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Subject: Any Mormons out there?? rss

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Rich Charters
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Any Mormons on BGG?? If so, leave a post below if you are so inclined. Include:
1) the stake you are in
2) If you went on a mission, list where you served.

1) Tempe Arizona South Stake
2) Japan Okayama Mission (1984-85).
My wife served in the Haiti Port-au-Prince mission.



By the way, this post is not a invitation for religious debate.
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Junior McSpiffy
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I thought Mormons were just a plot device in movies. Are you saying they are real?
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What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.
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J J
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sbszine wrote:
What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.


Sounds like you have to buy in. Maybe you can level up quicker. Hey, is LDS just another micro-payment app? And do they get Scientologist-style nasty when you try to stop p(l)aying?



(sorry junior, it was too good to resist)
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JasonJ0 wrote:
sbszine wrote:
What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.


Sounds like you have to buy in. Maybe you can level up quicker. Hey, is LDS just another micro-payment app? And do they get Scientologist-style nasty when you try to stop p(l)aying?



(sorry junior, it was too good to resist)


They give you wont like it if we have to visit and bring casserole.
 
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sbszine wrote:
What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.

A ward is a Mormon congregation and is defined by geographical boundaries. A collection of wards is a stake. So you can express what part of the Church you come from through your ward and stake.

In Utah, where there are passels of Mormons, stating your ward is about the same as giving out your personal address considering how small a geographical area it takes to make a congregation.

I grew up in White Rock Ward, Santa Fe New Mexico Stake and now live in the Tucson Arizona Rincon Stake. Being from Ashfield, you are in the Summer Hill Ward, Sydney Australia Harbour Stake, should you ever decide to avail yourself of the amenities the Restored Gospel has to offer.

I served a mission in the Cagayan River Valley in the Philippines. At the time there was only one stake in the entire mission, Tuguegarao. Where there's not enough members in an area to operate stakes and wards--which are completely staffed by volunteers from the geographical areas they encompass--districts and branches are organized which get more external support.

For the globe trotting Mormon there's a handy website to find the nearest meeting house to where ever you may be:
https://www.lds.org/maps/meetinghouses
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Khalid Shabazz
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Are missions effective or is it more of a spiritual experience for the missionary?
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Christopher Dearlove
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crescent_gamer wrote:
Are missions effective or is it more of a spiritual experience for the missionary?


Globally, they obviously are effective. The LDS has grown to a claimed 15 million in just under two centuries, and even allowing for that such estimates made by organisations always err on the high side, that's been a significant success for the LDS. Of course it means each missionary recruits, on average, a fraction of a convert. More broadly, we all knew what Mormon means, so the broader advertising campaign of brand awareness has worked too. (Even if some of it is not by the LDS, a well-known musical for example - though when I saw it, the LDS took out three full page adverts in the programme offering free copies of the Book of Mormon, the only actual non-missionary adverts I recall seeing from them.)
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In no way is this a sarcastic question, which may be hard to believe, but...


Are there targets / metrics used for Mission work? What are these goals and how does the church measure success. How does the church decide if X target market or Y team is successful?

All resources are finite and need to be optimized, so just wondering how this system works.

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Josh
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sbszine wrote:
What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.
Similar to diocese, if you are fluent in Papist.
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Junior McSpiffy
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darthhugo wrote:
In no way is this a sarcastic question, which may be hard to believe, but...


Are there targets / metrics used for Mission work? What are these goals and how does the church measure success. How does the church decide if X target market or Y team is successful?

All resources are finite and need to be optimized, so just wondering how this system works.



The LDS Church definitely has a corporate feel to it in many ways, but goals don't work like that. Goals are set, but it is more in an effort to improve the individual missionary. Each week, you are encouraged to set your own goals, both individually and as a companionship, but it is more a matter of bringing about an individual focus. If you aren't meeting goals, then what are you doing differently? Are you not focused enough spiritually? How can you draw closer to the Spirit so you can have help beyond yourself in reaching others?

And truthfully, each mission is different because they are managed by a different mission president (a lay calling where a person serves WELL far away from their home for three years managing around 150 teenage bundles of hormones and keeps them focused on spiritual matters.... cushy job, yeah?) has their own style. I know that I had one who laid into us from time to time when a group of missionaries were underperforming compared to other missionaries in the same area.... but it was always to improve individual spirituality.

In short, nobody gets fired or promoted based on numbers. Like that same mission president I told you about said more than once, "If you want to know what the Lord said about converting for numbers, look in D&C 18."

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 18 wrote:
10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.

12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.

13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!

14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
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Junior McSpiffy
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To answer the OP:

Summerhill Stake (Riverton UT)
Colorado Denver Mission 1992-1993 / Colorado Denver South Mission 1993-1994 23 months English speaking, one random month in the middle in the Laotian branch. But that month was like my high school dating career: the gift of tongues eluded me.
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Dan Wheeler
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Sorry, I can never remember what Stake I'm in, but North Logan.

