ATTITUDES TOWARD THE LOS CHURCH SCALE

Variable:

The Attitudes toward the LOS Church Scale was designed to measure the attitudes of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (hereafter re­ferred to as the LDS Church) toward their church and its religious philosophy. Scale items can be categorized into several sub­ sets. Seven items concern beliefs about reli­gion in general. These items are not specific to the LDS Church. They address issues common to all Christian faiths, such as be­lief in God, belief in immortality, the divin­ity of Jesus Christ, and the efficacy of prayer. Other items are tied specifically to the beliefs (12 items) and practices (21 items) of the LDS Church. Other statements in the scale address more general attitudes about the LDS Church (e.g., the influence the church has on personality development, and the role of the church in community life).

Description:

This scale consists of two parts. The first part contains 25 items. The five statements within each item have scale values that range from 1 (which reflects a highly favorable attitude) to 11 (which re­flects a highly unfavorable attitude). The statements are randomly distributed within each item so that statements do not appear in a consistent order for every item (i.e., the most favorable statements are not always listed first followed by the next most favor­ able with the most unfavorable items always listed last). For each item, respondents are asked to choose the statement that best re­flects their attitude. In the second part of the scale, 50 single-statement items are in­cluded. Respondents are instructed to place a check mark next to the statements that re­flect their attitudes. Each item has a scale value associated with it, ranging potentially from 1 to 11 with "l" representing a highly favorable attitude and "11," a highly unfa­vorable attitude. Scoring is accomplished by taking the mean of the scale values for the statements chosen. Low scores represent more favorable attitudes and higher scores reflect unfavorable attitudes.

Hardy (1949) suggests the following in­terpretation of score values:

  • 1-2.5: Completely orthodox church member
  • 2.5-4.0: Orthodox member with some reservations
  • 4.0 --{i.0: Rather unorthodox, but with favorable leanings
  • 6.0 or Unorthodox, member in name above: only

Practical Considerations:

This scale is a paper-and-pencil measure that can be ad­ ministered to a large number of people in a group setting or individually. No special skills are required for scoring or for inter­preting the scores. The entire scale should take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete. Many of the items are only applicable to LOS Church members. However, many of the items could potentially be applicable to members of other faiths. Hardy (1949) cautions that this scale is not appropriate for use with people under 15 years of age.

Norms/Standardization:

In order to select the statements to be included in this scale, 80 judges were asked to rate the favorabil­ity/unfavorability of 307 statements on a scale of "1" (the statement reflects a highly favorable attitude toward the church) to "11" (the statement reflects a highly unfa­vorable attitude toward the church). The judges were all members of the LOS Church. Most of them (60%) were volun­teers from psychology classes. The rest of the judges were volunteers from the LOS Institute of Religion. Each statement was typed on a separate piece of paper, and each judge was asked to place each statement in one of 11 piles representing the degree of favorableness reflected in the statement. Statements on which there was a high de­gree of agreement among the judges were retained for the final scale.

The normative sample used to validate this scale consisted of 162 adult members of the LOS Church. Door-to-door solicitation was used to obtain these individuals for par­ticipation. The individuals who distributed the scale to the respondents used a rehearsed script to solicit participation. Of the 339 sur­veys distributed, 162 surveys were returned from IOI different households. Although this appears to reflect a 48% response rate, the actual refusal rate was much higher because many individuals refused to accept a survey. Of the respondents, 63% were female and 37% were male. In general, this sample held extremely favorable attitudes toward the church. More than half of the sample had mean scale scores of 2.5 or less. The highest scale score of any of the respondents was 8.0, with only six individuals having scores at or above the midpoint (6.0). These very positive attitudes of the normative sample should be kept in mind when evaluating this scale.

Reliability:

Data from the original normative sample, was used to calculate a split­ half reliability correlation coefficient. The correlation coefficient (corrected with the Spearman-Brown formula), reported at .95, is sufficient to indicate high reliability.

