Recently, in my mailbox I received a 30 page "Church Memership Survey 2021". Although I'm no longer LDS, I'm still on their records, so I wasn't that shocked.. though I've never seen a survey like this before. The weird part, though, is that I asked my still-LDS brother about it and he said he'd never heard of such a thing.
The return address (prepaid return envelope) is a PO box for the LDS Church Correlation Department.
I'm just curious if anyone here has also received this survey or knows any back story.
My background, FWIW: I stopped believing in or attending the LDS church decades ago. Sometimes the local missionaries or elders quorum president would swing by to chat, and I would politely decline. One day they asked if I wanted them to keep coming by, and I said no, because I don't like to see people waste their time. Since then (5 years ago or so), I've had no contact with the lds church until this survey.
@CrispingPin I don't know if the survey has any highlights. The questions are pretty banal. Because I'm a nice person, I typed them up for you.
Stylistically, even the appearance of the forms reminds me of the IRS. The return address says it's from the Correlation Research Division-5th Floor.
The main thing I found interesting is that out of 77 questions, there was only one (#36) to indicate whether you actually considered yourself to be a member of the church. And question #37 is odd since this is a survey of "Church Members". Question #66 is the only other question I found interesting.
Some of these are fill in the blank, but most give multiple choice answers (which I'm not going to type out, because I'm not a masochist).
Questions (CAPS are from the original): HOUSEHOLD INFORMATION 1. How many people currently live in this house or apartment (including yourself)? 2. How are you related to the householder? RACE OR ETHNICITY 3. What is your race or ethnicity? EDUCATION 4. What is the highest degree or level of schooling you have COMPLETED? 5. Are you currently enrolled in school? EMPLOYMENT STATUS 6. What is your current employment status? 7. When did you last work, even for a few days? 8. IF CURRENTLY EMPLOYED with or without pay: Answer 9-12.... 9. LAST WEEK, where did you do most of your work for pay? 10. During the PAST 12 MONTHS, in the WEEKS WORKED, how many hours per week did you usually work each week? JOB ACTIVITY 11. What kind of work do you do at your current job? 12. What are your most important activities or duties at work? 13. Have you or anyone in your household lost employment income since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic? 14. How adequate is your current HOUSEHOLD income in meeting your basic needs and obligations? 15. Are you financially better off now than you were 1 year ago (in 2020), or are you financially worse off? HEALTH 16. Do you have a long-lasting physical, mental, or emotional condition that limits your activities? 17. IF YES: Does this condition(s) seriously limit you in any of the following ways? MARITAL STATUS 18. What is your current marital status? 19. How many times have you been married (including your current marriage)? FIRST MARRIAGE 20. IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN MARRIED: Answer questions 21-25 about your FIRST marriage... 21. What was the date of your FIRST wedding? 22. Was your spouse a member of the Church at the time of your FIRST marriage? 23. What type of wedding was your FIRST wedding? 24. Do you currently live with your FIRST spouse? 25. How did your FIRST marriage end? 26. IF YOU WERE DIVORCED OR WIDOWED: Answer questions 27-28 about the end of your FIRST marriage. 27. When did your FIRST marriage end? Or, when did your FIRST spouse die? 28. Did you ever remarry after your FIRST marriage ended? CURRENT OR MOST RECENT MARRIAGE 29. IF YOU HAVE BEEN MARRIED MORE THAN ONCE: Answer questions 30-35 about your most recent marriage. This may be your current marriage. 30. What was the date of your MOST RECENT wedding? 31. Was your spouse a member of the Church at the time of your MOST RECENT wedding? 32. What type of wedding was this? 33. Do you currently live with this spouse? 34. How did your MOST RECENT marriage end? 35. When did your MOST RECENT MARRIAGE end? Or, when did your MOST RECENT SPOUSE die? RELIGION 36. What religion do you consider yourself to be? 37. Were you ever baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? 38. BEFORE The COVID-19 PANDEMIC, how often did you attend Sunday religious services for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? 39. How often do you currently attend Sunday religious services or participate in church at home for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? CALLINGS 40. Do you currently have a ministering assignment? 41. Other than serving as a ministering brother or sister, do you have a ward or branch calling? 