They’re Asking For It

First time I can remember a Church publication ever asking for feedback, but here it is.

See this link.

The October Ensign and Liahona were created specifically for new members of the Church. The magazines would like to know how useful these issues were and what articles were the most helpful.

Go get ’em, new members!!


  1. Julie M. Smith says:

    I hate to be a wet blanket, but virtually every church manual I’ve ever seen contains an address in the front and an invitation to send in comments.

  2. An invitation within the publication itself ain’t the same thing as a call on for comments, WB.

  3. How new does a new member have to be to be a new member? I am a member 8 years, but feel pretty new sometimes…

  4. Matt W., in the eyes of the average member you’re a new member for like…. at least 20 years. You’ve still got 12 to go!

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    I only looked at it quickly, but I thought it was a good effort at explaining things that us old timers usually just take for granted and fail to communicate to people newly attending our church.

  6. Steve: In the sense that I am labeled convert (ie- knows nothing about the “dark side” of church history), yes that is true. In the way that I get special attention or anyone cares or worries about me in relation to callings, retention, etc. I’m afradi I’m not even close.

    I suggested in my ward that we get a copy of this magazine for everyone who was baptised in the last 2-3 years, and the WML (who is a great WML) wanted to drop it to within the last year. I am not a Ward Missionary or in any of those meetings, but so far as I know, no action has happened yet…

    Sadly, I also think you are no longer treated like a new member once you move into a new ward… The shine is not on the apple once you move…

  7. ah yes, moving wards makes you damaged goods. Sorry Matt!

  8. a random John says:

    The Church actually sent our ward extra copies of both magazines. One of each for each new member in the last year.

  9. I thought the glossary could have used some expansion. In particular, the term that threw me for a loop when I joined the church was “the brethren.” People use it all the time, and you can’t necessarily glean it from context. I first heard it in a Book of Mormon class, so I thought “the brethren” were the sons of King Mosiah.

    And I sure seemed to miss the spots where they said this and that, and how would they have know about abortion back then?

    It all made a lot more sense when I finally figured it out.

  10. Actually, the COB seeks input from people all the time. Usually, they establish committees of stakeholders.

    A couple of my friends were invited to review missionary discussions. They faithfully submitted their reports and never heard again about the project.

    It might just be something that management types do because the textbooks tell you to do it. Even the armed forces and Volkswagen have feedback and suggestion programs. Neither one seems to work well.

    Toyota and Sony, on the other hand, are legendary for obtaining efficiencies from employee participation.

    Toyota calls it quality circle. Everyone in a unit is responsible for meeting targets. In the quality circle, everyone gets input on how to do it. And everyone has the power to to stop the production belt when a single vehicle is deficient.

    The stuff was quite the rage during the eighties and the nineties. The buzz word was total quality management (TQM).

    Sony has a program where new employees evaluate their Sony experience in small groups.

    I haven’t kept up with TQM. I am sure there are other people who can update us on the newest trends.

  11. Richard Bushman says:

    Steve: I have been looking for a way to post a comment on a Mormon blog about an idea for a conference I am working on. Not being a familiar of the blogosphere, I can’t find a way to request permission to make this inquiry. I am hoping you read this comment and can give me help. My idea is for a conference on “Explaining Mormonism.”

  12. They faithfully submitted their reports and never again heard about the project.

    I was once interviewed by a guy comming from Church Headquarters (quite a long way away) from some Church supported though privately funded project on documenting Church history in the ‘provinces’ from getting to know details, experiences and impressions of some sampled individuals thereabouts. The guy recorded the interview and promised to send me a written script of the whole thing. Still waiting. It happened so long ago, had not Hellmut made his comment I would probably have been unable to ever recall the experience again in my life.

    Wonder if I talked too much… :-)

  13. MikeInWeHo says:

    TQM spread like wildfire during the 1990s. Both hospitals where I have worked used some form of it. Now I waste large amounts of time sitting on ‘Performance Improvement Committees’, etc, watching lovely spreadsheets projected overhead. Supervisors distort (me) and outright lie (not me) to a panel of VPs and other higher management about how improved their departments are. It’s enough to make a person cynical. From what I hear, this kind of thing is the norm in many organizations across America.

    Raises an interesting question: What would a TQM program for the Church really look like ???

  14. Steve: (7) to clarify, I wasn’t referring about my self, but a guy moved into our ward who had only been baptzed a month or so before, and, well, frankly, no one knew or cared outside of the bishopric meeting. I think problems like that can be resolved.

  15. Amen Matt! It would be nice to see a handshake from old to new wards for people — it is sooooo easy to slip through the cracks when your records get transferred.

  16. Antonio Parr says:

    Re: Comment 11: I like the idea of a conference on “Explaining Mormonism”. The challenge, of course, is figuring out which Mormonsim we are explaining. Is it the “Book of Mormon version” of Mormonism, or the “King Follet version”? The “D&C Section 132” version of eternal marriage or the “LDS Public Service Announcement” version of same? I always pause before answering questions about the Church, because there is so much sifting that needs to be done in order to even begin to explain it all . . .

  17. #1. Julie:

    I actually once wrote a letter to the address inside of a YW lesson manual. It was generally a useless exercise. I got a letter back explaining more or less why the manual would or could not be changed.

    Granted, I was pointing out the fact that the manual talked about motherhood and wifehood almost to the exclusion of other worthy life goals….

  18. Kevin Barney says:

    Richard, if you see this e-mail me at klbarney at yahoo dot com, and I will post whatever you like on your behalf here at BCC.

  19. I actually once wrote a letter to the address inside of a YW lesson manual. It was generally a useless exercise. I got a letter back explaining more or less why the manual would or could not be changed.

    My wife did exactly the same thing. It smelled like a form letter as it did not answer her specific concerns. As I remember it, the letter ended with a “the Brethren approved this manual” spiel, which sort of implied that criticism was not valid because, after all, we don’t criticise the Brethren and if they like the manual, then shut up.

  20. I really liked it. I converted 3 years ago and wish I had this issue then!

  21. I converted four years ago, I have repeatedly joked about writing a manual for new members- I would have LOVED this issue had it been available then. The Brethren beat me to it!

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