Are single Mormon women “screwed”?

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According to Time magazine – and the new book Date-Onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game “single Mormon women are screwed,” as one friend put it.

The older they get, author Jon Birger claims, the less likely they are to ever get married. “It’s not that He’s Just Not That Into You,” Birger says. “It’s that There Just Aren’t Enough of Him.”

The numbers appear compelling. In Utah, he claims, there are now 150 Mormon women for every 100 Mormon men, “a 50 percent oversupply of women,” even though overall, there are actually more men than women in the state.

So why the imbalance? He says Mormon men leave the faith in higher numbers than women, making the statistics of available, active LDS singles significantly lopsided by gender.

The Time story draws upon a study by sociologists Ryan Cragun and Rick Phillips that finds this imbalance has increased sharply due to male defection from the faith:

In a study based on data from the General Social Survey, Phillips and Cragun show that between 1972 and 2000, 92.6% of Mormon respondents in the MCR [Mormon Culture Region] who reported being LDS at age 16 were still members of the church when they were surveyed. Between 2001 and 2010, this number had fallen to 64.4%. . . .

In its rate of people leaving the fold, Mormons are not all that different from the wider culture. In fact, we’re doing better than a lot of religions. According to a Pew study released in May of this year, 64% of people who are raised LDS in America still self-identify as Mormon as adults, which is higher than the retention rate for Catholics (59%) or mainline Protestants (45%).

But even though disaffiliation is a national social trend, I’m sure that’s cold comfort to the general authorities in Salt Lake City.

And with single men apparently leaving at higher rates than single women, Mormons are left with a different kind of problem: a large cohort of single women in a church that upholds marriage as the godly ideal not just for this life, but also the next.

Last week, an excellent Trib Talk episode put four single Mormon women in conversation about being single in a married church.

Chelsea Sue was one of four women to be interviewed for the Trib Talk's half-hour conversation with single Mormon women.

Chelsea Sue was one of four women to be interviewed for the Trib Talk’s half-hour conversation with single Mormon women.

I hope you’ll check it out. These women (Ardis E. Parshall, Laura Durham, Naomi Watkins and Chelsea Sue, pictured at right) were amazing, and they have fulfilling lives, careers, and families (because yes, you still have a family even when you’re not married with children).

These women, and thousands like them, are only “screwed” if everyone in Mormondom keeps telling them . . . .

  • That their lives don’t really begin until they get married, and that everything else, including school, work, and faith, is preparatory.
  • That their divinely ordained, primary—even sole—purpose for being on this earth is to bear and raise children.
  • That they shouldn’t worry about not finding a spouse now because they will be married in the afterlife! (As Ardis Parshall wryly put it, however well-intentioned that particular comment may be, it’s basically telling the single Latter-day Saint, “We have nothing for you here. You’re better off dead.”)
  • That they’re single because they’re too selfish or picky. (If the stark demographic of 150 single women for every 100 single men doesn’t communicate the utter fallacy of the “selfish/picky” argument, I don’t think anything ever will.)

What might Mormon leaders and members be communicating to singles instead?

Yeah, I know I said that last one twice. I believe it bears repeating.

  • Julia

    “That they are needed and valued just as they are.”

    Yes, it needs repeating. I, as a single woman, have a wonderful, God-blest and God-approved life. I am so tired of being told, week after week, that there is something wrong with me.

  • Julia — Thanks for the comment. It burns me that singles are made to feel inadequate . . . and that people can make such clueless comments.

    In the Trib Talk episode, one of the women talks about how she has been lectured that she needs to hurry up and get married or her eggs will wither. She is 23 years old!

  • Kristine A

    When childless I got the “but that promise will be fulfilled in the next life for you” whenever the discussion veered into the purpose of women is motherhood conversation. Right, so those who aren’t mothers, including singles, their mortal lives are just placeholders? Yeah, no.

    Really holding out for when the contributions of single and childless women are valued just as much as mothers in the kingdom of God. Talk about having to endure to the end for something to happen.

  • Debbie Snowcroft

    From the article: “These women .. are only “screwed” if everyone in Mormondom keeps telling them . . ”

    One of the most important items was left off the list: Mormon women don’t need to marry Mormon men!

    Non-Mormon men can make wonderful husbands; they are easily as good as, and often better than, the Mormon variety.

