Beliefs Culture Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Are single Mormon women “screwed”?

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.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

116 Comments

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  • “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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93XqR6IOcAw (the advice takes place around 0:30 – 2:00). It’s a very disturbing speech, so lacking in empathy.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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!).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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…

  • 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. 😉

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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, lds.org even states: Temple marriage is a requirement for obtaining the highest degree of celestial glory. (Here: https://www.lds.org/topics/kingdoms-of-glory)

    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.

  • 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…

  • (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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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)!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • There are constant talks about adult Mormon men hurrying up and starting families. That’s not changing the needle any. It isn’t happening because these men don’t have to settle. 150 women per 100 men. This is a by product of the 40 year mantra of “all men must serve a mission”. That is why men are leaving in droves, because in the church men who haven’t served a mission aren’t eligible in the women’s minds to marry unless of course they are really good looking or rich (that of course supersedes everything). The culture of women being brainwashed into only marrying RM’s is coming back to bit big time and will only get worse. Missions also keep men single and away for a long time. That doesn’t help any.

  • I felt the need to reply because what you said is a big part of the problem. LDS women “holding out for my perfect man”. It doesn’t exist. It’s like a unicorn. LDS women have it hammered in their head from birth to look for this perfect man that doesn’t exist. Many women end up waiting until age 40 or 50 and, sadly, it never happens for them.

  • Of course they’re screwed. Because they aren’t fulfilling the role of the Mormon woman, which is to be a brood-sow to pump out bodies for the spirit-children. The way to get un-screwed is to run screaming from the loony cult created by the con-man money-digger sex-addict Joe the Smithee (but please don’t join some other bunch of idiots who, for example, worship a dead Jewish guy as a god).

  • This is a great article and even better comments. I love reading everyone’s reactions and deep feelings about topics such as these.

    For me personally (emphasis on “personally”) I was lucky and blessed enough to have my life turned upside down the last two years in a heart breaking divorce. It was unequivocally the most difficult time in my life punctuated with moments of shear terror, pain and hate. Prior to the less than marital conducive decisions of my spouse to turn her heart to another (which I fully recognize and accept my part in that process) we were what most people deemed the “Perfect Mormon Family”. We both regularly served in leadership positions and were called on often to speak, teach and generally serve where needed. But as I said earlier…lucky for me, there is a Heavenly Father that loved me enough to call me and my wife out on our B.S. Mormon lives we were living. Don’t get me wrong, we were both doing our best with what we had and for the most part we believed we were doing the right things. But you can’t act your way to Heaven…and nor should you want to.

    It was through this experience of divorce, then being a single dad that I started to realized what was missing in my life…God. Here I was a devout priesthood holder, giving blessings, serving my fellowman, going to the temple yet God wasn’t there. Or at least not as much as I wanted Him to be or believe He should be. Once I started to focus solely on Him and thank Him for loving me enough to allow me to face the consequences of my own deeds…is when my eyes opened. I started to get clarity on this whole church thing…and “Mormonism” vs. gospel truth. I began to be able to filter out the noise and just feel His love for me and the love from His Son and the sacrificed that was made for me.

    So here’s my two cents, which may only be worth $.01 to you. I fully believe that all the truth, doctrine and fullness of the gospel in found in the LDS church and it’s canonized scriptures and leaders. I 100% believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I believe in the current prophet and all the general men and women leadership of the church. I also believe that truth can be found in all religions and people that work to do good and act morally. I believe that is why the current prophet is so close the leaders in other religions. But the main thing I have come to believe is that as much as we all as humans want to believe we have God figured out…we don’t know jack. Even the church with the true priesthood and authority and prophet is simply “doing their best” while on earth but are left at times to stumble and bumble their way through to learn.

    The way I was raised in the LDS church and the things I was taught there were “SO” important have turned out to be not so important. And it was wrong to teach things the way they were taught in many cases…sometimes it was even done with shaming and I believe contributed to my struggles with depression and self confidence. Even today I can not stand the verbiage on lds.org when defining Chasity…I don’t want my kids to read it…I believe it’s worded wrong and causes feelings of shame….BUT for whatever reason I can separate all of that and realize that much of it is just man. I read comments made by past prophets and leaders and I think…”What the heck are they saying??” but then I just say a prayer in my heart and God says “It’s ok, they’re just men like you. They’re doing their best and they are trying to teach and lead with eternal principles that will only be fully understood in the next life”. I mean, can I honestly say I could do better???

