This post is the first in a series (hopefully) which will examine the Latter-day Saint faith from several different directions in the thought that “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16 (NIV)
Latter-day Saint Facts
Lower Suicide Rates – Greater activity in the LDS church correlates with lower suicide rates among young men. (Hilton SC, 2002)
A Balance of Devotion and Satisfaction – While adherents to some faith systems have greater reported life satisfaction or happiness, and adherents to other faith systems have greater reported religious devotion, only Mormons score highly in BOTH religiosity and life satisfaction. (Newbold, 2013)
A Shockingly Low Divorce Rate – About 5.4 percent of LDS males who married in the temple were later divorced, and about 6.5 percent of the females. By comparison, some 27.8 percent of nontemple LDS marriages ended in divorce for men, and about 32.7 percent for women. (Heaton & Goodman, 1984)
A longer life – Latter-day Saints tend to live longer than the general population, even when compared only to non-smoker, active persons. (Enstrom & Breslow, 2007)
Improved Mental Health for Gay Members – According to a study in the Journal of Homosexuality which used a large population-based dataset, Gay Latter-day Saints have better mental health than their non-Mormon peers. (Cranney, 2017)
Likely to Volunteer, Even Outside of Church – Mormons are more likely to volunteer outside of their church-related activities than any other religious group (Zelophedad’s Daughters / Pew Research Center, 2018)
Family First – Though one might suppose Mormons value religion over all else, data shows that Mormons consider family to be far more important than anything, including free time, income, and, yes, religion. (Pew Research Center, 2012) Even those Mormons who don’t have a high level of religious commitment still prioritize being a good parent and having a having a successful marriage far more than the general public. (Pew Research Center, 2012)
A Thankful People – Mormons are also most likely to feel a strong sense of gratitude or thankfulness compared to all other major religious viewpoints. (Zelophedad’s Daughters / Pew Research Center, 2018)
The Most Well Adjusted Teens – The National Study of Youth and Religion by Notre Dame finds that Mormon teens do better than all other demographic groups in coping with the challenges and risks of adolescence, even finding that not only does being LDS make it very unlikely teens will do drugs, smoke, or drink, but even decreases frequency at which you are offered drugs. (Smith & Faris, 2002) (Religion News Blog, 2005)
Most Likely to Accept Spiritual Truths From Others – Mormons are more likely than the average person to find spiritual value in tenets and practices of other religions, such as yoga or meditation. (Pew Research Center, 2012)
That “Glow” is Real – A random sample of people was able to select “the Mormon” out of a photo lineup – even with some facial features distorted – significantly more often than by random guesses, showing that the “Mormon Glow” is a real phenomenon. (Pincott, 2012)
FHE Does World-changing Good – A major study of religious practices spanning four decades found that the Latter-day Saints’ Family Home Evening program was one of “the most successful [religious] programs fostering intergenerational connections and the nurturing of families.” (Bengston, 2013)
Remarkably Generous – University of Pennsylvania researchers found that Latter-day Saints are not only generous in helping others, they actually volunteer seven times more than the average American, producing the equivalent of over $9000 of social contributions annually per member, plus an average of $1800 in money donations to social causes above and beyond their tithing efforts. (DiSanto, 2012)
Bengston, V. L. (2013). Families and Faith. Oxford University Press.
Cranney, S. (2017). The LGB Mormon paradox: mental, physical, and self-rated health among Mormon and non-Mormon LGB individuals in the Utah behavioral risk factor surveillance system. Journal of Homosexuality, 64(6), 731-734.
DiSanto, J. (2012, 04 17). Penn Research Shows that Mormons Are Generous and Active in Helping Others. Retrieved from Penn Today: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/penn-research-shows-mormons-are-generous-and-active-helping-others
Enstrom, J. E., & Breslow, L. (2007). Lifestyle and reduced mortality among active California Mormons, 1980-2004. Journal of Preventive Medicine, 133-136.
Heaton, T. B., & Goodman, K. L. (1984). LDS Rank High in Marriage, Low in Divorce. Provo: Brigham Young University’s Family and Demographic Research Institute.
Hilton SC, F. G. (2002). Suicide rates and religious commitment in young adult males in Utah. American Journal of Epidimeology, 413-9.
Newbold, C. (2013, Nov 12). Religious Health-O-Meter. Retrieved from The Visual Communication Guy: http://thevisualcommunicationguy.com/2013/11/12/religious-health-o-meter-infographic/
Pew Research Center. (2012, 01 12). Mormons in America. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/01/12/mormons-in-america-family-life/
Pew Research Center. (2012, January 12). Mormons in America – Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/01/12/mormons-in-america-beliefs-and-practices/
Pincott, J. E. (2012, November 5). What Your Face Really Reveals About You. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201211/what-your-face-really-reveals-about-you
Religion News Blog. (2005, 3 16). Mormon Teens Cope Best. Retrieved from Religion News Blog: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10570/mormon-teens-cope-best
Smith, C., & Faris, R. (2002). Religion and American Adolescent Delinquency, Risk Behaviors and Constructive Social Activities. Chapel hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Zelophedad’s Daughters / Pew Research Center. (2018, March 6). Are Mormons More Homogeneous in Belief than Members of Other Churches? Retrieved from Zelophehad’s Daughters: http://zelophehadsdaughters.com/2018/03/06/are-mormons-more-homogeneous-in-belief-than-members-of-other-churches/