Q: Do you know anyone who could give a lecture comparing Protestantism and Mormonism?

A: We have as members or know a number of people who are well-suited to give a lecture on comparative religions – specifically comparing the LDS to traditional Protestant Christians.

  • Jan Shipps, PhD; emeritus professor from Indiana-Purdue University at Indianapolis – One of the most obvious choices is Jan Shipps, who was both recommended by others and emailed me herself to let me know that she has prepared this exact lecture and given it before to both Methodists and Lutherans. She is also a life-long Methodist and has studied the LDS for “half a century.” She would be an ideal candidate for the lecture you are proposing.
  • Brian Birch, PhD; professor at Utah Valley State College – According to two members of the MSSA, Professor Birch was recently at Claremont Graduate University working on a book comparing LDS theology with that of traditional Christendom. He, too, would be an ideal candidate for such a lecture/presentation.
  • Robert L. Millet, PhD; professor at BYU – Armand Mauss suggested Robert L. Millet would be a good candidate for such a talk. He’s a professor of Ancient Scripture and has his PhD in Religious Studies.

Q: What are “children of record” and are they included in the total membership of the LDS?

Q: Does the officially reported membership number of the LDS religion include “children of record”?  In other words, as of 2007, the LDS religion reports 13,193,999 members.  Does that number include children of members younger than 8, or are they excluded from that number?

A: Several members of the MSSA who are in positions to know exactly how this works informed us that it is as follows: Children of members (a.k.a. “children of record”) are included in the total head count of LDS members up to the age of 9. They are supposed to be baptized after they turn 8, but those who get to 9 without baptism are dropped from membership.