Subject: Temple divorces rates still going up
Date: Mar 28 22:49
Author: Deconstructor
Mail Address:

A well-known TBM lurker here has claimed that "Mormon marriages solemnized in the temple enjoy a divorce rate significantly lower than the national average."

The same could probably be said for JWs, Seventh-Day Adventists and many other churches compared to the national average.

But what is the divorce rate of temple marriages?

Here's a factiod from Michael Quinn's book The Mormon Hierarchy : Extensions of Power:

"26 Jan, 1942 - First Councelor J. Reuben Clark tells reporter for Look Magazine: "Our divorces are piling up." Church Historian's Office in 1968 compiles divorce statistics since 1910 for temple marriages, "church civil" marriages, and "other civil" marriages. Although temple marriages have lowest divorce rate of the three categories, in 1910 there was one "temple divorce" for every 66 temple marriages performed that year., 1:41 in 1915, 1:34 in 1920, 1:27 in 1925, 1:30 in 1930, 1:23 in 1935, 1:27 in 1939, 1:17 in 1945, 1:31 in 1950, 1:30 in 1955, 1:19 in 1960 and 1965. Last rate for temple divorce is almost ten times higher than Utah's civil divorce rate century earlier."

He lists the temple divorce rate up until 1965 (1 divorce in every 19 temple marriages). Does anyone have a more recent statistic?

Quinn also documents how bad temple marriages were in the late 1800's:

"27 Feb, 1889 - LDS politcial newspaper Salt Lake Herald's article titled, "FAILED MARRIAGES," regarding "the report of the Labor Commissioner Wright, presented last week, on the statistics of marriage and divorce in the United States from 1867 to 1886 inclusive," with following: In 1870 Utah had highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1870 Utah's rate was one divorce per 185 marriages. National averages was 1:664. States with lowest divorce rates are South Carolina at 1:4,938, Delaware at 1:123,672, New Mexico at 1:16,077, North Carolina at 1:4,938, and Louisiana at 1:4,579. In 1880 Utah had tenth highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1880 Utah's rate was one divorce per 219 marriages, which was more than twice the national average of 1:479. In twentieth century, divorce rates for LDS temple marriages starts out three times higher than this "divorce mill" rate for early Utah civil marriages.

Temple marriages were statisically a disaster for the "early Saints" who suffered under the idiotic celestial marriage rhetoric of Mormonism. No suprise that by 1965 the temple divorce rate was 1 in 19.

Subject: One point about all this
Date: Mar 28 23:34
Author: MMI
Mail Address:

I think it important to remember that a Mormon who is married in the temple is by definition a committed follower. The Mormon Church preaches about the evils of divorce. Being committed, dont you think it morelikely they will avoid divorce simply for religious reasons regardless of whether they are happy or not?

Subject: That's the paradox...
Date: Mar 29 00:11
Author: Deconstructor
Mail Address:

On one hand, you'd expect temeple divorce rates to be lower than the national average - not because they are happier, but because the social pressure to stay in a temple marriage is much higher.

On the other hand, Mormons have a tendancy to marry for the wrong reasons, to an incompatible spouse and with added church demands. Add to that the judgemental nature of the Mormon mentality and you get self-loathing and criticism of your spouse. When striving for "worthiness" doesn't make them happy, temple marriages end in divorce. This could explain the high rate of 1 in 19 temple mariages ending in divorce.

That rate may not be high compared to the national average, but it seems high for "eternal marriages" blessed by God Almighty and His priesthood "power." You'd think all that tithing and church activity would bless these marriages to stay together more.

So there seems to be a paradox in Mormon temple marriage. Theoretically it can make couples stay together, even when it's not working out. At the same time, the temple marriage doctrine and Mormon mindset can poison marriage.

Subject: Big generational shift shows that Church was not the glue....
Date: Mar 28 23:54
Author: Casio
Mail Address:

that kept families together. Because Mormon society is relatively conservative, it lags behind trends in the general society. But it generally follows a few steps behind. When I was a kid, I looked at relatives in my parents' generation and there was not a single divorce to be found. There were a few here and there in our extended neighborhood, but they were shocking exceptions that proved the rule--i.e., that in conservative American society for my parents' generation, people viewed divorce as a scandal and generally avoided it at all costs. They would rather come to an "understanding" and have separate sleeping arrangements than publicly split.

Well, now I look at relatives in my generation and close to 1/5 of the couples I know (all temple marriages or sealings) have been divorced (including a sibling). A generation ago, Mormons were comparing their divorce rate to a rate lower than the current Mormon divorce rate and citing that as a "proof" of the benefits of the gospel. Too me it just proves that Mormons are a bit more conservative than mainstream society, but keep tagging along wherever the mainstream goes.

