Friday, January 18, 2019

Statistical Pages Updated on Official Church Newsroom Website

The Church recently updated its country and world region statistical pages on its official Newsroom site. For the first time, the Church has published online its year-end 2017 figures for several metrics, including:
  • Membership
  • Congregations (with breakdown of wards/branches)
  • Stakes
  • Districts
  • Missions
  • Family History Centers
  • Temples
With this information made easily accessible to the public, the Church now publishes nearly all of the data that was previously included in the defunct Deseret Church News Almanac series that ran from 1974 to 2013. Additionally, the Church has published graphs that display membership and congregational growth by world region to provide greater context to growth trends. For example, congregational decline in Europe and South America are clearly evident in these graphs, as well as steady growth in congregational growth in Africa and North America.

Although this is a major improvement in making accurate information more accessible to researchers and the public, there remains much to be done in regards to greater access to official Church data to assist the study of Church growth. For example, the Church does not publish its membership, congregational, stake, district, mission, and temple data by country for prior years (although this information is available for all countries at www.cumorah.com). Also, there remain many countries/territories without official church statistics reported even though there is not a sensitive Church presence, such as Vietnam, Gabon, Bermuda, Macedonia, Senegal, and Guinea.

See below for my recommendations in regards to additional metrics that appear appropriate to release to the public. None of these metrics appear sensitive and can provide a more accurate measure of the Church's size in terms of active membership and growth trends. The Church has previously published some of the following information, whereas some of these metrics have never been published by the Church.
  • Consistent updates (e.g. daily or weekly) regarding the creation of new congregations or discontinuation of congregations
  • Consistent, accurate updates regarding the creation and discontinuation of stakes and districts
  • The annual number of convert baptisms by country and mission
  • The annual number of missionaries serving by country
  • Average sacrament meeting attendance by country
  • Seminary and institute enrollment by country

32 comments:

James said...

Hey Matt. Thanks for sharing this. One problem I can see with consistent, regular updates to Church statistics is that the report on the total statistics for the previous year will continue be released on the Newsroom following the Saturday Afternoon Session of the April General Conference. The Church needs the time between the end of each year and General Conference weekend to compile those statistics from all available sources. But more than that, with how much the Church changes congregations from one week to another (as evidenced by the individual unit change reports compiled by a group and mentioned here by Gnesileah), consistent regular updates to the official Newsroom statistics page get somewhat impossible, given the vast number of pages and subpages in English and other languages. I don't know exactly how often local leaders might submit reports of their numbers to Salt Lake, but it cannot be regular enough to make continuous reports effective. So unless the Church hires a whole separate team or department to do those kinds of continuous updates, it might not be as feasible as it sounds. That said, I appreciate the work put into this post, and learned a lot from reading it.

For anyone reading this comment who might be interested, I have done a number of new posts on my blog within this last week. With many breaking temple developments and additional Church news, there has been no shortage of things to report. I also devoted a post to the first anniversary of President Nelson's prophetic administration. With my thanks to Matt for continuing to allow me to do so, and my apologies to anyone who might be offended or bothered thereby, I would like to share the address of my blog below.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

Eduardo Clinch said...

The Church should hire James to implement these updates. Matt could be part time consultant. Any other yays from the crowd?

Eduardo Clinch said...

The statement about Albania having the second most native members in a Muslim dominated country after Pakistan seems to be erroneous due to Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone would be first in that category, right?

Pascal Friedmann said...

And Indonesia? That said, from what I hear, Albania is making very strong progress on leadership development lately.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Yay from me.

Tyler Alley said...

I apologize in advance for this prolonged, speculative rant:

This year at least is going to be a pretty busy year for the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in dedicating and rededicating temples. I wonder if the time will ever come when they might delegate that duty to the seventy (if so, perhaps just the re-dedications)?