Validity:

A validity study (Hardy, 1949) was conducted using the normative sample of 162 LOS Church members described above. Each person completed the Attitudes toward the LOS Church Scale as well as a 26-item questionnaire. The questionnaire addressed seven issues that Hardy believed should cor­ relate highly with attitudes toward the church, including: (a) church attendance, (b) church leadership, (c) tithing, (d) avoiding tobacco, (e) avoiding alcohol, (f) avoiding tea and coffee, and (g) frequency of prayer. A composite criterion score on the seven factors was calculated for each participant. A correlation coefficient of .79 was found for the relationship between participants' composite criterion scores and their scores on the attitude scale. This relationship was found to be nonlinear. Hardy (1949) reports that each of the criterion factors individu­ally provides some evidence for the validity of the scale, and overall this study indicates that the scale is measuring what it is in­ tended to measure.

Attitudes and Beliefs of LDS Church Members toward Their Church And Religion

This questionnaire has been prepared for studying the attitudes and beliefs of LOS Church members toward their church and religion. Since we are interested only in your attitude as a member of a group, we prefer that you remain anonymous; so please do not sign your name. Remember that the results of this study will be valuable only insofar as you report your true at­titudes. This questionnaire is composed of two sections: one consisting of multiple-choice items, the other made up of single statements.

Section I: Read carefully each of the five statements in the item, then check (x) the state­ ments which best expresses your own attitude. Then go on to the next item. If none of the statements in an item expresses your attitude fairly well, you may leave the item blank, but choose one statement whenever possible.

  1. I believe that God hears prayers and may at times act upon them. (2.7) Prayer is a demonstration of one's ignorance and helplessness. (10.7)

 I'm not sure that God answers prayers but praying does a person good. (6.4) I know that God hears and responds to prayers. (1.1)

Prayer is probably just a waste of effort and time. (10.2)

  1. I feel that the Church provides only little opportunity for unselfish activity. (8.4)

I feel that the Church provides many excellent opportunities for unselfish activity.(2.2) I feel that the Church provides some fine opportunities for unselfish activity. (2.6)

I feel that the Church provides a few good opportunities for unselfish activity. (5.6) I feel that the Church provides no opportunities for unselfish activity. (9.7)

  1. I believe the MIA program is good in general but there are some weak areas. (5.1)

I believe the MIA program is failing to influence and appeal in many respects. (8.0) I believe the MIA program is a complete waste of time and energy. (10.4)

I believe the MIA program is "on the rocks" and needs a complete revision. (9. l) I believe the MIA program is excellent at all age levels. (1.7)

  1. I believe strongly in personal immortality: the continued existence of the individual as a separate, distinct being. (l .4)

I have grave doubts about the possibility of personal immortality. (9.4) I am frequently beset with doubts about personal immortality. (7.8)

I am at times beset with doubt about personal immortality. (7.0)

I do not believe in immortality. (10.7)

  1. I believe that missionary work is primarily an opportunity to develop the missionary. (5.6)

I believe that missionary work affords a good opportunity to engage in unselfish activ­ ity. (2.5)

I believe that missionary work is largely a waste of time.( l0.0)

I believe that missionary work is not much more than an opportunity to travel and meet people. (9.7)

I believe that missionary work is a choice opportunity to serve God and help others. (1.3)

  1. I believe that LOS Church members are much poorer neighbors because of the Church's influence. (l 1)

I believe that LOS Church members are poorer neighbors because of the Church's influ­ ence. (9.9)

I believe that LOS Church members are much better neighbors because of the Church's influence. (2.3)

I believe that LOS Church members are somewhat better neighbors because of the Church's influence. (3.7)

I believe that LOS Church members are no better neighbors because of the Church's in­ fluence. (7.8)

  1. When other people criticize the Church, I generally strongly defend it. (2.3) When other people criticize the Church, I generally remain silent. (6.7) When other people criticize the Church, I generally passively agree. (8.0)