  • Sharon

    So glad you’re writing about this. It seems that the church struggles with how to accept singles where they are, just as they are, as you say. This probably comes from a mix of good people wanting their single friends and acquaintances to have the joy of a loving relationship as well as a bit of fear that accepting singlehood could be equated with undervaluing marriage.

    I believe that many or most single members of the church desire to be married. Accepting singles in their singleness doesn’t have to mean that as a church we stop championing marriage. If current trends continue, about 1 in 3 young women in the LDS church will not marry (especially in the church) in time to bear and raise their own children. Educated guesses from the data suggest that at least 30% and probably much more of the church membership is single. These numbers are too high to ignore. We need to recognize and work with singles as and where they are now and develop a better sense of shared community…

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  • Sarah

    Hmmm, unfortunately I don’t see the harmful messages changing much until the people in power die off.

    Recently, Elder Oaks was asked the following by a concerned local leader: “Do you have any counsel for the increasing number of young single adult sisters that are getting disillusioned in the fact that they can’t find a worthy Priesthood holder to get married to?”

    In response, Oaks admitted that there weren’t “enough men to go around.” He responded that the best thing leaders could do for these frustrated single women was to focus MORE on the men. He further continued that adult women who find themselves without marriage prospects “have got to accept the fact” that they may not be able to marry in this life. Such women, he said, should “get busy” and “stop sitting around grieving.” You can see the video clip here: (the advice takes place around 0:30 – 2:00). It’s a very disturbing speech, so lacking in empathy.

  • Anon

    I so agree. The current leaders have little or no empathy for anything relating to female issues. Being male, they have it all and can’t understand why there is such a brouhaha.

  • My own Episcopalian husband would heartily agree!

  • Julia

    I disagree. No, I agree that men outside of the church can and do make wonderful husbands – but our worth and our place in the church should not depend on our marital status at all. Telling me to date and marry outside of the church is not a solution for the stigmatization, infantilizing and othering that occurs on a weekly basis in church to singles.

  • Kevin Barney

    Thanks for the Trib Talk link. I just now watched it. Very interesting and illuminating discussion.

  • ron

    Why does every topic covered here only involve how someone is doing something wrong to someone else? If this was the only blog I read my worldview would be so unfilfilling. You have such articulate writing skills how about writing something inspiring like the process of building a testimony or about service to others?

  • Fred M

    Thank you for this. I think we need to hear this perspective more, and rarely do (which is also an answer to the concern of “ron”–Jana’s a faithful member who has questions and concerns and isn’t afraid to write about them, and we need more of that in the church!).

  • Susan

    True story. Because I’m a single lady of a certain age I don’t get regular home teachers I get a “home teaching” couple. So it was their first visit and we were chit chatting about all the regular things such as where was I from, what did I do for a living, etc. Well at one point I got the “are you married or do you have children” question. I answered no to both and the next thing I know the wife raised both arms in the air with her fingers crossed on both hands and says “Maybe some day.” I rolled my eyes and snorted a little bit. They haven’t been back in almost 7 years.

  • Brigham Young

    Well given this is the Mormon Church we’re discussing here, there’s always the possibility of the return of the practice of polygamy, especially given that the practice may have never really ceased in any official sense.

  • Stacy

    Exactly, Julia.

  • Stacy

    POLYGAMY IS NOT A SOLUTION FOR SINGLE WOMEN. We are not a problem to be solved. KNOCK IT OFF.

    I’m so sick and tired of this coming up in EVERY. SINGLE. DISCUSSION. of singles in the church.

    POLYGAMY IS NOT A SOLUTION. Stop acting like it is.

  • MarkE

    Depends on who is defining “the problem.”

  • Jen

    I think many cultural problems in the Church could be solved if we stopped hammering and focusing so much just on the family. I wanted to share this on Mette’s post last week (“Do Mormons Worship the Family?”) but never got around to it. I think it applies here too.

    A GA came to my home about 2 weeks ago. We had a pleasant visit, and on the way out he stopped and said, “I attended training recently. We were told that the main purpose of the gospel is… (my brain raced him to the punch line & I thought “To bring souls to Christ, of course!”) …but nope, that’s not what he said. He said, “The main purpose of the church is to help strengthen families. It’s all about families.”

    What happened to bringing souls to Christ? Isn’t that the all-encompassing, universally inclusive message? It sure would solve a truckload of pain if we focused on Christ more than families.