I also wonder if the economic troubles of the world could indirectly affect the rate of temple growth (less income = less tithing, except for the growth in additional tithe payers)? That might be an interesting study: comparing GDP (of the world and/ or country) to temple/ church growth, whether they were positively or negatively correlated. (The Book of Mormon seems to show that church growth preceded economic growth, but sometimes economic growth could deter church growth, right?)

Regardless, like the prophets say, the Lord is at the helm. He can do His own work, baring His arm when needed and as we have seen.

Thanks for all the research and thoughts!

James said...

Eduardo and Christopher Nicholson, I am flattered by your confidence in me and by the suggestion. I have often wondered if there would be a place for me in the employment of the Church, but I unfortunately have one strong flaw in my resume that might preclude my eligibility for such an opportunity: I was not able to get much secondary education done (except for a ton of religious credits from various institute classes and a semester or two on campus during which I accumulated less than 30 credit hours. I ran into some health problems in 2010, and by the time they were resolved, I would have had to reapply for admission to finish my degree. Unless there is something I am not aware of, almost all positions working for the Church require a bachelor's degree to get one's foot in the door, and for a position like the one you described, Eduardo, a master's and possibly a doctorate would likely be needed before they would even consider me for such a position.

I have some skills in oration (as many of you can tell), writing, and researching, but beyond that, I would be hard pressed to recommend myself for any Church employment. And in regards to what would be required, I do have some knowledge. My dad was unable to finish his bachelor's degree until my siblings and I were born, and after he did so, he worked for the Church for about a decade or so until shortly after I got married. The one thing that made him qualified for that position was a bachelor's degree. It was a different job than what is being suggested here, but my skills alone wouldn't be enough. I have looked at jobs with the Church, and most of them seem to require a bachelor's degree. I am flattered, though, that you think I'd do well with that kind of work. Thank you for the compliment, Eduardo and Christopher.

James said...

Hello, Tyler. As we saw last year, following its' brief renovation to repair the weather-incurred damage to it, the Houston Temple was privately dedicated by President M. Russell Ballard. This year (from what we know so far) two private rededications will be held in May for the Memphis Tennessee and Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temples, and those will be presided over by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and President Henry B. Eyring respectively. But one element few seem to notice about that is that these rededications are being or have been conducted by three of the five most senior apostles. The First Presidency has the authority to preside at such events, but they also have the doctrinal provision to call upon the Twelve to assist them in such things. Although we have seen junior members of the Twelve preside at groundbreakings (which is also a doctrinal provision), no one more senior in the apostleship than Elder Bednar has presided at a dedication or rededication. Since the prophet has all the keys for such dedications and can delegate that to other apostles as he feels inspired to do so, that is not uncommon.

However, as I understand it, though the members of the Seventy can preside at groundbreakings (which is a task delegated to them by the Twelve as approved by the First Presidency), it takes the keys of the apostleship as delegated by the Church President to officiate at temple dedications, or the dedication of most (if not all) other Church buildings. While the Seventy do have a degree of those keys, it is the apostolic authority that invokes the prayer of dedication upon the labors in a temple. There may have been a time in early Church history where the Seventy could (and did) carry out those responsibilities, but revelation received since that time has placed that responsibility on the heads of the apostles, as invited by the Church President.

I could see the Seventy presiding at temple dedications in the event that some tragedy caused the death of all living apostles without those keys being handed off to successors, especially if there was no time to reorganize the apostolic Quorums before such events occurred, but since that eventuality seems improbable, I think that temple dedications or rededications will continue to be presided over by those with the apostolic keys who are assigned to do so by the Church President, who is the only person that can delegate that portion of his keys. Hope that makes sense.

Tyler Alley said...

Thanks, James, that does make sense

Anonymous said...

Tyler,

While each Apostle has been given all the Priesthood Keys held my man at this time, the President of the Church is the only person authorized to use all of them.

The President of the Church can delegate authority to dedicate temples, but under current circumstances it’s likely only the most senior Church leaders will be unvited to do so.

