The year 2012 was in many ways the Year of the Mormons. Several national magazines devoted cover stories to the minority faith, and reporters sought to re-interpret the young religion for a broad audience. The candidacies of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman raised the faith's profile, while a new musical that had little to do with the actual Book of Mormon broke records on Broadway. We invited a panel of experts to comment on the so-called "Mormon Moment": What does it mean for the church, its adherents, for the media, and for religion in America?
Contributors include Matthew Bowman, James Faulconer, Terryl and Fiona Givens, Grant Hardy, Emily Jensen, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Patrick Mason, Neylan McBaine, Richard Mouw, Nathan Oman, and John Turner.
The challenge going forward will be to discover positive, forward-thinking, distinctly Mormon contributions that can be made in larger cultural conversations.
Even if he didn't win the presidency, Mitt Romney, quite unintentionally, has helped his religion to grow up.
Because of Huntsman's and Romney's runs for the Republican nomination and the U.S. presidency, a lot of people were interested in Mormons and Mormon ideas. But I'm pleased if that was our fifteen minutes and now we can get on about our business as before.
Only by the end of the Romney campaign did we seem finally to be moving beyond discussion of magic underwear, Missouri Edens, and Kolob.
Detangling from political perceptions of Mormonism while finding a comfortable seat at the academic table is the next moment for Mormons.
The recent campaign put the focus on national loyalty as an essential component of Mormonism, but it may well have set back the equally ardent missionary efforts of the LDS Church abroad.
The burden of the media, of educators, of religious leaders, of every citizen is not to elide difference but to seek to understand it, on its own terms.
We found myriad of ways—institutionally and privately—to make ourselves more relevant, more thoroughly considered, less quickly dismissed, than we had been previously.
Mitt Romney's candidacy was a step forward for Mormon-evangelical relations.
The Church is already trying to re-articulate its values for a world in which the ideal Mormon family of the 20th century is no longer seen as a universal social ambition.
Even post-Mitt, the LDS Church will continue to attract more than its share of public fascination and investigation. After all, the Mormon moment has really been—with peaks and valleys—going on since around 1830.