WBMW

Mormon Moment: Is Time Standing Still?

Highlights of results from a new Pew Forum survey on Mormons in America found that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are highly religious, dedicated to family, quite satisfied with their lives, describe themselves as Christian -- but are still somewhat apprehensive about being in the spotlight. Does this represent you? I suspect that for many it does.

The survey, first of its kind, was prompted by the insatiable desire of Americans wanting to know more about Mormon presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and John Huntsman. You may recall Newsweek's feature that dubbed the current interest in Mormonism as "The Mormon Moment".  I had quite a bit to say that about that, here.

If there really is such a thing as "time standing still" this would definitely be it. Mormon voices of all varieties are being sought out by major news outlets, in a desire to better understand the minds of Mormons under such scrutiny.  And in fact, I am one of those. I was approached a few days ago by The Washington Post, On Faith editor, Elizabeth Tenety. (who is absolutely as lovely as can be:) She extended an invitation to this WBMW to participate in a feature that would coincide with the release of the Pew survey -- along with "a number of prominent Mormon thinkers and cultural influencers".  (And yes, she said that!)

Needless to say this has been a thrill! I've felt the hand of the Lord throughout this entire experience and feel that this was a unique opportunity to share, with many outside the Mormon faith, a voice that I sincerely hope resonates with the majority of LDS members. I say members because my voice is one of many at On Faith, representing what members are feeling right now.  I was acutely aware of this fact as I was writing. It wasn't me writing, but 'us' and I wanted to share with others a genuine picture of how I believe most members are experiencing this "Mormon Moment".

After reading my post at On Faith, and IF you share a similar perspective, pleeeeease post a comment on the article page, and say so.  (Now, this is not a plea for you to tell me how incredible I am;) It is my hope that The Washington Post will hear our voice as members of the Church, representative of results in Pew's study -- and perhaps in the future invite more of the like.

By Kathryn Skaggs
   

Official statement of LDS Church on Pew Forum Survey:

"Mormons’ faith, beliefs and practices translate to satisfaction with their lives according to a report studying members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United States released today by the Pew Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. 
The study, a nationwide survey of 1,019 Latter-day Saints, sought to determine the levels of religiosity among Church members and found that 77% of members say they attend religious services at least once a week, 83% say they pray every day, 98% say they believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and 97% describe their faith as a Christian religion. The study confirms that Mormons exhibit higher levels of religious commitment than many other religious groups and believe firmly in the distinctive tenants of their faith."

Deseret News wrote a great article summarizing the Pew survey that I definitely recommend.  It's the first in a series of five articles that will go into greater detail about the survey results.

'Mormons in America' Pew survey explores beliefs, attitudes of LDS Church members

And here's the second in the series just posted:

Mormon focus on marriage, family highlighted by Pew survey


tDMg
Kathryn Skaggs

13 comments :

  1. I loved your article in the Washington Post!

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  2. I am not baptized in the church (yet ) and I'm wondering how you take the criticism of those who believe members are a part of a cult, or aren't happy etc...my friends/families criticism keep me from being baptized ...thanks in advance.

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    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Search your heart and mind. Ask yourself if, 'Is what I have learned true? Have you felt Gods' presence when you have read the Book of Mormon? Have you felt His Spirit when the missionaries told you truths? If you answered 'yes', then you will have to pray for wisdom to know how to speak with those who try to persecute you. Unfortunately, since the beginning, those who believe and those who don't have been fighting one another.
      I myself am a convert. I joined the church at 36 yrs old. I too had to endure much criticism from my devoutly religious family.
      My advice: Do not argue or banter with those who will try to 'convince you of the errors of your ways.' The only thing you can do at this time is to bear your testimony of the truths you have sought and found. They cannot argue with what YOU KNOW in your heart to be true.
      I will pray that our Heavenly Father give you the strength and peace to know that this gospel is true, to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Thomas S Monson is His prophet on the earth today. I know this NOT because the missionaries told me but because I prayed about it. I received an answer that gave me such a peace and joy in my heart and mind that I couldn't deny that I received it from God. I say this in Jesus Christs' name. Amen.

