In celebration of Pioneer Day, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new study that focuses on Mormons. This study is fascinating, and has many tidbits that could be highlighted.

For instance, did you know that the LDS Church, in America, has more racial diversity than several other religious traditions who routinely criticize us for our “racism.” Mormons are 86% white, compared with other predominantly white faiths, such as “Jews (95% white), members of mainline Protestant churches (91% white) and Orthodox Christians (87% white).” The diversity among Mormons is growing, as well, as only 72% of converts are white—a statistic that would have been unthinkable only a generation ago.

Perhaps one of the most interesting items to me, however, was an examination of how Mormons compare to other religious traditions when it comes to living our religion. This graph, from the Pew data, sums it up:

Note that Mormons are at the high end of the spectrum, beyond any other religious tradition. In short, we practice what we preach. In the words of the report, “Mormon exceptionalism in religious commitment is evident when several measures of religious belief and practice are combined.”

The results of the study put the lie to many old canards about the Church and its members. It will be interesting to see if such data changes perceptions.


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