When other people criticize the Church, I generally join with them in criticism.(9.7) When other people criticize the Church, I generally mildly defend it. (5.3)

  1. The good done by the Church is not worth the money and energy spent on it. (9.8) There is much energy and money wasted in the Church, but the good done probably compensates for it. (5.9)

Time and money spent in the Church are a nearly complete waste. (IO. I)

Time and money are nowhere better spent than in the Church. (l.4)

The time and money invested in the Church are probably well spent. (3.7)

  1. I feel that the Relief Society is probably a good thing but I am not impressed with it. (6.l)

I feel that the Relief Society is a splendid organization. (2.0)

I feel that the Relief Society is one organization which has little usefulness. (9.3)

I feel that the Relief Society is one of the better auxiliary organizations. (3.2)

I feel that the Relief Society is just a scheme to keep the women from getting dissatis­ fied with the Church. (9.9)

  1. The Word of Wisdom is of little if any practical value. (9.6)

Some of the parts of the Word of Wisdom are good advice, but it certainly is not to be considered a commandment. (6.5)

I believe the Church is absolutely correct in its teachings about the Word of Wisdom. (1.2)

The Word of Wisdom is probably a good thing, but many other things are more impor­ tant. (5.9)

I believe in the Word of Wisdom, but I think the Church leaders stress it too much. (5.3)

  1. I think that the MIA is probably a good thing to have to keep the young people off the streets. (4.4)

I think that the MIA is a Church auxiliary and therefore all those eligible should attend its meetings. (2.6)

I think that the MIA is a fine auxiliary program for those interested in attending. (3.9) I think that the MIA is something to be disregarded. (9.7)

I think that the MIA is not much better than nothing at all. (9.7)

  1. I believe that a few of our present leaders are occasionally inspired by God. (5.4)

I believe that our leaders today are generally good men who are directing the affairs of the Church without supernatural aid. (6.5)

I believe that Church leaders were inspired in Joseph Smith's day but are not any more because of unworthiness. (9.6)

I believe that the Church remains under inspired leadership today. (1.2)

I believe that the Church has never been under inspired leadership. (10.8)

  1. In cases where the findings of science seem to conflict with the teachings of the Church, I generally tend to:

favor the Church over scientific findings. (3.8) defend strongly the findings of science. (9.8) defend strongly the Church's position. (2.4)

favor neither the Church nor science to any extent. (6.1) favor the scientific findings over the Church's position. (8.8)

  1. I feel that I only rarely benefit when I attend Church meetings. (8.1) I feel that I usually benefit when I attend Church meetings. (3.5)

I feel that I benefit occasionally when I attend Church meetings.(5.2) I feel that I never benefit when I attend Church meetings. (9.8)

I feel that I benefit greatly whenever I attend Church meetings. (2.0)

  1. I believe that the Church's method of selecting leaders is excellent. (1.5)

I believe that the Church's method of selecting leaders is good but could be improved. (5.4)

I believe that the Church's method of selecting leaders should be entirely revised and a good system substituted for it. (9.7)

I believe that the Church's method of selecting leaders is unscientific and unfair. (9.8)

I believe that the Church's method of selecting leaders is fair but could be greatly im­ proved. (6.1)

  1. I believe that the teachings of the Church have neither helped nor hindered me to any extent in enjoying life. (6.3)

I believe that the teachings of the Church have hindered me to an appreciable extent from enjoying life. (9.7)

I believe that the teachings of the Church have greatly hindered me from enjoying life. (10.0)

I believe that the teachings of the Church have helped me to an appreciable extent in en­ joying life. (2.7)

I believe that the teachings of the Church have helped me tremendously in enjoying life. (1.7)

  1. On the whole, I believe the missionary program is a stupid waste of time and money. (10.7)

On the whole, I believe the missionary program is excellently conceived and carried out. (1.9)

On the whole, I believe the missionary program is falling down in spots but is generally progressing well. (5.4)

On the whole, I believe the missionary program is not doing nearly as well as it should.

