degrade the relationship. Way too much psycho-babble even for the falcon.

  28. falcon says:

    What it means is that despite all of the extraordinary efforts on the part of the LDS to convert people, the total number is very small in relationship to world population.
    Mormonism is a niche religion. It has limited appeal. There is only a small number of people who will join and stick with it and the competition for those it may appeal to is finding competition from other small groups like the Jehovah Witnesses.

  29. MJP says:

    So that number refers to the total number of converts in relation to the rest of the world?

    Or does it refer to numbers within the LDS program who reach exaltation or some specific level within the church?

    That is my confusion.

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