Subject: Doubling baptism numbers...
Date: Jul 07 18:18 2004
Author: dunked

Did you know that the Hinckley challenged yearly baptism numbers to double back in 1999? The profit has spoken. I wonder if his "admonition" or prophecy has come true since he gave it.

Here's the GC speech:

And comments from Oaks:

Subject: Nope. Baptism numbers have decreased since then.
Date: Jul 07 18:31
Author: Stray Mutt

Convert baptisms per year as reported in the church's annual statistical reports:

1999 - 306,171
2000 - 273,973
2001 - 292,612
2002 - 283,138
2003 - 242,923

Yea, the Prophet hath spoke.

Subject: Of course the numbers have decreased.....
Date: Jul 07 18:57
Author: mckay

.., the members have failed the Prophet. If the faithful had:

Paid more tithing
Drank less green tea
Been more obedient to the Church leaders
Been more humble
And so forth and so forth

Then the Prophet could have had his wish fulfilled, but no, the people have failed.


Subject: So much for the members following his prophetic counsel.
Date: Jul 07 19:08
Author: Thinking soul

In Oak's article he refers to "President Hinckley's Challenge"

"President Hinckley has called us to make a concerted effort to double the number of converts who are currently being baptized each year. “The big initial task,” he said, “is first to find interested investigators.” To do that, he said, we must join in what he called the “better way”:

“That [better] way is through the members of the Church. Whenever there is a member who introduces an investigator, there is an immediate support system. …

“The full-time missionaries may do the actual teaching, but the member, wherever possible, will back up that teaching with the offering of his home to carry on this missionary service. He will bear sincere testimony of the divinity of the work. He will be there to answer questions when the missionaries are not around. He will be a friend to the convert who is making a big and often difficult change.” 3

That is an inspired insight and a prophetic challenge!"

Yet members do not truly heed his message to fellowship the new members over the long-term as was also mentioned as necessary to retain new members. In my personal experience, when I first joined 2 years ago, I was "love-bombed" and the missionaries and one particular member family answered my endless questions appearing happy to do so.

But that all changed when less than 6 months later I finally came across something that I could not just dismiss with their silly circular logic memorized responses. I had see a video by IRR about the truth behind the Book of Abraham and how it was just a funeral heiroglyph and not a Egyptian story about the Creation of the Earth. I told the kindly member family that they could have their quad scriptures back and I would be resigning shortly.

From that point on, the member family that had been fellowshipping me in a wonderful way, backed up and has kept distance from me ever since. Lucky for the Church, an elderly couple stepped in and tried to comfort my doubts by having me read Hugh Nibley's apologetics and the couple just in general tried to make me feel loved and innocently lost almost to be overtaken by Satan. So, I got scared and timid and didn't resign.

But, the thing that has always bothered me is that the member family that converted me (introduced me to the Church) backed away once I stood up and didn't accept the BoA problem. Infact, I've since asked them why they don't return my calls and answer my questions I leave on their voice mail, and they say, "Because you have your agency and will do what you want".

So, they like many other TBMs have rationalized that us apostates fall away because of our own doing, when in reality, as GBH says, many more would stay and not get caught up in the strangeness if members would fellowship them more and longer.

Hey, there loss, I'm not complaining. Just noting they don't follow his own better than nothing counsel.

Subject: And a major stumbling block...
Date: Jul 07 19:21
Author: Stray Mutt that faithful Mormons -- the ones most likely to do whatever the brethren ask -- are so busy with church stuff that they have no time to develop friends outside the LDS circle. So their attempts to spread the gospel come across as clumsy and artificial.

Besides, after generations of teaching the Saints that spending time with gentiles might cause you to become infected with bad habits, sinful attitudes and anti-Mormon propoganda, Mormons keep nonmembers at arm's length.

