You may have seen stories like this one that claim more than 1000 people will resign from the Church. An ex-Mormon lawyer is offering to help people leave the Church and is planning a rally on Saturday.
There is one important detail to consider: an on-line poll on its own Facebook site shows that a tiny percentage of the people resigning are active members of the Church. In fact, as of Thursday afternoon, here were the numbers:
*Considered “Inactive”: 340 people
*Resigned (Apostate): 104 people
*Non-Member: 43 people
*I don’t attend, but my children do: 17 people
*Attend Weekly: 16 people
*Attend Monthly: 6 people.
So, of the 526 people who responded to the poll, only 22, or about 4 percent, are actually going to Church regularly today. I am not convinced that 22 active churchgoers resigning is a “mass resignation.”
Now let me stipulate that even one person is a tragedy in the eyes of the Lord. We don’t want to lose members. Ever. And yes it is true that inactive members could in theory be activated at some point.
But have we considered that perhaps the Church may gain many more members than it loses by having a clear cut policy on moral issues? Most of the people who read this blog are in the United States or Canada. The rising acceptance of same-sex marriage in those countries is a phenomenon of a relatively small part of the world’s population. Most people in Latin America, Africa and Asia (which by the way are the areas where the Church is growing rapidly) do not share the enthusiasm for same-sex marriage.
Even in the U.S., relatively conservative churches (Mormon, evangelical Christian, Orthodox Jew, Muslim) are growing while liberal churches that accept same-sex marriages are in a precipitous membership free-fall.
So, here is what we know: the “mass resignation” isn’t really a mass resignation. Membership is growing quickly in countries with traditional values on marriage. And conservative churches are growing while liberal churches are in decline.