Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mass Re-Resignation Protest


I’m announcing a protest against how the LDS church reports its membership, especially those who’ve resigned.

Why?  Because they out right lied again last Saturday, April 6, in their General Conference.  The LDS church listed annual membership numbers as follows (See http://ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com/2013/04/2012-annual-statistical-report.html):

·         Total membership:  14,782,473
·         2012 Increased members: 341,127
o   "children of record": 122,273
o   new baptismal converts: 272,330

If you sum the increase, you get 122,273 + 272,330 = 394,603.  This is 53,476 less than the stated 2012 increase. Where did those 53,476 members disappear to?  Deaths, resignations, excommunications…?

Death rates in the US are about 8.4 deaths per 1,000 (See http://www.indexmundi.com/united_states/demographics_profile.html).  The 53,476 equals (53,476/14,782,473) about 3.6 deaths per 1,000.  (Also note that the birth rate on average in the US is about 13.7 per 1,000, and in the LDS numbers above computed as 8.3 per 1,000.  This seems low as well, but not close to as low as the death rate.)

Again, average death rate: 8.3/1000.
Mormon member death rate: 3.6/1000.

Does this mean that Mormons only die 43% as often, on average, as the rest of the industrialized world?  Recall, that 14+million membership includes at least half of its accounted membership from impoverished third world nations.  Likewise, are they having fewer children than the rest of the world?

So what is going on with the numbers?

What seems to be happening is that the LDS church formula assumes nearly 100% retention rates. According to BYU, the church’s university, members born in the church leave at a rate of about 34% (combined 20% never-active with 14% complete nonbelievers). For converts from 50 to 75% leave permanently.    See http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Vital_Statistics.

Apparently, the LDS church does not appear to be subtracting resigned and excommunicated members.  Also it would seem only the deaths of active members are reported to church headquarters and accounted, making its death loss much lower (3.6 in 1,000) than the actual death rate.

Thus, the additions made each year are overstated, and the subtractions are understated. This goes on year after year and the official number of members gets farther and farther from the truth.

If the correct numbers of losses were reported, the actual losses might have gone from 53,476, to around 160,000 (~40%) in 2012.  That's a large force to be reckoned with.

Membership in the LDS church consists solely as a number and record owned by Intellectual Reserve Inc. (IRI) (a church owned subsidiary). That membership number is listed in their Member Information System and other internal databases.  You are not actually a member of the church.  You are a subscriber to IRI by a number held by IRI.  As such, and as a non-profit, they do not have to disclose anything they consider proprietary (intellectual property at Intellectual Reserve) about you or information they hold about you. 

What happens if you resign?  When you resign, you're not removed. I verified this by re-resigning twice. Each time you re-resign, they confirm to you that they have a record of you already having resigned. And furthermore, there is evidence that they still count you in their records as still being members in the ~15 million persons (latest claimed numbers) listed in their IRI database (and counting).

The LDS church has been lauded in the press as “leading way in U.S. religious growth”.  It gives the impression that the stone cut without hands is growing by leaps and bounds.  And yet, the church misleads, severely, on this stone growth.

Book of Mormon DNA critic Simon Southerton, PhD, has reported on this misleading information here: http://simonsoutherton.blogspot.com/2012/04/google-apostasy-spreads-to-united.html and you will find great analysis at his site.

I am formally announcing my call to Protest the LDS Church’s misleading membership numbers by calling for a Mass Re-Resignation.  Yes, RE-resignation.

Former members can resend our information into Salt Lake, (even if you've already resigned previously).  The possible flood of extra, redundant paperwork should get SLC-LDS-COB attention.  That which costs them money gets their attention.  Until the church acknowledges our resignation in its reported numbers at conference and to census takers, I say we annually remind them that they mislead everyone about the membership, especially our family and friends.  A Re-Resignation Protest might bring more enlightenment to inactive members.  It could encourage those who left the church but never bothered to resign to join the protest and formally resign. Publicity about the church's unethical membership accounting could have impact on many, even providing Church Office Building employees job security amidst the lay offs in LDS-land.

