Mormon Millennials have been found to be more conservative than their parents and are leaving their faith in larger numbers than previous generations.
This phenomenon was the focus at the symposium at Utah Valley University earlier this month, and they are being described by Brigham Young University Professor Quin Monson as ‘Republican with a twist.’
These Millennials like smaller government, but tend to follow religious leaders on left-leaning issues like immigration. Additionally, they are more accepting of social change than their parent’s generation and do not agree with the stances the LDS church has taken in recent years.
They are also breaking away from traditional Sunday worship traditions.
Young Mormons have been following the nation wide trend of leaving behind organized religion. Millennials are leaving their religions in greater numbers than ever before, a full 36% of young Millennials between 18 and 24 are religiously unaffiliated, as are 34% of older Millennials ages 25-33.
Jana Reiss, senior columnist at Religious News Service and speaker at the symposium quotes the retention rate of Millennials at 64%. Comparatively, the retention rate in the 1970s and 1980s was 90%.
Reiss spoke of change within the LDS church to KUTV.com, “Many of the values of the Millennial generation have stated inclusion, tolerance, and are not values they feel are being reflected.”
When Millennials leave the church, many leave organized religion for good and do not search for something else.
The Mormon Church has attempted to retain young people by lowering the missionary age. Men can now participate at age 18 and women can at 19, when previously they had to wait until ages 19 and 21, respectively.
The hope is to get young people more deeply involved within the church as they transition to adulthood.