42. IF YES: What is your CURRENT principal calling in the ward or branch? 43. Do you have a stake calling? 44. IF YES: What is your CURRENT principal calling in the stake? TITHING 45. DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, did you pay any tithing in the Church? TEMPLE WORK 46. Have you received your endowment in a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? 47. Do you have a current temple recommend? 48. DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, did you do any temple work (baptisms, initiatories, endowments, or sealings)? FAMILY HISTORY WORK 49. DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, which of the following family history activities have you done? MISSIONARY WORK 50. Have you ever served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? 51. IF YES: How many missions have you served? 52. Did you serve a mission for the Church as a young single adult under age 30? 53. IF YES OR CURRENTLY SERVING: What type(s) of mission(s) did you serve as a young single adult under age 30? 54. Did you serve a mission for the Church as an adult age 30 or older? 55. Did you serve a mission as an adult age 30 or older with a spouse? 56. IF YES OR CURRENTLY-SERVING: What type(s) of mission(s) did you serve as an adult age 30 or older? 57. Are you planning to serve a proselyting, service, Church-service, or other mission for the Church in the future? 58. DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, which of the following missionary activities have you done? RELIGION AT HOME 59. DURING THE PAST 6 MONTHS, how often did you pray by yourself? 60. DURING THE PAST 6 MONTHS, how often did you study (or read or listen to) the scriptures by yourself? 61. IF YOU LIVE WITH OTHER PEOPLE: Answer questions 62-65... 62. DURING THE PAST 6 MONTHS, how often did you pray with others in your household? 63. DURING THE PAST 6 MONTHS, how often did you study (or read or listen to) the scriptures with others in your household? 64. DURING THE PAST 6 MONTHS, how often did you participate in family home evening with others in your household? 65. DURING THE PAST 6 MONTHS, how often did you have unplanned gospel discussions with others in your household? 66. How true are the following statements for you. *Statements below, each to be rated on a scale of "Not at all true of me" to "Totally true of me"* - My relationship with the Lord is an important part of my life. - The Holy Ghost is an important influence in my life. - I love God with all my heart. - I am willing to do whatever the Lord wants me to do. - Without religious faith, the rest of my life would not have much meaning. 67. How important to you are your personal religious beliefs? *Rated from 0 "Not Important" to 10 "Very Important" 68. WHEN YOU WERE AGE 16. Please answer the following questions about when you were age 16 (a sophomore or junior in high school). 69. Were you an active member of the Church when you were age 16? 70. What parents or parental figures did you usually live with when you were age 16? 71. What was the marital status of the parents you usually lived with when you were age 16? 72. Were the parents you lived with when you were age 16 active members of the Church? CARE OF GRANDCHILDREN 73. Do you have any of your own grandchildren or step-grandchildren under age 18 living in this house or apartment? 74. Are you currently responsible for most of the basic needs of any of the grandchildren or step-grandchildren under the age of 18 who live in this house or apartment? OTHER CAREGIVING 75. Do you currently provide unpaid assistance to someone who needs help taking care of themselves because of a DISABILITY, ILLNESS, or OLD AGE? (Do not count help given as part of a paid job). 76. How often do you spend time caring for someone because of DISABILITY, ILLNESS, or OLD AGE? 77. How is this person related to you?
*The subsequent 20 pages are to fill out similar info for other members of the household. I'm not typing all that out... you get the idea.*
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2021 02:10PM by lonerangeronatapir.
Someone might print this (and send it to TSCC- all FILLED OUT ["properly"], of course, or send it to me (I'll send you something in return, naturally). I know the answers they are looking for [and I'd ensure they'd have more].
Again, the most noteworthy thing about this survey is just the fact that they sent it to me. I have had zero contact with the LDS Church for years. I originally assumed they were sending this to everyone on their membership rolls, but apparently not.
I'm really curious as to anyone else who might have received it. Or am I just SPECIAL?
Thank you for the info and time you took to type the questions.
I agree the answer to those questions in nuna as in nuna your business.