The date of the protest could occur between May 19 – May 25, 2013 if there's enough support.  We could also hold it at the same time as the already planned first-timer's Mass Resignation on June 29.  Let's see how others respond to this call for protest and decide on a date.

Next year, if needed, we will move it to the same weekend they report the numbers in the April 2014 General Conference.

To resign or re-resign, please follow the instructions here.  And please add more ideas below and elsewhere this protest is announced.  I don't need to keep control or lead it.  It's for everyone!


 


36 comments:

  1. Sounds good. Is that Moab, UT?

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    1. Garden of the gods, Colorado Springs. One of my favorite haunting grounds. My gallery is in Manitou Springs, close by. Thanks.

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  2. You just get more lame as time goes on. This will do nothing to the church. Like a fly on a whale. You're pitiful!

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    1. BTW, you aren't this Steve Sorenson, are you?

      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steven-sorenson/1a/42/109

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    2. I didn't know that flys could be generally found on whales. Interesting...

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    3. Yeah, we'll see about that.

      Nice insult, by the way. You can always spot a "true" Christian by the insults/names they call others.

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    4. You shouldn't be worried about how pitiful this is. You should be worried about how dishonest, harmful, self seeking, and wealth obsessed the mormon church is and how YOU are defending it

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    5. Pathetic excuse for a response Steven, Mr. BYU Broadcasting man! Thank you David for posting this. Very inspiring. I will be re-resigning again.

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    6. Nice blow Steven, Mr. BYU Broadcasted man. Thank you David for posting this. I will re-resign again and again until they actually get it right.

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  3. Nice ad hominem, bro.

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    1. did you just learn that term or something? You seem a little gung hoe on using it.
      I don't see where it applies.
      Davids arguing about the methodology of counting members, where does he say anything about anyone's charachter?

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    2. Was directed at Steve S. Sorry for the confusion (forgot to hit reply).

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  4. Utah has one of the highest birth rates in US, and I believe it was around 18.2 in 2011 (you might want to check the latest from some .gov statistics site) so I'd say comparing the LDS church birth rate against the US average 13.7 IMHO is not proper.

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    1. "comparing the LDS church birth rate against the US average 13.7 IMHO is not proper."

      First of all, very little to almost none of the above analysis compares any birth rates. Second, if you want to increase the disparity between the children of record rate (8.3 per 1000 members) and the UT birth rate (you claim is 18.2), then the problems the LDS church is having is bigger than suspected. thanks.

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    2. That's right. If calculating the LDS church membership based on the Utah birth rate and the new children on the record the result falls around 6.7 million. If the membership is around 6.2-6.7 million it would be consistent with the death rate too, but would still lack those people that resign or have been excommunicated.

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  5. Pretty sure I was told that even if you die your records are still counted until you would be over 100. Wish I could remember the source as I may be wrong on this.

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    1. Found a halfway source: http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon268.html

      "Efforts to find the rest continue until the church receives a death notice or until the member would have reached the age of 110."

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  6. Start a Facebook page?

    --Silence Dogood

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  7. That's a brilliant idea! We resigned in February, but I'd do it again, and again, and again. Sounds like fun!!

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  8. Shaking head...hilarious! Really? Who the heck cares what the numbers are. People go get a real life!

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  9. Personally, I couldn't care less about statistics and whether or not they are skewed to make the church look better.

    One thing that DOES bother me, however, is purposefully annulling people's ordinances in a so-called "court of love." It's only you rebellious folk who ask to be taken out of the book of Life who should be thrust out of the kingdom. Although, I'll forgive you because I doubt you are in the situation you are because you're internally evil. It's more like you're hurt from being wronged by the church, are angry with all its falsehoods, and are trying to do something to help inspire the church to be more truthful.

    Therefore while I do not deem it wise to be asked to be taken out of the book of life, I'll respect your efforts in trying to get an imperfect church to become more perfect.

