Hearsay of the Church

February 28, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 6:32 am   Category: Life

I am posting up a few interesting rumors I have heard in the last 24 hours which pertain to the church.

Hearsay #1: A woman in my wife’s institute class reported that her recently purchased LDS scriptures have the “Proclamation on the Family” and “Living Christ” in them right after the Articles of Faith. I can find no record of any such change on the internet, so I am skeptical, except my wife reports seeing the scriptures with her own eyes.

Hearsay #2: Our local Mission is getting a massive surge of missionaries (Going from 150 to 190 in the next two transfers). This I have confirmed. The hearsay part is that this is because of a church wide move to have low baptizing missions in Europe have a reduction in Force, while high baptizing missions like ours are going to receive the additional surplus.

Can you confirm or deny?


  1. Our mission, Detroit Michigan, is loosing missionaries. We’ve been told that is is because of low baptisms.

    Comment by Floyd the Wonderdog — February 28, 2009 @ 6:57 am

  2. I lived in suburban-D.C. Maryland until last summer and the missionaries told us the same thing. We were a relatively low baptizing mission and that they were phasing out missionaries there to redirect new ones to higher baptizing missions.

    No idea on Hearsay#1 though. Aren’t they working on a new edition with the changes they made to the preface a little while back? (just to add more fuel to the hearsay)

    Comment by David H. Sundwall — February 28, 2009 @ 8:25 am

  3. I don’t know about one, but here’s another data point for two: our area was asked by the mission to provide furniture for apartments for nine new companionships.

    Comment by Julie M. Smith — February 28, 2009 @ 8:54 am

  4. #1 is confirmed as false. The woman with the new scriptures “forgot” her husband had glued the page in. And yes, I am making fun of my wife for falling for it. The best part to me is that the institue teacher immediately said “yes that is true” to the whole claim.

    regarding #2 Julie, we live in the same mission. I received the same request for furniture. (and yes I still want to drive up and come to your institue class someday, but life is too busy for the short term, sadly)

    Comment by matt w. — February 28, 2009 @ 10:30 am

  5. low baptizing missions in Europe

    Is there any other kind? If so, I’d like names, please.

    Comment by Peter LLC — February 28, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

  6. The Pacific Northwest missions are supposed to be getting more missionaries, and I’m pretty sure I heard this over a pulpit, but I don’t recall if it was from the ward, stake, or something more general.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — February 28, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  7. Rumor #1. In our mission, one of the elder glued a picture of Joseph Smith into his bible. That way, whenever a combative Bible basher would ask him where “Joseph Smith” could be found mentioned in the Bible, the missionary would open up his copy, point at the picture, and say “Right here.”

    Comment by DavidH — February 28, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  8. #2 – Yes, there is a redistribution of missionaries occurring across North America and Europe. Missionaries are being moved to high baptizing areas and out of historically, chronically low baptizing areas.

    The Church leadership conducted a detailed study of high and low baptizing wards and stakes to see if they could identify common characteristics of each. The biggest concern is that growth in the US and Canada is stagnant (meaning that the annual growth rate is steady, NOT that the Church isn’t growing), while the growth rate internationally is around 5%-6% currently (meaning that each year there are 5%-6% more baptisms each year than the last year). I have the PowerPoint from the Area Presidency with the actual numbers, but the gradual move is both to be more effective in areas experiencing high growth – and to prepare for when China and India, particularly, open to regular missionary work. (India has missionaries, but they only are allowed to talk with people who approach them.)

    Fwiw, I can envision the day (perhaps relatively soon) when massive redistribution occurs and Ward Missions take over full responsibility in many areas here in North America.

    Comment by Ray — February 28, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

  9. Interesting, I hadn’t heard about the missionary change. The first one turns out to be hilarious, but I have definitely wondered what would happen if they put the Proclamation forward for a sustaining vote in general conference. I would be pretty conflicted and I don’t think I’m the only one.

    Comment by Jacob J — February 28, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

  10. These missionary redistributions come and go like the tides, in response to both theoretical and pragmatic considerations, including ecclesiastical, administrative, financial and logistical matters. In my experience, one can expect a major general level missionary deployment policy shift every five to ten years.

    Of the top of my head, over the past twenty years I recall a shift related to the opening of Eastern Europe, a subsequent shift out of Northeast Asia, A shift into the U.S. and Canada, and now apparently a shift out. I don’t doubt that there are others that I am not aware of.

    Comment by Mark D. — February 28, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

  11. I just heard from the horses mouth that the Munich mission will be about halved to 78 missionaries in the coming months.

    Comment by Peter LLC — March 1, 2009 @ 7:29 am

  12. Wow Peter, that’s pretty incredible.

    Ray: Along with the information I heard about the missionary redistribution, I heard that about 4 months ago, a missionary in the MTC heard Elder Hinckley say they were opening two new areas in India. (what this means, I don’t know).

    Comment by Matt W. — March 1, 2009 @ 7:34 am

  13. My Stake President was told by the Area Authority that we should prepare our young men and young women for the possibility that more and more of them are going to get calls inside the United States rather than foreign due to an increase in missionary numbers in most of the missions inside the states.

    At the same time a couple we know on a mission to South Africa said that they are being allowed an increase in the number of missionaries there due to recent increases in baptismal numbers.

