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255: Who Is The Doubter?


Today we sit down and discuss the a study done to delve into who is the doubting Mormon.  A study was done and presented to top LDS Leaders on the topic.  Today we delve into the data and find out what is known about these folks and what we know about the growth of this segment.  If nothing else the data suggests we have a real problem that can not be solved by blaming or marginalizing those who have had a decrease in institutional trust in Mormonism.



11 thoughts on “255: Who Is The Doubter?”

  1. Bill, 20 years ago after a difficult 20+ marriage and subsequent divorce I set out to discover why the promises of Mormonism had not worked for me. I was in my late 40’s, had raised a very large family, always been active, and had relied on God to be the answer for all my challenges. Today, after many years of trial, reasearch, lost testimony and sweet personal connection with my inner authority, I still attend church several times a month to serve and connect but on my terms not those threatened over the pulpit. It is a challening position to interact and build relationships with ward members as the weekly discussions are so limiting and out of touch of my present view and beliefs. I ,too, look forward to a paradigm shift that will open all our eyes to the reality of God’s inclusive Love for All his children everywhere in and out of the church. Thank you for all you do!

    1. While the author of the study has shared this info directly with Church leadership and is based on solid research, he wishes to remain anonymous which limits what can be said.

  2. I’ve listened to 5-10 of your podcasts and really enjoyed your perspective. That said, I have to say that this podcast was extremely disappointing and it’ll be hard for me to get past the issues that came up. In particular, the inferences you are making using these data—from the perspective of someone whose career is dependent on making valid statistical inferences—are a huge stretch and in some cases blatantly inappropriate. What I can’t get past is that you make such an effort to berate the church for promoting a false narrative, only to come along with this information that attempts to paint a very specific narrative from very noisy data that in my opinion may require more faith to believe than some of the conclusions drawn by the church about its own history. Generally, it’s that double standard that is troubling when I listen to progressive Mormons (who I often I agree with) make strong statements based on questionable and sometimes blatantly misleading data sources. I appreciate and acknowledge what you are trying to balance with your podcasts is extremely tricky—and not a task that I could/would undertake—but this time I came away feeling like I need to start a podcast to combat this particular narrative that is “unrealistic, too simplistic, and too black and white.”

  3. The Ghost of William Law

    Re: #1 Many Doubters & Unbelievers are Active LDS
    Seriously??? You’re a former bishop. Would you classify as “Active” people who attend Annually? Quarterly? even Monthly?

    What assignment would you give that person? Christmas program coordinator? Easter and Christmas program coordinator?

    I guess after “18 months of review and refinement by LDS subject matter experts and senior Church leaders” (and perhaps Correlation?) they were able to clarify what “Active” means.

    I support the effort of the survey, but independence would likely mean more objectivity. After the Church has “refined” the data, it has the credibility of a survey of smokers by the tobacco industry, or the survey of health issues by the pharmaceutical industry.

    1. the data was there and the conclusion the person who put it together made was that a large % of doubters continue to attend and participate to some extent, a chunk of those being at least monthly (which is how the Church gauges activity. I think when we look at doubters we often assume near all have disengaged completely. While I don’t like his calling a yearly attender active I do see that those who go at least monthly should be taken seriously and the Church work to improve their experience.

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