    So in closing: "Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do."

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    1. Most do not leave because they were wronged. The ex LDS I have been associated with left for doctrinal reasons. Yoi believe we left due to being wronged or offended bscause that's what the church h wants you to believe. My husband and I left at the most active time of our lives. Our first child was just baptized and we were very happy in our new ward. In fact Im still friends with the women that were at my daughter's baptism and she's now 15. The issues for us were all doctrinal. We even decided that we would only use evidence found directly from our own church leaders to leave. My husband was a RM multi generational member. I will pray for you. The freedom in Christ has done wonders in my life. I am secure in my relationship wifh Christ and secure in my eternity for the first time in my life. If i could i woild lend you my heart so you could feel what i feel, and the best part is it is backed up by the bible. God bless.

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    2. Well if a man or woman leaves because they are wronged by the church... I don't think that's un-rational. I do think people do do that. Why? Well because being wronged by the church leads you to realizing where the doctrinal issues are, and so you know the rest.

      The church would have you believe that it's perfect, and it's the members who are offended by perfection! This is not so. People are the church, therefore the church is only as perfect as the people are. If those in leadership therefore make mistakes, as HUMAN BEING DO, those of us at the bottom of the system suffer for their mistakes. It's terrible because they put all the load on us, telling us to take responsibility, when really it's they who are living in a Never Never Land of lies in claiming to perfection that does not exist.

      You know what? Go ahead and put all the guilt on me. This what what the Pharisees did to Christ... So what do I care if I also die for the church as he did?

      I too pray for your freedom, but I do not know how freedom will come. All I can say is that I know Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that he translated the Book of Mormon from plates of gold. The leaders of the church are apostles, but perhaps just much like Peter who frankly never seemed to understand what Christ was teaching him. John the Revelator was Jesus' best friend, but Peter was his special project that was difficult to work with! XD

      The church can say all it wants that Christ leads it, and not men. But I see far too much hypocrisy to support that claim. I'm honestly seeing Pharisees in them because they teach wearing suit and ties (fine apparel) makes them more holy. You know, that it invites the spirit and all. Well, frankly, the outward appearance can be lion poop for all I care. It's the heart that matters, and I'm not seeing a heart in the general authorities that is without hypocrisy.

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  10. The book of life? Or the church books.

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  11. Happy in Christ, you do realize that there are so many things in the Bible that do not make sense..right? You do realize that if you are following Christ, as in the Bible teachings, it is full of contradictions and it is obvious there is a lot that has been left out.

    Following any faith means just that, following in faith. No one is going to find a chruch they agree with 100%. The LDS faith is the only faith that can piece the puzzle together within 98% of making sense.

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  12. I left the church because I put my faith 100% in Jesus Christ Not in Joseph Smith. J. Smith teachings contradict what Jesus teaches in the bible. So for you who want to doubt Jesus and put your faith 100% in J.Smith, I will pray for you. Christ is the only way to God and Jesus teaches us that those who don't know the Father will not know him either. I pray that you will pick up the words of Jesus and read them and find the truth.

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  13. It seems that you are trying to take every bit of evidence you can to support an argument associated with anger, frustration, etc. Why?
    1) If you are so worried about resignation, why watch general conference to begin with? Possibly because you have some resentment against the church?
    2) Even if you do not believe in certain doctrinal parts of the gospel, why try so hard to draw attention to this matter? Are you doing the same for Baptists, Methodists, Muslims, Catholics, etc? I am sure that you do not believe in the doctrinal portions of all of those.

