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The Next Mormons — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2019 5:36 am

The Next Mormons — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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101 for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective woman is 101 for teens is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or is the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a respected viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R. M. For the next several days, we want to be looking at a book that was published in the spring of 2019, published by Oxford University press by a woman name Janet Reese. Now if you listen to this show for any amount of time you know that we have often brought up some of the things that Janet Reese has written she is a Mormon blogger and I have really got a lot of respect for many of the things that Janet Reese says even though I may not agree with a lot of her conclusions. I think she is very articulate and she thinks through a lot of the things that she has to say but I think she does in fact reflect the thought processes of many faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will in this book, titled the next Mormons held millennial's are changing the LDS church. She publishes some very interesting statistics that I think we as Christians can utilize in our evangelism efforts now. First of all Eric I think by the title alone. It tends to show that jamboree sometimes can be a bit of a rebel because back in August 2018 17th Pres. Russell M. Nelson came out with this new dictum basically telling members of the church not to refer to themselves as Mormons nor to refer to the church as either LDS church or Mormon church, but to use the proper long long title Janet Reese.

After that happened in August 2018 sounded to me like she was a little upset with the statement because she felt in one of her blogs that Nelson had actually thrown the 15th, Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley under the proverbial bus because we know that Gordon B. Hinckley did use the phrase Mormon when referring to members and even on some very slight occasions but still he sometimes use the phrase Mormon church when referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Perhaps Janet Reese took that little bit personal, because I'm sure she probably liked Gordon B. Hinckley and felt that Russell M. Nelson was not being very respectful in saying that members should not do that and then when he comes out in October of that same year, saying that to call it the Mormon church is actually giving the devil a victory and offends Christ. In doing so I that was to me really over-the-top because you have so many past LDS leaders that use those words to describe members and the church and you even have campaigns that were run by the LDS church.

For instance, the I am a Mormon campaign. They made a movie out of it and shouted at Temple Square.

So that's interesting that they would've done that and then a few years later decide to change that was not done during the tenure of Thomas this month. Yes, who was the 16th president of the church, and it does tend to cause a lot of us outsiders to wonder what in the world is going on here, why, why these kind of changes and is not really a big deal. Does God really concern himself about something like that.

Well, apparently the Mormon God does. If you're going to believe the statements of Russell M. Nelson book.

She calls the book the next Mormons and if she doesn't have a problem referring to herself and members of the church as a Mormon. I certainly don't have a problem with that and I've never really had a problem with that, Russell and Nelson as we set on the show is not our profit. So I don't feel like we need to go overboard in using that longer title that he prefers. I think people understand what were talking about were not trying to be disrespectful at all, but the subtitle Eric is is quite intriguing to me how millennial's are changing the LDS church now in her book, she gives the various categories of different generations and millennial's, of course, which is one of the groups that she does talk about quite a bit because basically that's what this book is about their the younger members of the LDS church, and you would not think that anybody outside of the first presidency, or perhaps even the 12 apostles. They have no authority to change the course of where the LDS church is going they're not allowed to change doctrine or policy. They have no authority to do so. The only one in the church that really has the authority to do that would be the current president of the church about were saying that these leaders seem to be catering to the opinions of the church members and so much of the more liberal thought is coming from the millennial's, and also the generation Z so I think in a sense they do have some power if the church is trying to keep up with how society is changing and these younger Mormons are certainly changing right along with how the society is changed.

