10 ways Utah Mormons are a breed apart

Religion News Service | 1/11/2019 | Staff
sally140353 (Posted by) Level 3
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When I lived in New Jersey years ago, Utah Mormons would sometimes move in and out of our ward, having come East for their educations.

Bit - Shock - New - Jersey - Saints

I think it was a bit of a shock for some of them. A few commented on how, well, lax the New Jersey Saints seemed in our observance of things like the Sabbath and the Word of Wisdom.

Other transplants felt invigorated by being a tiny fraction of the population rather than part of a herd. I remember one sister commenting that she’d never had to stand firm in her own testimony until she moved away from Utah and was surrounded for the first time by people who did not believe as she did.

Mind - Mormons - Survey - Data - Way

With this in mind, I wanted to mine the Next Mormons Survey data in a way I don’t get into much in the forthcoming book, which focuses primarily on generational difference.

I wanted to know: Are Utah Mormons really different from Mormons elsewhere in the U.S.?

Data - Stories - 1960s - Sociologist - Armand

There is some previous data about this, but it tells conflicting stories. In the late 1960s, sociologist Armand Mauss conducted a study comparing Mormons in Salt Lake City and San Francisco. The Salt Lake City Mormons were more orthodox than the California ones by a factor of a third or more. In a more recent study, though, David Campbell, John Green, and Quin Monson found few differences between Utah and non-Utah Mormons, except that the Utah ones had more friends who were Mormon (which is no surprise).

The 2016 Next Mormons Survey results were more like Mauss’s from the 1960s, as you can see below. Keep in mind that the margin of error is higher for the study’s 327 Utah Mormons than the 829 respondents who live elsewhere in the U.S. because it’s a smaller group. (For a fuller...
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