Here’s an amusing bit of information for you.
Most of Utah (roughly 62%) is Mormon. That means even at the University of Utah, the public school that’s not Brigham Young University, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that 54% of students say they grew up in the LDS Church.
But according to a survey by The Daily Utah Chronicle, only 36% of students say they are currently Mormon. Makes you wonder: Where did all those Mormons go?!
That same survey gives us the answer: They became atheists, Agnostics, or spiritual but not religious.
In fact, more than 43% of students said being around so many Mormons has given them a negative view of religion in general.
“I know a lot of ex-Mormon individuals, and we have bonded over drunkenly singing children’s hymns and discussing how weird growing up Mormon is,” wrote Emma Swenson, a student at the U who grew up as a member of the church but no longer identifies with any religion.
“The prevalence of Mormonism affects most facets of life in Salt Lake,” said Isaac Martin, a student who was raised in the church and now identifies as an atheist. “I think this is due to the way that the church, both directly and through the voting power of its members, holds a large amount of power over [the Utah State Legislature]. In my personal life, I sometimes feel ostracized from my Mormon family members as well as from Mormon classmates.”
It’s not unusual to see college students becoming non-religious once they’re surrounded by a more diverse group of people. It is weird, however, to see such just one religion (albeit the dominant one) lose people specifically to non-religious categories. After those students realized they didn’t accept Mormon beliefs, they didn’t waste their time exploring some other faith. Mormonism ruined religion for them entirely.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)