Seth L. Bryant, Henri Gooren, Rick Phillips, and David G. Stewart Jr.
This chapter first traces the historical framework of Mormon conversion in the nineteenth-century church forward into the twentieth century. Next the chapter analyzes the reorganization of the mission program and the church administration through the 1960s Correlation program. Subsequent sections on contemporary conversion and retention in Mormonism follow a geographical approach, dealing first with the United States and subsequently with Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The conclusion develops ideas on Mormon conversion and traces the origin of the current low retention rates in developing countries to the new policies of the 1960s. More recent changes in mission policies were defined in 1985 and 2004, which consequently had a substantial impact on missionary and convert recruitment.
In The Angel and the Beehive, sociologist Armand Mauss finds that Mormon Americans have, in recent decades, struggled with two competing archetypes of what it means to be a Latter-day Saint. The first is the beehive, whereby Mormons have been driven to assimilate—becoming financially successful, politically powerful, and culturally integrated into the American mainstream. The second is the angel, a sign of Mormons' theological distinctiveness and self-understanding as a peculiar people. In media coverage of Mormonism, we see both archetypes, sometimes even in the same news story. This article examines representative print media coverage of Mormonism since 1970, exploring the interplay between these two tropes. It focuses on five major metropolitan newspapers outside of the Mormon-dominated Wasatch Front: the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, and Chicago Tribune. It also mentions smaller regional papers, as well as the two dominant newspapers in the Salt Lake area, the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. Articles about Mormonism that appeared in the nation's two major newsweekly magazines, Newsweek and Time, are also canvassed.