05 Church apostasy?

LDS Members Leaving in Droves?

CES Letter Core Question

Are LDS members "leaving in droves"?

In February of 2012, I was reading the news online when I came across the following news article: Mormonism Besieged by the Modern Age. In the article was information about a Q&A meeting at Utah State University that LDS Church Historian and General Authority, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, gave in late 2011. He was asked his thoughts regarding the effects of Google on membership and people who are "leaving in droves" over Church history.

CES Letter, Introduction (cont.)

In the April 2015 General Conference, Apostle Quentin L. Cook explained:

Some have asserted that more members are leaving the Church today and that there is more doubt and unbelief than in the past. This is simply not true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has never been stronger. The number of members removing their names from the records of the Church has always been very small and is significantly less in recent years than in the past. The increase in demonstrably measurable areas, such as endowed members with a current temple recommend, adult full-tithe payers, and those serving missions, has been dramatic. Let me say again, the Church has never been stronger. Click here

In 2015: + 35 stakes and - 3. (August 2015)

In 2014: + 64 stakes and - 1.

In 2013: + 48 stakes and - 2.

In 2012: + 65 stakes and - 6.

In 2011: + 60 stakes and - 10.

Thus, if we average over the last 5 years (ignoring how many more stakes will be created this year), 272 new stakes have been created and 22 have been discontinued. Thus, on average, the stakes being created are a factor of > 12 times higher than being discontinued.