  • Debbie Snowcroft

    Julia, you are so right. There is never justification for stigmatizing us because of our marital status. I was simply illustrating an equally dark side to the LDS Church that comes from the highest levels of church authority — that we should remain single, against our wishes, if we can’t find a “worthy” priesthood holder to marry.

    As Sarah wrote, “Elder Oaks … responded that … adult women who find themselves without marriage prospects “have got to accept the fact” that they may not be able to marry in this life.”

    My blood boils at the irresponsible and dangerous advice of that horrid little man.

    Women who desire a family should not be told to live their life in isolation simply because there isn’t a “worthy” priesthood holder for them to marry; particularly since many “worthy” priesthood holders make horrible husbands, and many “non-Mormon” men make wonderful husbands.

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  • My single brother-in-law, living in Utah, would argue there are not enough single LDS women. One of my friends told me he was afraid of dating older LDS women, as they must be broken or crazy if they are over 25 and still single. In my mind, if a woman is “broken” then a gentleman can help with the healing. And, all women are crazy. (Sorry ladies!!!)

  • John Mansfield

    Nowhere in that Time article does it address an overwhelmingly important factor: the bulk of LDS women do marry. That fact amplifies any imbalance among the remaining singles. If 90% of 27-year-old women are married instead of 50%, then any imbalance finding suitable men to date is magnified five-fold.

  • Mike

    I have read and I have seen the time article linked over and over in Mormon circles as well as facebook posts. What is interesting to me is how one sided these articles are on the men’s point of view. Are these Mormon men so rare that people writing articles or doing studies cannot find any to interview? Are they really gone from the church or are they stuck more in a MCR limbo? It is easy to blame numbers, but maybe the Mormon men are ‘around’ but are not meeting these Mormon women.

    I didn’t get married until I was 33, and I can tell you it is easier to paint a simple picture when you only get one side of the story. Single Mormon Men aren’t treated well in the church. The treatment, if it were against a minority, would be labeled by liberals as micro-aggression. Of course most men in this demographic aren’t liberal and aren’t going to fight it, let alone label it. Over time they simply stop going. I’d go on, but I have a 1000 character limit.

  • joel

    He was quoting his wife, when he said that, he also quoted her saying that they wouldn’t marry a priesthood holder, not necessarily that they would not get married in this life. (to me it was just a mathematical fact, there aren’t enough priesthood holders to go around). I just feel like you were reading a little too much into his comment.

  • joel

    I am with you. I didn’t get married until I was 33 too. It isn’t fun being a single guy in the church either. Everything is so focused on having a family, you just don’t feel welcome, and it is your fault you aren’t married. I

  • JLH

    Ugh. Some of these comments… “All women are crazy”. Really?! That kind of misogynistic thinking… I just can’t.

    I like the idea of empowering singles, rather than pitying the women and shaming the men. Worth, value, and happiness do not depend on relationship status. (There are plenty of unhappy marrieds and happy singles and vice versa).

    And yet- I think the church does singles and LGBT members a huge disservice by ignoring certain realities. We are absolutely hard-wired for love, intimacy and sex, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. It absolutely matters. So don’t tell someone expected to live a celibate life devoid of companionship to “stop grieving and get over it.” Some can rise above, but it’s not realistic for many, if not most.

    I don’t have any answers. I’m 33 and I left the church two years ago over this issue. Judge me, shame me, pity me–it doesn’t matter. I know I made the right decision for me.

  • Megan

    Unfortunately, there are problems when you decide to venture outside of the strictly “single, church-going LDS” pool as well. I’ve had lots of frustration trying to find someone that will respect my boundaries, because they don’t follow the “no sex before marriage” rule. That is a big deal breaker for a majority of singles outside of the LDS dating realm. So, it’s frustrating all around!

  • Laura

    Just this past Sunday, the woman giving the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting ACTUALLY uttered this phrase: “Please bless the poor sisters in the ward who are not married that they may find husbands soon.” Oh my gosh, I wanted to slap her.

    As a divorced woman, I get this one A LOT: “Well, at least you know that if you never get remarried in this life, you still have your first husband and you’ll be married in the eternities.” To which I respond “Awww, HAY-ELL no!” it would be a cruel god indeed who would force me to spend the ETERNITIES being married to such a nasty person just to save face in the Celestial Kingdom. NOT gonna happen.

