Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Calling former Mormons to participate in research study

The Next Mormons (Oxford University Press, 2019)

As many of you know, Benjamin Knoll and I conducted a major research study of U.S. Mormons in 2016, which resulted in the book The Next Mormons, which was published earlier this year from Oxford University Press. That book focused on Millennial Latter-day Saints, people who were ages 18 to 36 at the time of the study. It combined quantitative data with personal stories (qualitative interviews) to flesh out a picture of young adult Mormons in America.

Now we are working on a follow-up book that will use the survey’s data of people who no longer identify with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So I am looking for former Mormons who would like to be interviewed for the qualitative portion of the book. There are details below about who is eligible to be interviewed, and a link to the initial volunteer questionnaire.

The deadline for volunteering is Monday, September 16. Not everyone who volunteers will be interviewed, as explained below. Interviews will be conducted primarily by phone in the fall and winter. — JKR

 

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DETAILS FOR PARTICIPATION

Jana Riess and Benjamin Knoll are looking for people to interview for a sequel to “The Next Mormons,” which was published in 2019 from Oxford University Press. This second book will also draw upon the data from the Next Mormons Survey (NMS) but will focus attention primarily on people of all ages who have left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rather than young adult current members, which was the topic of the first book.

We are seeking a diverse interview pool of people who are willing to share their personal stories of why they left the Church and how that decision affected their lives and families. To qualify to be interviewed, individuals must be residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age and have at one time been members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If this describes you and you are interested in being part of the qualitative interviews, please complete the attached Google Form with your preliminary information before the deadline of Monday, September 16, 2019. This questionnaire should only take a few minutes.

Your answers to these questions do NOT constitute data that will be used in any quantitative research. The NMS data, which is separate, is from a nationally representative study that was conducted in 2016 under strict social science protocols. Rather, this is a quick form through which we hope to find a broad range of research subjects for the qualitative portion of the book, which will include personal stories. Interview subjects will be identified in the book only by their first name, and can choose a different first name if they wish to remain wholly anonymous.

We anticipate having more volunteers than we have time to interview, so if you do not hear back from us please understand that it is not personal. We are seeking a broad range of experiences and it is possible that your demographic characteristics were simply too similar to those of other people in the interview pool.

If you are selected for an interview, you will receive an email with a link to a release form that you will need to sign to give your permission to be part of the study. There is no financial compensation for participating, though interview subjects will receive an emailed final transcript of their conversation.

If you are interested in volunteering, click here.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

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