Skip to comments.'Spiritual Olympics' Series (S.O.S.): A Glimpse of Mormonism Around the Globe [Vanity]
Posted on 08/11/2012 8:00:00 AM PDT by Colofornian
The apostle Paul -- and other Biblical men of God who constructed the New Testament -- at times used athletic words and analogies of the day. James used the word "swift" (James 1:19); John talked about overcoming (1 John 5:4); and the apostle Paul wrote about exercise (1 Tim. 4:7); wrestling (Eph. 6:12); striving (within preparation boundaries) (2 Tim. 2:5), and running a race (1 Cor. 9:24).
The author of Hebrews also discussed the need to "lay aside every weight" (Heb. 12:1). The Greek word for "weight" -- ogkos -- was a burden or something heavy or cumberson enough that it could impede a runner from running his race as he might.
Certainly, legalistic "religion" -- "religion" that goes beyond simple devotion to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 11:2-4) -- can lead to somebody embracing "another Jesus" (2 Cor. 11:3-4) -- a "Jesus" is who isn't the Real One.
Perhaps the legalism as such a burdensome "weight" can explain how..."census data from some foreign countries...show that the retention rate" for Mormon converts to be "as low as 25 percent. (Source: Special report -Mormonism besieged by the modern age [Lds church is hemorrhaging in member losses])
Mormon Sociologist Armand Mauss concluded: "75 percent of foreign [LDS] converts are not attending church within a year of conversion. In the United States, 50 percent of the converts fail to attend after a year." And, per Cumorah.com, "This postbaptismal attrition is heavily front-loaded. Elder Dallin H. Oaks noted that 'among those converts who fall away, attrition is sharpest in the two months after baptism,' and missionaries report being told in the MTC" [Missionary Training Center] "that up to 80 percent of inactivity occurs within two months of baptism. In some parts of Latin America, 30 to 40 percent of new converts do not even return to church after baptism to be confirmed."
Source: LDS Church Growth, Member Activity, and Convert Retention: Review and Analysis: Chapter IV-06: Member Activity and Convert Retention
With athleticism being a key "filter" of late with the London Olympics, a series of questions worth delving into at this Olympic season: Who are the Mormons? Who are the American Mormons? And who are the international Mormons? Are some American and international Mormons "exiting" their "spiritual Olympics" trials prematurely? Is this primarily due to discovering Lds history and carefully examining Mormon theological claims? What are some of the reasons for the extremely low Mormon retention rates in other countries?
Well, this S.O.S. -- Spiritual Olympics Series -- seeks to address some of these questions.
Last month, the Salt Lake Tribune ran a piece, Brazil mystery: Case of the missing Mormons (913,045 of them, to be exact), by Peggy Fletcher Stack (July 16, 2012).
The following day, a poster at the New Order Mormon.org forum commented on the Trib piece: "I'm sorry, but I just had to call out the ridiculousness of the church's response to the 913,045 member discrepancy between the number of Brazilian members the church claims (1,138,740) and the number of self-identified Mormons on the"  "Brazilian census (225,695)..."A spokesman for the [LDS] "church said, 'A good indicator for membership growth and activity in any area can be found in the construction of meetinghouses and temples'. Um, no. How about 'a good indicator for membership growth and activity' is ACTUAL membership growth and activity rates? Don't distract by saying, 'we're still building stuff, so therefore we must be growing!' Please. Chaps my hide." [Source: New Order Mormon.org, Brazil Mystery: Case of the Missing Mormons]
That forum post at New Order Mormon then led to at least four past Lds missionaries to Brazil chiming in as to why Mormon converts are not readily being retained in that country:
Sources for quotes below are the New Order Mormon Web forum: Brazil Mystery: Case of the Missing Mormons
New Order Mormon ex-missionary to Brazil #1
New Order Mormon ex-missionary to Brazil #2
New Order Mormon ex-missionary to Brazil #3
New Order Mormon ex-missionary to Brazil #4
|"The census is just saying that the mormon self-identification rate in Brazil is ~20%. I served my mission in Brazil within the last decade. And it wouldn't surprise me if some of those self-reported mormons in the census are also inactive, and the activity rate is even lower. Admittedly, my evidence is only anecdotal, having only passed through a handful of wards and branches in the middle of nowhere, but the ward lists were enormous compared to the relatively small number who showed up on Sunday. And the vast majority of people I saw baptized quickly stopped attending." (Kneefights, July 17, 2012)||"I also served in Brazil (although more than a decade ago), and I would add that the culture there is a little different in respect to religion. The people in general are a lot more spiritual (or you could say superstitious), but