In a few weeks lesson #9 in Gospel Doctrine focuses on the organization of the Church. While I was studying this lesson for an upcoming Interpreter Scripture Roundtable, I did a quick napkin calculation of the Church’s growth. At a current modest 2.5% growth rate, the LDS Church could have over 33 million members in 30 years, more than doubling the number today, and adding almost 1 million members per year at that point. Reflecting back, it took 117 years to reach just 1 million members total in 1947. The Church has added nearly 10 million just since I was born in 1981, an increase of almost 300%, or a 3 fold increase. For members in their 60s, they’ve seen over 10 fold growth since their birth, and those in their 80s, over 20 fold growth. See the charts I made below:
What is most interesting, perhaps, as you might be able to tell above, is that the Church has been growing at a logarithmic exponential rate since its organization in 1830. This means that not only has the Church seen growth year-over-year, but that growth has been accelerating since the beginning. Sounds like a stone cut out of a mountain without hands, and it’s picking up speed rolling on the way down (Daniel 2; D&C 65:2).
Some interesting food for thought.
(Data from membership history on Wikipedia, which has some other interesting charts.)