    So for me…I try and separate the cultural “must do’s” and “must follow” from the actual doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I have finally allowed myself to be ok with not being a “perfect Mormon” because I have found that God doesn’t want me to be a “perfect Mormon” he just wants me to be His son and do the best I can. That being said, I also still believe that He knows what is best for me, just like there are things I know are best for my kiddos. And sometimes I just have to trust him. One of those things for me is I do believe in the LDS church and the prophets therein. So I will always continue to listen and pray and follow, but won’t beat myself too much when I come short…because that’s the point…I will come short and God is ok with it. I’ll grow at the speed I can grow and God is ok with that. I will not grow at the speed that a bishop or Stake President dictates I should though and they should too respect that.

    The LDS Church, meaning the entity here on earth and the people (emphasis on “people”) running it have a long ways to go in terms of how to communicate to it’s members and the world. But they have made huge progressions and continue to do better. I love that they clarify and change what they can but stick strong to the things that can’t. Because in the end God is really the one telling us what is best for us…not ourselves. And some things we will just have to accept as eternal truth. But I’m finding there are less of those than originally shared.

    I love in the comments when someone pointed out that it is ok to marry a non-lds male that is good and matches your morals…I 100% believe that! And people shouldn’t be scared of that…honestly if someone says “you are gambling with your eternity” by doing that…just simply say “and you’re not with that comment?” The majority of people, but lds and non-lds will not qualify for the celestial kingdom while on this earth. There is a whole lot of work and progression that will happen later, we just don’t know what it is and you know what…I’m not going to worry about it. I know God loves me and loves all of us and I know He just wants what is best for us in the long run. So don’t focus on what people tell you should be doing to find happiness, just find it for yourself, within yourself and then no matter what path you have in this life…you’ll simply…be happy. 🙂

  • Please forgive my ignorance; is marrying outside the religion not permitted? This article appears to point to Mormon women being required to marry only Mormon men. Are Mormon women not permitted to marry say, another Christian faith? She still could follow the Mormon faith, and he may choose to be Mormon, in order to share the life with her. I was a non-practicing Christian when I married my wife; I now follow her faith more closely than she does. People are capable of change. We often shift and change our belief doctrine as we mature. Becoming Mormon after being exposed to the gospel from a wife seems natural to me.

  • I can’t believe you read it! It was way long…sometimes sharing thoughts are therapeutic I guess. ?

  • Mormons believe that to go to the highest heaven (the Celestial Kingdom), you must be married to another Mormon inside a Mormon temple. So that seriously limits the number of Mormon women willing to marry outside the faith, and is also a reason some people divorce their spouse if their spouse leaves the Church.

  • I guess the romantic trope, “What about love” is just irrelevant sentimentality in the struggle for status, power, and glory in the next life. Having written that I don’t know if I’m being sarcastic, cynical, or realistic anymore.

  • In one of my singles wards, many of the women complained about “not getting asked out.” When they did get asked on a date, they were suddenly “too busy” or they “had other plans.” Because of how these women treated the men, it’s been really difficult for me to take women seriously who make complaints about dating. Unfortunately, some women who say: “Guys never ask me out” forget to add “…that I like.” One key problem in traditional dating is that women are rarely expected to show interest in a man. What if the guy has no idea that someone was interested?

  • The “stark demographic of 150 single women for every 100 single men” **doesn’t** communicate the utter fallacy of the “selfish/picky” argument, because it is never run out in full where all the available men are taken. “too selfish/picky” to mate up with one of the currently available males, can be an issue, and can be the reason a female is not among the “chosen for a wife”.

  • I find it particularly interesting that so many sisters say ” I’m looking for a man with moral strength and common beliefs and goals–and to me that’s a worthy priesthood holder” forgot to throw in Temple worthy sounds pretty idealistic not to say that is bad just naïve. I grew up in the church and as a young teenage man had issues with morality in 7years I attended the temple twice ( due to my moral issues ) with my peers, while all my peers who had the very same problem lied and attended every year. It is written that “man judgeth on the outter man, God looketh on the heart” If women spent more time finding a man who was heartfelt and loved God they would be less prone to find a worthy man/perfect liar. I have found an abundance of self deprecating women of low self esteem who focus on the irrelevant “practices” in an attempt to appear “good” all the while having no true relationship with Heavenly Father because their low self worth leaves them doubting God could ever care for someone so “useless and unworthy” ( their words not mine ). In my Adult life I served a mission and have been 90%active since returning form mission 20 yrs ago. I love Jesus Christ he has been my greatest friend and confidant in this life, who has never failed me, though I have failed him more times than I can count. I married in the temple but did not stay worthy after that. My wife like so many woman wanted a good, worthy man which I was not. My wife attended church 6-7 times a year about 1 every two months with me…..to say it was uncomfortable was an understatement. She could always find it in herself to go out on a Friday/Saturday night but Sunday morning was always too much…..she lacked commitment and still does to this day. I have found that it is as likely for a woman to find a worthy man as it is for a man to find a woman that won’t talk behind his back and undermine her own marriage. God and Church, their not the same though obedience to the faith will bring you closer to God if your intentions are real. Otherwise you just look good on the outside for all those women who are looking for Worthy liars….now I don’t say they are all liars those that love God are real……ask yourself is it easier to be worthy? or lie about it?? there are definitely more liars than worthy men wake up to the truth of things, and take time in the choosing, only actions don’t lie………words mislead everyday. Take time to see actions for what they are “A STATEMENT OF TRUE INTENT” does he love God or not, does he love his fellow man or not, does he have natural affection for those in his life or not………..WHAT DO HIS ACTIONS SAY? 6 months of actions will always show you his true intent.

