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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 Americans are leaving their churches

By Jana Riess — December 1, 2022
(RNS) — For sociologist Stephen Bullivant, the question is why it took so long for the religious exodus to happen.

Death and the Little Black Funeral Dress

By Jana Riess — November 29, 2022
(RNS) — Each time I wear it to mourn someone I’ve loved, my dress becomes more steeped in love and history.

New memoir unpacks what Mormon girls are taught about marriage

By Jana Riess — November 15, 2022
(RNS) — 'I needed to learn that I get to decide what my life looks life,' says Rachel Rueckert, author of the new memoir 'East Winds.'

LDS Church is under fire in Australia

By Jana Riess — October 31, 2022
(RNS) — If the reports are true, the government of Australia has every right to be angry. This kind of financial practice looks terrible for the church. It feels covert and deceptive.

Mormons are insulated from some dangers of celebrity culture — but not all

By Jana Riess — October 27, 2022
(RNS) — It helps that some of our leaders are over the age of 90.

Does Evan McMullin have a chance to beat GOP Senator Mike Lee in Utah?

By Jana Riess — October 24, 2022
(RNS) — For an incumbent GOP senator to lose an election in one of the nation’s rubiest states is certainly a long shot, at least according to the rules of politics as usual. But it's not politics as usual.

Mormon leaders and the fear of apologizing

By Jana Riess — October 14, 2022
(RNS) — The inability to apologize is damning to us spiritually, as a church, in that it impedes our progress. There is so much freedom in being able to say ‘I messed up and I am so sorry.’

Are double ear piercings and sleeveless tops OK now for Mormon teens?

By Jana Riess — October 5, 2022
(RNS) — The LDS church just backed off telling Mormon teens what not to wear.

For many Mormons who question, Faith Matters is a spiritual lifeline

By Jana Riess — September 29, 2022
(RNS) — With a podcast, a magazine, a publishing imprint and a major in-person gathering in Salt Lake City in October, the young Faith Matters organization is on the move.

How are Gen Z Mormons doing with mental health?

By Jana Riess — September 26, 2022
(RNS) — Young Latter-day Saints who struggle with mental health say they depend on strong support from outside their homes.

‘At Last She Said It’ podcast helps Mormon women find their voices

By Jana Riess — September 14, 2022
(RNS) — Cynthia Winward and Susan Hinckley dare to speak aloud what many Mormon women are quietly thinking.

Mormonism’s tortured genius

By Jana Riess — August 29, 2022
(RNS) — The big-C ‘Mormon Church’ will not save us. But the little-c church keeps a light of hope kindled in my heart.

Dear Mormons in a faith crisis: You’re not crazy, wrong or stupid

By Jana Riess — August 17, 2022
(RNS) — Your old faith, like the caterpillar’s body, used to serve you well, until suddenly it didn’t.

How Mormons are addressing sex abuse: Too little, too late

By Jana Riess — August 10, 2022
(RNS) — Latter-day Saints have the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes. But will we?

Mormons are being oppressed and mocked on TV. We’re not alone.

By Jana Riess — August 5, 2022
(RNS) — Are Mormons being singled out for religious persecution?
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