Own Your Religion

As PBS producer Helen Whitney was finishing her monumental, 2007 documentary, “The Mormons,” she said to me, “I have interviewed hundreds of Mormons for this documentary. You have a good religion, but you need to own it. Most of its members are borrowing it.” Many—perhaps most—church members treat membership as if it were a stamp on their passport, something potentially useful but largely consigned to sit on the shelf. While ownership of one’s religion is not a new concept, the Internet—which has democratized data and thus confronted often-unwitting church members with “inconvenient truth”—presents constant challenges to the faith of those who have failed to dig deeper—to “own” their religion. To own Mormonism, you must own its history, own its doctrine, own its reality, and own personal responsibility.

Gregory Prince