Skip to content
Surveying the Saints — A Conversation with Josh Coates
Surveying the Saints — A Conversation with Josh Coates

Faith Matters

LISTEN NOW

LISTEN NOW

Surveying the saints

Share on

This week, we’re sharing a fascinating conversation we had with Josh Coates, a computer scientist, entrepreneur, and founder of the BH Roberts Foundation. The BH Roberts Foundation is the non-profit behind Mormonr, a producer of Latter-day Saint media that tackles hard questions about the faith, as well as “LDSBot,” an AI-driven chatbot that is able to handle just about any question about Latter-day Saint culture and theology shockingly well. 

In February of this year, Josh and his colleague, Stephen Cranney, published the results of yet another project: a survey of a representative sample of active and former Latter-day Saints that the BH Roberts Foundation conducted. The survey found that among active Latter-day Saints, two “clusters” emerged: 80% of the sample had fairly orthodox beliefs around God, the Church, and the historicity of the Book of Mormon, while 20% expressed more uncertainty and held less traditional views. The survey also integrated questions from Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations theory, which attempts to suss out how different kinds of people build their ethical perspectives. This part of the survey found some really fascinating differences here between active Latter-day Saints and former Latter-day Saints that we think could help us understand each other better.

We spent some time with Josh talking about the different values and gifts these two clusters of practicing members can bring to the Church. In Josh’s view, neither group alone can bring to bear the full gifts of the community on its own: cluster one could help our community grow deep, strong roots, while cluster two could help us branch out, expand, and explore. 

We’re super grateful to Josh, Stephen, and the rest of their team for their work on this survey, and to Josh for sharing more about it with us. There’s a lot to dig into here, and as always, we hope that discussing differences can actually help see each other with more empathy and love.

Join Our Newsletter

Want to get notified when we publish new content? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch.

Join Our Newsletter

Want to get notified when we publish new content? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch.

More Episodes

What’s the Future of Women at Church? – A Conversation with Neylan McBaine and Bethany Brady Spalding

This week...

What’s the Future of Women at Church? – A Conversation with Neylan McBaine and Bethany Brady Spalding

This week...

A New Book Every Time – A Conversation with Bob Rees

This week...

A New Book Every Time – A Conversation with Bob Rees

This week...

Big Stories, Little Saints — A Conversation with Sarah and Josh Sabey

We’re so...

Big Stories, Little Saints — A Conversation with Sarah and Josh Sabey

We’re so...

Finding the Still Point in Tension — John Kesler and Thomas McConkie

This week...

Finding the Still Point in Tension — John Kesler and Thomas McConkie

This week...