cover image The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church

The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church

Jana Riess. Oxford Univ., $29.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-0-19-088520-5

Riess (The Prayer Wheel), a columnist for Religion News Service, captures the attitudes and beliefs of American Mormon (and former Mormon) millennials in this substantial work. Riess bases the book on a 2016 survey she conducted with nearly 2,000 participants and expands on the survey data with in-depth personal interviews. What she uncovers are generational differences in the practice of Mormonism—most notably that millennials appear to be more heterodox in their adherence to religious expectations, such as dietary codes and church attendance, than older generations of Mormons. Riess also examines the factors that lead to increased retention and engagement from millennials, such as family ties, a college education, and seminary attendance, and the reasons millennials cite for leaving the religion, such as feeling judged or misunderstood. Finally, the research reveals that millennials are more likely than older generations to be bothered by the traditional roles of women in the church, the treatment of LGBTQ members, and the evidence of historical or contemporary racism. Though based on rigorous research, the book remains accessible to the lay reader due to interviews and informal introductions. Riess goes light on theory, but she is responsibly cautious in her conclusions and analysis, providing unique insight into the modern evolution of Mormonism. [em](Mar.) [/em]