As Mormonism nears its third century, it faces numerous challenges, external and internal, particularly in the United States. The pressures of a changing American culture, the call for greater involvement of women in leadership, and the push for clarity around its own traditions and historical developments continue to drive conversation and reflection among Mormons.
The future of Mormonism may be more successful and more diverse than expected. Obstacles are becoming opportunities for creativity and a broader scope, while cultural challenges are honing Mormonism's unique vision.
This topic is part of our summer symposium on the Future of Faith in America. For more resources visit our Future of Faith main page.
As we move more deeply into the 21st century, there are two major issues we must address before we go too much further.
In the Mormon century to come, we will not only speak of Mormon churches, but of Mormonisms.
The question and challenge facing Mormonism in 21st-century America is not whether it will thrive, but what it will uniquely offer beyond its particular doctrines and rituals of salvation.
In the years ahead, the Church will need a great deal of skill in managing its public image and in resisting the external influences that press to "domesticate" the peculiar Mormons.
Mormonism can prosper if it draws deeply from its own well, which brims with radical materials that Latter-day Saints haven’t even begun to adequately deploy.
From the margins of the future, the Mormon family may provide a witness and a corrective to the injustices that mar the unfolding of modernity.
Margaret Blair Young
The future of Mormonism is bright, despite claims that the sky is falling and multiple reproductions of trumpeting Moroni are diving from various spires.