James said...

Anonymous, thank you for reiterating to Tyler what I said above in my last comment. Something prompted me to look at information on the original Nauvoo Temple. When I did so, I was reminded that that temple was first privately dedicated by Joseph Young, a brother of President of the Quorum of the Twelve and Acting Church President Brigham Young (Joseph was serving as the senior member of the First Council of the Seventy at the time). A public rededication followed, at which Orson Hyde presided. Subsequently, other Church Presidents made the determination that the keys to dedicate temples should and does fall under the authority and keys of the apostleship. So now that is doctrinally mandated.

The most senior apostle we have seen presiding at a dedication recently was Elder David A. Bednar, who dedicated the Star Valley Wyoming Temple in 2016. At that time, he was the most junior of the senior half of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and was the seventh most senior apostle overall. While less senior apostles and members of the Seventy have been authorized by the Church President to preside at temple groundbreakings, it has only been the most senior apostles presiding at temple dedications or rededications.

I seem to recall the Church explaining the apostolic keys in an Ensign article at some point, which included a discussion of the keys required to dedicate a temple, but I would have to look for it again.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Hard to say with the tithing thing, since I have no doubt the poorer countries in Africa and elsewhere are already dependent on tithing from North America to cover their own church operating costs, to say nothing of temples. As in the story of the widow's mite, the Lord is far more concerned with whether someone faithfully donates than with the monetary amount of said donation. If necessary, he can make miracles happen when those funds come up short.

Nephi said...

Last night I attended our Stake Adult Session of Stake Conference. Elder Snow, the Church Historian, came and spoke to us. He said the St. George Temple will most likely be closed in the near future for 2 1/2 years for structural work and renovation. He said it is unlikely the new temple will be completed prior to the completion so we will need to be prepared to travel to Las Vegas or Cedar City. He also said that according to the temple department the St. George Temple District qualifies for a 3rd temple. I found that interesting. I am sure that it is a combination of Temple attendance and the number of Stakes. Maybe Las Vegas will get another temple soon.

James said...

Christopher, from what I have read in the scriptures and from what Church leaders have said, the tithing program of the Church is structured in such a way that if money is not needed to help Church members in one part of the world, or when there is a surplus there, any extra funds are sent to Salt Lake for disbursement where they are most needed. The blessings of tithing promised by the Lord are applicable to anyone who pays it, regardless of their financial situation or wealth: a 10% tithe yields 110% returns, the only such investment promise of which I am aware. So in poorer countries where tithing may be limited, the surplus from other areas of the world can be used to help get a temple approved and built in those areas.

The Lord can and does move mountains, and if what we have heard about President Nelson's temple expansion goals and plans is correct, then many other places where the Church may not be strong in member numbers or the number of Church units will be eligible for a temple in their land because of their faithful tithe paying and that of others elsewhere in the world. We saw that to be the case with many of the temples announced last year, and I am sure that will continue to be the case with future temples that are announced.

Nephi, it was intriguing to hear your report of what Elder Snow said. It's fitting that he was asked to preside at your stake conference, since he grew up in St. George. That city is close to my heart, since my dad was born there, and my parents were married in that temple. It was great to hear Elder Snow's report of what was planned for that temple's renovation. And the fact that the Washington County Temple announced last October is not anticipated to be completed before the St. George temple reopens may indicate that that temple is planned to be a larger one, wherever it winds up being built.

It was likewise interesting to hear his statement that a third temple will be needed in the near future for Washington County. I imagine that means that the St. George Temple is busy enough that having one other in the Washington County area won't be enough. As to your statement about the Las Vegas area possibly getting another temple, I am sure that will occur at some point. But I can think of two cities (Elko and Ely) in Nevada that may need their own temple more urgently than the Las Vegas area does. I say that because members in both cities have a journey of more than 200 miles one-way to get to their respective temples in Salt Lake and Cedar City Utah.

