‘Mormon Land’: Is the church in the midst of a sea change — and how might it navigate the rocky waters?

Latter-day Saint blogger says the faith is “in flux” as it strives to chart its future.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Crews get a closer look of the Angel Moroni statue after it was pulled from atop the Salt Lake Temple on Monday, May 18, 2020. The temple closed in December for seismic upgrades and sustained minor damager during the March 18, 2020, magnitude 5.7 earthquake when the trumpet held by the angel fell off and several smaller spire stones were displaced. Fewer and fewer temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are being built without the iconic Moroni statues. This one, however, will be returned to the top of the Salt Lake Temple.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was once known almost as an ethnic group.

In the past three-plus years, since President Russell M. Nelson took the helm of the 16.6 million-member global faith, elements of that identity have been stripped away.

Statues of the Angel Moroni, a figure from the faith’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, are rarely being added to the tops of new temples. The “live” endowment temple ritual, created as a kind of religious theater, has been replaced by a film. Class names for Young Women, including Beehive, Mia Maid and Laurels, have been scrapped. Long-standing outdoor pageants have ended. Nelson has declared that even using the name Mormon is a “major victory for Satan” and has generally prohibited its usage.

What’s happening to the Utah-based faith? Is it in danger of losing its identity?

Liz Layton Johnson, a Latter-day Saint blogger who lives in Saudi Arabia with her family, discusses those questions and more for a church she describes as “in flux” as it strives to chart a unifying, yet distinctive, future.

Listen here:

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