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LDS religious commitment high, Pew survey finds

Of all the numbers in the Pew Research Center’s recently released survey of “Mormons in America,” the highest, most overwhelming numbers are these: 98 percent of respondents said they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 97 percent say their church is a Christian religion.

 Pew Study: Mormon Beliefs, Religious CommitmentThis comes on the heels of earlier surveys indicating that 32 percent of non-LDS U.S. adults say the LDS Church is not a Christian religion, and an additional 17 percent are unsure of LDS Christianity. The theological and semantic reasons for this can be complex, but for the 1,019 self-identified Mormons who participated in the Pew survey, their theological position is clear: Mormons believe in Jesus Christ, and they consider themselves to be Christian.

“Certainly in Latter-day Saint theology is this idea that if you understand who you are, you understand that there’s a purpose in life, you understand your connection to God, that certainly has an impact on how you live your life and what you do, but also how you feel about your life and what you are doing,” said Michael Purdy of the LDS Church Public Affairs office. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mormons Say Polygamy Morally Wrong

By Amy Choate-Nielsen

Deseret News
Published: Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 7:00 p.m. MST

David Letterman knows how to get a laugh.Like most comics, he riffs on the day’s news, deadpans the camera and revels in audacity.”Oh, did you hear about this?” the host of CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman asked his audience recently. “A campaign staffer on the Newt Gingrich campaign was fired because he was making negative comments about Mormons. I thought, now, wait a minute — isn’t Newt in favor of multiple wives?”
Mormons say polygamy wrongLaughter rumbled from the audience followed by applause. The polygamy punch line is a familiar one when it comes to poking fun at Mormons — as though Mormons and polygamy are synonymous in mainstream media. Ironically, the practice that’s most linked to Mormons is a practice most Mormons oppose, according to a groundbreaking new study of Mormons in America released Thursday by the Pew Research Center‘s Forum on Religion and Public Life.

According to the study, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unequivocally reject polygamy — only 2 percent said the practice is morally acceptable — evidence of a yawning gap in what Mormons believe and how they are perceived. Mormons’ opinions are overwhelmingly conservative, the study shows, but in many ways, their views are also surprising — especially when it comes to opinions on moral issues, divorce, homosexuality and polygamy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mormon Beliefs and Attitudes on Immigration

A recent The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted an in-depth survey of Mormons in the United States. Mormon is a nickname sometimes used to describe members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The fourth article in a series that appears in Deseret News is evaluating the results of this survey and providing context for the results.

Immigration is a controversial topic in the United States. The survey asked one question on this topic. They were asked which of two statements most closely matched their view, even if they didn’t completely agree. They were asked whether immigrants strengthen or burden the nation. No distinction was made between legal and illegal immigration, leaving those polled to decide for themselves what the question meant.

Mormon Immigration views from Pew StudyIn the general U.S. population, 45 percent of Americans feel that immigrants strengthen the country, while 44 percent burden it. 12 percent feel that neither or both are true or they have no opinion on the subject. Mormon views closely mirror these statistics. 45 percent of Mormons also believe immigrants strengthen the nation, although a smaller number, 41 percent, consider them a burden on society. The number of Mormons who accept both or neither or who have no opinion is higher, at 14 percent.

These numbers put them at odds with evangelical Christians, one of the few political areas in which they disagree. Within the white evangelical population, 59 percent believe immigrants are a burden, and 27 percent believe they strengthen the country. Like Mormons, 14 percent answered both, neither, or no opinion.

The statistics for Mormons shows a strong divide based on age, income, and education, as well as on religious commitment. Only 36 percent of highly committed Mormons see immigrants as a burden, while 50 percent of those who are less committed see them as a burden. This largely correlates with economic status. 84 percent of Mormons who are highly committed to their religion are college graduates. (The church strongly encourages Read the rest of this entry »

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Mormons’ Focus on Marriage & Family Highlighted in Pew Survey

SMITHFIELD — After dinner, three baths, four bedtime stories and a half-a-dozen goodnight kisses for 2-year-old twins Brock and Isaac and 6-year-old Ellie, Erin and Brian Thompson finally sink into the couch with weary smiles.

Being parents is just what they always wanted. And they love it.

“Of course we have our crazy moments,” Thompson says, “but for the most part we just try to find the good things in the day and remember that they’re only going to be little for so long.”

Mormon family marriage focus PewAs members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Thompsons believe that maintaining a strong marriage and raising and teaching children are essential keys to happiness and their most important responsibilities on earth.

In fact, 81 percent of Mormons say being a good parent is “one of the most important things in life,” according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center‘s Forum on Religion & Public Life — the first survey of Mormons about Mormons, by a non-LDS research organization.

The survey of more than 1,000 self-identified Latter-day Saints from across the country asked how accepted Mormons feel in American culture, as well as their thoughts on religious practices, political issues and family roles.

The survey showed that Mormons are more likely to be married than the general population, 67 percent of the sample size compared to 52 percent of the general public. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pew Study on Mormons in America

As the “Mormon moment” extends into 2012, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life today released a groundbreaking new survey, the first ever published by a non-LDS research organization to focus exclusively on members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs, values, perceptions and political preferences.

Entitled “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society,” the survey was conducted between Oct. 25 and Nov. 16, 2011 among a national sample of 1,019 respondents who identified themselves as Mormons. The results validate a number of long-held stereotypes (most American Mormons are white, well-educated, politically conservative and religiously observant) while providing a few interesting surprises (care for the poor and needy is high on the list of LDS priorities, while drinking coffee and watching R-rated movies aren’t as taboo among the rank and file as you might think).

Pew Study on Mormons in America“While this survey comes amid a contentious election campaign, it is not solely or even chiefly about politics,” said Luis Lugo, Pew Research Center director, in the published survey’s preface. “Rather, we hope that it will contribute to a broader public understanding of Mormons and Mormonism at a time of great interest in both.”

For example, in one very interesting section of the new survey, respondents were asked several questions about what is essential to being a good Mormon. According to the survey, 80 percent said “believing Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ” is essential to being a good Mormon, 73 percent said “working to help the poor,” 51 percent said “regular Family Home Evenings,” 49 percent said “not drinking coffee and tea” and 32 percent said “not watching R-rated movies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mormon Preparedness

Mormon PreparednessPresident Gordon B. Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints asked Mormons to be prepared for whatever might happen. There are people all over the world who are homeless and hungry and getting more desperate by the day because of natural disasters. We need to be prepared just like Noah and the ark. Prophets and other living authorities have asked Mormon families all over the world to put together 72-hour kits for every member in their families. If nothing else, they can always help other people in need.

Mormons have been first on the scene to help others when natural disasters struck. People donate money and send in kits for help all across the world; to Hati, to Chile, and many other places including the Dominican Republic.

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Mormon Youth

Mormon Date

These four friends are Mormons.

Mormons can have great times together and still keep their standards high. Just about a month ago, these four decided to have a double date. They went to laser assaults and had a great time there, then made dinner together! Afterwards, they decided to make a music video, so they picked out a fun song and filmed each other, having a blast! They took pictures afterward and were sorry to have to leave, because they’re such good friends. You don’t have to be anything more than friends to go on a date. All four of these kids are Mormons, and they take their faith seriously.

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