Let me ask you this, would you think, then perhaps Eric that that is more of the strength of this book, and perhaps why we as Christians should read this to perhaps understand the thinking processes of a lot of these younger members. You cannot assume when you're talking to a latter-day St. that they believe anything that you have learned in the box as to what the leaders are teaching many of them do believe that, but many of them are going to go against what the leaders have said and I think we can use that as a strength. If we asked the latter-day St., especially the younger Latter Day Saints what they believe about it and why. And then I think conversations can come out of that you're going to be surprised, especially some of the statistics were going to be sharing these next few days that will help us to have. I think more constructive conversations will you use the word surprised and I will admit right up front. I was quite surprised by looking at some of these statistics regarding various doctrinal issues and were going to be getting into several of them, but I was a bit shocked to find what a lot of the younger members of the LDS church, believed on some issues. I was very surprised on some of them some of them I was not all that surprised. I expected it, but some of the topics were. I thought out of what I thought would be the norm or at least did not reflect a lot of the conversations that I have personally had with people within those age categories and I think that's what surprised me as well. This is definitely a scholarly book that's published by Oxford University press in 2019. For many of our listeners is knocking to be a book there probably going to want to read you go to our website. I've done a full review and I think I've included a lot of the good information that Reese is able to provide next Mormons with hyphens in between those words. If you go there you will read more. But if you want to hear everything, then you need to buy this book is an easy to read but but it has a lot of numbers you have to be involved in statistics and understanding of things and hopefully will be able to break those down for you and the shows will first of all, for any of our new listeners. Let's give a little bit of a bio of who Janet Reese is, why should we even take her seriously while Jana Reese has done a number of writings. She has a blog that she currently does, but she's written most of her books have been books having to deal with the laypeople like flunking sainthood or what would Buffy do and she even wrote Mormonism for dummies. So those are the kinds of things that she has done and then she writes a regular blog but I don't think she's ever done as serious of a work with as much research that she did she actually raise funds over $20,000 to be able to do the surveys with professional organizations and so I think we need to take this book very seriously. As far as science goes. Now you mention the word survey. She put out a survey cold the next Mormons survey and throughout the book she makes reference to this survey and just uses the letters and am yes and so in your article you follow that pattern as well.

When speaking about the next Mormons survey that hundreds of Latter Day Saints filled out and sent back to her. This is where a lot of the information comes from.

And we need to understand that her data collection had a total of 943 what she called native Mormons almost a thousand native Mormons 55% of the total. Those are people who were born in the covenant had lived a Mormon life. So, more than half come from that that we should explain born in the covenant means a child who was born into a Mormon family not parents who converted to the church after they were born.

She also included 12% or 213 convert Mormons people who came into the church after birth and then 540 former Mormons and so she has a lot of information to help us understand about those who have left the church 540 is about 31.8% and I found your stats from those individuals to be quite interesting because we should have some grasp of the things that bother Latter Day Saints and eventually lead them out of the church. We've often sit on the show that, for instance, when you and I volunteer at the Utah lighthouse ministry bookstore that we get a lot of former Mormons coming to the store and I often want to ask them what was it that started your journey out of the LDS church and I'm quite intrigued I find for the most part, in my experience, a lot of it had to do with finding out that the book of Abraham really wasn't a true translation of an Egyptian text that Joseph Smith got hold of in 1835. What information helps me because it shows me what I need to brush up on and have under my belt if you will for an evangelism encounter if that's going to come up that I should be ready to talk about that but let's talk about the generations that she categorizes in her book, and I think this is important even though there are different surveys out there that use different kinds of numbers. I think we need to use her numbers to be able to understand the data that she's given us and so she's given us five that we can work from the first one is called the greatest generation.

These are people born before 1927 and then the next generation would be called the silent generation, 1928 to 1944 and I have to say she does not really deal with those two generations in this book. She's more interested in the other three that are referred to here. That would make sense because her subtitle is talking about how these younger members are changing the church in her opinion, of course, those two groups would be too old to be able to do that, they would probably hold to a more traditional understanding of Mormonism. Anyway, so the baby boomer generation. She has them dated from 1945 to 1964 and then the generation acts which precedes a millennial's and that's from 1965 to 1979 and then finally and where this book is mainly concentrating on the millennial generation and they would've been born between 1980 and 1998 and again she's not really interested in the first two that I mention and she doesn't really talk about generation Z. I don't even think she gets numbers for that, although would be obvious. It would be 1999 and following. So the main ones, baby boomers, Generation X and millennial's are the focus of the surveys and from those categories. She's going to include a lot of their opinions on a lot of various subjects and I think you are going to be quite surprised at some of the answers that were going to go over taken from this book written by Janet Reese titled the next Mormons how millennial's are changing the LDS church. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is did you know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Mormonism research ministry. All of us at MRM want to thank those of you who have faithfully supported our efforts to educate the body of Christ about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity as well as sharing God's grace with the Mormon people. If you would like to give a special anniversary gift to further our efforts here at MRM. Simply click the donate button on our your support.

As always, is greatly appreciated

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