About 30 years ago some relief society members came to my apartment. They were surveying every apartment wanting to know the names, ages, sex and religion of everyone in the apartment. I asked them why and they said the apartment management would not give the info to the church. I said good for them and shut the door on them.
About 15 years ago had a similar experience asking same questions. I told them I was a polygamist and couldn't possibly remember all my kids names.
I've never received the survey you're talking about. Based on the questions I think they are data mining. Looking for prospective members.
What is lacking is any question of what they can do to help.
Wait. That would only apply to a christ like organization. My bad!
But they did remind you that if you're working you need to pay them.
One cannot be blamed for wondering what the faithful mormon worker-bees who helped put this survey together think about it!
Are they all full-time employees? Are there any Service Mission people involved?
And given the OP's admitted (proudly!) lack of participation, what were the standards for deciding who would get the questionnaire? Sounds like a strictly random process...
I wonder what qualifications the church thought appropriate for those who will spend time collating/processing the responses, and especially those who will be 'interpreting the findings.
How can this not be interpreted as the adventures of a human organization with no divine contact trying to figure out how to make things work, given the body of evidence that exists and is growing that indicates it is a very flawed organization with a horrible past, a roiling present, and a very rich, but uncertain future.
How can this not affect the confidence/testimony of all those involved with this effort?
elderolddog, those are the kinds of questions that I find myself asking as well.
"How can this not be interpreted as the adventures of a human organization with no divine contact trying to figure out how to make things work, given the body of evidence that exists and is growing that indicates it is a very flawed organization with a horrible past, a roiling present, and a very rich, but uncertain future."
BTW, On the survey cover page they say "Your information is completely confidential and will be combined with the results of other members to create a general profile of Church members and their families. Your participation in this survey is important, but voluntary. By removing this front page all the information you provide will be confidential." So ostensibly this is an exercise in general data gathering rather than spying on an individual, unless some of the encoding on the self-addressed return envelope contains an ID (now I'm being paranoid). There is an online version of the survey, but to access that you have to use a unique access code, so that's presumably not anonymized data.
So on the one hand, if "The Church" (as if there aren't other churches of Jesus Christ on this planet) is just trying to gather general data to figure out what's going on with its members, good for them. Not exactly the actions of an organization claiming to be led by divine inspiration, but we'll let that slide. On the other hand, is gathering information from someone like me even relevant or helpful data?
As for the general intrusiveness.... yeah, of course. But when I compare it with the intrusiveness I remember as an LDS youth, this doesn't even hold a candle. Confessing to some non-family adult man how often I masturbate, or what I was doing with which parts of some girl's anatomy (and under the clothes or over the clothes--that detail was important I remember)... yeah, THAT was intrusive.
Knowing when you were married, divorced, widowed, and each additional marriage. Added to mission information. Added to work duties and employment questions. Topped with race and ethnicity and a tithe payer or not and you really believe they can't figure out who you are?
Then add the same info for each household member and it's a guarantee they know you.
Add the postmark from the returned envelope for added paranoia.
The church of lies and deceit and subterfuge (LDS) can surely be trusted.
I think the main purpose of the survey is to get members to think about question #66. The other questions seem very irrelevant. Also, doesn't each member have a file that contains most of the information requested by the survey? Certainly whether or not a member holds a temple recommend is recorded in their file.
66. How true are the following statements for you. *Statements below, each to be rated on a scale of "Not at all true of me" to "Totally true of me"* - My relationship with the Lord is an important part of my life. - The Holy Ghost is an important influence in my life. - I love God with all my heart. - I am willing to do whatever the Lord wants me to do. - Without religious faith, the rest of my life would not have much meaning.
I'm pretty sure that during the pandemic LDS Inc. lost its grip on the sheeple who were getting a little too comfortable falling out of the church routine and almost constant church indoctrination and surveillance. Now the 15 need to find a way to bring them back to the crazy thinking patterns of worrying if the holy ghost is an important part of their life and if they will do whatever the lord asks them to do. When I was a member "the church" indoctrination that made me ponder those questions almost drove me batty. They are the crazy-making, cognitive dissonance, mental manipulation questions "the church" likes to ask - questions that allow them to control your brain.
