Missionary age change back of the envelope Math.

October 7, 2012    By: Matt W. @ 8:58 am   Category: Uncategorized

Let’s say we have 52,000 missionaries right now. A little googling shows about 10,000 (18-20%) of those are sisters currently. A little missionary shows we average about 5 baptisms per missionary per year. With the new age limit drop on young women, there is an expected boost in the number of sisters serving. If the number of sisters jumps from 20% to 30% of the total, that,s an increase of 10,000 sisters, doubling the number of sisters in the field now. (Getting us back to the number of missionaries we had in the late 90s). That takes our convert numbers from 250,000 to 300,000 per year, at current rates. If sisters begin to go at the same rate as men, the missionary force jumps from 50,000 to 80,000 with baptisms jumping from 250,000 to 400,000. Of course this doesn’t include any sort of diminishing returns on the additive value of more missionaries, but it also doesn’t include any sort of boost for moving the men’s age to 18, and the men’s boost you get from all the girls doing it.

Who knows where it will land, but it is an exciting moment of potential, for this and so many other reasons. It will be fun to watch the next 10 years.

Celebrating the Commercialism of Christmas

December 25, 2011    By: Jacob J @ 1:41 pm   Category: Uncategorized

There is nothing more predictable and cliche than the yearly denouncement of consumerism at Christmas. The Pope condemned the commercialization of Christmas at the Christmas Eve Mass last night and President Monson bemoaned the commercialization at Christmas at the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional this year.

I think this yearly antagonism toward commercialism is wrong-headed and misguided. It ignores the nature of holidays, and ultimately, human nature as well. The criticism is generally based on the idea that in all the consumerism and commercialism we lose sight of the “true meaning of Christmas” and forget what Christmas is really “all about.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. (more…)

A Major Doctrinal Shift in the 2010 CHI

January 2, 2011    By: Matt W. @ 9:18 am   Category: Uncategorized

While many posts have been dedicated to the new CHI, I am quite surprised that this major doctrinal shift has been overlooked. To my mind, this is probably the most important “micro-mormon” (Thanks, Scott B.) level change to occur in the handbook.
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What should you say in a baby blessing?

May 30, 2010    By: Jacob J @ 12:14 am   Category: Uncategorized

The first time I thought about this question was on my flight from the MTC to the mission home in Florida. My older brother had just asked me something about this in a letter and as I sat pondering the question I was reminded once again that I had nothing insightful to say due to my total lack of life experience. Since then I have had a few occassions to bless babies yet I still wonder about this. What is a baby blessing for? In preparing for a baby blessing should I approach it like I do a healing blessing or is it different? (more…)

Jeff G is back in the saddle

March 13, 2010    By: Jacob J @ 8:59 am   Category: Uncategorized

Jeff G is an old friend of this blog so I thought it fitting to point out that he is back in the saddle and blogging about Philosophy and Mormonism at a new blog.

So far, the posts have taken the form of an ongoing dialogue between two interlocutors, much in the same format as a recent discussion between someone and himself here at this blog (ahem). The two participants are “David” (who seems to represent the actual Jeff G’s and his views) and “Jeff” (who seems to represent Jeff G’s best, tho usually losing, defense of Mormonism).

I have always found Jeff G to be one of the smartest and most interesting people in the bloggernacle. You’re not likely to find much in the way of Mormon apologetics at his blog, but if you’re interested in a skeptic’s ruminations about the intersection of philosophy and Mormonism, take a peek over there.

Engagement Survey Results

February 6, 2010    By: Matt W. @ 11:14 am   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices,Uncategorized

Firmographics

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Survey on Church Engagement

February 2, 2010    By: Matt W. @ 9:34 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices,Uncategorized

Several corporations use a 12 question survey to measure how engaged their employees are in the company and use this as a measure to determine the quality of the workplace. I thought it would be interesting to apply these questions to the church.

You may take the survey here, or link to it here

I will share the results when/if I get 250 responses.

