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Prince Research Excerpts on Gay Rights & Mormonism – “37 – You’ll Lose a Generation”

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37 – “You’ll Lose a Generation”


Sainz: I’d say the next time, we decided to do some polling in Utah and among Mormons.  We took that polling to them, which we never disclosed on a public basis.  It showed great, great evolution on the part of LDS members.  Here are the numbers; I still remember them:  While only 18% of all the LDS members supported marriage equality, LDS members 30 and under supported it at 38%.  This was in 2011.

Prince: And those numbers would have gone up since then, for sure.

Sainz: Oh, of course!  And by the way, they loved the data.  We never released the survey publicly.  We really kind of did it as a public service to them.  We gave them everything, including all of the cross-tabs.  We gave them access to the pollster.  We just kind of gave them everything.  We just wanted them to be informed of how the world was changing, and as a denomination that I think, at least from a staff perspective and from a marketing and branding perspective, is good at reflecting how the world can change, I thought they deserved that knowledge.

(Fred Sainz, August 15, 2014)

Spencer: Right now, they have to understand several things.  There is a lot of research from the Pew Center that talks a lot about why young people are running from the pews.  They don’t care whether religion is true or not true.  They care what it does for the family.  They want something that allows their family to learn service.  All of my students at Utah Valley, even though we have quite a few from out of state—it’s like a BYU that lets you drink caffeine—they don’t even care about gay marriage.  They simply don’t care.  “Let them do it.”  I’m hard pressed to find one person who would stand up and say, “I’m against it.”  This is the next generation of the Church.

Prince: This is among your students?

Spencer: Yes.  They are not willing to march for it [the ban on gay marriage], they’re not willing to do anything.  Just let it go.  The Church needs to ask itself, “What is the most important thing that we should be doing right now to be considered a faith?”  Elder Ballard is always standing up and saying, “People call us Mormons, but we are Christians because we bear the name of Christ.”  I don’t think so.  I think part of it is because of the way you treat people.  That’s what gets people confused, because the victim in all of this is the Savior himself, who basically said, “Heal the sick, feed the hungry, care for the poor, and pray in private.”  That’s a message that we have completely lost.

(Bennion Spencer, April 22, 2015)