A new and important study of religion in America has, among other things, a good deal to say about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Recently published under the title American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, the sociological study was conducted by scholars Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell and yields valuable insight to the nature and social effects of American religion. Drawing from in-depth new surveys, the study’s authors affirm that in many respects, religion in America exerts a healthy influence upon American society — one that typically promotes generosity, trust, neighborliness, and civic engagement. And while Mormons are a relatively small component of American society, the study data reveals that they play a conspicuous part in American religious life.
Among the study’s findings related to Latter-day Saints are the following:
- Mormons are among the most devout religious groups in the country (USA)
- Mormons are among those most likely to keep their childhood faith as adults.
- Mormons are unusually giving.
- Mormons are relatively friendly to other religious groups.
- Mormons are among the most likely to believe that one true religion exists, but also that those outside their faith can attain salvation or reach “heaven.”