most of them have very little commitment to hierarchical organizations. This means that missionaries giving emotional experiences are able to have great numbers of converts, but once someone is baptized, making them loyal to the coorperation is VERY HARD. Getting the people to say that they believe in the stories of the Book of Mormon is pretty easy, but making them attend church even when they say that they believe is hard. It's just a different culture. I very rarely ran across any athiests, skeptics, or non-christians while in Brazil. Most people were willing to believe pretty fantastic stories about religion without any doubt (or very little doubt). Most people I knew believed very strongly in black magic and other various folk magics. It wasn't much of a stretch that Joseph Smith saw an angel and transalated an ancient record. That wasn't out of the ordinary.I met people all the time that claimed to have seen something supernatural.The reason (I believe) that the LDS church isn't growing as fast as other denominations in Brazil is that it is too "North American" and too conservative. It isn't as emotional and magical as many of the other faiths. The Mormonism of the early church (Joseph Smith era) would flurish MUCH MORE in Brazil." (True Believer, July 17, 2012)||"I served in Brazil as well. I left for the MTC almost 13 years ago. I served in one ward that had over 900 members on the books, with a weekly attendance of about 60. 600 of those members were baptized by one elder, years previous." (Babajaga, July 17, 2012)||"I served in Brazil. I believe up through the 90s there were a ton of soccer baptisms - kids just rounded up after a soccer game and baptized just for numbers. There was never any attendance or conversion. We didn't do that in my time, but we were still pressured to pressure the investigators to get baptized way before they were ready. It wasn't uncommon to have 10 times as many inactives as actives in a ward. Ward sizes were typically very small (in activity), maybe 50-70 members. I'm not surprised at all." (Stimpson, July 18, 2012)|
At the same forum link above, New-orderMormon chimed in: "Chile, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, etc....It's the same story in every developing country. I'm glad it's starting to get some traction out there, but it's been a numbers sham for years."
Almost a decade ago, it was reported: "Protestant groups have been more successful than Latter-day Saints in mobilizing missionaries outside of the United States, especially in Asia. There are over 44,000 Protestant missionaries from India, with 60% serving domestically and 40% serving abroad. Within the next few years, India is expected to surpass the United States as the leading sender of Protestant and Evangelical missionaries! There are only 52 LDS missionaries serving in all of India, with only a fraction being native missionaries."
Source: The Fastest Growing Church in the World?
In Sweden, Mormonthink.com reported that "Apostasy within the LDS Church seems to be among the highest in Sweden with many LDS members questioning their beliefs, including several high-ranking LDS leaders. In order to help these struggling members in Sweden, the LDS Church issued a document called 'The Swedish Rescue'."
Source: The Swedish Rescue
Fortunately, in the UK, where the Olympics have been hosted, UK Partnerships for Christ has a blog ministry Mormon outreach: Mormonism Investigated UK
One of the recent blog entries this Web site ran was: The Great Apostasy? By Vicky Gilpin (Aug. 6, 2012) [Scroll down from top]
It also ran a multi-part testimony of former Mormon Chris Ralph, who had been Lds in the UK for over 35 years.
* Sources where at best, only 25% of Lds converts are being retained...
* How in Brazil, the discrepancy between the 2010 Brazilian census and the Lds church record for Mormons is over 80%!!! (Almost a million off!)
* Even when you get to the 200,000+ Brazilians who do deem themselves "Mormon," their inactivity rate is high, leaving just a "pittance" matching Lds claims.
* In Sweden, the Lds church had to issue a "Swedish Rescue" paper to try to stave off mass apostasy -- some occurring among its top leadership.
* In India, the Lds church as of circa 2003, only had 52 missionaries in this -- one of the most populous nations of the world. [Note also that the Lds are hardly represented in THE most populous nation, China; and its history of racism led to not even attempting to Mormonize Africa for a century and a half]
* Ministries to Mormons are also popping up in the UK.
You like that Obama guy over the Mormon, don’t you?
No he’s pulling for someone else who doesn’t have a chance. Of course if you won’t vote for Romney because he’s Morman, it’s the same as voting for the muslim dictator.
They are the same! "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!"
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."
You unprincipled conservatives are just going to drop your principles a little more and do like the democrats and vote two or three times for Romney.