As for mission, none, convert.
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Josh
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JoshBot wrote:
sbszine wrote:
What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.
Similar to diocese, if you are fluent in Papist.
Though in researching this further, a stake is a significantly smaller geographic area than a diocese.
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David Dearlove
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JoshBot wrote:
JoshBot wrote:
sbszine wrote:
What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.
Similar to diocese, if you are fluent in Papist.
Though in researching this further, a stake is a significantly smaller geographic area than a diocese.

Diocese in the formal papal states can be tiny.
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James King
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richcharters wrote:
By the way, this post is not a invitation for religious debate.

That's debatable.




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Aaron Lambert
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There are several of us that regularly lurk here in RSP.

1) Raised in Fresno CA West Stake, currently living in American Fork UT West Stake
2) Washington Seattle Mission (1992-94)

darthhugo wrote:
In no way is this a sarcastic question, which may be hard to believe, but...

Are there targets / metrics used for Mission work? What are these goals and how does the church measure success. How does the church decide if X target market or Y team is successful?

All resources are finite and need to be optimized, so just wondering how this system works.

I am certain that there are metrics collected by church HQ, but I am not sure how they are used. The baptism rate is relatively high in some areas of the world (South America in particular) and comparatively low in other areas (Western Europe). But I do not think that the church will stop sending missionaries to the "less responsive" areas.

They probably alter the training of missionaries as they see tactics, approaches, or methodologies that are more effective or less effective.

Overall I think there are dual goals to missions. The first is for the missionary to grow personally and the second is to teach others. Serving a mission (and travel in general) expands your worldview. But as a missionary you tend to go places and interact with people that you never would as a tourist.

You spend some time knocking on doors, some time teaching, and some time just doing service in the local community.

In order to teach the gospel you must study it. Missionaries tend to spend a couple hours each day studying the scriptures, so your knowledge increases a lot. A mission also strengthens your testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ as you see people (yourself included) make sacrifices, serve others, overcome weaknesses, and receive blessings and happiness in return.

For me as a nerdy, socially awkward introvert, a mission was a difficult thing. I am still nerdy and socially awkward, but I think that learning to talk to people helped me become a better person.
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crescent_gamer wrote:
Are missions effective or is it more of a spiritual experience for the missionary?

Depends on what you mean by effective. Proclaiming the Gospel is a duty, and everyone has a right to hear the Gospel in their own language. Doing your best to accomplish this task is all that's necessary to be a successful missionary.

Different missions have different rates of people joining the Church. World wide there were 240,131 convert baptisms in 2016 which is down from the ~300,000 per year 20 years ago. There might be one convert baptism a year in one mission and 100 a year in a different mission.
 
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Guido Van Horn
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DavidDearlove wrote:
JoshBot wrote:
JoshBot wrote:
sbszine wrote:
What's a stake, in the context of Mormon stuff? I haven't heard of that.
Similar to diocese, if you are fluent in Papist.
Though in researching this further, a stake is a significantly smaller geographic area than a diocese.

Diocese in the formal papal states can be tiny.


Stakes are a collection of wards...usually around 10-15ish. They can be tiny or huge depending on the number of wards in a geographic area. My stake takes in 11 wards that technically covers about 70 miles end to end. I don't know much about how dioceses are formed, but I was always under the impression they were fewer in numbers. In the LDS church collections of stakes are in regional units called Areas of which there are only 25 worldwide. There is an Area Presidency which oversees each of the areas.

Further complicating the structure system are units called Branches which are created when there are not enough members in a given area to support the key functions and positions of a ward. Branches can be part of a stake, but are often grouped into districts, which run under the authority of the mission president of which there are about 330ish world wide, mission presidents, have a primary duty to direct the affairs of the missionaries, but are also the authorized person that directs the districts and performs duties that would otherwise be a Stake Presidents duty. Many branches that exist in a district rely heavily on missionaries to fulfill basic callings normally not performed by missionaries in normal wards and stakes.

For instance, I once acted as the branch clerk and my companion was a member of the branch presidency in a smaller Brazilian town that did not have enough members to maintain these positions.

Some remote areas have things called Groups, which is usually just a family or two that is authorized to hold Sunday meetings in their homes.
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Jon Badolato
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On any given Sunday ( besides the blood letting and the howling at the moon, just kidding ! ) what goes on in a Mormon Sunday Service. Are their biblical or BOM readings, is there any kind of Eucharistic intake, is there a collection plate, is there singing or music involved ? What's your typical Sunday service or meeting like ?
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"15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
"

So technically if you bring no souls or many mamy souls then joy and great joy if you bring one soul your fucked.

isn't english a great language.
 
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jonb wrote:
On any given Sunday ( besides the blood letting and the howling at the moon, just kidding ! ) what goes on in a Mormon Sunday Service. Are their biblical or BOM readings, is there any kind of Eucharistic intake, is there a collection plate, is there singing or music involved ? What's your typical Sunday service or meeting like ?
This is viewed through a lens of someone who grew up Catholic, and sometimes went to Greek Orthodox services, but LDS services reminded me of a city council meeting.
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rayito2702 wrote:
crescent_gamer wrote:
Are missions effective or is it more of a spiritual experience for the missionary?

