Saturday, August 31, 2019

New Temples and Other Announcements in General Conference This October; Rare Church Statistics on Brazil Released

A Church Newsroom article published yesterday noted that President Nelson informed news media that "more temples and other announcements will be made in the October general conference." It is unclear what these other announcements may be, but it appears that a reformation to the Church's missionary program is likely given the new missionary handbook's upcoming release and other matters I have discussed on this blog. Coincidentally, I will be publishing my predictions for temple announcements for this October General Conference over the weekend, which include some significant additions and changes given recent trends in temple announcements since President Nelson's tenure as President of the Church.

Also, the Church Newsroom article I mentioned at the beginning of this post provided some rare statistics published by the Church. More specifically, the article notes that there are currently 5,300 missionaries serving in Brazil at present - the second most of any country in the world after the United States. This indicates there is an average of 151 missionaries per mission in Brazil. The Church does not publish annual country-by-country figures for the number of full-time missionaries serving. There have only been a few other times in Church history that the Church has published information on the number of missionaries serving in a country, such as in the Philippines or Mexico.

18 comments:

Eduardo said...

Back when there were 6 missions in Chile in my time in the early 1990s I/we assumed that there were 1,200 missionaries there, with a two hundred per mission average. When I started Concepcion had 240, then we went down to 180 by the end of 1991.
Nothing was published about it, most likely.

James Anderson said...

They just said that in Brazil, there are currently more missionaries in Brazil, second only to the United States in numbers. In this article, wher also one line is going to really set off the rumor mill for Conference as he said there will be more temples announced, along with 'other announcemens'.

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-nelson-brasilia-brazil-2019?fbclid=IwAR3W1TTJorpqSVukS4RlDSS3xCy-JZjwr3Dkqu719jYq8BlVPx41dNS3YtM

James Anderson said...

Seems I simply parroted back what the article states.

That aside, the matter of temples may also indicate that some will be announced that are 'drop-in' between other announced or completed temples. Utah, if any, will be where growth in membership is predicted, mainly in newer areas.

Outside Utah the gap between population centers that have a temple needs to be looked at to see where one might fit between any two. Outside US/Canadaa larger cities with a Church presence that do not have a temple merit a look, esspecially where there is travel difficulty, and where there are enough members to support the operation of one that also meet the guidelines of sacrament meeting attendance in the units to be served, tithe-payers, effect on the existing temples, and members using the existing temples from that area, and a few other factors we do not see as lay members

Chris said...

Matt, have you updated your "Potencial New Temples" map, yet?

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1W60CDwd4qDDMA3tW74z8g-2WxNw&ll=-3.81666561775622e-14%2C0&z=1

I am excited to see/hear your additions or changes to the list, as you mentioned in this post? And your Top 10 picks? In comparison to James Stokes' list.

https://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2019/07/revised-and-expanded-list-of-potential.html

P.S. Thank you for promptly answering my last question. Yes, it was corrected.

James said...

Chris, I appreciate your additional plug for my temple predictions here, and I too am anxious to see wwhat has changed with Matt's predictions. I know that in this post, Matt has referenced President Nelson's statement that "new temples and other announcements" will be made during General Conference. And I think he may have a point in terms of some kind of announcement affecting the missionary program. But I also was intrigued to notice that President Nelson's usage of the word "announcements" was plural, rather than singular.

That to me implies that a few more developments will be announced in October, and I have taken some time tonight to look at the most likely probabilities related thereunto. Any of you here who may be interested in reading my thoughts on that can find them at the following web address:

https://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2019/08/some-thoughts-on-president-nelsons.html

In the meantime, my thanks again to Matt for his graciousness in continuing to allow me to share such updates here. And my thanks to all of you for the way in which your continued comments on this blog contribute to my understanding of topics discussed in these threads.

Unknown said...

Slightly different number of missionaries in this article:
https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2019-08-30/president-nelson-book-of-mormon-missionaries-brazil-latam-158346


Speaking to 5,825 missionaries from 35 missions on Friday morning, President Nelson added: Once a person has committed to reading the sacred book of scripture, suggest they don’t start at the beginning. Instead, open to 3 Nephi 11 where they can read Jesus Christ’s “important words” spoken to the Nephites — words that promote baptism, prayer, the doctrine of Christ, the sacrament and seeking the kingdom of God.

ForniteFlex said...

Oslo Norway mission has gone down to 70 missionaries based on a missionary that just returned off his mission from there. This trend of fewer missionaries assigned to Europe, Canada, And United States is starting to happen. More will be assigned to Central and South America and Africa based on what I am hearing from leaders in my stake. It appears that the fulfillment of times of the Gentiles is beginning to be happen now. (DC 45:25-30, 3Ne 16:10)

Eduardo said...

I might add Asia and Oceania to the places of increased missionary numbers instead of wealthier nations where the demographic shift (less children per mother, non-replacement population trends) is in effect.

MeaganT said...

S. Dilworth Young, Conference Talk, 1943, said this about cottage meetings:
"Within sixteen months after holding a series of cottage meetings and promulgating the truths of the gospel to their neighbors, they had baptized, after conversion, the unbelievable number of twenty-two adults—twenty-two adults in sixteen months! You can find no more fruitful field than that in this day anywhere" This was done by married men who had jobs, by the way, and also likely were bringing their own children into the faith as well.

The church is aware that cottage meetings are effective, you were spot on Matt about them working in your link provided, so we can either assume they forgot about this and are now wandering around in aimlessly trying new and ineffective things, or believe, as I do, that it came on Christ's orders. I know the Jacob 5 theory (slow growth) is not popular on this blog, and I certainly wish it was done in a more effective way--I too am rooting for change, but that's the way it is.

