“Future of Mormonism” per Dalle-3
It’s common for pundits to make all sorts of predictions far enough in the future that people don’t really hold them accountable if they don’t pan out, so in the spirit of accountability I thought I would revisit some predictions I made last year for the Church in 2023 and see how well I did.
- The Church’s membership, on-the-books growth rate will be below 1% as reported in the April 2023 Conference.
My probability: 80%
The growth rate was 1.17%. I misjudged the impact of the post-COVID bump.
- There will be another scandal involving local level Church leadership and sexual abuse, either perpetrated by or confessed to the local leader.
My probability: 80%
Michael Rezendes of “Spotlight” fame has continued to write on this topic in the Latter-day Saint context.
- There will be a major, sex- or sexuality-related Latter-day Saint story carried by more than one major news outlet (excluding Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune, and excluding sexual abuse addressed in the category above).
My probability: 70%
KIND OF CORRECT
This one was probably too vague to be demonstrably falsifiable or confirmable, but the Tim Ballard and Housewives of SLC sagas arguably fit into this.
- There will be a significant policy change. Here “significant” means that it is addressed or referenced in more than one general conference talk.
My probability: 50% (so both CORRECT and WRONG)
There have certainly been policy changes (for example, the changes in requirements for stakes), but as far as I know none that have met my threshold of being referenced in more than one general conference talk.
- A temple will be announced in Mongolia.
My probability: 55%
The Church did indeed announce a temple in Mongolia.
- The Church will open proselytizing missions in China.
My probability: 2%
This was an easy one. And nothing in the past year has made me more optimistic on this point.
- The Church will open a new country for missionary work.
My probability: 75%
As far as I can tell, no new countries were opened up for missionary work in 2023 (I might be wrong, if somebody is aware of one let me know).
- A general authority will be excommunicated.
- President Nelson will resign as President of the Church.
My probabilities: 3% and 2%, respectively.
These were also highly unlikely, so obviously I’m not surprised I got them right.