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

A fifth of Mormon college students in the US say they’re LGBQ, new study shows

By Jana Riess — September 22, 2023
(RNS) — Among US Mormon college students, 78% said they were heterosexual and 22% identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or something else.

Allegations against Tim Ballard, inspiration behind ‘Sound of Freedom,’ explain rebuke by LDS Church

By Jana Riess — September 18, 2023
(RNS) — The church distanced itself from the 'Sound of Freedom' hero.

On 30 years of Mormon belonging and not-belonging

By Jana Riess — September 11, 2023
(RNS) — I became a Mormon 30 years ago with both eyes open, and that has made all the difference.

One BYU to rule them all … for better or for worse

By Jana Riess — September 1, 2023
(RNS) — A new one-size-fits-all conduct policy seems to be one step forward, one step back.

What Mormons can learn from Twitter — I mean X

By Jana Riess — August 28, 2023
(RNS) — If you’re still calling X 'Twitter,' don’t send me hate mail about saying 'Mormon.'

Disobedient women and #churchtoo stand up to sexual abuse in evangelicalism

By Jana Riess — August 17, 2023
(RNS) — A new book shines a light on sexual abuse in evangelical churches, from Bill Gothard and Josh Duggar to the purity culture underneath it all.

Joseph F. Smith: A traumatized and beloved Mormon leader

By Jana Riess — August 14, 2023
(RNS) — Loving, devoted Mormon prophet or rage-prone abuser? Yes to both, says a new biography of Joseph F. Smith.

Mormons behaving badly

By Jana Riess — August 7, 2023
(RNS) — While the church has handled the controversy politely, some individual members have not.

Irish Mormons face dwindling numbers, but researcher finds their community inspirational

By Jana Riess — July 25, 2023
(RNS) — The struggles of Mormonism in a country where to be Irish is to be Catholic.

Vacation Bible School for Mormons could, and probably should, become a thing

By Jana Riess — July 14, 2023
(RNS) — There are few better uses of our time and money in the Church than ramping up our investment in children and youth.

People (and dogs) we meet on the Camino

By Jana Riess — July 6, 2023
(RNS) — The Camino was filled with spiritual moments, mostly tied up in human stories.

British Mormons lobby for stricter safeguards against abuse — and succeed

By Jana Riess — June 27, 2023
(RNS) — ‘Somehow they've listened to two women that decided to say, ‘Hey, this is not good enough,’ ’ Sara Delaney said.

US Mormons are becoming less Republican, but not by much

By Jana Riess — June 21, 2023
(RNS) — Driven by younger voters, U.S. Mormons are shifting slowly away from default affiliation with the GOP. But it’s less of a blue wave than a blue ripple.

Religion can help LGBTQ Mormons’ mental health, especially if they’re out of the closet

By Jana Riess — June 8, 2023
(RNS) — So far in Tyler Lefevor’s longitudinal psychology study, religion has been a net positive for the mental health of some LGBTQ Mormons. As a queer former Latter-day Saint, he’s surprised by this too.

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.
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