There seems to be some evidence that the way missionary work is more for the growth of the missionary than for numerical growth. I'm not saying it's wrong, it's just the way it is:
*President Benson's To the Young Women of the Church
*Elder Tuttle's Your Mission Preparation
*Adrian Ochoa's Ye are the Light of the World
*Elder Packer's Come All Ye Sons of God (1983 Ensign version as opposed to President Monson's talk), at first he downplays it (no it's not for discipline or blessings), but then outright says that everyone has to be on board with bribing the missionary to go because that's how he'll gain a testimony (methods he endorses: girls flashing their "pretty eyelashes" and say they'll only marry an RM, the parents showing that they'll be seriously displeased).

Law of Moses-style one-fits-all-size mandates have always been a temporary thing in church history throughout time, the question is, how long will this be the method with missionary work? We know someone compelled in all things is not a wise, faithful, or productive servant.

MeaganT said...

You were also spot on about church schools working to grow the church, Matt, in a Cumorah post. I certainly hope that's on the horizon as well:

The church is aware that their church schools work, Richard O Cowan in a devotional at BYU titled Preparing for That Which is to Come said that President Hinckley was impressed with Academia Juarez and what it had achieved over a short time, this one school alone had already produced 100 mission presidents.

Studies back up your observations:
According to the Nehemiah Institute, which rates religious schools based on how effective they are on transferring values/biblical principles, just attending a religious school more than doubles the chances values are transferred when comparing students raised in Christian families but attended public school. However, in order to qualify as being an effective religious school all books had to be carefully selected, all subjects were presented from a Christian perspective, students were taught to use the scriptures to solve problems, teachers were trained to understand the world from a biblical perspective, and the schools ensured that topics were reinforced in the home. When this happened transfer of morals increased anywhere from 25% to 6X above typical Christian schools, and much higher than public schools. NHERI also did a similar study, religious schools transfer values better.

Interestingly, the church found that returned missionaries are more likely to enroll in church universities, which they said would increase their faith (See Church Education, 1958, Henry D. Moyle, Conference). However college is too late; by this time most young people that are going to leave the church have already done so. And we all know that plenty of youth don't ever attend seminary because they lost their faith before or by early high school.

Hate to say it, but not having the growth benefit of church schools is...once again, probably intentional; I can't imagine the general authorities would look at these good statistics and say, nah, they didn't work anyway, when shutting down Benemeritos and Church College--especially when it's in D&C 55:4, multiple early church talks, and survived nearly a century of trying to shut it down.

Johnathan Whiting said...

My mission president really pushed for cottage meetings (back in 2002-2004) and we found them to be very effective.

L. Chris Jones said...

I am hoping that the BYU pathway worldwide can be a missionary tool.

Grant Emery said...

I had a relative who worked as an employee in the top echelons of the Church (think C-suite). He really pushed for church schools, because he'd seen the strength of the Church in Pacific islands with schools versus without schools. However, the answer he got back consistently was "We're not a school-building church." It seems that era is over, unless President Nelson or one of his eventual successors overturns the pattern.

MeaganT said...

I'm pleasantly surprised with the comments. I was honestly thinking I would get attacked, thank you everybody. I know that the church is piloting some supplemental high school classes, and with outreach towards people of black African ancestry I wouldn't be surprised if the church created some kind of academic outreach program for youth (the adult classes they are creating for those communities might be helping them a bit late). But, you may be right, I think we should file it under the United Order and all those other things that come with Zion. On the other hand the 100th anniversary of shutting down the schools is coming up, and the Supreme Court will hear a case next summer dealing with private school vouchers--based on this court's track record it looks like dozens of states will no longer be required to discriminate against religious schools. So it might come sooner than expected?

Johnathan Whiting said...

Speaking of Church Schools being a good missionary device...

https://www.vanquishthefoe.com/platform/amp/2019/9/4/20848773/espn-bomani-jones-byu-football-mormon-church-lds

John Pack Lambert said...

Figures on the benefit of Church schools do not look into the power of effective seminary and institute programs. While I can see the advantages of Church schools I really think we have thrived without Church high schools and can find ways to move forward on the college front. Having gone to BYU I have to say that was a great benefit, but the pulling out for other areas is difficult. I think it works best where we have proactive institute programs. There is a place for more Church schools but the cost is extremely high.

MeaganT said...

Church schools were funded by those attending them, not so much the church itself. In the Institute Manual Brigham Young plead for people to keep attending them, even though they were being taxed similtaneously for public schools. Woodruff/Taylor in the Teachings of the Presidents told the people that money shouldn't be an object when it comes to having the best teachers (something the people of Enoch took very seriously in the scriptures). According to the Charted Course of the Church in Education it cost 17% of the church budget (in the 1930s) to run church universities--so I can see the reasoning that church schools are expensive. And according to some talks by Oaks and Kimball the attendance levels at church were very very low (like 20%). From what I understand church school levels in Utah were even lower (10%--I don't know how accurate that number was, it wasn't backed up really well, but I am inclined to believe it, kind of hard when public schools are free). 1919 was a horrible year, there was the Spanish Flu and a Depression, no wonder they shut them down in 2020. So I get what you may be saying--the church is doing a lot better. It's just some of the most spiritual people I know went to them, I know it's not my place, but with less emphasis on church buildings (they won't build a new stake center in our area even though it's way overdue and it's growing fast here), and with a lot of educational changes in the church, plus all I've mentioned before, I'm just thinking, hey what if? They don't even need to build new church buildings, outside of Utah they're used for seminary.

apugmire said...

What new missionary handbook? Interesting. Where do you get that information from?