The Mormon Church vs. the internet

To be a Mormon among Mormons is to realize the American fantasy of good neighbors. They’re the kind of neighbors from whom you borrow a cup of sugar and whom you trust to pick up your children from school when you’re stuck in a meeting. They invite you over on summer evenings for lemonade at the table in the backyard next to the hydrangeas. You eat their Jell-O salad at picnics. (Lime Jell-O is so popular among Mormons that the corridor of Mormon communities from Utah to Idaho is often called “the Jell-O Belt.”) And of course, you see them every Sunday at church.

Joseph, 27, lives just west of Salt Lake City in a Mormon ward that spans a couple of streets. His church is just down the road, and the bishop, who presides over the ward,…

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