Of course, I offer that opinion as one who is not privy to the discussions occurring at Church headquarters on that subject. Wherever the next two (or more) Nevada temples are built, or, for that matter, anywhere in the world where temples are announced will make me happy. There have been certain indicators which point to specific locations where temples are surely needed in the future, but I hope it is clearly understood that I am just as happy when any temples are announced anywhere as I am when the Lord proves that my thinking on certain locations was justified. Hope these additional thoughts and observations are helpful to all who read them.

The Accountant said...

So one item not mentioned in the last few posts concerning temple building and the financial means was the remarks Sister Nelson made about Pres Nelson reviewing all the church budgets and getting rid of unnecessary spending. She defined this type of spending as something that doesn't strengthen the members testimony and brings us closer to Christ. She said he is very concerned about the widows mite and looking to maximize the tithing donations by all the faithful.

I believe a number of announcements/ observations point to this. First I believe that is why some of the pageants were eliminated. Second, I believe that is why Angel Moroni statue are not showing up on some temples renderings.(they aren't necessary) I believe also from a simple economic point of view why some of the MTCs are being closed. So it appears the funds are being redistributed in order to build more temples. A video a few years ago (2014) about temple building reminds us they budget money and set it aside for each temple to be built before they break ground for it. So certainly if temple building is going to be moving faster the money needs to be earmarked. Eliminating some of the unnecessary spending will help them accomplish this.

Also, in the US, the church has contracted with a third party service to handle all building maintenance. When I received the training, the director from the third party company stated that the stake president will know how much it costs to maintain each building in the stake. This will represent a lot savings over time because with this data ( which the church said they never had in detail) the church can make much better decisions on how to maintain the building. Also the contract was going to lead to a 20% savings right up front. That is a lot of money on approximately 10,000 buildings.(someone correct me if I am not close to the number of US buildings).

Also, a big upgrade is coming to the financial system of the church (actually already in process). From what I have seen and read, the reimbursement payments will become ACH based, instead of cutting a check. That is a huge savings by not having to order checks for 10,000 wards and branches. There are also time saving features coming to for the bishop and clerk. This will allow the financials to be audited easier.

I think the digitization of the mission call is another example of cost savings. Postage isn't cheap sending them around the world! So I thought I would bring a few examples of what the church is doing to reallocate spending so among other things the temples can be built quicker. Lastly, you will hear in the coming months of some assets being sold in the Midwest to save money as well since they are under utilized.

James said...

The Accountant, what you said sounded familiar, and I wanted to review it again. But the closest I got to finding it was the article below:

https://www.lds.org/church/news/sister-nelson-says-president-nelson-is-fearless-in-moving-church-forward?lang=eng

In that article, Sister Nelson is quoted as saying: "He’s not afraid to do something different . . .

"“He is saying, ‘What really is needful?’ If we’re really preparing the Church and the world for the Second Coming of the Savior, he is sincere about that. He doesn’t want us spending money, time, energy on anything that isn’t really focused on that.”

Where did you find the quote you shared from Sister Nelson? I'd like to review it again if I can. To my knowledge, President Nelson did not cite conserving money the Church uses on utilities in his discussion of what was driving the change to the 2-hour Church, though that would be a natural result.

Also, the reason the angel Moroni has not shown up on some recent temple designs has more to do with the fact that, in nations with a poorer economic situation, the Church would face criticism that the money spent on those statues was not being spent on the poor. Few critics who cite that concern do not seem to realize the Church can, does, and will continue to do both.

But the Church is sensitive to all such issues, and that is why some temples are designed without an angel Moroni statue. Does it save the Church money on the building process? Yes, but sometimes it is more about the Church wanting to be culturally sensitive and a good neighbor in communities that are not as affluent. Anyways, if you could point me to where I can find that report of Sister Nelson's remarks about President Nelson's attitude on Church finances, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

James,

The President of the Church can delegate any of his responsibilities to any general authority, and probably others. That is the true doctrine. Anything else is policy. The principle is sometimes called “by delegation” or “by extension”. Jesus can do the same thing. They delegate based on what makes sense.

