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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

Mormons now look liberal on abortion — by not changing

By Jana Riess — June 29, 2022
(RNS) — The GOP has swung so far to the right that Mormons’ nuanced abortion stance, once commonly accepted by fellow conservatives, now looks liberal by comparison.

How Mormons are sabotaging marriage and the family

By Jana Riess — June 24, 2022
(RNS) — People rightly object to the hot-wife-as-reward fallacy; it’s sexist, shallow and theologically bankrupt. But here’s another objection I haven’t heard raised: This is a surefire way to torpedo a marriage before it even begins.

In Mormon Utah, LGBTQ Pride celebrations meet a desperate need

By Jana Riess — June 10, 2022
(RNS) — Pride celebrations are taking off in Utah. They may be more needed there than just about anywhere else in the country.

As Enneagram’s popularity soars, having an experienced teacher is more important than ever

By Jana Riess — June 2, 2022
(RNS) — Longtime teacher Suzanne Stabile sees the Enneagram’s recent surge in popularity as a double-edged sword: She’s grateful for the wider audience but concerned there’s not much depth.

I support gun control laws as a doctor and a father — and a Mormon

By Jana Riess — May 27, 2022
(RNS) — From Joseph Smith to Russell Nelson, LDS leaders have provided a rationale for gun control.

‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ raises the question: Are Mormons dangerous?

By Jana Riess — May 25, 2022
(RNS) — If ‘Banner’ undermines its own credibility by only presenting the horrific side of Mormonism’s founding, the contemporary LDS church undermines its credibility by ignoring the dangers of religiously inspired violence.

A new novel explores a post-pandemic religious world — in the 14th century

By Jana Riess — May 11, 2022
(RNS) — Peter Manseau’s latest book examines the Black Death for clues to our cultural moment.

Heavenly Mother, are you really there?

By Jana Riess — May 6, 2022
(RNS) — I worry that Elder Renlund's advice not to speculate about her will result in some LDS church members thinking that it’s not permissible to speak of her at all.

A more inclusive Mormon Family Home Evening

By Jana Riess — May 2, 2022
(RNS) — If one parent isn't LDS anymore but a couple still wants to hold Family Home Evening, using the church's own curriculum can cause conflict. Enter Uplift Kids.

Faithful Mormons won’t be happy with Hulu’s ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’

By Jana Riess — April 25, 2022
(RNS) — Despite excellent performances and production values, Hulu's 'Banner' left me with the same wary bewilderment I felt after reading Jon Krakauer’s book.

European Mormon women band together for solidarity in an American-led church

By Jana Riess — April 21, 2022
(RNS) — By Women, For Women aims to bring European Latter-day Saint women together for fellowship — and to talk honestly about tough issues.

Is Mormonism still growing? Five facts about Latter-day Saint growth and decline

By Jana Riess — April 7, 2022
(RNS) — COVID-19 continues to take a toll, but it could be a lot worse.

For Mormons, it’s General Conference time. Remind me why we do this?

By Jana Riess — April 2, 2022
(RNS) — General Conference is touted as being prophetic and revelatory — must-see TV for Latter-day Saints the world over. So why does the format feel so stale?

Mormon support for same-sex marriage has doubled in the last decade, survey shows

By Jana Riess — March 24, 2022
(RNS) — Mormons have broadened their support for LGBTQ rights in three key areas, though they still lag the nation in supporting the right of gay couples to get married — or to walk into any bakery in the country and buy themselves a wedding cake.

If we want equality for women in Utah, we can look to history

By Jana Riess — March 18, 2022
(RNS) — A look back to when things seemed more hopeful for Utah’s women.
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