Convincing people to stay in the Church

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Let’s pretend you are a bishop. Let’s also pretend you received a letter from someone who wished to have his/her name removed from Church records. Would you attempt to convince the person to stay in the Church?

{democracy:22}

24 thoughts on “Convincing people to stay in the Church

  1. Begging people to stay is as wrong as a telemarketer begging you not to ask to have your name be put on the ‘do not call list’. Once somebody has made up their mind to leave, there isn’t much you can do.

    Now, if they haven’t had their name removed, then I think it’s a different story.

  2. Personally, I think that anyone who has requested no contact with the Church should be asked if they would like to remove their names permanently. Nothing frustrates me more than the yearly shuffle of HT route to include more of these folks. Let’s respect their agency and leave them alone. There’s enough work to do without having to bother those who’ve decided to move on.

  3. Now, if they haven’t had their name removed, then I think it’s a different story.

    I don’t understand, JM. Do you think if they want their name removed, that we should try to convince them o stay?

  4. No, I should have been more clear. If they want their name removed, we should do it. However, if as Chad suggested we ask them if they want their name removed, and they don’t, but they also say they don’t want any contact then that is a different story.

    I think that if they are just ‘less-active’ then we have a scriptural obligation to continue to watch over, be with, and strengthen.

  5. I would not attempt to change their mind. But I would make sure they understand everything that name removal entails.

  6. I think that if someone’s name is still on the records, but they want to be left alone, they should be left alone? I can see if you are assessing the lists and don’t know the status/feelings on a less active member, then it’s your obligation to find out. People have their own reasons why they have not removed their names. If a member has said, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”, should you call them every few weeks or every month to make sure they have not changed their mind? I would think repeated contact from someone who does want contact is obnoxious.

  7. “I would think repeated contact from someone who does want contact is obnoxious.”

    I agree… and, if it were me that didn’t want to be contacted, I’d ask to have my name taken off their list. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to be contacted, yet still wanting to remain on the contact list. Can you?

  8. Because they still believe the church is perfect and true.. the gospel is real but they also know people are human beings and they will mistakes and hurt other people;s feelings, step on their toes etc and they fall away cause they got hurt… but they don’t want to break that one thin bond holding them to the Lord. Cut that thin line off and they will think nothing will bring them back.

  9. I agree Kim. If you agree to be in the club, then I guess you agree to the club’s rules. If one of those rules says club member will contact you from time-to-time, then you should expect a visit / call / whatever…

  10. Or maybe, just maybe, they do not think the church is true, but the social and family stigma of not being ‘on the records’ is too much to bear.

    Think about it.

  11. Rick,

    Oh I don’t know about the social stigma thing. I have siblings who don’t care a hoot about any social concerns when it comes to being a member of the church or not, they just don’t have a desire to put the effort into removing their names from the records. However, I do have at least one family member who had their name removed. Most people, if they are adamant about not being a member, are pretty open about it.

  12. I have heard it being handled this way: If a person asks not to be contacted, they can be told that they can send a letter to the bishop asking to have their name removed. If they are not willing to do this then they should be told that they will be contacted by the bishop or quorum president once or twice a year. Basically those are the two options. (But they, of course, need to be presented carefully)

  13. By Kim Siever, 25 Apr 2007

    “Let’s pretend you are a bishop. Let’s also pretend you received a letter from someone who wished to have his/her name removed from Church records. Would you attempt to convince the person to stay in the Church?”

    Do members of the church assume they are not at fault when the Bishop receives this kind of letter? Is it possibile that several members of the ward did not do their jobs before a letter was written? No HT or VT, no fellowship, etc. I know for me that there have been many Sundays were no one ever spoke or even acknowledge I was even there. No HT’ers has been common for many years. It is not the Bishop’s job to activate but yours.

    If you are suggesting people have their names removed for being inactive is it because it will make your HT list smaller? Why do you want their names removed?

    I was looking at the ward lists for a couple of past wards and I noticed something that was interesting to me. Each ward had about 60 married couples and 15 singles on the ward roster. About 330 people in each ward. Sacrament attendance would average about 120 souls.

    If the church ex-ed those who do not attend, then instead of 13 million members the number might be 4 million which is what some of the ex mormon sites claim is a closer number to actual church membership. Does the church need to count inactives to show growth to the world?

    Why does a ward need to put everyone on a roster? Why not just list those who actually attend? The clerks could use larger type since there would be fewer people to list.

    I’m leaving my name on so the HT percentages, temple recommend holder percentage, full tithe payer percentages all look worse and create more work for the (TBM) Elder and or HP Quorum Presidents. I don’t have to pay an annual fee so why do I and others care if our name is on some roster or not? Is it a concern to those who have to answer to why your numbers are low?

    Perhaps the question to ask is why do you care if people leave if you don’t care if they are there?

  14. Well, then why don’t you start your own blog and ask that question? Kim asked his own question, you can ask your own, on your OWN blog.

    The question was a hypothetical query to get thoughts, you are veering off into your own thread again, so please, start a blog! :)

  15. I couldn’t give a yes-or-no vote because the situation is fraught with too many variables. I would have to inquire about whether the member understood fully what he was doing, and why. If he were willing to tell me why, I might see if I could help him to gain a better understanding of something he was misunderstanding, or help him to get a testimony of a principle he rejects. On the other hand, if he seemed determined to go about seeking to destroy and undermine the Church and its members, I would accept that invitation as fast as I could.

  16. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to find one of my favorite anecdotes about Brigham Young, which I read in a Church history text in college. A woman wrote to President Young asking to have her name removed from the Church’s records. I’ll give his reply to the best of my memory:

    “Madam: I have spent the morning searching for your name among the records of baptism for the remission of sins. I was unable to find your name therein, and was thus spared the trouble of removing it therefrom. You may therefore assume that your sins have not been remitted, and that you may enjoy the full benefits thereof.”

  17. I don’t think that inquiry amounts to “talking out.” It may or may not be a precursor to trying to talk him out of it.

  18. “I couldn’t give a yes-or-no vote because the situation is fraught with too many variables. I would have to inquire about whether the member understood fully what he was doing, and why. If he were willing to tell me why, I might see if I could help him to gain a better understanding of something he was misunderstanding, or help him to get a testimony of a principle he rejects. On the other hand, if he seemed determined to go about seeking to destroy and undermine the Church and its members, I would accept that invitation as fast as I could.”

    Are you suggesting that if a person seeks to have their name removed that they also are seeking to undermine the Church? I think the people who would do this have a grudge with the way church leaders have treated them. I think the vast majority of people who want to leave simply want the church out of their lives and the church refuses to allow them their right to be left alone so they send a letter asking to be left alone.

  19. No, I think most people who are trying to destroy the Church from within would rather do it from within.

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