    Comment by bandanamom — March 1, 2009 @ 7:49 am

  14. In the England London Mission the missionaries serving today , compared to about 5 years ago has halved .The active LDS membership in the whole of the UK is no more than about 35,000 which is astonishing given the fact that Britain has a population of about 60 million . [Unrelated potshot at the Church edited here]

    Comment by Andrew Price — March 1, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

  15. Interesting on #2. I know that I used to hypothesize with others what would happen if missionaries were pulled out of ________ (fill in the blank with areas where the church is stagnant and not growing). Missionaries seem to be the only stable thing in some of those wards, staving off apostasy on a weekly basis.

    Comment by Hayes — March 1, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  16. From the evidence presented here, it seems that this action will continue rather than reverse a net shift of missionaries into the United States. If I were to guess the most productive missions in the United States have a large number of Spanish speaking missionaries, and that is where the shift will be most apparent.

    I would like to hear about other areas outside the U.S. that will be likely to experience a net increase in missionary deployment on this basis. Latin America or the Philippines for example?

    Comment by Mark D. — March 1, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

  17. I think the church would have already included the Proclamations if they were minded to do it. While very important documents, I’m not convinced they should be regarded as scripture in the same way the rest of the standard works are.

    With regard to low baptising missions – one of the reasons missions in the UK are baptising fewer people is because missionary numbers were reduced some years ago following the “higher bar” direction, coupled with the expansion into the former Soviet controlled areas.

    I feel low baptising missions here need more missionaries, not less.

    Comment by Alan Tomlinson — March 3, 2009 @ 7:36 am

  18. That fellow who posted above named Andrew Price is a violent troublemaker who spends more time harassing missionaries and members in the London than I spend awake. Anybody who has served in any mission in London in the last decade can vouch for this. The church has several restraining orders on him. I know I am just a guest here but let me suggest that the mods keep a close eye on him.

    Comment by Daniel — March 3, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  19. Beware all, Andrew Price was one-time Church of England Pastor who harasses Mormons, and is one of the most ignorant, yet vitriolic, anti-Mormons.

    Comment by TomH — March 5, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

  20. Regarding number 2, it’s true. My former mission president (of a mission in Mexico) informed us of the shift in missionary focus away from Europe and toward more progressive missions (mostly latin-america)

    Comment by Todd — March 6, 2009 @ 1:04 am

  21. As for number 2, my former mission president confirmed that it is true. He talked about the shift in coming years from missionaries in Europe toward more progressive missions (mostly in latin-america).

    Comment by Todd — March 6, 2009 @ 1:06 am

  22. I have strong testimony that the church is true and I have no doubt about it. The only thing I would like to clear up are the following;

    1. When I was in “Visitor’s Center” in Salt Lake I had noticed the statue of Jesus Christ. And now they are also putting His pictures in every church building. What then is the meaning at the ten commandments ” Thou shall not make any graven images or any likeness from heaven?”

    When Joseph Smith had seen God the Father and Jesus Christ, did he ever emphasized how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ face really look like? Because the pictures of Jesus Christ hang at the wall of our church and printed at church magazines have different faces.

    2. In the book “Jesus the Christ” by James E.Talmage page 104 it says; “December 25th the day celebrated is Christendom as Christmas, cannot be the correct date. We believed April 6th to be the birthday of Jesus Christ as indicated in a revelation of the present dispensation already cited, in which that day is made without qualification the completion of the one thousand eight hundred and thirtieth year since the coming of the Lord in the flesh. This acceptance is admittedly based on faith in modern revelation, and in no wise is set forth as the result of chronological research or analysis. We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6, B.C.
    Why then do we have to celebrate on December 25th together with those other religions with those pagan traditions?

    3. Why is it that the American National Anthem is also included in our church hymn book?

    I know my strong testimony will not be inflicted by those questions stated above. I am just small child asking questions to his father.

    Very Respectfully Yours,

    Emmanuel D. Hermida
    Vienna International Ward

    Comment by Emmanuel D. Hermida — March 8, 2009 @ 2:53 am

  23. Emmanuel.

    This is a bit of a thread jack, but-

    1. Exodus 20:4-6

    “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments”

    The commandment is to not make images for the purpose of worshiping them, and in any case, the heavens above bit is a misnomer as it also says to make images of nothing else. If you interpret it that way, don’t look at this website, as we have images of “the earth beneath”. Mainly, the idea is not to worship things other than God. Spencer W. Kimball famously talked about false idols we worship such as money, status,etc.

    2.Later in our church history, Apostle Bruce R. McConkie noted we are not certain of this April 6th Date, saying:

    We do not believe it is possible with the present state of our knowledge-including that which is known both in and out of the Church-to state with finality when the natal day of the Lord Jesus actually occurred. (McConkie, 1:349, n.2.)

    So we ecumenically worship with our christian brothers and sisters on December 25th, in a spirit of “peace on earth and good will toward man” They are all Children of God.

    3. The American National Anthem is in the English Hymn book, the French Anthem is in the French Hymn book, etc etc. You’ll note the British National Anthem is also in the English Hymn book. Anyway, the church is a big proponent of being good citizens. (12th Article of Faith) Hope this helps.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 8, 2009 @ 7:51 am

  24. Matt W. Thank you very much for your time in sharing with me your opinion or the things you understand. I am a convert in the church and learned more by asking questions. I don’t have any intention to make any argument, but to listen from faithful members like you… that I may also have the chance to progress. Emmanuel

    Comment by Emmanuel D. Hermida — April 10, 2009 @ 3:36 am

  25. No Worries Emmanuel. I’m a convert too. Hang in there.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 10, 2009 @ 11:38 am