    I love our focus on family in the gospel, I truly do. But I don’t like extremes like this. People need to remember that when the scriptures talk about being married as a requirement for the “highest degree” of glory, they aren’t talking about the Celestial Kingdom in general; it’s the highest degree WITHIN that kingdom. God will work…

  • Laura

    I mean, you’re right, it isn’t quite so black-and-white. I was miserable in my marriage, and people like to think that all temple marriages are somehow superior to all other states of being, but we’re still talking about two human, flawed people. And if I have to choose between spending eternity either single or married to the man I once married, I’d choose single in a heartbeat.

    And I do think we handle the sex thing very badly. You make a good point, in that celibacy is HARD and we shouldn’t just shrug it off like that. I believe in sex as a sacrament of marriage, but I definitely think that we need to face a greater understanding of the realities of human sexuality, preferably WITHOUT the shame and condescension. Particularly with regard to women. But that is a lengthy discussion in and of itself. 😉

  • Laura

    Well said, Stacy! I am heartily SICK of people in this church trying to defend polygamy or, worse, still teaching it as the higher order of God.

    Lest we forget, GOD HIMSELF compared it to Abraham sacrificing Isaac — that pretty much loudly smacks of “hey, guys, this is the EXCEPTION, not the rule.” So stop teaching it like it IS the rule, or like it is a handy little solution to the problems of all women. UGH!

  • Laura

    Very articulately put, Sharon! I love what you said here.

  • Susan

    We need to look at the definition of families. Single people are part of families too.

    As a Jew, the bringing people should be limited to Christians. Mormons need to stop trying to brings Jews to Christ, whether they are live Jews or dead Jews.

  • Seriously,”Learn about Christ”?? What on earth are you talking about?

  • Huh?

    Please reframe from using the term GA. If you are not willing to provide the name of said individual then its not worth mentioning and increases the chance you are making stuff up. If it was a local leader I understand not mentioning them although maybe we should attached to what ward of stake they are affiliated with.

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  • Stephanie

    I’m a single LDS female who just turned 40 and who will always be active in the LDS faith, so I’d like to weigh in on this issue. Love and hope are not dead for me–far from it. As far as potential mates? I’m looking for a man with moral strength and common beliefs and goals–and to me that’s a worthy priesthood holder. People in our church who marry nonmembers and less active members do not lose church membership over it. So, I’m holding out for my perfect man because I have a testimony of the importance of a worthy priesthood holder in my life. I’m also completely happy being single–I love life and what it offers now. I also believe the LDS church is the true gospel of Christ. So, if we have a shortage of “anyone” in the church then maybe it’s because I’ve been too lazy to be a good missionary and spread the gospel to my brothers and sisters so that we don’t have to worry about “numbers” or “divisions. I’ll try to do better.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    Cragun is an ex-Mormon who has put out other “studies” which he uses to criticize the Mormons and our Church. I would not be too quick to accept anything he says at face value.

    I am just speculating here, but it seems to me that one of the factors that is involved in young Mormon men lapsing from their faith is a prolonged period of being single, and engaged in an immature, selfish lifestyle. Other general sociological studies have shown that, when people become parents of children, they seek out religion for their families with more energy than they did when they were single. If young Mormon men were to be married at a younger age, I think it is more likely that they would be motivated to live a more mature role as a husband, father, and in exercising his priesthood affiliation to bless his spouse and children. I think the best thing we could do for the single Mormon women is to teach young adult Mormon men that they should be on about the goal of starting a family.

  • Jen K.

    I’m sorry Huh? – just now seeing your reply. I agree with your distrust of vague assertions & request for citation, but I can’t in good conscience post the name of the General Authority. I don’t think it would be fair to him, and it feels unkind. I can say he was a Seventy, and that he, along with my Stake President, visited me in my home the weekend coinciding with our Stake Conference. I do not intend to frustrate anyone, nor do I expect you to take my word for it. I just felt to articulate how puzzling it was to hear that top leaders seem to be emphasizing families over Christ.

  • Sarah

    Hmmm, I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing. Did you watch the video clip?

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  • James

    I couldn’t disagree more. The LDS Church is unwelcoming to singles, male or female. Married couples with nuclear families fit the model set within the modular church units. However, people don’t live in perfect families.

    The Church is also not addressing needs. The support network for single men, divorced men, is inadequate and unwelcoming. By stating the deficiencies for men, it is not to imply that the support for single women is perfect, far from it.

    The services for all religions must compete for the minds over a multitude of other sources of interests and entertainment. IT is difficult with a lay church to compete.