“Seventies by delegation can do anything the Twelve tell them to do, and they can confer keys, which would be an extension of the keys of the Twelve.”
https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/the-twelve-and-the-seventy-part-one?lang=eng

James Anderson said...

If what we are hearing turns out to be true regarding temples, and a substantial number are built and are finished at one time, so as to have more than just one or two at a time have a dedication on the same day, like what happened at least once during the time the small temples were being built, there well could be enough where a seventy cold end up being the one who dedicates one or more temples at times.

James said...

Anonymous, what you said is technically true. The President of the Church can and does have the prerogative and doctrinal authority to delegate anything he wishes to his counselors or the Twelve, who can in turn delegate things to the Seventy. But in 1982, Bruce R. McConkie gave an address at BYU, which you can find at the following web address:

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r-mcconkie_relationship-lord/

A key sentence from his talk is illuminating, as he notes: "The practice of the Church constitutes the interpretation of the scriptures." In 1981, when the entire First Presidency was aging and infirm, they called on President Ezra Taft Benson, who was serving as President of the Quorum of the Twelve, to assist them by providing the First Presidency message in June 1981, and he spoke in the article below about "Fourteen Fundamentals of a Prophet":

https://www.lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet?lang=eng

One point he makes is that the living prophet (and what his practices are) should be more important to us than a dead prophet. There are other fundamentals he mentions that you can read more about on your own at your leisure.

James said...

Further, in April 2008, President Boyd K. Packer, as President of the Quorum of the Twelve, focused his first General Conference talk as such on the mission and keys of the Twelve:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/the-twelve?lang=eng

And in 2005, the Church released a series of articles on the different priesthood offices. Though all of them are illustrative and well worthy of your review, the one that would perhaps be most illuminating to the ongoing discussion here is the one talking about keys of the priesthood, which you can find below:

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2005/10/keys-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng

So, what does all this tell us? If the practice of the Church constitutes the interpretation of the scripture, and if the actions and words of a current prophet should be more important than those of a dead prophet (whether modern or from the scriptures), then what has been done in recent years should be indicative of how the Brethren interpret the scriptures today. And for the last 20 years or more, Elder Bednar has been the least senior of the apostles to preside at a temple dedication, then that fact, plus the articles about the keys of the priesthood, along with the ones written about the Church President, First Presidency, the Twelve, and the Seventy should verify one thing: the President of the Church can and does delegate the keys, but in several public settings, it has been mentioned that the keys of the apostleship are required to dedicate a temple. If you go back and read many of the dedicatory or rededicatory prayers written for temple dedications, quite a few of them reference not only the invitation of the Church President and the authority of the priesthood, but invoke the prayer of dedication by the keys of the apostleship as well.

That said, if you review all of this material and find something I have missed or overlooked, please enlighten me to the error. I am not in the habit of sharing such articles if I am not sure they verify the point I am attempting to make. Also, the Seventy do have a form of the apostolic keys, but without the authority to use them as such, they would likely not be called upon to dedicate or rededicate a temple unless something tragic eliminated all living apostles at once with no chance to reorganize the quorums. That would likely not happen.

In fact, if you watch General Conference closely, for most of the sessions (with the possible exception of when they are being sustained), two members of the Quorum have not been in attendance. While there are other reasons, one seems to be the idea that if something happens that eliminates those who are in attendance, there would be those two who could reorganize the presidency and the apostolic quorums. That said, I don't think the Lord ever would allow something like that to happen, but it is nice to know that the Church is prepared for such an eventuality if it occurs. Hope this information is helpful to all who read it.

James said...