Depends on what you mean by effective. Proclaiming the Gospel is a duty, and everyone has a right to hear the Gospel in their own language. Doing your best to accomplish this task is all that's necessary to be a successful missionary.

Different missions have different rates of people joining the Church. World wide there were 240,131 convert baptisms in 2016 which is down from the ~300,000 per year 20 years ago. There might be one convert baptism a year in one mission and 100 a year in a different mission.

I was interested in how many new believers these missions actually convert. Seems like a decent growth rate.

Two famous athletes recently went on a church-sanctioned mission to Haiti to work in a soup kitchen or something for a weekend and I was wondering if the money for the flights back and forth wouldn't be better spent if they just sent it to a random Haitian.

But I understood there is also personal/spiritual aspect to this kind of work that certainly helps broaden one's horizon.
 
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Aaron Lambert
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jonb wrote:
On any given Sunday ( besides the blood letting and the howling at the moon, just kidding ! ) what goes on in a Mormon Sunday Service. Are their biblical or BOM readings, is there any kind of Eucharistic intake, is there a collection plate, is there singing or music involved ? What's your typical Sunday service or meeting like ?

On most Sundays during the year our Sunday services follow the same structure. The entirety of the meetings is three hours long.

The first hour and fifteen minutes is Sacrament Meeting. Sacrament Meeting is attended together as a family. It is run by a member of the Bishopric (or Branch Presidency if you are in a smaller congregation as explained by others). There are generally some announcements (upcoming events, etc), an opening congregational hymn, and an opening prayer said by a member of the congregation.

After that the bishopric will announce any new service callings in the ward (sister Jones will be serving as a Sunday school teacher, etc). All those positions are voted on and the voting is almost always unanimous. Generally the only reason to oppose would be if you felt like there would be some kind of problem like a registered sex offender working in the nursery for example.

Following those there will be another congregational hymn and then the sacrament of the Lord's supper, which LDS tend to just call "the sacrament". There are trays with pieces of bread and tiny cups of water on them which are blessed and passed around for each person to eat/drink of if they choose. Priesthood holders (usually young men aged 12-17) prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament to the congregation.

Once the sacrament portion of the service is over, there are people assigned to speak (usually 3 or 4 total with one or two of them being a youth aged 12-17) and in there somewhere will be a musical number or another congregational hymn. The speakers are just other members of the congregation that were asked to speak by a member of the bishopric a week or two in advance, and they are usually given a topic to speak on (like repentance, faith during trials, or service).

The exception to the above speakers is the first Sunday of each month which is a "Fast Sunday". On Fast Sunday we are supposed to skip two meals and donate the money we would have spent on food to the poor. On Fast Sundays instead of speakers we have an "open mic" where any member or visitor can go up and share their testimony with the congregation.

After the speakers finish we sing another congregational hymn and have a closing prayer.

The rest of the three hours depends on your age. Children under 12 go to "Primary" where they have singing time and class time. For everyone else, the next ~45 minutes is Sunday School which is general scripture/gospel discussion and instruction. Sunday school classes are started and ended with prayer but there are generally no hymns.

And the last ~45 minutes is Priesthood Meeting for the men, Relief Society meeting for the women, and Young Men/Women for the teenagers, which are all basically the same as Sunday school but usually focused on different topics. These meetings are also started and ended with prayer and also usually have a hymn sung at the start.

There is no collection plate passed around in our meetings. Tithing and other offerings (like fast offerings or donations to humanitarian relief) are usually just paid on-line or by handing it in an envelope to a member of the bishopric when you bump into them in the hallway.

Scriptures are read as part of the talks given during sacrament meeting and during lessons, but there is not a particular time set aside in the meeting for a regular scripture reading like there is in some other faiths.

Hopefully that answers your questions and makes sense.

Edit: typos and clarity
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jonb wrote:
On any given Sunday ( besides the blood letting and the howling at the moon, just kidding ! ) what goes on in a Mormon Sunday Service. Are their biblical or BOM readings, is there any kind of Eucharistic intake, is there a collection plate, is there singing or music involved ? What's your typical Sunday service or meeting like ?


The typical 3 hour block is sacrament meeting, where the primary purpose is the blessing and distribution of the sacrament (bread and water symbolic of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) Most of the time unless there is a special program, there are a series of talks, usually 1-2 from the youth, and then two longer talks by adults. Rarely does the presiding bishop or officer give talks. The talks are given by members of the congregation, usually asked to speak by the bishopric. Often but not always it is a married couple asked to speak on related but separate topics. Once a month there is a testimony meeting where anyone on the congregation may get in line to speak.


Afterwards there is a Sunday School meeting. Kids go with other kids their age and adults meet to have a lesson, usually centered on the scriptures. There are 4 sections of Canon that we rotate through. One year on each section (Book of Mormon, Old Testament, New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants/church history)

After Sunday School we have Priesthood/Relief Society/Young Women's meetings. ( your ne'er children usually have a singing time primary program.

These meetings are generally another Sunday School meeting where we discuss lessons from the modern day prophets and apostles, but it's also when we discuss upcoming service projects and parties and whatnot.

Edit:
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