  • I do agree! I have been with my non member for 12 years. I never thought I would be happy, nor was I ever happy in the church. I did what they wanted, married, failed, divorced. Ex ended up in prison, Mormon mom declared “I don’t think I want the rest of my daughters marrying Mormon men”. Sorry to some of you Mormon mamas, but… simmer down on the EXTREME coddling of your precious, innocent boys, it’s kind of messing some of them up real bad.

  • the problem is 99% telling men they are as sinful as murderers for masturbating.. this causes men to research church critics and leave the faith so they can feel like they have a chance at being happy in this life.

  • I’d say it also is a factor that parents (particularly the mothers) of these women who believe & tell their daughters that they are “screwed” (see “screwed” claims as listed in above article). I have a friend who is/has dealt with that her entire life. She eventually did get married, but has consistently been treated like an outsider among her mormon family members. I remember her telling me when she was 24 that she was considered an “old maid” within her church, as tears streamed down her face. The personal anxiety and trauma that this causes for the individual woman is damaging to say the least.

  • He phrased it as advice coming from his long-single wife. Maybe she indeed was the one who said it that way. I can’t think of any other advice to give women in that position. Except possibly, if you meet a compatable non-member, then consider marrying them.

  • I find it hard to believe that our church would teach that males indulging in self-pleasuring is as bad as committing murder! You may be from an ultra-conservative ward in a conservative community and, therefore, hearing a non-representative “spin” on church doctrine. I had to wake up and get wise to this reality within the LDS and other Christian churches: beware of pockets of doctrinal extremists who run off the rails and end up stuck in the reeds of extremism when trying to make a point!

  • Postscript:
    The MAIN purpose behind ALL the Abrahamic religions is to draw as STARK and HARSH a line of distinction between themselves and their own sacrosanct beliefs and “the world” (everyone else, both secular and religious) and its “fallen” beliefs as possible.
    Period. End of story.

  • Not always! I am a lifelong church member, intelligent, and reasonably attractive, yet I have NEVER been asked out on a date or anything like it by an LDS or non-LDS male!
    Ouch! What am I, radioactive?
    I’m a 50-something. And not too wrinkled, either.

  • Let me guess…
    The “DEED.”
    I suspect that the real reason this very natural act is so taboo to the pious is that they desperately want to teach young guys to learn how to turn their backs on “Mother Nature” and put up with unrequited sexual urges.
    Why? To stay faithful to their spouse/marriage, they will have to reject all adulterous temptation they may encounter, especially at the workplace, which is ground zero for flings and affairs.
    Telling yourself NO to what you want takes practice and COMPLETE mental commitment and self-control.
    Sorry, guys!

  • I don’t like the pretense of traditional dating.
    You’re not getting to know the REAL person. Just a fake put-on job designed to fool the other person into thinking you are Mr/Ms Right when you AREN’T!

  • Sorry to hear that. But don’t take it too personal. Happens to lots of people I’m sure. But no one ever said women can’t ask men out. I’m sure A LOT of men could say the same.

  • Why is it sad? You don’t seem to subscribe to either Mormonism or Christianity, so what is it to you?

  • My visiting teacher was married to a wonderful Catholic man for 30 years before he decided to be baptized into the LDS faith. He has always been a wonderful man and they have always had a wonderful marriage. Getting baptized did not change who he was, nor did it change their commitment to each other. Marriage is ordained of God, whether it occurs inside an LDS temple or not. The sealing ordinance is the only thing that makes an LDS marriage different, and believe me – it doesn’t make a marriage stronger or better during our sojourn in mortality. It is sad that you have limited your view of what a perfect man is; because the priesthood belongs to God, not to man. Based on my professional career, I can verify that many men ordained with the priesthood are not good husband material.

