Mormons: What do they think about their life in America? may think of the soaring towers of the Salt Lake Temple as the signature architecture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City is a head-turning landmark as well. Completed in 2000, the center is reportedly the largest theater-style auditorium ever built. It’s now a popular venue for hearing the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, backed up by the church’s massive pipe organ.Mitt Romney’s bid for a presidential nomination is a visible element of what has been called the “Mormon moment” in America: the rising prominence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in national politics, media, and the arts, as well as the portrayal of Mormons on Broadway and television. This prompted the Pew Research Center to sponsor a survey of American Mormons, focusing on what Mormons say about themselves and their perceptions of what other Americans think of them.

Here are some key findings from Pew’s survey: Almost two-thirds of Mormons (62%) say other Americans know nothing or only little about their church. About half Mormons (46%) say that there’s a lot of discrimination against them. And, more than two-thirds of Mormons (68%) say that other Americans don’t think of Mormonism as part of mainstream American society.

However, more than six of ten (63%) believe that the acceptance of their church is rising in America. And, a clear majority (56%) of Mormons feels that the U.S. is ready for a Mormon president.

Earlier on, I predicted that Mitt Romney will be Obama’s opponent in November. I called a Romney-Obama contest the matchup of the century and, no matter who wins, a political and moral watershed in American politics and society. This matchup is one of the top five values-related topics that I predicted will dominant the media, public discourse, and dinner-table conversations this year.

For now, what do you think of the findings I presented today?

If you are a member of the LDS church, tell us what you think.

Do the survey findings repesent YOUR views?

If you are not part of the LDS church, does the survey reflect your attitudes?

Each day this week on, I’ll introduce new findings from the Pew survey. Mormons in America was also the topic of yesterday’s in-person dialog in the small-group session I am leading on Civil Discourse. In a sense, we’re continuing our small-group dialog by expanding it to the online community. (Read about our kickoff of this in-person effort in last week’s column.)

AND CLICK ON the “Now You Can Find Us on Facebook”
link in the right-hand column.

Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue.


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