The Business Of Mormonism

Aug 14 2012 @ 12:19pm

by Patrick Appel

In response to Adam Gopnik's recent article on Mormonism (covered here and here), Douthat considers the religion's relationship to prosperity theology:

[Mormonism] celebrates its businessman, but it makes extremely stringent demands of them at the same time; it allows that riches may be associated with virtue, but insists that the rich prove their virtue through consistent works of charity as well. Speaking as someone who spent some of my childhood in religious worlds influenced by prosperity preaching, the feeling you get visiting a Mormon ward is extremely different from the feeling you get from visiting a prosperity-oriented megachurch, and the attitudes toward money visible in L.D.S. exhortations and literature are different than the rhetoric you’ll hear from, say, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. The link between piety and prosperity is present, but the emphasis on thrift, charity and solidarity is just as intense. 

Relatedly, Reuters examines the Mormon church's wealth and its sources.