Subject: As if TBMs need more things to do and more stress in their lives...
Date: Jul 08 04:15
Author: Lorraine Hewlett

trying to get more people to join the church. On my gosh! What will life be like as this admonition ripples from the top down. There will be more nazi Mission presidents, more nazi stake mission leaders, more nazi zone leaders, etc. etc.

More women on Prozac .... to handle the stress...

They will have to double the number of missionaries if they want to pull that off....

Keep us informed of the effects of that admonition on the ordinary rank and file. They will probably just ignore it, in order to survive. Take the beating at General Conference, Regional Conference, Stake Conference, Ward Conference, take the Prozac and go on....

Subject: More telling statements from these talks...
Date: Jul 07 19:31
Author: x-ela

"Does he know all there is to know about the Church? No, of course not. He is constantly learning, and with that learning is a growing enthusiasm.

He is excited about what he has found. He is eager to receive the higher blessings of the temple. His testimony has become strong and secure within less than a year’s time. I believe he is a 100 percent convert, and his enthusiasm is contagious. We need more of this kind, and we need many more to work with them."

Well, that's because he hasn't been through the temple yet. Oh, and enthusiasm is the real measure of one's "conversion".

"Strengthening New Members

Having found and baptized a new convert, we have the challenge of fellowshipping him and strengthening his testimony of the truth of this work."

So the real focus of the LDS church is not a testimony of Christ, just that the "church is true." Truth about what? I don't know, but it is true.

One older man in a ward of mine said, "You know what's so great the gospel? That it's true."

Oh. And what's so great about that?

Subject: Yet another contradiction.....
Date: Jul 07 20:47
Author: Randy J.

So Hinckley was saying in 1999 that he wanted convert baptisms to double?

But then just a couple of years ago, we read articles about how the missionary effort was going to begin going after "quality baptisms" rather than quantity. They sent apostles to the Phillipines and Chile to clean up the situations. One mission in Chile just a year or so ago reported having 90% fewer baptisms than the year before, but they were supposedly of better "quality."

And there were 40,000 fewer convert baptisms worldwide in 2003 than there were in 2002, and about 5,000 fewer missionaries in the field. Poor GBH would do better to just keep his mouth shut, rather than voicing unattainable goals or false prophecies.

Subject: Baptisims vs. Convert Baptisims
Date: Jul 08 08:22
Author: austinapostate

See, there is the difference...I'm sure the church will spin those bad numbers by saying that there are less baptisims now, BUT, those that are being baptized are true converts...ugh!

My first taste of the numbers game that is a mission was in the MTC. At the devotionals (read: pep rally) the president of the MTC, President Durant, would ask the assembled body "What is the purpose of your mission?" And we would all shout back "TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF CONVERT BAPTISIMS!" It was like a Hitler Youth rally. It's surreal to picture it now, but from that moment on, I realized that I was a cog in the machine, being used to up the numbers, not to change peoples lives. I played the game well, but in Latin America, the numbers game was easy....too easy.

Subject: The Creed of God's Army(aka mishies)
Date: Jul 08 13:30
Author: bapizing goon

The US Marines say "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em"

The mishies say "Baptize 'em all and let the ward sort 'em"

Subject: Part of the problem
Date: Jul 08 09:04
Author: okgivens

The word is that most Mormon baptisms come through member referrals. The reality is that most active Mormons live in a rather small geographic area in the Intermountain West. These areas are not very ripe for further Mormon convert baptisms. The mission field is where the opportunity is, and the great majority members in the mission field are inactive. That puts the major burden of missionary work on a small number of active members scattered outside of the Intermountain West. There is no way this small group of people, already overburdened with church work, is going to have the time or the inclination to do missionary work or have meaningful relationships with non-members. There are very few true believers in the mission field. The concentration of Mormonism in the Mountain West does not help Mormons as they try to expand into the rest of the world. The reality is that people in the mission field get burned out really quickly when they are constantly asked to do work that people in the Intermountain West are essentially avoiding.

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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