New almanac offers look at the world of Mormon membership

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Missionaries at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. There are several training centers located worldwide. Photo courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Missionaries at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. There are several training centers located worldwide. Photo courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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(RNS) A 1,900-page, two-volume survey of the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just been issued. The almanac is considered unprecedented in its scope and resources.

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  • The 4.5 million number is also supported by doing a comparison based on birth rate. If they really did have 15 million members then there would be many more children of record added every year.

  • Richard Moscrop


    It’s unfortunate that you don’t know what your talking about. You sound like you’re prejudiced against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You remind me of the scripture that says “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge.”

  • Richard Moscrop

    David Post,

    By what you said in your post you have revealed that you know nothing about actuarial figures and population growth. Please benefit us all by getting a little knowledge about a subject before you write about it. You remind me of the old Proverb that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  • Jessica

    Richard, in reading this article and then the responses. All you do it tear others down, while not producing any of your own thoughts. You just wasted 2 minutes of my life.

  • Bethany Foster

    Current membership is based on baptism records of the living, not birth/death records. Children are given the choice to be baptized at age 8.

  • Cathy McKinney

    When the Church reports membership it reports ALL baptized members. Hence the 15 million numbers, just because someone is less/not active doesn’t mean they’re no longer a member. This article doesn’t say that there aren’t that many members only that “About 30% of Mormon’s worldwide-4.5 million-regularly attend church meetings”. The article doesn’t say the church’s reporting is a problem, it said member retention/activity is a problem.

  • Dale

    This is all fine and interesting. But “worldwide” doesn’t actually put things in comparison. For instance, what are the activity rates for Mormons vs. Catholics? or SDAdventists?

    A huge number of Protestant and Evangelical churches count their “membership” rolls by the number of people who have attended their Church once, and have filled out a card. Are they considered “active”? Are Catholics considered “active” if they only come to Church once or twice a year?

    What does “active” mean? This study, book, and article paint an interesting picture, but a ‘little’ knowledge, as this represents, may give more misinformation and miscomparison than actual benefit.

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  • Harlan Carpenter

    Even funnier yet, there are 7,000 members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints in Grand Junction, Colorado and environs. Yet, the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t even have a listed congregation in the local phone directory. They also used to have volunteers knocking door to door all the time. Haven’t seen anything of any of them in years.

  • Matt


    You make a good point in comparing the activity rates of Mormons to Catholics and SDA’s, etc. I agree activity rates are very very low in other religions – Catholicism, etc. But what does Catholicism require in order to obtain salvation? Do they want you to attend mass every week, hold callings, serve missions, etc.? Or is it just to accept Christ and be baptized and treat others well?

    In my opinion, since the LDS church has much more stringent requirements to make it to their heaven (or celestial kingdom) it makes sense to use activity rates as a relatively reasonable estimation of the number of members that are on track to receive God’s greatest blessings (once again, according to LDS faith). In other religions/faiths, weekly attendance in church or other activities may not be specifically required or even expected in order to gain salvation. My argument is that, if the LDS church expects people to attend the church, temple, keep WoW, law of Chastity, etc. in order to obtain salvation, then the members that are keeping all of those commandments and by-and-large trying to be obedient to the tenants of the religion…those members, should be the ones counted as active. “Active” in each religion is very different – LDS members seem to be labeled as inactive quite quickly from my experience over the past 20 years. 4.5 million “active” members of the LDS church is probably pretty accurate – those are the ones truly giving it their all and on track to receive what they believe to be God’s greatest blessings.

  • mt

    Yo – Richie … Down boy. You are baring your teeth in every post … And totally exposing your garments… Please regard others opinions with the same credibility that you expect them to regard yours. No one knows who you are either … But it is clear that you will fight anyone who thinks to question what you hold, perhaps too dear.

  • Kyler

    I can conclude now that religion is just a large sales operation trying to meet their goals and beat the competition.

  • Kyler

    I realized it would take about two minutes to write this , but I felt a need to tell you, you literally wasted 2 minutes of your life writing this post about how you wasted 2 minutes of your life.

  • Tired Of Cults

    Not to Mormons: Your sect inflates growth rates by counting babies and inactive members, and by including anyone that joins and immediately leaves.
    Even if a person joined and left the next day, they would stay on the books *indefinitely*.
    (FYI: There are far more Baptists in the world than Mormons.)

    Also, the Bible says: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

    Nobody here is “prejudiced”. The Word condemns you, not us.

  • Sardines In A Can

    You literally wasted 2 minutes of MY life writing this post about how silly it is to write a post saying that Richard wasted 2 minutes of Jessica’s life.
    I hope you’re happy.

  • Big Giant Head

    Sad that they’re serving a fraud instead of God.
    The scripture says:
    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

    Mormons preach a ‘gospel’ that involves wearing special underwear, keeping secret names and a host of other aberrant beliefs that they are careful to hide from outsiders. Can you imagine Jesus requiring us to wear particular underwear? How daft is that?!

    They’re a bit like the Jehovah’s Witnesses but with bicycles.