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    2. Thank you for sharing your sweet testimony. : )

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    3. The Lord's creation of us consists of this mortal body and the distinctive spirit in our physical frame for our own for the eternity to make righteous decisions in life and to return to him who has create us. Yes, we too felt the opposition 34 years ago when my wife told her mother of her being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first words out of my mother-in-law's mouth was "I disown you as my daughter." What a devastating word to say to your own flesh and blood? She retracted her comments later and we stayed on our newly found religious journey. On my side of the family, my relatives opposed too. We just can't please all the relatives and friends what we do, we have to live our lives by choosing what is best for us and if married, for both of us and for our progeny. In retrospect, this religion has changed my immature younger foolish days into vibrant deeply religious mature person who loves his creator and converted to be a better husband, better father to our five children, and grandfather to six lovely grandchildren and more expected. This Jesus Christ whom we believe is our personal redeemer and the savior of mankind. So to take the criticism...? You are the captain of your soul and you need to stand up on your own. You have to make that decision alone with the help of the Spirit of the Lord, but if you do join the Church, there will be plenty of newly extended family members who will support you along the path of salvation. Sincere prayers and reading the scriptures, the Bible and the Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ will build a solid foundation for your future. Next marrying my sweetheart of 42 years, the best decision my wife and I have ever made together was baptized into the Lord's Church.

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  3. I wish you all the best with your investigation of the church. I'm sorry about the opposition you're experiencing from your family and friends. Although I think that's pretty common for many people who are considering joining the LDS Church.

    Mormons know with certainty that they are not part of a cult and are definitely Christian. So, I suppose it's our confidence in what we believe and Who we follow -- Jesus Christ. And then we take opportunities to educate those willing to listen. The fruits of Mormonism are indicators of a people that follow the Savior. I think that's very important. Cults separate people from their families and society, but Mormonism places the importance of family as critical to a happy life-- and enjoy serving others in their communities. Like Jesus taught, "By their fruits ye shall know them". Meaning, the people of God. Here's a post that I wrote on dealing with the cult issue:

    Responding to Claims Mormonism a Cult

    As far as Mormons not being happy... well, that's interesting because we often get the opposite observation. I love this three-part blog post that ask and answers the question:

    Why do Mormons see so happy?

    Make sure and read all three posts. I hope some of this helps In the end, it takes courage to join the Church.

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  4. I hope I can find the courage to join..my greatest fear is that I will end up alone . I am a young single mom..not the "average" member that I see every Sunday ...yet I know the gospel is true and the church is where I belong..I can't help but let the fear hold me back..

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  5. Today at church I taught from the Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi, chapters 3-5. This is where Nephi and his brothers needed to go back and get the brass plates from Laban. Nephi's brothers, Laman and Lemuel, were rebellious and lacked faith to do what the Lord had commanded them. Nephi, on the other hand, had faith in God and knew that God would prepare a way for them to accomplish the task. After a few failed attempts by the brothers, based on their own ideas of how to go about getting the plates, Nephi was led by the spirit, who showed him exactly what to do to accomplish this difficult task.

    I love the principle that Nephi bore testimony of in the Book of Mormon:

    "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." - 1 Nephi 3:7

    So, perhaps you need to exercise the faith to do what you know is right, even though you're not sure how to deal with your family and friends. Trust God that He will help make this work for you. I can't imagine a more wonderful thing for a single mom to find in her life, than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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    1. Thank you. Your blog is inspiring and I really appreciate you taking time to respond to me..I really needed someone to hear my concerns. I know that when my baptism comes its going to be the best day of my life..

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    2. My pleasure. Feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook. : ) https://www.facebook.com/kathryn.skaggs

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  6. I'm feeling kinda dumb, but I wasn't sure which link to follow to reply to the Washington Post article, as you asked. If you could give me the link, I'd be happy to post a reply to the article.

    I've been thinking quite a bit lately about how Mormons don't really let themselves get distracted by the attacks on our church, and I think it comes partly from our belief in humility and patience and partly from sorta being used to persecution...but also I feel that it partly comes from the fact that we view salvation as a journey, not as a single event. So we "watch every word, every thought" etc, and we are just plain too busy trying to live the gospel of Jesus Christ to allow ourselves to get caught up in quarrels with others.

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    1. I'd love to have your comment on the post. You need to scroll to the bottom of page until you see the comment box. You do need to create an account to post, or sign in.

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