Activity and Membership

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After reading the garments thread, some things came to mind. Firstly, one is considered officially “active” according to their church attendance and as I recall you don’t need to attend every Sunday, just once a month or so. Secondly, when one is baptized and confirmed they are known as members of the church until they ask for their name to be removed from the church records or they are excommunicated for an extremely grievous sin. It seems that many members have different definitions of what it means to be active in the LDS church and what it means to be a member of the LDS church. Should we keep our definitions of activity and membership in line with the official church definitions or is it acceptable to hold people to a much higher standard in order in claim activity and membership?

13 thoughts on “Activity and Membership

  1. I believe membership and activity to be two completely different topics most likely warranting two separate threads.

    K.

  2. Interesting point. I guess it’s obvious that I believe this question can be discussed in one thread, unfortunately you don’t. I’ll try keeping my topics singular in the future..apologizes. In the meantime, if it helps, focus on the definition of activity as it was a comment on this topic that was the catalyst for this thread. So to rework the question – Should we keep our definition of what constitutes an active member of the LDS church in line with the official definition used for church reporting or is it acceptable to hold people to a much higher standard in order to claim active status in the LDS church?

  3. I think they can stay in one thread, at least I dont’ see why not.

    Let’s see, well I think it is perfectly fine to keep it in line with the Church’s definition, but for myself, I would hold a higher standard. Not for anyone else neceessarily though.

  4. Actually I need to expand on this. I think true activity is being involved and serving in the Church (where asked to and when avaialable) and attending most meetings when possible. Being REALLY active takes a lot of time, lol.

  5. Once we start making distinctions, fractions of orthodoxy, fundamentlaism, evangelicalism, and other ism’s creep in. I am very bothered by Mormons that say they are “so much more” by attaching one of the above labels to their status. It’s a sad way to elevate their inflated egos.

    If we are to go by attending and activity, problems arise with how we categorize various populations – the infirmed, those that are incapacitated or caring for a loved one that needs 24/7 attention, those in foreign countries without members, the elderly, the abusive or controlling spouse or family and so on. Who’s to blame for those that aren’t doing their home teaching, VT, and other general family callings to tease out a way to reactivate an inactive?

    One can also be “active” and yet not be spiritually active.

    I think the best way to elevate one’s standing is not necessarily in attendance as it is in the ability to maginfy a calling. The the busy mom that cannot attend temple as often as she would like, can still do genealogy or extractions to support temple work. The mom on bedrest may be able to become a VT supervisor, and so on. Our leaders need to be truly prayerful (and ask for creativity) to consider all people for all callings – not just those that are convenient.

    One can live a Christ like life without the blessings of weekly attendance. I wish I could reap EVERY blessing available – some I feel I may not even be aware of yet. In lieu, anyone can find and magnify a calling in His name – and IMO, more of us should find callings outside of the church to magnify and serve our communities as He would like us to do.

    Finally, I acutally take great comfort in the inactives that are still on membership roles. I believe for the most part, they are aware of the big prophesies and will come running to repentance and thier duty for spiritual work to be done once they see “end times” coming to fruition. I also have come to know that the most blasphemous, are often the most spiritually in tune when they come back around.

    For the everyday trials and general unpreparedness that may come with choosing to be inactive however, is their choice – and therefore, the trials might be magnified in their suffering here, and beyond.

  6. The line that sparked the lengthy discussion under the Garments thread was “active and believing.” My focus was on the “believing” part, not the “active” part.

  7. Duncan,

    I think it is problematic to go much further than the official defintions. Individual circumstances are too complex to make things black and white. Wilfried’s post on coffee illustrates this perfectly.

  8. Here’s an interesting way to look at the question: Should pure orthodoxy be enforced in the use of these words, or should there be freedom to use them in different ways?

  9. I’m not sure it’s a clarification at all. In fact, I think it just muddies the waters. I was just finding it ironic that some of those who criticize or stereotype others for being “orthodox” may be enforcing their own kind of orthodoxy in answering a question like this.

  10. Well, you clarified your statement for me, by stating that your focus “was on the believing part, not the active part”, which I didn’t catch when I read your original post. My bad, no one else’s. Although my misunderstanding did spur some discussion and I’m into that. It is just interesting that “being active” has a specific quantifiable definition for use in church record-keeping, but is also used in the same arena (church) in other subjective ways.

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