Take this assessment and find out:
(Taken from D. Jeff Burton’s For Those Who Wonder : forthosewhowonder.com. Similar to a Correlation Department survey on Religion and Life conducted among LDS Church members in the mid-1980s)
Section I: Measures of Participation and Activity in Standard Church Programs
1. How often do you attend the temple?
(Use this first set if you live near a temple, e.g. within a 2 hour drive)
0 pts.) No temple recommend; no attendance in one year
1 pt.) No temple recommend now, but had one last year
2 pts.) 1-2 times per year
3 pts.) 3-4 times per year
4 pts.) 5-10 times per year
5 pts.) Once a month, or more
(Use this set if you live far-more than a 2 hour drive)
0) No temple recommend
1) No temple recommend now, but had one last year
2) Once per year
3) Once or twice per year
4) Two times per year
5) Three to four times per year
2. How much of the Word of Wisdom do you follow?
0) I ignore the Word of Wisdom
1) Not very much
2) I abstain from alcohol and tobacco, most of the time
3) I abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea almost always
4) All of above, all of the time
5) All of above plus caffeine drinks, chocolate, and/or meat in winter
3. If you should receive a church calling from your bishop, you would:
0) Never accept
1) Rarely accept
2) Accept only if convenient and desirable for me
3) Accept if certain conditions are met
4) Accept after discussion and prayer
5) Always accept without question
4. Describe your attendance at regular meetings (e.g. Sunday School, priesthood meeting or Relief Society, sacrament meeting, Mutual, as applicable)
0) Never attend
1) Rarely attend, e.g. one meeting per month, any church meeting
2) Occasionally (less than 40%)
3) Quite often (40-75%)
4) Regularly (more than 75%)
5) Never miss any meetings
5. During an average week, how many hours do you spend in church-related activities? (Attendance at all church meetings, socials, lesson preparation, home/visiting teaching, etc.)
5) 7 or more
6. Describe your actual donations to the Church during the past few years.
0) No donations to Church
1) Irregular donations only, and only if asked
2) Occasional donations
3) Part tithe payer plus occasional other donations
4) Usually full tithe payer plus other offerings
5) Full tithe payer plus all other offerings
Scoring. The above questions are a rough measure of your activity and participation in traditional Church programs. Count the scores based on your answers. The following results are not definitive but suggest trends:
22-30 Very active; high participation
15-21 Moderately active
7-14 Moderately non-active
0-6 Very non-active, little participation
We will use these results in Section 3. If you scored 15 or higher, consider yourself “active”. If you scored 14 or lower, consider yourself “non-active”.
Section II. Measures of Belief (Parts A and B, below)
In this section we ask you to describe your real, personal thoughts and conclusions about the statements shown below. Answer honestly, not as you think you should. Please see the scale below.
<Increasing Doubt No Opinion/No Belief Increasing Belief>
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Examples: (10) 2 plus 2 equals 4. (3) A Republican will be elected president in the next election. (5) James Quentin Smith is a parliamentarian in New Zealand.
Zero (0) represents negative knowledge-“I know the statement isn’t correct. I know it isn’t true.” Numbers 4 to 1 represent increasing doubt-“I don’t know for sure, but I doubt it is correct. I don’t think the statement is true.”
Number (5) represents lack of information and lack of belief one way or the other-“I don’t know; I have no opinion; I have no thoughts one way or the other”.
Ten (10) represents positive knowledge-” I know the statement is correct; I know it is true beyond any doubt.” Numbers between 6 and 9 represent increasingly strong belief-“I don’t know for sure, but I believe the statement is true;” “I think it is correct”.
Part A. Beliefs about the Church and its Unique Doctrines
The following statements represent common doctrines and teachings which set the LDS religion apart from other religious creeds and organizations. Please indicate your level of belief in the following statements.
Remember, record what you truly think, not what you’re supposed to think, and not what you are willing to accept by faith.
1. ( ) The LDS Church is the one and only true church.
2. ( ) It is God’s wish that we avoid alcohol and tobacco.
3. ( ) Both God and Jesus came to a grove of trees in which Joseph Smith was praying.
4. ( ) The Book of Mormon was translated from golden plates which the angel Moroni gave Joseph Smith.
5. ( ) LDS scriptures (e.g., Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price) are the word of God.
6. ( ) God directs Church leaders in their work for the Church.
7. ( ) The temple ceremony was written under the inspiration of God.
8. ( ) Christ’s gospel is being correctly taught by the Church.
9. ( ) The afterlife consists of three kingdoms (e.g., Celestial Kingdom, etc.)
10. ( ) It is important to gain a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
The above statements attempt to measure your personal beliefs about the Church’s unique teachings and doctrines. Add and score your answers as follows:
76-100 Strong belief and acceptance of Church’s unique teachings
50-75 Moderate belief and acceptance
25-49 More doubt than belief
0-24 Serious doubts about the Church’s teachings
We will be using these results in Section III. Count yourself a “Believer in unique Church teachings” if you scored 50-100 and a “Disbeliever in unique Church teachings” if you scored 49 or less.
Part B. Beliefs about your personal relationship to God and your feelings about Christ and his teachings.
This section tries to measure your thoughts and conclusions about your relationship to God and about your personal beliefs about Christ and his teachings.
Please rank your beliefs, as above, 0-10.
1. ( ) God exists.
2. ( ) Christ was crucified for my sins.
3. ( ) God often answers my prayers, directly or indirectly.
4. ( ) The gospel of Jesus Christ is very important to me.
5. ( ) I have been personally blessed by God.
6. ( ) I feel close to God; I feel that Christ is my brother.
7. ( ) Baptism and the taking of the sacrament provide for the forgiveness of sin.
8. ( ) Christ’s teachings are a blueprint for life and behavior.
9. ( ) It is important to gain a testimony that Christ is the Savior of the world.
10. ( ) The Bible is the word of God.
Score your answers as follows.
76-100 Strong personal beliefs in God and Jesus Christ; positive relationship with God.
50-75 Moderate personal belief in God and Jesus Christ; a developing relationship with God.
25-49 Moderate personal disbelief in God and Jesus Christ; weak personal relationship with God.
0-24 Serious doubts about God, Jesus Christ, and his teachings; little personal relationship with God.
Please count yourself a “Personal believer in God and Jesus” if you scored 50-100.
Please count yourself a “Personal disbeliever in God and Jesus” if you scored 0-49.
Section III. Results and Discussion
You will note that there are many possible combinations of belief or lack thereof in God and Jesus and in unique LDS teachings, and in activity versus nonactivity. So that one could presumably score as an active personal believer in God and Jesus and as a personal believer in unique LDS teachings, but one could also score as an inactive personal believer in God and Jesus and in unique LDS teachings. One could also be an active personal disbeliever in God and Jesus but be a personal believer of unique LDS teachings. I have witnessed this phenomenon several times.
I will omit Burton’s discussion points for this section and open it up to our readers to discuss the implications. I will simply add this caveat of Burton’s, that this assessment is designed to measure intellectual beliefs with activity, not faithfulness with activity-“Many people simply cannot separate faith and intellectual belief. This works to the benefit of some (those who live by faith) and to the detriment of others (those who see lack of belief as lack of faith).”
So share if you dare, or simply sit back and contemplate the combinations and their consequences for our church!