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‘Mormon Land’: The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins explores the LDS Church’s quest for approval, its future, and his interview with President Russell Nelson

In a lengthy essay in The Atlantic posted online Wednesday, reporter McKay Coppins examines The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its history as “The Most American Religion.”

In a subtitle, the article states: “Perpetual outsiders, Mormons spent 200 years assimilating to a certain national ideal — only to find their country is in an identity crisis. What will the third century of the faith look like?”

Coppins’ piece looks backward and forward, not as a dispassionate observer, but through his own lens as a practicing Latter-day Saint. He talks with scholars and politicians, insiders and outsiders, leaders and laypeople, even church President Russell M. Nelson.
In this week’s podcast, Coppins discusses a host of issues — from politics to race, community to missions, the Word of Wisdom to the “Book of Mormon” musical — and his Nelson interview, which began with a prayer.

All of this and more as Coppins explores the path Mormonism has followed and what steps the Utah-based faith could — and should — take as it treads into its next hundred years.

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