The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church

ISBN : 9780190885205

Jana Riess
312 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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American Millennials-the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s-have been leaving organized religion in unprecedented numbers. For a long time, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was an exception: nearly three-quarters of people who grew up Mormon stayed that way into adulthood. In The Next Mormons, Jana Riess demonstrates that things are starting to change. Drawing on a large-scale national study of four generations of current and former Mormons as well as dozens of in-depth personal interviews, Riess explores the religious beliefs and behaviors of young adult Mormons, finding that while their levels of belief remain strong, their institutional loyalties are less certain than their parents' and grandparents'. For a growing number of Millennials, the tensions between the Church's conservative ideals and their generation's commitment to individualism and pluralism prove too high, causing them to leave the faith-often experiencing deep personal anguish in the process. Those who remain within the fold are attempting to carefully balance the Church's strong emphasis on the traditional family with their generation's more inclusive definition that celebrates same-sex couples and women's equality. Mormon families are changing too. More Mormons are remaining single, parents are having fewer children, and more women are working outside the home than a generation ago. The Next Mormons offers a portrait of a generation navigating between traditional religion and a rapidly changing culture.


Introduction: The Changing Face of Mormonism in America
Part One: Foundations
1. The Continuity of Religious Belief
2. Called to Serve: Adolescence and the Missionary Experience
3. Rites of Passage and the LDS Temple
Part Two: Changing Definitions of Family and Culture
4. Single Mormons in a Married Church
5. Millennial Women and Shifting Gender Expectations
6. Minority Mormons and Racial Attitudes
7. Rainbow Fault Lines: LGBT Inclusion
Part Three: Passages of Faith and Doubt
8. Navigating Religious Practice for a New Generation
9. Social and Political Views Among Current and Former Mormons
10. The Realignment of Mormon Religious Authority
11. Exodus: Millennial Former Mormons
Conclusion: A Mormonism for the Twenty-first Century
The 2016 Next Mormons Survey (by Benjamin Knoll with Jana Riess)
Acknowledgments and Donors

About the author: 

Jana Riess is a senior columnist for Religion News Service and the author or co-author of many books, including Mormonism and American Politics, Flunking Sainthood, and The Prayer Wheel: Rediscovering Prayer with an Ancient Spiritual Practice. She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

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