Thank you so much for posting the survey. Reading it makes me happy I broke free.
I am pretty certain they didn't do this in-house. Looks like they hired a professional polling firm. These are carefully worded questions. It wasn't Bednar spitballing with some suck-up wannabe GA down in the IT department.
As for privacy, I expect they are good for their word on that one, that the data will be used in aggregate form so no individual information can be gleaned. Not that I trust their integrity. I do trust their fear of getting their socks sued off.
If they used the information to, say, release ward and stake leaders who did not give sufficiently "faithful" answers, al it would take is one disgruntled insider to blow the whistle, and all sorts of legal hell would break loose.
LDS Inc can't be sued for internal policies and actions unless they actually violated existing law. They can refuse membership to anyone for any reason or no reason. They can refuse to marry anyone for any reason or no reason. They can deny one a temple recommend for any reason or no reason. You can't go to court and sue them over any of that.
It is unlikely that you can go to court and win a case for fraud, though various people (Kay Burningham, Tom Phillips, now James Huntsman) have tried. I say unlikely rather than impossible, because courts sometimes surprise us as societal attitudes change over time.
However, if LDS Inc promises in writing that a survey will not be used to glean information about specific individuals, and it is caught violating that, you can bet your bippy that you can sue for that, and win. They know it, and they know a court could render a judgment that could sting even for an organization with a $100 billion asset pile, especially now that the world knows about said pile.
One disgruntled insider could cause all that. Courts get very cranky about violating privacy guarantees, especially ones that were put in writing.
They may not have any integrity, but rest assured they are risk-averse, and using a questionnaire like this to go after individual members is a risk they would not take. The Bednars and the BKPs of Mormondom might be dumb enough to try, but Kirton-McConkie lawyers would have a nuclear melt-down if they heard about it.
It's got nothing to do with trusting them, except to trust they (specifically, their law firm) can do risk-reward analysis, and whatever small reward they might get from reverse-analyzing questionnaires to find dirt on individual members is not worth the immense exposure they would have if they got caught.
It would be worse than a sex abuse case. At least there they could claim (whether true or not) that there were a few bad apples that managed to get by their rigorous screening. Here it would clearly be an institutional decision to use the questionnaire to go after individual members, and that after explicitly telling the members that would not happen, setting up an explicit expectation of privacy.
Not only would it jeopardize their billions, the worldwide publicity would be devastating. Members would leave. People who follow the news would never trust them again, and certainly the news organizations themselves follow the news, and hence would never trust them again.
They're going to risk that to demote some bishop's counsellor in East Kankakee, MI?
It only took one disgruntled person to blow the lid on their $100 billion fund. It would only take one employee who was assigned to match questionaires and people to bust that. Or one stake president (who would have to know why there was a secret directive coming down from HQ to release someone in East Kankakee) who took offense at being forced to participate in something he would surely recognize as illegal activity.
We all see how terrified hospitals are of HIPAA violations. FERPA law for education is similarly terrifying. Privacy law has very serious teeth. I was on university committees that had to deal with FERPA up close and personal. Being in a room with lawyers and tape recorders tends to focus your attention. Such cases are taken very seriously.
The original poster says they are no longer LDS, but are still on their records. I am not sure what this means. It's like saying that you are divorced, but that neither marriage partner has filed any divorce papers.
It looks like the OP is still a church member who still needs to either officially resign their membership or request excommunication before being "no longer LDS" can happen. As far as the church is concerned, the OP is still a church member. This means that the church still has a right to have some expectations of the OP when it comes to how this church member lives their lives, and the church even has a right to contact the OP to ask for things. The OP is not being honest with the church because that relationship has not ended as far as the church knows and the church has a right to have some expectations from those who claim to be church members. And like with the example of a marriage, I have difficulty seeing what benefit exists to either the church or this church member to maintain this relationship while claiming that the relationship no longer exists. This is okay if the OP doesn't really want to resign. But to be clear, it appears that the OP really is a church member who apparently still has not decided yet to leave the church.
Since there is a prepaid return envelope, collect a few days of junk mail, stuff it in the envelope after making sure to remove your name and address and send it to them. You get added points for sending them shredded junk mail.