    The internet also makes available information which was difficult to find earlier, and the Church has inadequate responses to many of the historical questions. Thus men often being more analytical, not always by any stretch of the imagination as many women are leaving as well, might be leaving because it is shown that the greater the education the less…

  • Joseph Smith Jr.

    Now hold up there a minute sister Stacy. The Lord has spoken clearly through his most worthy and holy servants, the prophets, and it appears you have not heard or heeded their words. Polygamy has only ceased because it was not legal, but the Lord has decreed polygamy to be an eternal principle, even the new and everlasting covenant, and God has not changed his mind about it, yet. In time, not too distant from now, the Lord will pave the way for polygamy to become legal and all the single sisters will yet have the blessing of a most worthy priesthood man to share.

    Remember, those women who don’t accept this law will be destroyed. Lest ye forget, I will quote D&C 132:64-65

    64″And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy…

  • Joseph Smith Jr.

    Please remember, Heavenly Father knows the trials of older single women and He will yet provide the means for them to obtain happiness. Soon, Heavenly Father will work a great miracle and bring to pass the legalization of the new and everlasting covenant yet again to practiced in the only true church of Jesus Christ.

    I speak of the truest order of marriage, polygamy, found in D&C 132:61-65, yes the holy scriptures that so many in the church have forgotten. Polygamy is the great answer and blessing that the Lord will in due time, bless us to practice once again. The way is already before us, and the Lord will provide the means by legalizing polygamy in the promised land of the united states.

    All these blessed single sisters of the church will yet be able to share a worthy male priesthood husband and fulfill the measure of their creation: to multiply and replenish the earth and rear their children unto God with their righteous male priesthood holder and their sister wives.

  • SR

    The simple answer to the question in Dr. Reiss’s blog title is ‘yes.’ Single Mormon women are not able to achieve the highest degree of salvation. Why? Because they aren’t married.

    In fact, even states: Temple marriage is a requirement for obtaining the highest degree of celestial glory. (Here:

    Here’s a wonderful quote from LDS apostle Erastus Snow in 1857:

    “I ask, Can you get into the celestial kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember that you never got into the celestial kingdom [during the temple ceremony] without the aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is worthy to have a husband.”

    So were the LDS church to teach otherwise, that it’s okay for a woman to be single, would be dishonest and withholding salvation from its women.

  • WyoMormon

    I have a wife at present. She has her own difficulties in life, as do I. If Polygamy were to come back, I for one would be hard pressed to be able to continue with caring adequately and considerately for my first love/wife, in a way that I would hope I could for a second. It appears that there are many apposing/bitter opinions being voiced within the blog that seem to want to create or revolutionize a NEW gospel that will conform to their own personal thinking. Perhaps if I HAD to get involved in polygamy, there are few women (I speak of the bitter ones, who seem to write as though the lack congruency with the scriptures) in this blog that I would EVER consider as a spouse. I’d suggest that maybe this is another reason they aren’t presently married. One sister named Stephanie Sep 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm, would be first choice as she seems to speak of gospel truth and understands what Christ speaks of. Her light shines and I’ll take her — her beauty from within is what will bless…

  • WyoMormon

    (cont.) …her. When I say beauty, (as I can’t see her picture well, as it appears very small) I speak of her character. I have over 30 celestial years with my first wife — and believe me it hasn’t been all celestial either, but we still seek that goal in our marriage. I’d take an 80 year old, wrinkled homely woman, who loves the gospel as my second wife long before I’d even consider one who thinks she’ll tell God how she WILL enter into the Celestial kingdom. Good luck ladies and as you say: let’s hope polygamy doesn’t come back, as I’d be hard pressed to marry any woman from this group of whiners — many speak of “Christ” rather than “family” and obviously don’t understand then, Christ’s purpose for his atoning sacrifice: to make it so we get back to our family in heaven.. Your problem will become mine and my wife’s problem, if I’m required to be a polygamist. I can see why none of the righteous wanted to participate, if this is a random sample of the field we…

  • Brad James

    Actually, my email is a lie. I WISH gorgeous brunettes did love me, or blondes, or gingers whoever. The struggle is real for both single sexes in the Kingdom. I spent a lot of my time on Twitter not only connecting with other media members in larger markets than mine but yes, I deliberately choose that many of these are gorgeous women. Yes, I’m desperate. I will definitely admit it. We are not living polygamy at this time but it’s so common everywhere in the Kingdom that the single women are more abundant than the single men. It is true in every particular. Anyway, sometimes pretty media ladies follow back on Twitter and are nice to me. I wish I was around them in real life. For the time being, I fill in as a primary teacher and teach the young men/women at times too. I am the secretary in my elders’ quorum. I work the veil at the Manti Temple. I love my NFL and NBA, thank goodness both are in season now. Anyway, just keep yourselves occupied with good things not porn and such.