  • I’m a recently converted Mormon male and I’ve been pretty disappointed with the females that I’ve met so far. I find that they are extremely picky and expect perfection from their men (in terms of just about everything).

    Men, for the most part, are blamed for the marriage issues in the church, but women are the true culprits.

  • Oh come on. You’ve never been asked out by a single man before? I really doubt that.

    I’m a recent convert and my testimony is (apparently) not up to par just yet. I recently went out on a date with a girl that was clearly extremely attracted to me, loved our conversation, but was hesitant because I’m a recent convert.

    Talk about being picky! And get this: I was doing this girl’s friend a favor by going out with her. Apparently, she’s always complaining about how guys are never interested.

    From what I’ve seen, this is the behavior of the average Mormon girl.

  • So I just googled: lds and single again. How is it done?? Well said! Thank you for your insights. I like to look to the apostle Paul who was content in whatsoever state he was in but focused and awake in the now; learning from and letting go of those things which are past. If they yield to temptation I will give unto them sacrifice. What a great blessing the law of sacrifice is along with the ultimate sacrifice of our dear brother Jesus the Christ and that of the Father who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…..Kathryn Spencer

  • Well, this is my Second HUGE disappointment with the Mormon Church.
    I recently returned to the Mormon church and I was happy to do so. But.
    All the Welcoming was only a fad that faded away rather too quickly.
    I am a Single Woman with a Down’s Syndrome child. Not White female.
    Unfortunately, and sadly for me, I find myself facing an issue that is very distressing.
    And I don’t like to come to Church and talk to the Bishop about my problems, it makes
    me feel uncomfortable, but just like the first time, this time everyone that spoke to me
    from the Church, insisted that I speak to the Bishop and on my mind I thought that wasn’t
    a good idea, well I should’ve listened to my gut feeling, because on both occasions the
    Bishop has let me Down. They literally lied to me and offered Help that didn’t even have
    the intention on doing. But I think they check your tithing and your contribution to the church
    and then decide if they are going to provide you with help or not. It’s Hypocritical.
    Also, being a Single Mom and Not White is a Disgraced in the Mormon Church. And,
    no matter how much Mormons want to pretend that They Accept You and Welcome You
    even when your Not Perfect like They Are ~Is Only a Put On Show~ They Will Never Consider
    One like Me, One of their own.

  • Let me clarify ~ This is the Second time in my Life that I am dealing with the Mormon Church, and it just so happens that I am facing the same issue ~and on both occasions, Two different bishops from different churches ~two different states ~two different years ~when the bishops did the Exact Same thing to Me.
    They told me they were going to Help, and/or find Help for me, but it was just a Word they Said at the Moment, because then They pretended that I didn’t even exists. They ignored me and the Help Never Came. I am Not White, and I am a single mother, and I am poor. So, even in church ONe Sees Discrimination.

  • To be fair, I recognize that some women legitimately don’t get asked on dates. I’m just calling out the hypocrites who whine and complain to get attention/sympathy.

  • Oh….. @carriewiddison. Your comment is just to typical. You get excited at the fact that a comment is “way to long.” But have no contribution to make as to it’s content. Wait, let me guess. “I’m smart, I don’t need the opinion of others. I can just Google it.”

    Hope the comment wasn’t too long for you.

  • I see nothing whatsoever disturbing or even lacking in empathy as you so describe. In fact, I would dare say that was comforting and sound counsel.

  • A lot of these comments just serve to depress me and probably not for the reason you think they might. I’m filled with sorrow at how many here are just holding on to the wounds and striking out at well-intentioned people. Nurturing their offended sensibilities over being forgiving of others’ flaws and missteps. Really, my only advice would be to find some way to forgive these people who hurt you or gave you dunderheaded advice. I’m sure that a lot of these people whom you criticize were just doing the best they could and they don’t understand your situation because they aren’t you but they feel the need to say something because they care. If your goal is to get people to ignore you for the rest of your mortality, you might just get it if you keep bashing them like this. For your own sakes, take Elder Oaks counsel and get on with your lives and remember that you have a Savior who understands you perfectly even when others do not.

  • Go to any LDS Church dance in Utah, or anywhere else, and the men far outnumber the women. You can’t count widows, but you are counting them. You must only count women capable of having children. In that catagory, it is about 2 single men to every 1 single LDS woman. If you count only the single women who are attractive, then you’re looking at perhaps 3 to 5 single LDS men for every attractive single LDS woman under the age of 55.

