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Posted by: ray ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 07:48AM

I realize there are many exmormons who have a story to tell about being a missionary and later losing faith in Mormonism,and as a result actually post and lurk here.

What type of percenatge of former or current mormon missionaires will become exmormons or simply lose belief in the religion they once spent two years away fom home to sell and preach with mixed success?

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Posted by: behindcurtain ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 07:50AM

Ten. They all lose at least some belief.

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Posted by: neveragain82 ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 08:18AM

I don't know if there is a statistic for your question. I had three brothers, all three served missions, and two have left the church. So I could see a statistic of 2/3.

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Posted by: epsynonia ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 08:50AM

I have 5 brothers - three of whom served missions. The three are still active in the church (one more than 20 years later) as is my father who also served a mission more than 45 years ago, my spouse also served almost 25 years ago and is tbm as they come. The two who did not - are not. Then there's me - never wanted to serve a mission, and after 40+ years of BIC activity is a non-believer . . .

I would say, serving a mission doesn't necessarily preclude losing your testimony, nor being an active member for the rest of your life either.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 08:45AM

In reading books on cult programming it's clear that followers who sacrifice long hours and resources to the organization's goals usually become more loyal and steadfast, not less.

RMs on RfM are the exceptions more than the rule. The morg is hemoraging members because of the internet and other factors. But I would estimate that missions are not the major impetus for the drain.

We can all look back on times and situations when we put our doubts on the shelf or wavered in faith but did not leave. I would think that missionaries would have many of these experiences during their service since everything in their lives focused on church at that time. These missionary doubts can add up later and contribute to leaving, but if missionaries' testimonies were reglarly destroyed during their missions, more of them would man up and go home early.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 09:08AM

I don't know the exact numbers, but I have heard in a church training meeting that right after a mission is the most common time for men to leave the church. We were trying to figure out why, and what we could do in our stake to nullify this trend.

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Posted by: oddcouplet ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 10:15AM

I've heard that about 40% of RMs leave the church within a few years of returning, but that seems high to me.

Clearly, the main purpose of the mission program is to help retain the missionaries. But as behindcurtain says above, it is very common to lose belief in some way during the course of a mission.

This may actually be part of the psychology of retention that underlies the program: Missionaries are put in a position where they are likely to doubt or even to disbelieve completely, but they are still compelled to spend hours each day telling people that "I know the church is true." Therefore, while missionaries are certainly victims of the church's deception, they also become perpetrators who will have a hard time changing their stated position without also feeling and implicitly acknowledging their guilt as perpetrators. And many people -- especially Mormons -- are trained to do almost anything to avoid feeling or seeming guilty.

This fits naturally into the church's history. It has always used deception as one of its main tools: from JS's founding lies, to the well-orchestrated deceptions to protect polygamy, to the transparent whoppers that come from the PR department today, and which don't fool anyone except those who either wish to be fooled or who know virtually nothing about Mormonism. Much like Communism or other totalist systems, the Mormon intellectual tradition is perfectly comfortable with jettisoning objective truth when a manipulative lie will better serve its purposes.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 10:22AM

The problem is the church wants to use the missions as a way to cement the loyalty of the missionaries, but when it comes to actually spending the money to do so, they fall short. How many of those 40 percent would have stayed, had they not constantly had the money their parents were paying to house and feed them, spent on mansions for the mission presidents instead?

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Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 10:30AM

oddcouplet Wrote:
> I've heard that about 40% of RMs leave the church within a few years of returning, but that seems high to me.

The 40% figure comes (unofficially) from the church itself.

A few years ago someone posted here that they had a relative who was working at the MTC. This relative had said that staff there had been instructed to do everything they could to "strengthen testimonies" of the missionary trainees, because "40% of them would otherwise eventually leave the church." (Not necessarilly soon after returning, but eventually.)

I was skeptical about that figure, or that the church would admit it, even to staff.

A few months later at an Exmormon conference I was introduced to a young RM who had just left the church. I asked him what he thought about that 40% claim. He replied, "Oh yeah, we were told that!" - that when he was in the MTC the missionaries had all been warned with the same statement, and the same 40% figure.

So I assume that it is a figure that is believed by MTC authorities (and the GAs?).

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Posted by: elcid ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 10:30AM

Well in my immediate family there were three missionaries (including me). Two of the three are essentially "out".

In my own family there have been three missionaries (me, my son, and my daughter on a mission right now). Again, 2 of 3 are essentially "out".

Now that's all I know.

If I had to guess, I'd say that 50-60% of those who serve will go inactive or stop believing or resign from the church, from this time forward.

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Posted by: JL ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 10:35AM

I don't know the exact percentage, but at least half of the missionaries I met on my mission are inactive. One of them even denies he has ever been a member at all.

The ones that stay active are mostly in Utah and Idaho.

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Posted by: caedmon ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 11:36AM

If the 40% figure is accurate, that means there is a 60% retention rate - better than the 10-30% retention rate for converts. Considering that the mishie or the mishie's family pay the expenses (and I suspect the church skims off their cut for MP expenses), that is a pretty sweet business model.

Minimal financial outlay = 60% likelihood of creating a life-time tithe payer.

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Posted by: nomoe ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 02:13PM

found a fellow RM from my mission on here..

that makes about 4-5 I know of from my mish

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Posted by: dazed11 ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 02:41PM

I don't know of anyone from my mission that has gone inactive. It is hard to tell though just from the little facebook interaction I have with most of them. There is one missionary I am pretty sure went inactive because he told his companion while still on his mission that he couldn't wait to go home so he could quit going to church. I am not in contact with him at all though since I never knew him that well.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 04:15PM

I've had 9 nephews and a step son go on missions. Everyone of them are still active.

Most of them are still in their 20's, so it could change down the road.

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Posted by: Mårv Fråndsen ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 06:51PM

5 missionaries (one sister), 2 left.

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 07:06PM

Of the missionary companions that I've kept in touch with, all have stayed active (as far as I can tell from FB). I lost touch several of them but I'm sure one is inactive - because she hated our MP and said if he ever became a GA, she'd leave the church because she'd know it wasn't true. He became a GA a few years ago and knowing her, she was already out. Of course, we are talking sister missionaries here. They may have a better retention rate.

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Posted by: Mormoney ( )
Date: July 19, 2012 07:10PM

On my mission we had a visiting GA and he told all us missionaries that half of us would eventually go inactive. That scared me so i promised myself I would never go inactive. Oops, look at me now. Not just inactive... OUT! I now view his speech to us as manipulative.

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