James Anderson, you do make a good point. If we are in for a new unprecedented season of temple events, then there are likely to be several held on the same day in the days ahead. That said, unless 12 or 15 such events are set to occur on the same day, which would spread the apostles more than a little thinly, it seems unlikely that the Seventy could be called upon to perform such tasks. And as I noted in my latest reply to Anonymous above, several temple dedicatory prayers mention specifically the keys of the apostleship in addition to the authority of the priesthood, so it would appear both are needed. And while it is also true that the Seventy do have a form of the apostolic keys, it is slightly different. At any rate, from the sources I cited above, in the same way the apostolic keys to preside over the Church lie dormant in any apostle until he is both set apart and ordained to be the Church President, any form of apostolic keys the Seventies have would lie dormant until they are authorized to be used by the apostles with the approval of the President of the Church, or until something happens that causes all current apostles to pass away at around the same time without there being time to reorganize the apostolic Quorums. Given that neither scenario has happened as of yet, unless the Church did have more than 10-15 temple dedications or rededications planned for the same day, I see no reason why the Church would need to call on the Seventy to help out. Could it happen? Perhaps, but the prospect seems unlikely, mainly in view of the sources I set forth in the two comments I made above.

James Anderson said...

I do not think it will ever get to that point unless they start a very large number at one time. There are also the issues where an assigned leader could have health issues come up and they have to reshufle things, or other things, and things that apostles do almost weekly or as often as they work a stake conference some weeks. The Seventy would reorganize stakes like they do now but would have more of that to do and since there is no real limit to the number of seventies that is manageable.

On the finances side, going electronic will help, cutting down on errors. Another thing that is also going to become more important is the temple construction fund. You have been able to donate to that since soon after the rebuilding of the Nauvoo Temple was announced. Find it on the online form via the dropdown for 'Other' or just write it in on the paper slip on the Other line.

Having an outside company do facilities maintenance may also help, more eficient meaning less cost also.

Anonymous said...

My point isn’t “technically” true. There is nothing technical about my point. My point was doctrinal. Would be accurate to say my point is “doctrinally true” while yours may be said to be “technically” true or true “in practice”.

Also “The Prophet” refers to The President of the Church, while a prophet refers to a person who has the gift of prophesy; note that the gift of prophesy is a gift of the spirit and that holding Priesthood keys is not a prerequisite. I sustain all 15 Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelatiors, but precieve that Joseph Smith and President Nelson truly have the gift of prophesy and revelation to an outsized extent.

I wish Elder McConkie was more precise in his language in the quote above. I like to think the pure form of the truth he is trying to teach in the quote above is that the leaders of the Church base Church policy on thier understanding of the Gospel and Gods will and that they rely heavily on the scriptures and revelation as they make policy.

Any scripture, leader’s teachings, etc. are intended to convey meaning, understanding, and truth. The words themselves are approximations of underlying principles and truth. When we seek to understand the underlying truth being explained, the Holy Ghost enlightens us and opens the eyes of our understanding. What we learn from the Holy Ghost is the purest form of the truth (more accurate and precise than can be described with words). He goes beyond teaching us what the scriptures and leaders meant, by teaching us the larger doctrines and principles and how they interconnect with others (all truth is part of one great whole). This depth of understanding helps us understand more than can ever be taught to us by anyone other than the Holy Ghost. This level of understanding helps us discern good from evil and discern many other things as clearly as we can tell the difference between noon and midnight (Moroni 7).

On a related note, it is much better to first understand the doctrine and principles underlying policy, practices, commandmemts, etc. while trying to navigate situations where no policy, practice, or commandment is in place rather than trying to extrapolate directly from policy, practices, and commandments.

Anonymous said...

