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
What ‘I’m Glad My Mom Died’ teaches us about ex-Mormons
By Jana Riess — May 30, 2023
(RNS) — Last year’s bestselling memoir of ‘a woman reckoning with love and violence’ was also a typically Mormon tale.
Two new books untangle the Mountain Meadows Massacre
By Jana Riess — May 26, 2023
(RNS) — The books challenge some of the longstanding narratives about the attack and its coverup.
One in 4 US Mormons has thought about leaving the LDS Church, study shows
By Jana Riess — May 19, 2023
(RNS) — PRRI's findings showed Latter-day Saints were some of the most religious — but often uncertain — believers.
6 things we now know (maybe) about the LDS church’s wealth
By Jana Riess — May 16, 2023
(RNS) — A new ‘60 Minutes’ interview raised questions about the LDS church's finances, including whether its wealth now amounts to $150 billion.
The ‘Mormon Moment’ 10 years later: Why Joanna Brooks and Mitch Mayne left the public eye
By Jana Riess — May 12, 2023
(RNS) — We talk about where they are now, and why they walked away from the spotlight.
When it comes to religion, ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’ was decades ahead of its time
By Jana Riess — April 26, 2023
(RNS) — For me, the story’s attraction wasn’t just that it made me feel ‘seen’ in my anxieties about boys or periods or bras. It was also that someone finally understood my family’s complicated absence from religion.
Bing has a testimony of the Book of Mormon! And other adventures with AI chatbots.
By Jana Riess — April 14, 2023
(RNS) — AI chatbot searches are the next big thing. What will that mean in the Mormon world?
Mormons have discovered Holy Week. Why now?
By Jana Riess — April 8, 2023
(RNS) — Here's hoping that embracing Easter isn't merely a 'we’re not weird, please like us' campaign.
The limits of Mormon obedience
By Jana Riess — April 6, 2023
(RNS) — LDS prophets have been on the wrong side of justice. When it is acceptable to disobey them?
Most US Mormons are failing the Word of Wisdom, nurse says
By Jana Riess — March 29, 2023
(RNS) — Sugar and meat are killing us softly.
All aboard the Mormon women’s history cruise
By Jana Riess — March 15, 2023
(RNS) — Sign me up for that.
Mormons know how the Church sanctioned racial exclusion. That policy has a paper trail.
By Jana Riess — March 10, 2023
(RNS) — Paul Reeve's new book argues the decision to ban Blacks from priesthood and the temple began with Brigham Young but wasn't fully entrenched until the early 1900s under Joseph F. Smith.
Mormonism’s slow shift away from demonizing working mothers
By Jana Riess — March 1, 2023
(RNS) — The LDS church used to vilify working mothers. Then it began to quietly tolerate them. Now it has begun to celebrate their achievements.
Spencer W. Kimball diaries shine a light behind the scenes of modern Mormonism
By Jana Riess — February 17, 2023
(RNS) — This week’s release of the former LDS president’s diaries offers a peek behind the curtain of the 1978 priesthood/temple revelation and Kimball’s relations with Mormon leaders.
More Jesus, less touching: 14 changes to the Mormon temple endowment ceremony
By Jana Riess — February 10, 2023
(RNS) — Just four years after the most recent revisions, the LDS temple ceremony has undergone more changes.
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