(8.1)

On the whole, I believe the missionary program is largely wasted effort. (9.9)

  1. My attitude toward the Church is passive, with some tendency to disfavor it. (8.1) I have little but contempt for the Church. (10.9)

The Church is probably a good thing, but I'm not able to get interested in it. (6.4) I believe that the Church is the most important organization in the world. (1.1)

I believe that the Church is one of our most important organizations. (2.9)

  1. I continually receive inspiration from our Church leaders to lead a better daily life. (1.8) I often am inspired to improve my daily behavior by the messages of our Church lead­ ers. (2.3)

I feel that the leaders of the Church do not deal with the practical problems of life. (8.4) I feel that the Church authorities deal too infrequently with life's practical problems. (8.0)

I feel that the Church leaders should spend a greater part of their time dealing with life's practical problems. (6.4)

  1. I believe that the Church wastes much of its money. (9.2)

I believe that the Church makes only fair use of its money. (6.7) I believe that the Church makes excellent use of its money. (2.1)

I believe that the Church generally makes good use of its money. (3.7) I believe that the Church wastes most of its money. (10.0)

  1. I feel that the Church has an excellent program for satisfying the needs of its members. (1.9)

I feel that the Church has only a fair program for satisfying the needs of its members. (6.6)

I feel that the Church in general satisfies well the needs of its members. (3.0)

I feel that the Church has a very poor program for satisfying the needs of its members. (9.8)

I feel that the Church has a fairly good program for satisfying the needs of its members.

(4.2)

  1. When other people argue favorably for the Church, I usually strongly disagree. (10.4) When other people argue favorably for the Church, I usually passively agree with them. (5.4)

When other people argue favorably for the Church, I usually remain silent. (6.3)

When other people argue favorably for the Church, I usually join actively with them. (3.3) When other people argue favorably for the Church, I usually mildly disagree. (8.2)

  1. I feel that the tolerance and love fostered by the Church probably balances the intoler­ance fostered. (6.0)

I feel that the Church greatly fosters intolerance and bigotry on the part of the members. (10.4)

I feel that the Church greatly fosters an attitude of love and good will toward nonmem­bers. (2.2)

I feel that the tolerance and love fostered by the Church is outweighed by the intoler­ance and bigotry fostered. (8.8)

I feel that the Church on the whole fosters tolerance and love, but at times fosters intol­erance and bigotry. (6.5)

  1. I have strong doubts about the reality of the preexistence. (9.7) The reality of the preexistence seems impossible. (10.1)

I believe strongly in the reality of the preexistence but occasionally have doubts. (4.5) The reality of the preexistence seems highly improbable to me. (9.8)

I believe wholeheartedly in the reality of the preexistence. (1.2)

  1. I feel that the Church is greatly declining in influence upon its membership. (8.6) I feel that the Church is gaining greatly in influence upon its membership. (2.4)

I feel that the Church is measurably declining in influence upon its membership. (8.6)

I feel that the Church is not measurably gaining or declining in influence on its mem­bership. (6.2)

I feel that the Church is gaining in influence on its membership to a certain degree. (4.2)

Section II: In this section, check (x) each statement that expresses your attitude or position fairly well.