Subject: I don't see the benefits either...
Date: Mar 29 00:20
Author: Deconstructor
Mail Address:

Look at the average TBM temple-marriage couple:

- They turn over 10% of their income to the church
- They turn over lots of family time over to church callings, meetings and study
- They, on average, have more kids
- They turn over thier adult lives to the church to give them direction, council and purpose

And what do they get in return? How does any of that REALLY help a marriage? I would argue that the above things don't lead to blessings, but are actually burdens.

This was certainly the case in my marriage. It's been better than ever since we left the church. We have more family money, time and purpose. We have less marital strife from all those expectations and mindless obeying what the GAs say.

On top of it all, when you learn that Smith stole the concept of a "Celstial Kingdom" from a 16th century writer, you realize the after-death payoff is make believe! If the church can't ultimately deliver on it's promises of Godhood and celestial glory with infinite increase, then the whole thing is a scam to make someone else rich and powerful.

Temple marriage isn't about making people happier or even saving them. It's about serving the Mormon machine and making your family into a mini-cult that works just like the church.

Subject: here's my anecdotal 2 cents
Date: Mar 29 09:58
Author: SLDrone
Mail Address:

Deconstructor - this is an excellent topic. I believe the next 20 years will bring about some very interesting changes in LDS demographics. About three years ago I was part of a group "think tank" meeting to discuss changing Church demographics. It was a fairly small group but did include two members of the First Quorum, myself and a couple of other gentlemen.

The two members of the First Quorum were fresh from a higher level meeting on the same topic and had a pretty gloomy outlook. The specific focus of our meeting was staffing missions for the future - missionary numbers are expected to drop precipitously during this decade. It is a simple matter of looking at demographics - Mormon families are sizing down - not as many drones are coming up the ranks. It is predicted by the Church itself that there may be only 40,000 young missionaries afield by 2010, as opposed to the current 60,000 number.

At one point in the meeting the senior GA (who was one of the seven presidents of the quorum at the time) went on sort of "we're going to hell in a handbasket" tirade. He was bemoaning the youth of zion. His exact statement which I wrote down verbatim and am now retyping from my notes of the meeting was, "we live in a throw away quick fix society, if a problem can't be fixed in the time it takes to drive through a McDonalds it's not worth fixing." "Our young peole have grown up having everything right now and throwing everything away, and now they throw their marriages away too." "The divorce rate for temple married 18 to 35 year olds is higher than the national average."


Subject: In my ward
Date: Mar 29 10:08
Author: Mr. Magoo
Mail Address:

we had 6 or 7 divorces in a 2 year span. All of them temple marriages.

Subject: Re: Temple divorces rates still going up
Date: Mar 29 10:11
Author: wisedup
Mail Address:

The lurker shows the magical thinking held by most TBMs. Nothing can touch us - we are above the rest! All the ritual and frills can't frustrate reality!!!

Subject: What percentage of LDS marriages are in the temple?
Date: Mar 29 10:19
Author: Stray Mutt
Mail Address:

Though I never bothered to ask around when I was a member, it seemed like unsealed couples were the extreme exception -- at least among active members. If that's the case, then the Barna Research Group's findings that the Mormon divorce rate is only 1% lower than the US average would have to include a lot of temple marriages, not just the unsealed couples. So, does anyone have some reliable numbers?

Subject: The problem that struck me as a Bishop....
Date: Mar 29 10:32
Author: Gary
Mail Address:

were the number of temple divorces that occured. I have no idea the exact number of divorces, but I can think of at least eight that I dealt with in a three year period.

LDS couples seem to struggle with divorce issues just like the rest of society.


Subject: The Morg is lying about temple divorces...
Date: Mar 29 11:48
Author: Brian B.
Mail Address:

They don't release any statistics and allow Mormon commentators to make them up at will. The problem is, any statistician can figure out the rate of divorce for an average Mormon, but they can't necessarily judge whether the same divorce was granted through the temple. So, we may be encountering a statistic that has been conveniently separated. Are we talking about civil divorces of couples married in the temple, or temple divorces themselves? I don't know if anyone has tackled this problem. Thanks.

Subject: Personally, I'd say the "temple divorce" is irrelevant...
Date: Mar 29 12:40
Author: Justanotherexmo
Mail Address:

...that's only paperwork granted by the whim of the leadership.

The actual question of divorce is determined only by whether the couple is still together and/or trying to make it work. If they're separated and doing the legal stuff for divorce, then they're divorced, and the temple psuedo-divorce isn't worth beans.

So my point is, if they're married in the temple, and they get a legal divorce, they're divorced, irregardless of whether they've done the extra church fluff step of getting a temple divorce, too.