    My recommendation is this:
    1) Quit having so much hatred toward religious views. If you do not agree with the doctrine... so be it. One of the greatest gifts is free agency. However, I would advise you to spend less time trying to pick apart a religion that you publicly denounce and instead spend more time learning about why you believe what you currently believe. If you were as "happy" as you say, you would simply move on. Sorta of like your "ex" in high school. You never have really moved on as long as you keep what you are doing on.
    2) Quit trying to draw conclusions based on assumptions. The only facts that you have are death rates. Is it possible that the population of the "older" members of the church is lower than the younger to middle age members of the church? Is it possible that the birth rate for Latter Day Saints is higher? Is it possible that some of the people that "resign" do not actually "resign",but instead just quit going to LDS churches? If this is such a big deal to you, you should try to figure what the formula is before trying to draw conclusions yourself.
    3) Investigate these doctrines and your faith further. Why would it be so hard to believe the Book of Mormon, but not the Bible? Is our Heavenly Father not capable of both?
    4) Investigate whatever religion you are practicing. Are there doctrines there that are not supported within the Bible?
    5) If you have completely "resigned", why do you care so much about membership reporting, watching General Conference itself, and trying to draw/gather support from others?
    6) Quit reading "anti-mormonism". Have you really moved on from your ex-girl/boyfriend if you keep tabs on them to see what they are constantly doing/saying/dating?

    I hope that you would reconsider all that you are doing. If you are angry/frustrated/disagree with the church for whatever reason, I am sorry. However, the route you are going is not the answer to the problem. I understand that my words will likely not change your actions. However, I am at least pleased to know that you are still a believer in Jesus Christ. I wish you would spend as much time and effort bringing others to Christ as you do trying to draw negative attention to his church.

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    1. Sir, I mean no disrespect... But you simply DO NOT understand how hurtful it is to be wrongfully treated by the church. I have felt it to a lesser degree than what David here did, but let me tell ya... It's latched onto me like a leech and wants to suck all the life out of me to give to the world.

      How does one get over realizing that the church they had whole heartedly trusted, thought could do no wrong, does them wrong? How could ANYONE not have hard feelings, and not want to see the church brought to justice?

      Now I'm not saying this to say Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet, that the Book of Mormon isn't true. I believe in these things. All I'm saying is that you can rationalize all you want that the church is perfect, being guiding and directed by Christ and not men. But when rubber meets the road, I know what my heart is telling me. And it's telling me I've been wronged because the church has embedded into it subtle lies from the devil. Not a huge lie in that nothing the church says is true, but subtle little ones woven in within a great multitude of glorious truths that Satan uses to deter people away from the church for doctrinal issues.

      It took me to become weak, and then wronged by the church in my weakness to realize this. But I yet choose to hold on the best I can to the testimonies I have received, and look the best I can in the church for the good that may come out of it despite the evil that goes on therein.

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    2. Your argument has some validity in terms of why worry about other's religious beliefs. The problem is that it is not just a religious issue it is a political one. The Corp(church) has incredible economic and political power that it wields to the detriment of millions of people...that is just counting us in Utah. Despite PR of how they help the poor the poor in Utah are abused and their lives made worse on a daily basis by the church and its control of the political, economic, education and legal systems. The reason the Mormons were "persecuted" in the 19th Century East wasn't because of colorful theological beliefs it was because they were assholes who took over the economic and political apparatus of an area. Utah is a theocracy. I don't know if you are from Utah but please don't embarrass yourself by saying the church doesn't take a position...bla bla bla. This state is by far the most corrupt in the nation. Indictments are coming down and the gov. and lt. gov might not survive but yet the church goes on about pussies and dicks.

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  14. This is great information thank you! I havent resigned yet, but I may be including some legal documents with mine to ensure it is handled properly.

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  15. What about Daymon Smith's account of how even if removed from the official rolls that data is just transferred to another sector of their electronic universe? That when request is made their bishop is contacted about dirt on them and it is stored in case they try to re-enlist in another ward.

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  16. So much for the atonement if you have a file on you. I'd think if the spirt presided, you wouldn't get a calling that a "file" would prevent. Hmmm. I guess the same goes to tithing settlement. I guess the Lord needs paper proof of our actions.

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  17. Do us all a big favor and resign again -- just to make sure!

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  18. Great job, more at http://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comments/22ay4g/looks_like_god_didnt_hasten_the_work_very_much/

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