In Missouri, Mormons see Adam’s fall after Garden of Eden and Jesus’ return

DAVIESS COUNTY, Mo. (RNS) To non-Mormons, it sounds odd that a bluff on a bend 124 feet above the Grand River represents to 15 million faithful both the beginning and end of human time. Mormon doctrine makes reference to the place as the site where Adam and Eve went after God banished them from the Garden of Eden. It's also regarded as a gathering place for the faithful at the second coming of Jesus Christ. By Tim Townsend.

COMMENTARY: Of Protestants, politicians and power

(RNS) It would be an error to underestimate or write off the Protestant influence in the American political arena. But with the rapid demographic and sociological changes now underway, get ready for Hindus, Jews, Hispanics, Buddhists, Muslims, gays, women, atheists and many other groups to head up future presidential tickets. By A. James Rudin.

Mormons’ love-hate relationship with America

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) As Americans celebrate the nation's founding, some Mormons may outdo their neighbors this week in fireworks, fanfare and frenzy to express their outsized patriotism. Other Mormons caution against linking political perspectives on American exceptionalism to specific theology or teachings. Peggy Fletcher Stack.