The only deal we're interested in on this topic is that a couple marries in the temple and then divorces. Supposedly, temple marriage is supposed to reduce the liklihood of divorce. In practice, the stats and stuff quoted by Deconstructor show it doesn't work that way.

I can only think of my cousin who rushed into an early temple marriage, and a week or two later, rushed right back out, bruised and bleeding. So yeah, I can see that the 18-35 crowd is definitely high on divorce, because the mormon culture pushes them to marry way too fast. Heck, I'm guilty of that myself, I'm just lucky that ours worked out in spite of everything against it.

Subject: Good point. My divorce is an example
Date: Mar 30 16:27
Author: Breeze
Mail Address:

of a temple marriage that never ended with an Offical
Temple Divorce. My ex and I were, in fact, in the eyes of
the morg, still "sealed" until my name (and my kids')
were FINALLY officially removed from the active

So, we've never received a temple divorce even though
we've been divorced legally for years.

Personally, once I found out how ex lied his way into the
temple and through the marriage, I knew that even if the
"sealing" WERE real, I wasn't sealed to HIM.

I once asked a temple pres. counselor WHO I was
sealed to since it obviously wasn't my ex? He had no
answer except to close the office door, take me into his
arms and hug me for WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY too long.
Nasty. Changed my clothes and walked out and never,
ever, ever, went to a temple again.

Subject: Does anyone have recent mormon divorce statistics? n/t
Date: Mar 29 19:07
Author: topper
Mail Address:


Subject: Focus on "Temple Marriages ending in Civil Divorce"...
Date: Mar 29 20:34
Author: whatever
Mail Address:

The "Temple Divorce" statistic has been and continues to be easily manipulated by the LDS church. Only "Temple Marriages ending in Civil Divorce" statistics can be considered accurate.

Why is this? Well, while "Temple Married" people are easily granted a "Civil Divorce", their "Temple Divorce" request to the LDS Church (if they make that request) is typically not granted. Generally speaking, the "Temple Divorce" request will be denied unless the Male divorcee is 'unworthy' and the Female divorcee has firm commitments for immediate re-marriage to a 'worthy' Male through a new Temple Marriage ceremony. This subjective granting or denying of "Temple Divorce" leads to false reporting of Mormon divorces overall.

Remember, an accurate count is based on: Temple Marriages ending in Civil Divorce.


Subject: Oh yes and...
Date: Mar 29 20:47
Author: whatever
Mail Address:

Don't forget, LDS Males are allowed to get a "Temple Marriage" then a "Civil Divorce" then another "Temple Marriage", (aka "Temple Polygamy") and repeat ad nauseum artificially inflating the "Temple Marriage" numbers, without even showing any "Temple Divorces" in between them!

Another reason to only bother counting: "Temple Marriages ending in Civil Divorce".


Subject: my situation exactly...
Date: Mar 29 22:03
Author: Gemini
Mail Address:

I was temple married. Civil divorced in 1993. Talked to my bishop about what happens to the temple marriage and whether we go through some sort of paperwork for that. He said they don't do that anymore except in extreme cases. So, most members get divorced civilly and don't worry about the other.

Ok, so I ask him why they don't dissolve the temple sealing. He said it all gets worked out in the hereafter. So, I ask him, "so, you believe that my ex will suddenly turn back straight once he gets on the other side? And, you assume I would want him back?" He squirmed in his seat and didn't have an answer for that. It all made me realize how silly it was. It also made me realize that LDS, Inc. does not give a darn about cancelling temple sealings....guess they don't think it means much either and beside, look at the messy paperwork involved.

Subject: Mormon leaders KNOW there's no "sealing"
Date: Mar 30 04:58
Author: Deconstructor
Mail Address:

Thirty years ago the church at least pretended to be for real. The church leadership took temple sealings seriously back then.

But now, it's no big deal. They tell people who are divorced civily that there's no need for temple divorce because "it will all be sorted out in heaven later." They tell widowed wives that they can be sealed to two men now, and "it will all be sorted out in heaven later."

So what's the point of it if it's not really binding anymore? The church has no respect for it's own pretend powers anymore. That's how hollow it's become.

Subject: women have more choices
Date: Mar 30 12:30
Author: carmella
Mail Address:

The things that historically have kept most women in unhappy marriages have mostly been removed from our society. Women have many more opportunities to make a life for themselves and their children on their own and won't put up with the egotistical crap that overly zealous religious men heap on them. I agree too that the only statistics even worth looking at are civil divorces from temple marriages, because civil divorce and temple divorce don't always go hand in hand. Still, I think more LDS women are asserting their rights to be unsealed from a jerk spouse and resealed to someone they actually think they want to be with forever.

Recovery from Mormonism -   

Listing of additional short Topics  |  Main Page