  • Braedon Davies: PLEASE Don’t Make Excuses for Your Self-Absorbed American Self. I am a woman and I am very nice and friendly because I was raised that way. My nationality is American, but I am Latino by Culture. My mother and my father raised me well, and to be very polite, hospitable, and friendly with people, and that includes everyone; children, women, and men. My parents always invited people to eat over at our house every weekend, so we always had people over to enjoy a Meal with Us. It was a Lot of fun. But we are Hispanic and it was Normal for Us to be Friendly, Hospitable, Warm, and Polite to People. As an Adult Single Woman Living in the U.S. and going to Church, I have had to Change my Personality and Know that I will Always Remain Single because American men and culture are COLD and Self-Serving, never to care for anyone else, but their Sick Self. You American Men are COMPLICATED and Never, Never, Never, HAPPY with Any Woman. So, Don’t Blame the Women. You in Your ARROGANT SELF, would Not bother to Ask a woman out again because She said She Can’t the first Time. Please a REAL MAN won’t have his Ego Bruised So Easily. And would insist if He Really and Truly Likes a woman. Put Your Pants Up and Be a Man for Once.

  • Ace Cutty: I am Single and a woman, and Men in Church don’t even Look at Me. And I am not even that ugly, if you look at the physical appearance. But it’s the Church.

  • Durgys, I am a (very assertive and outgoing) Latino as well, and yet I would never, EVER ask a woman out a second time if she rejected me. If I ask a woman out and she says “I’m busy” to me, I take it as a “NO,” not a “maybe later.” Why would i waste any more time on a woman who can’t communicate her mind effectively? If you are interested but actually busy, you should say “I’m busy this weekend, but what about next weekend?”

  • I looked you up on Facebook, Durgys, because I wanted to find a reason for all your nasty and bitter comments. It seems you are older than 30, and already have a child from a previous partner. I’m guessing you became a Mormon after screwing around during your prime, and then finally deciding to settle down. Stop blaming men for your own fuck-ups

  • “They Will Never Consider
    One like Me, One of their own.”

    No they won’t, and that’s a good thing. A clear message that women don’t just get to screw around in their prime, then “repent” and get taken care of by a man who spent his prime building up a good career for a wife and family. I am 24 now with a stable career (finally), and I have women lining up to by my wife. I will choose one who is intelligent, kind, and not bitter like you.

  • Very well put Mari! If a man cannot tame his urges/emotions, how can he be a trustworthy marriage partner?

  • Roger Patino: And what are You?? a Retard?? I guess Yeah!!! Definitely a Retarded First, You think that You Are Smart Enough to make me feel Bad with Your Judgement Against Me…Guess Again!!! I am important enough for You to Go investigating me online….And, Your Nasty Comments (Perverted comments) Don’t Make Me Feel Bad. In Spanish there is a Saying that goes like this…One can Only take things Seriously depending on Who Says them…Well, because for You to have Such a Perverted Mind Only Tells Me the Kind of Individual that You Are…Oh I See!!! You Are a Latino Screwed Up Filthy Mentality kind of guy….Yeah, I guess in your Sick Mind You think You are Something Special. Guess What?? Maybe You want to Try and be More Original…Because there are Millions Just like You Walking Around…Why don’t You Try to be a gentleman?? Oh!! Let me guess…That’s IMPOSSIBLE.

  • That is why I don’t deal with Mormons because They Are as Filthy and Screwed Up as You Are in the Head as You Are.

  • And People that Will Burn in Hell Like You, Roger Patino…belong in the Church??
    You Show that YOU ARE BITTER as Hell. when You have satan (your father) in front of You in Hell then you will Remember HOW YOU WORSHIPPED HIM here on Earth with ALL you hate. That is why I don’t deal with Mormons because They Are Fucked Up in the Head Just Like You.

  • Debbie Snowcroft: You are So Right Lady…Mormon men (and most people in the Mormon Church) are so ridiculous.

  • Roger Patino – You REALLY NEED a PERSONALITY CHECK.
    Is that what Mormonism did to Your Head?? Screwed You So Bad that you Cannot Face Reality…First Off…ALL your comments are Full of Hate towards everybody…Second, women lining up to be your wife ( if that’s True?) are the ones that Fool Stupid Guys Like You to believe that they care about you or that they are marrying You for Love, but the their “hidden-agenda” is that They Are Looking for a Stupid Fool Like You to buy them a House and a Nice Car. It Works ALL the time baby!!! Stupid Fools like You Always Fall into the TRAP. Well, You deserve it anyways.

  • MariR: I believe You!! I’ve been going to the Mormon Church for years too, and men don’t even Look at me…

  • One of my co-workers in the Orlando Temple-after his wife died-tried to date sisters. twice he was cancelled.
    He told me, ”I do not need this rejection.”

    Yes! Our single sisters are picky and selective and more often than not, they are the major part of this problem.

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