I don’t need to review the material to know that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church and that He has chosen certain people and given them broad responsibility and authority to act on his behalf. Anyone who has Priesthood Keys has the authority to delegate those responsibilities; of course they should act consistent with their understanding of the Gospel, in line with guidance from their priesthood leaders and the Holy Ghost, and council/reason together in thier councils and presidencies. The President of the Church’s priesthood leader is Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

I am a frugal accountant who served for almost 4 years as a stake clerk in a newer stake in a less established area in the US. Also served as a stake auditor, worked as a financial statement auditor and internal operations auditor for companies in the financial sector. I’m also a real estate investor and hands on landlord. From these experience and other observations, my view is that there is lots of room for automation of church related recordkeeping and administration of basically every type. Doing so would not only save tons of time (from those who often don’t have the experience to do a very good job anyway), and reduce opportunities for waste and the effects of inexperience.

One thing to note is how very different actual practice can be compared to what the Church handbooks call for. One example in the U.S.: Ward Halloween Party- costumes, food, candy, and maybe some suggestive music. Handbook of Instructions is clear that “the” purpose all ward activities is to further the missions of the Church and be wholesome, etc. it is very descriptive... I mentioned this to someone and response is.... wait for it .... “Well, we had a blessing on the food.” Lol.

We need to get away from justifying things and start to align our practices as closely as we can with the gospel, good judgment, and guidance from our leaders.

People can find a halloween party anywhere that time of year. What we need are wholesome activities that reinforce what we want to become and in a setting where we can strengthen each other.

I have seen countless maintenance issues in meetinghouses in various states. I’m referring to maintenance issues that have caused or are causing major expenses when they will finally be addressed. All of the issues could have been easily and inexpensivly prevented by doing a building inspection every year or two and fixing issues that would otherwise cause much larger expenses. Full (and sagging) gutters with growing grass, moss on roofs, trees leaning over building and much too close, terrible drainage, waiting too long to resurface parking lot and gym floors leading to permanent damage, poor drainage away from buildings, waiting too long to trim bushes and trees resulting in way more work overall. That’s just what I can think of from the top of my head.

Eduardo Clinch said...

For our ward in Virginia, and past ones in California, we do trunk or treat and parties every Halloween. Safer than a lot of our neighborhoods.
The kids love it. I don't think Jesus would have a problem with that.
Also, I have seen more less active and non-member families in and at our church grounds for that party/occasion than any other event.
I don't think President Nelson or mission presidents or bishops woyld have issues with that.
In Chile we celebrate the 18th of September as Independence Day, at church. It is wonderful.
Latinos tend to have more parties, and so much better at church than a place with booze and scandals.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I totally agree with using all the methods cited, thanks for those, for conserving time and money of our precious resources.

Unknown said...

Considering that up until 2000 President Hinckley tried to personally dedicate every temple and even in 2000 virtually all were dedicated by first presidency members we would have to get close to the level of dedications needed to get to 1000 temples by the end of 2030 for it to be unreasonable for the 1st presidency and 12 to preside at all dedications.

Unknown said...

I think one factor is the senior aposle present does the dedication, unless a factor of being in the first presidency is involved. Since there are normally multiple apostles present it will normally be a more senior apostle to preside.

Unknown said...

If we get to a point where they need to dedicate more than 15 temples a weekend the policies may change. If however apostleship is the key giing above 12 in the quorum of the 12 might be easier than delegating to 70. I have to admit even 10 dedications in a weekend seem unlikely soon.

Unknown said...

Music is a constant issue, although I have not seen it so much at ward activities by youth and YSA and even then suggestive dancing seems a more pronounced problem, although I have seen worse from 5th graders not at a dance. On the costumes front I have heard members complain against no cross dressing rules but in general they have been followed. There was the time I was banned from having a plastic sword but someone else was allowed a real whip. I still feel the no weapoms rule was being enforced irregularly and part of me remainsunsure if YSA costume parties are well thought out in light of so many adult female costumes seemingly more and more being an excuse to wear more revealing clothing than normal.

Unknown said...

This is John Pack Lambert. When I post frommy phone it doesnt letme sign in. I have to admit I wish more info updates faster would be done, and histories on sub-national units too. I wish I could be part of the team to do it.