Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hastening Inactivity

Interesting article yesterday about the recent increase in LDS missionaries.

"The stats are staggering.
In the year and a half since the LDS Church lowered the minimum age for full-time missionary service, the Utah-based faith has seen its proselytizing force swell from 58,500 to more than 83,000. That’s a 42 percent leap.  The number of convert baptisms last year grew to 282,945, up from 272,330 in 2012. That’s an increase of — less than 4 percent."
If the age change was supposed to hasten the work, as it has been presented, seems it's getting off to a rather slow start.  24,500 more missionaries, less than 4%  increase in convert baptisms.   Something isn't working.  And we should perhaps all be saying something, or starting to wake up to the situation we, and the Church, find ourselves in.  If the field is white and ready to harvest....why is there nothing being harvested?  Why are the things harvested not staying?  Why are waves of people leaving the Church?

What's interesting to me is that the missionary age change has been put in context of "hastening the work".   Or in other words "speeding things up".   Some things can be sped up, some cannot.  The scripture backing all of this is  based on D&C 88:73.  "Behold I will hasten my work in it's time".    Lowering missionary age, and having more of them was, I suppose, to hasten the work.

What really goes against the hastening is the statistics about how many returned missionaries go inactive....  That's downright discouraging.  But that's a post for another day.  Here's an article, and additionally a blog post a friend wrote about it.     
This makes me wonder about the age change for the missionaries.  Was it truly to hasten the work?  If so what work is being hastened?  Was it to build Zion?  Isn't that the object of the latter day restoration?  To bring again Zion?  The scriptures and temple both remind us of the importance of building Zion.  The interesting thing is Zion can't be built with haste (see scriptures below).   Was the age change to fulfill the verse in D&C 88?  Or merely a policy change with "hoped" for expectations?   Was it perhaps to help retain membership?  Returned missionaries are after all more likely to stay active and committed.  Which is a repeatedly sore spot for the Church.  Inactivity rates are high among the younger groups.   
In the scriptures, when it comes to the establishment of Zion, "hastening the work" is the opposite of what they teach is the process to create such a place.  In fact it says NOT to use haste.   Seems funny to watch the missionary initiative "hastening the work of salvation" while at the same time doing something that we are taught in scripture can't be done in order to establish Zion.  Odd indeed.   
3 Nephi 20: 42, Christ speaks about the final gathering: "For ye shall not  go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward."
 D&C 63: 24: “ This is the will of the Lord your God concerning his saints, that they should assemble themselves together unto the land of Zion, not in haste, lest there should be confusion, which bringeth pestilence.” 
D&C 101: 68, "Nevertheless, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, let not your gathering be in haste, nor by flight; but let all things be prepared before you. And in order that all things be prepared before you, observe the commandment which I have given concerning these things Which saith, or teacheth, to purchase all the lands with money, which can be purchased for money."
3 Nephi 21:29, "And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward."

No comments:

Post a Comment