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The Worth of Souls, Direct Mail Edition

January 22, 2010    By: Matt W. @ 8:44 am   Category: Uncategorized

I’ve recently been reading some Evangelical books on church growth. While I’ve been truly amazed at the variety and hope to post a review once I get through the 17 books I’ve selected as most interesting, I did want to address one point that seems to be quite common among the Evangelical movement: Direct Mail Advertising.
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Orthodoxy vs. [Un]Orthodoxy

January 5, 2010    By: Matt W. @ 7:37 am   Category: Uncategorized

In our recent PEC meeting, our bishop let us know that the chain of command [God, Prophet, Apostle, Seventy, Area Seventy, Stake President, Bishop] had sent down a message that the leadership is worried about a growing rift in the church where members are identifying themselves as either orthodox or unorthodox members.
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Global Warming TEDTalks 2

November 28, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 12:06 pm   Category: Uncategorized

No, this is about an entirely different global warming scandal. In this 2007 presentation, David Keith lets the cat out of the bag by revealing a cheap, fast, effective solution to global warming which we’ve known about for as long as we’ve been worried about global warming. Yes, you read that right.

Keith is a Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment at the University of Calgary and the opposite of a global warming skeptic. He loves conservation so much he is conflicted about telling everyone about the cheap, fast, effective solution to global warming because they may not want to conserve once they know about it. In fact, he cites political correctness as the reason no one discusses this cheap, fast, effective solution. (more…)

Blake Ostler to be presenting in California this weekend

October 12, 2009    By: Kent (MC) @ 8:37 am   Category: Uncategorized

Blake Ostler will be presenting on “The History of the Trinity: Mormonism Engages the Christian Creedal Tradition” twice this weekend, down in Southern California. Unfortunately, The Miller-Eccles Study Group didn’t have their website updated (as of this post) to announce this event which they are hosting, but I wanted to get the word out.

Orange County
Friday, October 16, 2009
Time: 7:30 PM

Home of Morris and Dawn Thurston
9752 Crestview Cir., Villa Park, CA 92861
714-974-1878

Los Angeles County
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Time: 7:30 PM

Home of Russ & Christie Frandsen
4357 Chevy Chase Dr., La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 790-5491; rfrandsen@charter.net

2010 – SMPT Call For Papers

September 1, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 8:08 pm   Category: Uncategorized

2010 – Call For Papers

Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology Seventh Annual Meeting
March 25–27, 2010
Utah Valley University
Orem, Utah

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology invites papers on any aspect of Mormon belief, including its philosophical ramifications. We particularly encourage submissions on this year’s theme.

Theme: “The Measure of Their Creation—Theological Anthropology”

Christians generally share the belief that humans are children of God, made in his image. However, this belief takes a distinctive and radical form as it is understood by Latter-day Saints. On the one hand humans are much more like God, in several important respects, than on the traditional Christian view. On the other hand, Mormons take a more positive view of human embodiment and finitude. We will explore LDS teaching on the nature of human beings, with its implications and questions it raises, including comparison with other Christian views. We will also consider how human nature’s various aspects reflect a divine intention or purpose, “the measure of its creation” (D&C 88:19). Possible topics falling under this theme include: (more…)

Breaking: CDC Locates Origin of Pig Flu

April 30, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 5:33 pm   Category: Uncategorized

I love bacon

More Muddled Evolution Theory

December 16, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 12:00 am   Category: Uncategorized

I am a pro-science guy and I believe in evolution. That said, it seems to me from watching the Discovery channel and reading popular science articles that it is easy to get carried away explaining things based on evolution to the point that we forget what evolution is in the first place.†  Evolution is natural selection working on random mutation. Here’s an example from the NYT (hat tip: ZD sidebar) demonstrating how easy it is to slip from sound scientific reasoning into poppycock: (more…)

Praise to the Man: A Hymn By Eliza R. Snow?

September 8, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 11:02 am   Category: Uncategorized

When I was at BYU I used to spend some of my free time between classes hunting for treasures in the BYU library. I made lots of trips to Special Collections since my searches on controversial topics seemed to land me there more often than not. But those trips took time. Frequently, I would just go to the Mormon section (on the forth floor at the time before the HBLL was expanded and it moved downstairs) and look for interesting books to check out. At the time I didn’t have a very clear picture of the larger scholarly community and I assumed if I was going to find interesting things I’d have to dig them up for myself in old books. (more…)

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