  • Brad James

    yes, it hurts my feelings too but what can you do? When you’re feeling blue, the only Christlike thing you can do is make others feel better. Then, in turn, you’ll feel better too.

  • Ross

    Just don’t be a good missionary to potential single sisters or you are just perpetuating the problem.

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  • Single YOUNG sisters are being discriminated against by older/widowed/divorced LDS men, explained this way: “I miss the physical privileges of marriage. Younger women are more demanding, seem to think they also have privileges, but older women understand their privilege ended with childbearing years. Men have needs explained in Scripture, that last a lifetime. Their procreative privileges are for time and eternity. A womans’ is for a season and eternity. Her season lasts only through childbearing.” I’ve been a widow for 8 years. I have heard that same statement, different words, three times. I will remain a single older Sister and pray for my younger Sisters to prevail.

  • Alice

    Correction: It was Elder Oaks’s second wife (who had been single into her mid-fifties) who said that, apparently. Elder Oaks just reported what his wife has apparently told audiences of single sisters.

  • Alice

    I must admit, as a heterosexual woman, I quite like the idea of polygamy. As a formerly married woman, I couldn’t cope with all the demands of one man. I say share the load between several. He, he!

  • Alice

    I mean, share the load between several women, of course!

  • I feel very sorry to hear that some single LDS people are receiving the impression, or indeed clear message, that there is something wrong with them. I’ve been divorced for 7 years (from a temple marriage) and I find people in my ward are very accepting; they don’t pressurise me to get married again. They don’t give me the impression that there’s anything wrong with me. They’re just friendly people who love me for who I am: a child of God.

    The only bizarre thing that happened to me 2 wards previously was that a married woman with a mental health concern thought I was eyeing her husband up and down, so she threatened to ‘deck’ me. I had no intentions to chase her husband at all (I thought he was a wimp)!

  • x1134x

    Well if they *want* a temple marriage. . . they’re screwed by the numbers.

  • Julie Bucker

    Deep research reveals that polygamy was strictly abhorred by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young lied about the section in the Doctrine and Covenants about polygamy being a revelation to Joseph Smith. It says earlier in the D&C that a man should only have 1 wife. Joseph was framed and liabled for having more than one wife and he defended himself on the way to Carthage that he only ever had 1 wife, because polygamy was a false accusation they were using to indict him into jail. His quote is published in official church records. Brigham Young brought polygamy into the picture when he wrongly went alone on a mission and fell in love with a married woman who believed in polygamy. I found this information from a couple online who have done 45 years of research and they have the quotes to back it up.

  • Julie Bucker

    Ok the quote is from History of the church, Volume 6, page 411, where Joseph Smith States he only ever had one wife and is against polygamy.

  • Janie

    Except the LDS Church in October said for the first time that Joseph Smith had as many as 40 wives. So…

  • Helen Sweany

    Should a Mormon woman marry a non-Mormon man, there will be immediate conflicts. For her to stay worthy, she must give 10%+ of her income to the church. He may find it practical to invest in his future instead. She may be cleaning the church on some Saturdays and definitely all day Sunday. He may think a weekend camping after a hard work week seems like a better idea. Much of her life will evolve around the church and church issues. If he doesn’t agree with policy changes, she may even be encouraged to divorce him. A Mormon with a Non-Mormon doesn’t sound like fun over the long haul.

  • Marianne Downing

    For me, on a personal level, I was a temple patron and single adult for some years, although now remarried. It is not so straight forward to marry a non-member and maintain all the practices and beliefs that I have in relation to the temple. I made a considered decision that I would rather remain single than accept marrying outside of the temple to someone who didn’t understand this vital part of me. Often in forums like these, the go-to position in criticizing this viewpoint states that it is the influence and fault of the priesthood leadership of the church. I am frankly sick of this because it denies my right to come to my own conclusions, my own principles and beliefs. I don’t mind if you disagree with my stance but please don’t insult me by sidelining responsibility to the brethren. I am perfectly capable of coming to my own conclusions.