  • Joe Larson

    That’s the second time someone quoted Galatians 1:8-9 without reference in these comments. It’s a popular one for those trying to prove church X is false, but it doesn’t do much to prove anything true. All it says is the slightest derivation and Gal 1:8-9 you’re accursed. Rosaries? Accursed. Female leadership? Accursed. Amish? Actually the Amish are probably good. So clearly all these Gal 1:8-9 comments are being made by Amish, which brings up other problems, like what are Amish doing on the Internet?

    Clearly Paul was not providing angry detractors a blanket theological weapon to fight a living and church. After all in Revelations 14:6-7 he prophesied a decidedly not accursed angel preaching the another gospel to all the earth.

    Tell you what, went don’t you pick up your testaments, old and new, and learn for yourself instead of parroting chick tracts. If you read the Scriptures you’ll find Mormons, and most religions, have a solid scriptural basis for being. It would be silly for them to keep using those Scriptures if they didn’t.

  • chuck

    Jesus did wear special clothing, according to the traditions of Judaism.

  • cdowis

    1. Those who are informed understand that each denomination has its own method for member statistics based on its nparticular needs,

    In the Baptist church, people come and go on an informal basis and “membership” would be based on general attendance. Other churches such as the LDS church, there is a formal membership process, and each member is assigned a specific church unit. As long as you have a membership record, you are considered a “member”. Thus, you have active vs inactive members.

    2. You can have members who are housebound, and unable to attend. Do you count them as members since they are unable to attend?

    And those who attend once or twice a month, due to employment or interest. How do you count them — as “active” or “inactive” members.

    Finally, the historic Christian church has replaced the prophets and apostles with scholars and theologians. The original church had a foundation of prophets and apostles, and they are only found in the LDS today. The Bible itself has given you a warning.

  • cdowis

    You clearly do not understand the word “salvation” within the LDS church. You approach it as heaven vs hell, and that is not the case at all.

    The traditional concept of “heaven” is actually a lower kingdom in LDS theology, and all the things you mention are unnecessary to go to heaven.

  • cdowis

    Giant head,

    May I suggest that you actually read the Bible and what it actually says.
    Matt 22:11-14
    Rev 2:17
    Ignorance of the scriptures will not be an excuse on the Last Day.

  • WannaBeaJWsoon

    There are quite a few congregations and probably a kingdom hall or two in Grand Junction. But they may not be paying to have their name in the phone book, rather they have a website that allows you to search out and find out when and where the meetings are, which is more helpful than the yellow pages.

  • dusthole

    dcowis: Yes, there is a formal procedure for the LDS church concerning membership. Here’s why it’s tricky…

    Once you jump through the loopholes of giving up your membership, the LDS church only considers this as a “do not call list”. You are STILL considered a member of the church until you turn 110. You can die 50 years before that, but you’re still on the records. It sounds insane and made up, but that’s how it works.

  • Vid

    Many of my Cambodian people came to the US as refugees, and thousand of them were given helps. Then days passed, they were baptized without knowing what the heck Mormonism was. Then most of them never went back to the Mormon Church. I bet their names are still in the record of the Mormon Church. I many times asked to come to the Mormon Church, I did as a guest, but I didn’t believe Joseph Smith after I read about him. Two False Prophets who claimed to be the great and the last prophets were Mu of Islam and JS.of Mormonism.

    I wonder why JS didn’t order his followers to use his name for his church, since he boasted that he did more works than the Lord Jesus Christ?
    “Joseph Smith boasted he did more than Jesus
    to keep a church together. History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409”

    If Joseph Smith was better than the son of GOD, the Savior, the hell with him, why did he use the Lord name for his demonic Church?

  • Morgan

    Actually, brother, I’m a faithful member myself and I know it’s true. Our popular reporting on our own membership statistics is grossly irrelevant. Ask a leader who really knows. Less than a third of our baptized membership actually holds and maintains a calling. Activity numbers for non-transparent reporting include anyone who comes to church twice a year, unless they’ve changed that number to 3 or 4.

  • Robert Sirman

    the children are not actually given a choice at all. No 8 year old child has the intelligence to make that choice. They are brainwashed from the day they are born to believe anything that mommy and daddy tell them as is the case of any religion regardless of what faith system it is.

  • Robert Sirman

    blind faith will not save your ass either. Try to find a church that does not say they are the one true church and they have the only true gospel, all other churches are led by false prophets and fail to do the correct rituals thus not even 0.5% of the current world population will pass this “fair test” that your so called “loving god” has sent us here to take. then take in the fact that the Mormons started the church because the “one true church of god” was not even here. 2 thousand years of absolute fail because there is no way that anyone could pas the test since the only way to pas this test is to be a Mormon………..

  • Robert Sirman

    so tell me what you think makes blind faith the answer? I was the president of my Deacons and Teachers quorum, also the president of my Sunday school classes for many years. Then when I asked for permission to continue with my religious studies in a new community the Bishop asked me if I was even worthy of being in that church….. his only reason for passing judgment on me was the address that I was living at when I approached him.
    I can assure you that I have forgotten more than you dare to learn.
    you say this life is a test of our worthiness to live in “Celestial Kingdom” and it is a “fair” test yet not even 0.5% of the world will come close to passing this test

  • Vince

    Check your quote Joseph Smith has done more save (except) Jesus Christ for the salvation of men.