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You see the phrase plastered across headlines and news articles throughout the nation: The Mormon Moment.

What is the Mormon Moment? Why is it now?

For better or for worse, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. For some of us, it is simply because that is our faith. Some are curious with Mitt Romney’s apparent lead in the Primaries. Still others are curious about the strange boys in suits riding bicycles, the play on Broadway, and all those “I’m a Mormon!” advertisements filling up their television screens and billboards.

What is so special about 2012 bringing all of these things to a head?

I don’t know. My hope is that it is the strides our nation takes each and every day towards tolerance in an ever-shrinking world. We can no longer push things to the back of our mind and think, “That does not affect us.”

The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is Mormon. Two men gunning for the Republican nomination are Mormon, a vast number of lifestyle bloggers are Mormon.

Some of those bloggers you like to read. Don’t be shocked.

There are a great many things that people do not know about the followers of the Mormon faith. Just for instance, the name is not actually “Mormon Church”. Every day I meet someone unaware of this simple fact. Personally, it doesn’t bother me. Call me LDS, call me Mormon, call me Oz. I’ll answer to almost anything. I even answered to Jennifer once. (No, that’s not my offline name. It is, however, the name of my cousin.)

I can attest that I knew very little about the faith until I started investigating it.  I had no idea that it was the Mormon pioneers that laid the foundation for the trek west. I only learned about Manifest Destiny and the Oregon Trail in school. No where in my studies did I hear mention of Brigham Young, a man some call the “American Moses.”  As a fan of the suffrage movement (I am a woman after all), imagine my surprise to find out that Utah was the first to allow women the right to vote, and in the 1800’s no less!

Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, are everywhere. Yes, we are more prevalent in some places, but nationally we make up 2% of the US population. The Church headquarters is in Salt Lake City and from a historical standpoint we are an American born and bred religion. I’m a fan of history and that’s pretty darn cool.

Yet, people still question our beliefs and feel ignorant towards our religion.

And that’s OK. I’m ignorant about a lot of things, too. After all, until you need to learn something you often don’t go out and try. Now, many want to know. Especially in case the next US President follows the LDS faith.

Is there anything to fear from Mitt Romney, should he take the White House in November? What about if there’s a Romney/Huntsman ticket? I can definitely see how two Mormons in the executive branch of our government might make most people want to know what these two men believe in before a vote could be cast.

In a historic infographic released by the great people at The Pew Forum and entitled “Mormons In America”, you can learn more.. The source is not the political machine of the Romney or Jon Hunstman campaigns nor is it the Church itself. Actually this is the first time something of this nature comes to the mainstream public from a source outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Check it out now (PS Sorry it’s so small, try clicking if you need it larger):

Source: pewforum.org via Lady on Pinterest

Thank you, Pew Research Center, for this. Thank you for your work. I really enjoyed the look into American Religious Knowledge in 2010, too.

–Lady O