  1. I believe that Joseph Smith was an inspired prophet of God. (1.1)
  2. I believe that the Church is probably justified in denying the Priesthood to the Negroes. (3.4)
  3. I believe most of the Church's teachings, but I have doubts about some. (5.7)
  4. I believe that the Church has hindered me to some extent from developing my personality. (8.9)
  5. I would prefer that my child marry outside the Church. (10.6)
  6. I believe that temple work is a fairly important work in the Church. (5.4)
  7. I doubt very seriously the existence of God. (10.6)
  8. I believe that a couple should generally marry in the temple from the start, but in many cases should marry in the temple later on after trying out civil marriage. (5.4)
  9. I believe that the General Authorities are inspired whenever they speak in their capaci­ties, and that the substance of their remarks is binding upon the Church. (1.4)
  10. I believe that tithing should be paid only by the more well-to-do members to keep the Church going. (8.4)
  11. I believe that a couple should unquestionably marry in the temple when they first marry. (1.4)
  12. Too much time is spent on theology and history in our meetings. (7.5)
  13. I have a testimony of a sort about the divinity of the Church. (6.2)
  14. I feel that the teachings of the Church have helped me to some extent in understanding life. (3.9)
  15. I have strong doubts about the possibility of the reuniting of spirit and body. (9.4)
  16. The Church asks its members for too much money. (8.6)
  17. I would slightly prefer my child to marry in the Church. (5.3)
  18. I feel that the Church has hindered me greatly from developing my personality. (10.2)
  19. I believe that Joseph Smith actually saw the Father and the Son in a vision. (1.1)
  20. On the whole, the Church members are happier people than they would be if they did not belong. (3.1)
  21. My belief in God is quite strong, but sometimes I have doubts about His existence. (6.0)
  22. I believe that tithing is necessary and that nearly everyone should pay some tithing. (2.5)
  23. Our religion has some importance to me, but other things are more important. (7.2)
  24. I believe all the teachings of the Church. (1.2)
  25. I believe that marriage in the temple is little if any better than civil marriage. (9.6)
  26. I would definitely prefer my child to marry in the Church. (2.1)
  27. I have a fairly strong testimony of the divinity of the Church, but occasionally have my doubts. (4.7)
  28. I believe that the Church is probably not justified in denying the Priesthood to the Negroes. (8.9)
  29. I believe that tithing is a useless waste of money. (10.6)
  30. I'm not against the Church, but I often can't agree with its leaders. (6.5)
  31. I believe that Joseph Smith was a good man with some excellent ideas. (4.0)
  32. I believe that a couple should regard temple marriage as a superfluous thing. (10.2)
  33. I believe that the body we lay down at death is resurrected. (1.5)
  34. I believe the plan of salvation in general, but find it hard to believe some details of the plan. (6.1)
  35. Our religion may be important to some, but it is not particularly important to me. (7.6)
  36. I am not sure what kind of body we will have when resurrected. (6.3)
  37. We have too many sermons in our meetings. (7.7)
  38. I believe that Joseph Smith led many people astray by his false doctrines. (10.8)
  39. I feel that the Church has helped me to some extent in developing my personality. (4.1)
  40. I believe that all eligible Mormon youth should marry in the temple. (1.3)
  41. I believe that Joseph Smith's "vision" was simply a deliberate lie to further the ends of a desperate man. (10.9)
  42. I have an unshakeable testimony of the divinity of the Church. (1.1)
  43. I believe that the General Authorities are never inspired but pool their ideas in deciding the course of the Church. (10.0)
  44. I believe wholeheartedly in the principle of tithing. (1.2)
  45. I believe in only a few of the Church's teachings. (8.3)
  46. I feel that the teachings of the Church have hindered me to some extent from under- standing life. (8.7)
  47. I believe that our religion is the most important thing in life. (1.1)
  48. I believe that Joseph Smith was inspired by God at times and led a good life. (3.9)
  49. I do not know whether or not the Church is justified in denying the Priesthood to the Ne­groes. (6.3)
  50. About the only value of temple work is that it keeps some of the old folks occupied. (10.1)

Note: Scale values of each item are indicated in parentheses following that item and should not appear on the inventory when administered.

Location:

Hardy, K. R. (1949). Construction and valida­tion of a scale measuring attitudes toward the LDS church. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Shaw, M. E., & Wright, J. M. (1967). Scales for the measurement of attitudes. New York: McGraw­ Hill.

Recent Research: No subsequent studies which used the Attitudes toward the LOS Church Scale have been located in the pub­lished literature.