Mormonism is often considered a tradition set apart from the rest of american society, but over the past half-century it has become an integral part of the country’s political life. From the equal Rights amendment through California’s Proposition 8, the LDS Church has played a crucial if episodic role in the country’s culture wars. As a voting bloc, Mormons have become an anchor of the GOP—the most Republican of any religious grouping. and ideologically, Mormon conceptions of the United States and its founding have helped imbue the Republican Party with a new restorationist political religion. As the Republicans prepare to nominate a Mormon as their presidential nominee, this lecture will examine this new restorationism in the context of national religious politics, showing how it epitomizes the arrival of the Mormon community in the political mainstream.

Mark Silk