Often what we hear and see on social media can begin to skew our perception of the world—and that is entirely the case with Millennials.
I'm among the Millennial generation and the amount of psychoanalysis that has recently been conducted on myself and my fellow friends is staggering. But I often have to wonder if it is accurate. Once minute I'm reading an article griping about how Millennials refuse to marry and are the epitome of self-centered narcissism and the next I'm being told Millennials are far more inclusive than previous generations and more service-oriented.
So which is it?
I don't know if there will ever be a conclusive decision for a generation as big and varied as my own. But recently, Jana Riess conducted a survey of 1,155 Mormon Millennials in 2016, and some of her findings put many of our stereotypical assumptions about Millennial Mormons to shame. Here are just a few:
They are strong believers.
While retention rates may be slipping (though not as drastically as many other religions are experiencing), Millennials who still identify as Mormon maintain a strong faith. Ninety percent of LDS Millenials believe in God, 82 percent feel His presence on a weekly basis, and 70 percent pay a full tithe.
They are getting married.
I've heard it before many times in a single's ward: there's an epidemic in our generation. No one is getting married. All people want to do nowadays is hang out. It turns out, that's not quite true.
While our dating methods have changed, 53 percent of Mormon Millennials are married as compared to 65 percent of Mormons as a whole. When you take into account that many of these Millennials are still serving missions or just graduated high school, that's not a bad statistic. As Riess notes, "So far, [LDS Millennials] are not delaying marriage like many other Millennials."
They often ignore general conference.
Not all the statistics Riess shared were glowing. In fact, she found that less than half of LDS Millennials (44 percent) had seen general conference in the last six months, whereas 66 percent of those 52 and older had. While Millennials hold strong to their belief, it's a little discouraging to realize we don't put as much of a priority on listening to modern day counsel from inspired Church leaders.
They like to talk about their faith.
This was pretty mind-boggling: two-thirds of Millennials share their views on God at least once a week. According to Riess, that's the highest of any Mormon generation. While we might have our hang ups, Millennial Mormons are willing to share their faith publicly.
They are more diverse.
Mormon Millennials are much more diverse when it comes to the ballot box and racial diversity. "While older Mormons skew heavily Republican, Millennials are 46 percent GOP, 41 percent Democratic, and 13 percent Independent," Riess found. And though Millennial Mormons are still mostly white (80 percent), we are more racially diverse than older generations, 93 percent of which are white.
There you have it! Though we may fit stereotypes in some aspects, Mormon Millennials still have a lot that can surprise you.