Latest from Mormon Land: ‘Quiet quitting’ at church and picking the winning dream conference headline

Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynold talks religion with Howard Stern and pre-General Conference exclusives.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Latter-day Saints walk to the Conference Center for the women's session of General Conference on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

The Mormon Land newsletter is The Salt Lake Tribune’s weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Support us on Patreon and get exclusive access to Tribune subscriber-only religion content, extended newsletters, podcast transcripts and more.

Is it getting too ‘quiet’?

In every Latter-day Saint congregation, there’s always chatter about membership activity — who is and isn’t attending services, for starters — and that talk has only intensified since the pandemic.

But Wheat & Tares blogger Elisa wonders about another possible trend: “quiet quitting,” especially among women.

She believes more and more female members may be attending Sunday meetings, but they aren’t attending to other church duties or practices. They’re uninterested, dissatisfied or disengaged.

While there have been countless stats, studies and surmisings about church attendance and activity, gauging true engagement — or the lack of it — is far harder to do.

But the blogger believes more women — the “workhorses of the church,” she states — are stepping back. They may no longer be wearing garments, attending the temple or participating in service projects.

Women, Elisa argues, may be particularly vulnerable to quiet quitting because of the church’s male hierarchical structure. “Many women have excellent leadership and professional skills, but those skills tend to be overlooked in favor of more traditional roles and skills like caring for children, music, decorating, etc.,” the blogger writes. “... The gulf between how women expect to be treated in the workplace and world and how they are treated institutionally by the church remains wide.”

Dream General Conference headline: championship round

It’s time for you to pick the ultimate “dream headline” for General Conference.

We’ve taken the top four vote-getters from the previous three rounds of diffuse balloting (more than 3,300 votes) and listed them below. Pick one from these 12 finalists, and we’ll publish those results Saturday morning before the first conference session begins. Thanks for participating.

• ‘We apologize.’

• ‘I would like to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community,’ Oaks says in historic talk.

• Garments are only to be worn in the temple.

• Women priesthood leaders, sisters called to Quorum of the Twelve.

• Rainbow revelation! Nelson, Oaks reverse course, declare LGBTQ fully accepted by God.

• Church apologizes for temple/priesthood ban, specifically repudiates ‘false teachings on race.’

• You can be a Democrat and still be a faithful Latter-day Saint.

• Church to mandate background checks for all adults working with children and youths worldwide.

• LGBTQ people will now have all the same rights and privileges as everyone else, including temple marriage.

• LDS Church to members: Stop paying tithing! Says it has plenty of funds; now’s the time to feed and educate your families.

• Women to be ordained — immediately.

• Effective immediately: Democrats welcome in LDS Church but only if they do not act on it.

Pre-General Conference exclusives

As Latter-day Saints prepare for fall General Conference, The Salt Lake Tribune again brought our readers a special section that covered a host of topics:

• Not since the days of Mitt Romney’s historic presidential run and the debut of “The Book of Mormon” musical has the church garnered so much attention. Are we witnessing another “Mormon moment”?

• The discovery of a daguerreotype purportedly showing Joseph Smith has spurred questions: What did the church founder really look like? Why do we care? And is this really him? A respected historian explores those queries and more.

• Numerous actors, of course, have portrayed Smith on film. We examined six performances — including one by Vincent Price (yes, that Vincent Price) through the eyes of a church history scholar.

• It is far from uncommon for Latter-day Saints to marry someone they met while serving their missions. We tell the love stories of some returnees who went from proselytizing to proposing.

• A federal judge may have tossed out James Huntsman’s fraud lawsuit against the church, but the case isn’t dead. It’s on appeal, and new arguments have surfaced.

• As the church allows more conferencegoers to attend in person, downtown Salt Lake City restaurants and retailers bask in the boost in business.

• In the wake of racism allegations from a BYU volleyball match, experts say a more robust conversation about fan behavior needs to take place.

• Stephen King meets the King of Kings? Maybe not, but a Latter-day Saint author’s new novella does blend the worlds of religion and horror.

• Tribune columnist Gordon Monson wonders whom Latter-day Saints would crown as the next prophet — if the question were put to a vote.

Dan Reynolds on the ‘Howard Stern’ show

Dan Reynolds wouldn’t bite on whether Mormonism is a “cult” in a recent profanity-tinged interview with radio personality Howard Stern, but the rock star did say he experienced “anger” about the religion.

“It doesn’t work for me,” he said. “It works for a lot of people. ... I’m a truth seeker now.”

The “agnostic” Imagine Dragons singer also schooled Stern about his church mission to Nebraska and the service missionaries performed beyond proselytizing.

“You don’t get to pick where you go,” he said. “... I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for [that mission].”

The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: Joseph Smith’s appearance

Historian Benjamin Park discusses the big questions surrounding the small locket photo that reportedly shows Joseph Smith. Listen to the podcast.

From The Tribune

• Latter-day Saint artist Arnold Friberg, known for his he-man portrayals of Book of Mormon prophets, recalled his brush with royalty when he painted the once Queen (Elizabeth II) and future king (Charles III).

BYU honored Wyoming’s “Black 14″ — and their brave 1969 protest against the church’s then-priesthood/temple ban — in advance of the weekend’s Cougars-Cowboys football game. Two members of the group also visited church headquarters and the Bishops’ Central Storehouse.

• Tribune columnist Gordon Monson applauded the church’s — and BYU’s — overtures to the Black community and its universal call to end the sin of racism but urged the faith’s top leaders to take one more vital step: Apologize for the former priesthood/temple ban.

• Students of color say racism still lingers at BYU. “Our experiences, our voices should matter,” the president of the Provo school’s Black Student Union and a member of the Black Menaces, said. “...We know what’s really happening here, the names we’ve been called.”

• Scholar Matthew Bowman agrees that religious schools should retain their distinctive identities but argues recent developments at BYU fail to exhibit faith in the students and faculty who make up the Provo school.

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