Structures of home and family

North America

Authored by: Megan Stanton

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:


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The home and family are integral to the religious practice of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Buildings such as temples and meetinghouses provide opportunities to enact sacred rituals and join together as a community of believers. Yet much of North American Latter-day Saints’ religion is practiced not within these buildings, but instead with fellow family members and within the physical and cultural space of the home. Saints regularly express their daily worship and religious commitments in their living quarters. Given the prominence of the family in LDS theology, Saints’ kin groups and domestic spaces are fundamental to their religious practice. In order to understand how Saints enact their religion, we must consider structures of home and family. This essay examines Saints’ experiences in North America. It explores four major themes that have emerged in scholarly work: how the doctrine of gathering affected settlements throughout North America; men’s and women’s gendered experiences of the home, family, and agency; the kinds of daily worship practiced in the home; and the home’s function as a site of publicized cultural work.

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