A few days ago, Gallup released poll results concerning religion's importance in people's every day lives. There is a stark difference between the United States and other developed nations. Nearly all "highly religious" countries are poor.
The United States is one of the rich countries that bucks the trend. About two-thirds of Americans -- 65% -- say religion is important in their daily lives.
Mormons would look at this and say, well it better be.
The United States and all the Americas have a special status in Mormondom. We believe that this is a choice, or promised land, and there are dire consequences for populations who do not worship the God of the land. Consider this quote from The Book of Mormon:
Ether 2: 12 Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.
That is a strong statement and one Mormons take seriously.
No doubt, the Gallup Poll will result in the intelligentsia asserting that only poor people are religious because they are too dumb to know better. But, Mormons also buck a trend. When our education level goes up, our religiosity goes up too. I covered this in a prior posting with numbers from PEW. It is worth repeating:
Mormons with more formal education are more religiously committed, whereas in the general population the opposite is true.