(a) Do you have some "Magic 8-ball" or some peepstone -- some Mormon rock (what they call a Mormon urim & thummim) -- that allows you to get an "exact" reading once a "Christian" has been 100% "filled" with pride? How are you able to judgmentally determine the inward nature of complete strangers? (Enough to pronounce public judgment of them, anyway?)
(b) So you -- thru the above type of devices or some other means -- carry the omniscient power to determine who is -- or isn't a "Christian?"
(c) And the bottom-line question about how you seem to perfectly 'refute' yourself: If you're apparently -- allegedly -- so "down" on others who "judge" others...If you "frown" upon this...pray tell, why are you openly judging others with your tagline? Are you not "guilty" of the very charge you accuse others with? If you were truly averse to judgmentalism, wouldn't you run the exact opposite direction to avoid being linked to judging others?
ALL: Isn't this the height of religious hypocrisy on display by Loud Mime, whose very moniker selected is a contradiction in itself?
A winner only took till post #2 to make it about the poster not the information.
Standing on God's Word vs. bowing to the godless. Who has the better chance?
Romney because hes Morman, its the same as voting for the muslim dictator.
Not so - Only in your deceived fearful mind.
You seem convinced a Mormon bishop doesn't have 'dictates'. People suffer because of a lack of knowledge.
Yet, you appear to have zero problem with Mormonism which is by its very nature and foundation anti-Christian.
As an aside, you do realize that making accusatory replies to a person in the religion forum about their mind set is in fact pride-filled and judgmental - right?
It's the only thing he ever posts, it's way past being old, it's obsessive, divisive, flame bait.
Since he's had to have his own thread pulled because of the flame fest, you think he might learn?
Maybe he likes dividing FR, agenda maybe?
I understand that some people think that, it’s easy stay off the religion forum threads if it bothers you.
Exposure of Mormonism has been going on since before 2002, for some reason it just now seems to be an issue.
Some of these threads are pulled not because of the poster, but because those who are angry about the exposure of Mormonism.
Enjoy the flame war.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Then you may not have realized that this post is in the religion forum.
To avoid them, just click on news and not everything.
(OK, I said I wouldn't include you in a ping, but if you're going to come into a thread I've started, engage in deception, then somebody has to hold you accountable...If you're going to engage in DIShonor, then you've forfeited any right to be 100% treated with "honor"...)
So for the record: There was a near 500-post thread that was removed this week...that was NOT "my" thread...I didn't post it...I didn't remove it...the false rumor that I somehow had anything to do with the posting of that thread was a repeat false accusation made at least three times on that thread by NoGrayZone, for which he/she/ -- "it" as 'GrayZone likes to say -- apologized on that very thread for spreading that false information...now YOU are repeating that false information...for which, you, too, need to apologize...
ALL: Note these sources of false information...and know what kind of lack of credibility emerges from them...They are untrustworthy souls in almost anything they may utter...
But, ALL, let's give a round of "applause" to certain posters here...for providing a "platform" as to why hell exists: All of our very sins have this capability of being "passed on" -- deception embraced by others as "truth." (That's why Jesus' brother, James, said the tongue was like a spark that could start a forest fire).
It doesn't take much these days for people to open their mouths and their keyboards to express false information. And when others take it up and hang on to such deception even for life, worst deceptions than what we've seen here can become adhesive on others for eternity!
RM, I’ll be extra diligent to apply post #13 to myself for the remainder of this thread...hopefully, I won’t feel any need to ping the same poster again...(there are other posters here who could try to “set things straight” if the need arises)...
Who will stand by Isral, the Mormon or the muslim? DUH!
Study Mormonism and find out who, where and what Mormonism teaches about Israel and the Jews.
Their job is to 'appear' good. Evil uses whatever he can to deceive.
Who will stand by Isral, the Mormon or the muslim? DUH!
GOD DOES!! as It is Written DUH!
Why are you pinging me to this thread? I have made no comment on it.
I had no idea the other thread was pulled because I had moved on to better things.
Yes, I made a mistake (not your “false information” in which sounds like I did it on purpose) in stating you started the other thread, and I publicly apologized for it.
However, I only said it once, not “at least three times”. Gosh, talk about being untrustworthy.
Again, why ping me to this thread of yours? Not enough “comments” for your liking?
Today is a day of celebration.....Paul Ryan, wooohooo!
I do not intend to diminish my good mood with your hatred of Mormons.
P.S. I am only responding to you to be polite. It’s a good day for America!
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