Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

All Stories by Jana Riess

Why I’ve been AWOL

By Jana Riess — June 17, 2024
(RNS) — I am fine. Or at least, as fine as I ever am when I’m writing a book.

Eternal polygamy? How LDS temple sealings and cancellations became a raw deal for women

By Jana Riess — May 17, 2024
(RNS) — Surprise: LDS Church policies around temple sealings and cancellations used to be more equal for women than they are today. What happened?

The best way to honor Melissa Inouye’s memory is to be a kind and persistent badass

By Jana Riess — May 3, 2024
(RNS) — Melissa said it's not enough to memorialize our loved ones who die too young. We have to carry on their work.

It’s not just young women who have a problem with Mormon temple garments. It’s young adults, period.

By Jana Riess — April 18, 2024
(RNS) — An LDS church leader recently said that garment rules were getting stricter because of the laxity of young women. Let’s expand that to ‘young people.’

Mormonism is still growing, but slowly

By Jana Riess — April 12, 2024
(RNS) — There's something for everyone to cheer — or boo — in the most recent data on the LDS church.

LDS leaders announce new Mormon temple for Cincinnati

By Jana Riess — April 8, 2024
(RNS) — The LDS Church has had a presence in the area since the earliest days of Mormonism in the 1830s.

Community of Christ celebrates 40 years of women’s ordination

By Jana Riess — April 5, 2024
(RNS) — 40 years ago this week, the world's second-largest Mormon denomination announced it would start ordaining women. That decision forever changed the church, which is now gearing up for its first female president.

David Archuleta’s new post-Mormon single is steeped in Mormon beliefs

By Jana Riess — April 1, 2024
(RNS) — In singing about his preference to “go to hell together” with his family, David pays homage to his Mormon roots just as he powerfully subverts certain conceptions of the afterlife, writes guest columnist Jaxon Washburn.

Kirtland and Nauvoo: What happens next week, when tours begin under new LDS management?

By Jana Riess — March 22, 2024
The managing director of the Church History Department answers questions about changes to the tours and the buildings in the recently acquired historic sites.

Who is leaving the LDS church? 8 key survey findings

By Jana Riess — March 7, 2024
(RNS) — Among the findings: Most don’t join another religion after leaving but they also aren’t interested in coming back to the LDS church.

Kirtland Temple purchased by LDS church for $192.5 million

By Jana Riess — March 5, 2024
(RNS) — After years of resisting, the cash-strapped Community of Christ has sold its prized historic sites to its larger and wealthier cousin, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormonism, as shaped by the culture wars

By Jana Riess — February 29, 2024
(RNS) — Debates over gender, race and sexuality have been part of Mormonism since Kirtland, says historian Benjamin Park.

How many Mormons are actually in church every week in the US?

By Jana Riess — February 16, 2024
(RNS) — Cellphone data reveals the number is lower than people self-report (but Mormons do better than most).

Revisiting those old Mormon movies from 50 years ago — with live commentary!

By Jana Riess — February 9, 2024
(RNS) — From 'Saturday's Warrior' to 'Cipher in the Snow,' there's a treasure trove of more than 100 vintage LDS Church movies for your viewing pleasure.

Those sexy Mormon swingers

By Jana Riess — February 2, 2024
(RNS) — Here’s the reality that will never feature in a 'reality' TV series: Most Mormons are deeply, predictably, embarrassingly boring when it comes to their sex lives.
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