Mormonism is having a moment

Under the Banner of Heaven is airing now on Disney+. Photo: Instagram.

By Dominique Tassell

Mormonism is having a moment. Whether that’s a good moment or not is up for debate.

Two series have dropped on streaming services in recent weeks, following true crime stories involving the religion.

Keep sweet: pray and obey is currently sitting securely in Netflix Australia’s top ten tv shows.

The docuseries examines the rise of Warren Jeffs in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including the shocking ways he sustained power and his penchant for child brides.

On Disney+, two episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven dropped on 8 April, with the rest of the series’ seven episodes now airing weekly.

The series is based on the real-life murders of Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica.

The show is a dramatic retelling, told from the perspective of Detective Jeb Pyre as he investigates the murders and uncovers buried truths about the origins of the LDS religion and the violent consequences of unyielding faith.

Both shows touch on or feature elements of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is different to the modern-day Mormon church.

But modern-day Mormons are also having a moment, and of course, it’s on Tik Tok.

First it was a group of students at Brigham Young University (BYU), a private Mormon university in Utah, interviewing other students about their thoughts on social issues.

This quickly because a viral sensation, with discussions about privilege and the constraints of BYU itself.

Then came the drinks and the underwear.

People outside of Utah discovered that due to Mormons not drinking alcohol or coffee, Utah has its own drinks culture and soda shops.

People also discovered that Mormons wear special “temple underwear” that covers their upper arms and thighs, and that was a whole thing. Think long johns.

And then came the swingers. Yeah, you read that right.

A group of Utah-based Mormon mums got traction on Tik Tok for basically being young and hot, and then it all promptly exploded when accusations of swinging started getting thrown around.

Mormon mum Taylor Frankie Paul revealed in a video that she and her husband Tate participated in “soft swinging” with their fellow Utah couples. Reportedly, this meant they could freely “make out” with each other and engage in intercourse when both other spouses were present.

The reason she was telling everyone this? Apparently, Taylor and Tate are getting a divorce because Taylor went all the way with someone in the group’s husband without letting Tate know.

Now, the others in the group have denied there was any swinging. They’ve made videos, they’ve unfollowed Taylor, the whole shebang.

But it’s too late. Swingers have officially been added to the public knowledge of Mormonism.

Now, how is the church dealing with this onslaught of quite frankly very negative publicity? Who knows. I would personally love to.

For now, I’m holding out for more episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven.