Mormon Young Women's Program - Dress up in Mother's Mormon Temple Wedding Gown
Subject: Young Women's Night Fiasco OMG!!!!
Date: Sep 22 16:16 2004
Author: John

Last night without telling me my wife took her daughter (12) to young women night at the morg [Mormon church]. Last night's activity included all the girls dressing up in their mother's wedding gowns and having their picture taken holding flowers or wearing a wedding veil. My wife was the photographer for all this. (if the admin here gives me permission I'll post the pictures) Then the girls age 12-16 were asked to make a list of what they wanted in a husband. So they are going to take the wedding dress pictures and frame them add a picture of the temple and the list of what they want in a husband and display them Sunday night in what they call "Standards Night." They want to line the walls of the multipurpose room with these pictures and get the girls to talk about what they want in a husband. I have just about had it. My wife didn't tell me because she knew I'd hit the ceiling. Her daughter did tell me. This is the most appalling thing I've heard yet. Old clones teaching young clones the morg system. My wife says she doesn't believe in it like she used to but she doesn't have the strength to tell them no. I am so ashamed to be anywhere near this. AM I wrong?

Subject: Did they have to ear the apron and all the other garb over top of the dress like real life? n/t
Subject: Better yet, they should have them pose wearing "shields" for the initiatory
Date: Sep 22 16:52
Author: Harbinger

THAT would be much more true-to life.

These poor girls assume they're going to walk down the aisle in a beautiful wedding gown. They think they'll kneel at the altar in all their splendor and see it reflected in the trademark "infinity mirrors" in the sealing room.

They have no IDEA they'll have to strip naked in the initiatory and then put ridiculous get-up on OVER their gowns. It's outright deceptive to get these girls all fired up and misty-eyed about wedding dresses when they're going to have to cover them up with the regulation temple uniform.

Shhhh! Don't tell them about the baker's hats! It's!

~ Harbinger

Subject: Re: Better yet, they should have them pose wearing "shields" for the initiatory: great idea! nothing like a healthy dose of..
Date: Sep 22 17:04
Author: Susan D.


There are no flowers allowed in the temple, either (except the plastic things on the organ in the "chapel").

Subject: Or have the boys show up wearing their dad's getups
Date: Sep 22 18:24
Author: FWIW

with apron and baker's hats. See how they would react to THAT!

Oh, excuse me, that's secret, I mean sacred.

Subject: NOOO. You're not wrong.
Date: Sep 22 16:26
Author: MySongAngel

It's this kind of sick conditioning that got me into so much trouble. I was so enamored with marriage, and I had such magical ideas of who to marry, I made a huge mistake at a very young age. Girls need to be taught practicality. They need to be taught to marry someone that they have actually gotten to know. They need to be taught to marry someone that they actually have something in common with, and someone that is dependable. They need to be able to trust their husband and they need to enjoy his company, while he should enjoy hers. A husband should be a friend and a partner. They need to have similar ideas on children, politics, etc...

The only thing the morg teaches is that they need to hold the priesthood. If he's a good Peter Priesthood, and he's got a cute smile, GO FOR IT!! Think Saturday's Warrior. OMG, It's love at first sight, and that's it, they just "know" that they will marry each other. It makes me sick. A lot of the time, these marriages actually work, but it is the luck of the draw. It leaves girls very vulnerable and naive.

Subject: thanks Song Angel
Date: Sep 22 16:31
Author: John

I have been sick about this all day. You have to see these pictures to believe it. I know all those priesthood polygamists were licking their chops when they saw all these young girls dressed in a wedding gown.

Subject: Re: Young Women Night Fiasco OMG!!!!
Date: Sep 22 16:37
Author: Susan D.

No, you are not wrong, this is very inappropriate.

The message is, of course, that the real value the young woman has is connected to getting a husband (not school or career) and romanticising the whole thing to the point of the girl being unable to think clearly about what she really wants for her future, using the YW program as peer pressure to conform and the beautiful setting to lure her into accepting this very strange, unnatural standard of marriage asap after 18. No teachings about going to school, how to spot potentially abusive men, career options, etc. This is so sad.

Would you love your daughter any less if she were to choose to remain single? Of course not! But she wouldn't be a morg baby factory and bring all the potential tithe payers into the world.

I can tell you from experience it is not a good idea for your daughter to rely on anyone, man or church, but herself for her future or existence; things happen that can be outside of the control of either person in a marriage; disabilities, unemployment, death, disease, abandonment. I was widowed at a young age (left with children) and then went through a divorce later from a man who had sexually molested my children.

I bitterly regret putting my schooling on hold, not pursuing my career and having babies instead.

If I had it to do over again I would have finished my degree plans after I was widowed and not been in any kind of rush to re-marry (since I had my own money and didn't need to), but focused on my children's and my needs at that time.

The oppression of either sex is never a good idea.

Subject: Hell no !!! Stick to your guns about it..
Date: Sep 22 16:46
Author: Saucie

the practice of teaching mormon girls that marriage and becoming a baby brooder is their only option in life is prehistoric shit. How dare they inflict their narrow,
misogynistic life view on young impressionable girls.
It's sickening and disgusting.

Subject: I don't understand
Date: Sep 22 16:48
Author: tbm eavesdropper

where the problem lies. Do you actually have a problem with young women discussing the traits they want in their future husband? From what you explained in your post, this is all they were doing. This is what teenage girls do anyway, regardless of their religion.

Subject: You can't understand since you're
Date: Sep 22 17:01
Author: Saucie

a brainwashed, admitted TBM. It would be totally lost on you.
Why are you here TBM? Aren't sites like these Verboten to
you. Can you explain why you're here? Inquiring minds want to know.

Subject: Oh please
Date: Sep 22 17:08
Author: Harbinger

Do you really think playing dress-up in a regular wedding dress is anything at ALL like what she can expect at her temple wedding? If they're going to go to such lengths to create expectations of what it will be like, they should tell it as it is.

Ex-TBM brides post stories here all the time about how bitterly disappointed they were that nobody told them they'd first have to get naked, wear a breezy "poncho" for initiatories, and then cover the dress of their dreams up with polyester robes and silly aprons. They can't even wear their own veil, fer cryin' out loud.

It's so wrong to set these girls up like this.

~ Harbinger

Subject: Re: Oh please: All part of "Lyin' for the Lard" program of the morg n/t

Subject: Here's the problem
Date: Sep 22 17:13
Author: Bishop's Son

These girls are being taught that their lives from now on are all about getting married. They are being taught that the most important thing in their lives is choosing a husband.

They aren't being taught about getting a proper education, and learning to take care of themselves. They aren't being taught about career and college choices. They aren't being taught about legitimate and appropriate methods of helping others.

I find the emphasis on marriage above all else to young girls in the morg to be deplorable and damaging.

Subject: You're right. You don't understand
Date: Sep 22 17:24
Author: Cheryl

Guess what? Not all young girls obsess about marriage over everything else in life. Brainwashed Mormon girls often do. Many normal, non-Mormon girls do not. They know they can enjoy men as they pursue their educational and career goals. They understand that they might be able to make a better decision about marriage when they are mature enough to know themselves and what they enjoy in life.

Subject: It's Sexist
Date: Sep 22 18:13
Author: ink

Do the young men get together and make up scrapbook pictures of them in their father's tuxedos; paste on wedding pictures and fantasize* about their future bride?

I didn't think so; instead, young men are earning merit badges, learning skills, getting an associates degree in business/sales at the MTC, being groomed for leadership, etc. The not-so-subtle message to the young women is this: "Your goal is to become co-dependent on an RM, so that he can 'lead' your family with his priesthood." You can argue that the difference is genetic, but I think your arguments will fall on mostly deaf ears here

* OK, we _do_ fantasize about our future brides, but not at a YM activity. It's usually in bed, at night, when the lights are off... :-)

Subject: Here is the problem I have with this activity
Date: Sep 22 18:37
Author: Anonymous

This tells young girls that all they need in life is a wonderful husband for whom you will bear many, many wonderful children...and you will live happily ever after. And yes, there are girls who fantasize about their perfect wedding, but this isn't a slumber party she went to.

In my opinion, if the church wants to produce happy, well adjusted, well rounded women, they need to (among other things) promote goals such as a college education, a satisfying career in addition to a loving partnership. Life isn't all about getting married and making least not for most women. Why didn't we ever have College Night, or Career Night in young womens? Because they want to push the baby making. I say show them ALL of the options available to them. That's the problem I have with this activity.

Subject: The whole idea is a vapid and misguided exercise at best.
Date: Sep 22 17:36
Author: Cheryl

The reasons are clear as many have explained so well.

But what bothers me also is the expectation that every mother must own an elaborate wedding dress. Isn't this rather materialistic?

My mother never had such a dress. I would have been humiliated wearing some cheap simple undramatic thing I could afford to rent for this fake wedding experience.

I never was married in such a dress, and neither was my daughter. I think it's no one's business to force girls into being publicly embarrassed if their families can't afford to buy them a dress for this silly exercise and their moms didn't happen to be from prosperous families with money to spend on elaborate wedding gowns.

So, a question:

Does every Mormon bride wear an elaborate gown? In the real world, girls sometimes wear nice, but simple dresses or suits. Is this unacceptible in Mormon temples nowadays?

Subject: I can't believe TBM doesn't get it.
Date: Sep 22 17:37
Author: WOW

Do you really not "get it" TBM or are you just trying your best to tout the party line?

It's bizarre to dress little girls up like this for a church activity. I could see little girls playing dress up at home, but an organized church activity?

It's more than bizarre.

Subject: I can understand why TBM doesnt get it. TBM's thinking is stunted in terms of thinking broadly. nt

Subject: Re: I can't believe TBM doesn't get it....I do.
Date: Sep 22 18:15
Author: Rosie

Because I was a young TBM girl once and I made the same list. I saw nothing wrong with it. It was something to aspire to. My #1 desire was that my husband be able to "take me through the temple". #2 was that my husband be a RM. College degree and similar interests were somewhere else down the line. I found my list about a year ago when I was cleaning out old boxes. It was in my "journal" I had to keep (remember those). I also started listing all the boys I dated (my goal was to get to 100 before I married). Then I started to star the once I kissed. Then I noticed some were highlighted. I had to think why they were highlighted - then I remembered! I guess I wasn't so TBM by then.
I am so glad my daughter will not have to make a list like this.

Subject: Pictures of little girls on a board, being sold like a used car...
Date: Sep 22 17:57
Author: Pan

I take it by your post that this is your step daughter, so I don't know what moral or legal initiative you have, but I would still tell your daughter your thoughts and concerns. Let her know that she doesn't have to give her life to anyone or any church, and that you'd support her if she ever decides to buck the system.

You're not wrong.

Good luck,

Subject: Re: Young Women Night Fiasco OMG!!!!
Date: Sep 22 18:04
Author: TheMadRev

As a parent I am beyond shocked...that this is held under the guise of a religious activity is appalling.

Then the gall to display the things at "standards night" ...
this is so sick sick sick


Subject: Ha! This brings back memories...
Date: Sep 22 18:20
Author: JanJohn

I remember a few years ago being asked to don my wedding dress for a night similar to the one you described. I was supposed to wear the dress and veil, parade past the young women with the other YW leaders in their own gowns as some sort of exercise to motivate and inspire the little ones to grow up to be wholesome brides like we were (yeah, right...) Even though the idea struck me as a little weird, I think the major reason I didn't end up going was because my wedding gown was at my mom's place. I'm so embarrassed now, but I think I would actually have gone to something like that back then, just to go along with the program. Ugh!
(The whole scheme was cooked up by a pretty fundamentalist nut job in the ward I was in, so I'm actually a little surprised to see that it's become common practice. Kind of chilling.)

Subject: Gum & Flower
Date: Sep 22 18:25
Author: John

The admin here just told me to ask about the gum flower activity so I'd be prepared. What is it? I'm afraid already.

Subject: Why I don't get it
Date: Sep 22 18:47
Author: tbm eavesdropper

I still believe the activity is harmless. I have 3 daughters, 19, 16 and 9. The older two have been in young women's and the youngest will be in a few years. In spite of what has been said above, the young wonen's program offers a lot more than just brainwashing girls to get married in the temple. Much is said and taught about getting an education, developing useful skills, giving service etc. Sometimes they just go and have a good time.

What is so bad about a group of girls getting together and dreaming of their wedding day? Dressing up in a wedding dress is all part of the romance for girls. It's not like they're putting on the entire temple garb and making make believe covenants.

To answer Saucie, I've been coming here off and on for years. I am very much tbm but I like to read and study opposing viewpoints and you surely get a lot of that here.

Subject: Why do 12-year-olds need to plan for marriages anyway?
Date: Sep 22 18:57
Author: blushing bride-NOT YET

These girls are barely starting puberty - why create an organized activity for them to plan a wedding that shouldn't happen for another decade or so (at least)? They have a lot of other things they should be focusing on at age 12, like doing well in school, learning some critical thinking skills, adjusting to raging hormones, basically growing up and figuring out who they are.

Girls will dream about weddings and husbands-to-be on their own; they certainly don't need an organization to tell them "the right way" to dream.

Subject: Because marriage itself is a bunch of patriarchal hooey...
Date: Sep 22 19:15
Author: et in Utah ego

and the sooner people find other ways to organize their relationships the better....oh wait, they already have. Yep. Plenty o' people round the globe opt out of the "consumption terror" that is only remaining historical and economic reason for this institution.

Ditto "the family."

Wake up and smell the coffee, tbm eavesdropper, the revolution is on the way....

Subject: We did something similar when I was in YW.
Date: Sep 22 18:52
Author: Micro

We had a fashion show of clothes our parents had worn. A lot of the girls wore their mom's wedding dresses. When my mom married (in the temple) she wore a short, white dress. The temple workers didn't believe she was a bride because she was not wearing a gown and would not let her sit with the rest of the brides. She was forced to sit in the back during the endowment.

Anyway, when my mom married, she was exceptionally thin. Thinner than I have ever been. I could not even get my hands through the sleeves of her dress -- I was not fat either. I do not remember any pressure for not having a wedding gown like most of the other girls. I did not buy one either.

Just curious about the post about YW leaders wearing their wedding dresses. Did they fit? I have had three children and cannot get into my wedding dress at the moment. I plan to again someday, but I sure can't today. Neither of my sisters-in-law can fit into their dresses either. One has three children and one has two. Isn't it kind of cruel to ask women to wear their wedding dresses to a church activity -- especially since it is the same church that encouraged them to have the babies that caused the weight gain in the first place?

This type of activity precisely identifies my biggest problem with the church. I bought into all the garbage about needing to get married. During my education all I was doing was looking for a husband. I was not thinking about a career. I was only in school to get something to "fall back on" should something ever happen to my husband. I had career dreams, but I was so brainwashed into believing that I would be happy once I married, that I gave up those dreams. Now I am suffering with regret and have recently come out of a 9-year-long depression.

The church is setting the girls up for failure. Marriage is not the "happily ever after" as it is portrayed by the church. Yet, if the women are not happy after marriage, they believe it is they who have failed. They wonder what they have done wrong and end up miserable and depressed. They cannot express their true feelings to anyone else, because it would destroy the illusion that they are happy. It is no way to live.

Before I left the church, I wanted to be called as a YW leader so that I could tell the girls the truth about life. I did not want them basing their lives on the same fairy-tale lies that I had.

Subject: No you are not wrong!!!
Date: Sep 22 18:57
Author: MyLittlePony

That's crazy! I can't believe that is a real activity! Oh my god, if I had to do that, I would totally lose it! I can think of a hundred other things girls 12 - 16 could have done, but NOT THAT!

That, and I bet the wedding gowns were hideous, too.

Subject: There's nothing wrong with being single..
Date: Sep 22 20:23
Author: single exmo guy

I wonder if it's a good idea sending the message that everyone gets married as adults. I think that's caused me a lot of unhappiness. I've been single my whole life and I think that I was brainwashed a lot in my youth that I was supposed to have a wife by now. Sure I wouldn't mind, but my happiness really isn't dependent on someone else. It shouldn't be. I think kids should just be encouraged to be who they are. Maybe they could put up drawings, poetry & such that the girls have made instead.

Subject: Re: Young Women Night Fiasco OMG!!!!
Date: Sep 22 20:25
Author: John

The wedding gowns were and are quite sad. I told my 12 year old step daughter that she should never let a man be in control of anything she does. I told to look at her Mom as a shining example of that. I still need to know about the gum and flower thing the admin of this site mentioned to me about.

The lady that runs the young women deal in this ward is a classic clone-nut job. She was raised TBM- married at 18- five kids-she has never known anything but TBM in her whole wasted life. The saddest part of it all is that she thinks she is doing the right thing. Her 15 year old daughter said to my step daughter last night that she will be married when she is 20.

Subject: Re: Young Women Night Fiasco OMG!!!!
Date: Sep 22 20:31
Author: nevermo-mom

I don't have a problem with thinking about the type of person you may want to marry, but shouldn't it be based on character, compatibility, common goals, etc. (Not is he a RM) But 12-16 is way too young for that - they don't even know who they are yet!

Since over half of these girls will end up divorced (probably with kids to support) it seems more realistic (and frankly kinder) to talk about education and careers. I understand that the divorce rate for temple marriages is actually higher than the rate for non-temple marriages!

Subject: What's the deal with Mormon wedding gowns?
Date: Sep 22 19:30
Author: Cheryl

I'm referring to the thread about the misguided YW's activity forcing girls to strut around in their mom's wedding dresses and list male attributes for husband hunting. I agree that the whole activity was inappropriate and sexist.

But my question is about the gowns. Are they now mandatory for all temple brides? Micro said her mother was not allowed to sit with the other temple brides because her dress was not as elaborate as theirs. Someone else said they were under pressure to model their gown at a YW's activity to entice girls into wanting an early Mormon wedding.

Are Mormon women so shallow that they marry because they like the idea of having a fancy gown?

Then, finally we have all of the young girls forced to come up with a gown to participate along with their friends in a church activity.

I find this really materialistic. Doesn't this encourage girls to care more about image than the real issue of lifelong compatibility? Doesn't this set up the girls to focus on how costly and elaborate their mom's dress is compared to the others?

Some of my friends wore elaborate gowns for their weddings. Others didn't. My mother didn't. I didn't. My daughter didn't. Would that be a problem if we were all mormons? Does the wedding gown live on forever as a status symbol among Mormon women?

I helped one of my friends select her gown recently. The bridal shop had racks of dresses for resale. Would that not be an option for Mormons?

Subject: Actually, it seems that lately...
Date: Sep 22 19:42
Author: MySongAngel

the brides at the mormon weddings I attend (and I attend a lot of weddings) have plainer gowns. It's like a T-shirt with a skirt. Now, it's a silk, beaded, fancy T-shirt, but it's a T-shirt. The reason for this is that it's the only thing the dress shop had that would cover the damn garments. The NON mormon weddings I attend allow the bride to actually pick the kind of gown she likes. I see a lot more individuality.

This is a non-mo bride:
"This is pretty, or should I wear this one? Or this one? Maybe this one? I just can't decide. They're all so pretty. Hmmm... "

This is a Mormon bride:
"This is pretty, but it doesn't cover my garments. Neither does this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one... AHA!!! Here's one that will cover my garments. I'll take it!"

Now that poofy frilly has gone out of style, Mormon brides are all starting to look the same.

Subject: Here's a sample of what I'm talking about...
Date: Sep 22 19:51
Author: MySongAngel

They ALL look like this! It's maddening.

Subject: Are you serious?
Date: Sep 22 19:54
Author: Cheryl

The dress must cover the collar bone and wrists? Why? Do they still wear those old-style longjohn garments for weddings? And modern women put up with it?

Subject: Many temple matrons have policies AGAINST fancy eleborate gowns....
Date: Sep 22 19:43
Author: Dawn

When I was at BYU I had known many a bride who picked out an elaborate wedding gown and found out on the day of her marriage that she wouldn't be allowed to wear it because of that temple's matron's policy for over-the-top-fancy gowns.

Yes during the actually sealing ceremony, the temple clothing is worn by the bride and grown, thus covering up her gown.

Often times many gowns don't even meassure up to the requirements (to the wrists and covering all of the chest to the neck) so much so that they have dickies etc to add to the gowns for the day

Subject: temple workers shoved lace dickie into the "plunging" neckline
Date: Sep 22 19:43
Author: friend of a bride

a friend wore a too-revealing dress which met with disapproval of the old biddies in the temple. I think she half expected their reaction, but wanted the dress for the reception anyway. The dress was more than adequate to cover her temple garments by the way. The temple workers were not satisfied. They shoved a lace dickie in the neckline, and lace sleeves down to her wrists. I wasn't "worthy" to see the resulting nightmare dress. After the sealing, and outside the temple, the dickie and fake sleeves came OFF for photos and the reception. Why do people put up with this?

Subject: Part of the requirements of ALL temple clothing for ALL temples is
Date: Sep 22 19:53
Author: Dawn

it must go to your wrists and must go up to the neck.

This is true for men and women ALL the time.

Brides or otherwise.

You wont see ANY temple dress worn by ANY woman (even non- wedding gown) that doesnt go the the wrist or up on the neck.

Subject: Not what I've seen...
Date: Sep 22 19:58
Author: Susan D.

I've seen dresses sold by the temple clothing store (Beehive Clothing) (and worn by brides and patrons) that have short sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves and are just below the knee. Some have cowl necklines, some have squared and some show cleavage if the sister chooses to bend over for any reason.

I think what you're talking about went out in the 80's.

Subject: Goes to show that the mormon church DOES INDEED conform to the culture of the times...
Date: Sep 22 20:17
Author: Dawn

It lags behind the culture by decades, but it does eventually conform.

Ie renouncing plural marriage was conforming

Black receiving the priesthood and allowed to partake in temple rites.

Temple changes in ceremony AND clothing.

Yes Mormons dont like to think their church conforms to the culture at large...but it does....

Subject: You are absolutely right, in all respects.
Date: Sep 22 19:50
Author: divorced and uneducated - but married in the temple!

They are selling the image, not the value. Any divorced woman will tell you how easy it is to find someone to marry (especially in the church). The difficult thing is not the wedding, it is the marriage. The morg likes to prepare girls for a temple "wedding," and a lifetime of servitude. They don't stress the importance of education, and the ability to take care of yourself.

Subject: Re: What's the deal with Mormon wedding gowns?
Date: Sep 22 20:01
Author: nevermo-mom

We attended the homecoming pageant for a local H.S. last year (Utah County). A short biography was read for each girl. They usually included plans for post-high school education and career, but almost always with the tag line that "... of course, nothing takes priority over her life-long goal of a temple wedding and being the best wife and mother she can be." AAARGH!

Nothing wrong with wanting to be a great mom and wife, but don't these girls have any other dreams? Travel, college, dating a lot of guys, finding out who you are?

One of my daughter's H.S. friends was married in July (to her brother's missionary companion). My comment: "An entire 6 weeks after H.S. graduation!! What took so long?" (Expecting the baby announcement any day now.)

Subject: I'm confused here
Date: Sep 22 20:16
Author: Kim

MySongAngel, you posted a site that shows photos of these drab t-shirt wedding gowns. They are short sleeved though, and yes, they do look like a t-shirt, but how are they going to pass the crotchety old temple matrons who insist they cover up to their wrists and neck? Do brides just accept that they'll get to wear extra "things" to totally cover up during their temple ceremonies?

I'm hardly an expert on wedding gowns, but it's pretty easy to see that having 12-year-old girls dress up in their mothers' wedding gowns is to start them thinking about the FANTASY of a wedding. It in no way makes them think of the REALITY of a wedding. They fantasize about cooking and sewing for their husbands and having litters of babies. They certainly don't ever think of the realities of how they'll pay for even the most basic necessities of life, like food and a roof over their head, let alone the costs of having and raising children.

Of course that's all part of mormon strategy to have them breed lots of new mormons as soon as possible.

The thing I can't understand is how any self-respecting mother...even a TBM mother...would encourage this of her OWN daughter and emphasize it over encouraging her to get an education and procure a means to earn a decent living!

Subject: Kim, I don't think you and I are confused.
Date: Sep 22 21:30
Author: Cheryl

It's the Mormon moms who are confused!!

Subject: Here's what I think about Mormon wedding gowns.
Date: Sep 22 21:39
Author: Cheryl

I think the YW's leaders happen to have lovely wedding gowns hanging in their attics. Those dresses represent the highlight of their lives because they never had a chance to use their potential out in the world or in careers.

All they did after their "big day" was deal with morning sickness, financial woes, church, and diapers. So, they want a chance to haul out their gowns and to see them on their hapless kids. They want to show off to the other church ladies. They want to relive their triumph. And they rationalize that they are teaching some kind of lesson to the poor victimized little girls.

Those girls without those dresses in their mom's old trunks can be damned. The leaders couldn't care less.
Subject: Mormons want their children to act like miniature adults.....
Date: Sep 22 21:47
Author: Randy J.

The thread about the ward having young girls dress up in their mother's wedding dresses and discuss what they want in a husband etc. reminded me of what happened to us last Saturday.

Even though we've been out of the church for more than five years, our 12-year-old son is still friends with the local bishop's son whom he went to grade school with. They spend the night at each other's houses, go to movies together, etc.

So last Saturday, after hurricane Ivan had blown through, we had beautiful weather here in east TN. Carrie and I have been working very hard this whole summer, and we wanted to go to the mountains for the day. So we got our son to invite his never-Mo friend that lives around the corner to go with us.

And then we suggested that our son call his Mormon friend too. He called at about 10 AM, and the Mormon boy asked when we were going to get back. We told him that we were going up to the mountains, and probably wouldn't be back until after dark, maybe 8-9 PM. The Mormon replied said he couldn't come because he had to go to a church dance at 7 PM.

So the four of us went without him. We ate hamburgers at a quaint outdoor restaurant in the mountains, and then drove up to Cades Cove, where we hiked, threw rocks in streams, petted horses, watched the deer and groundhogs play and feed, etc. IOW, the kinds of stuff 12-year-old boys should be doing on a beautiful Saturday.

I thought of what the Mormon boy was doing at the dance. Probably sitting in a corner with other deacons and feeling totally uncomfortable and out-of-place, just like I did at church dances (during my entire teenage years, in fact.) These little boys, who haven't even reached puberty, and are more interested in Spider-Man and Yu-Gi-Oh, are expected to go to dances and act like miniature adults. And I daresay that most of the girls there feel the same way.

TBM Eavesdropper asked what was so wrong with this. The problem is that the Mormon culture wants kids to act like miniature adults. Things like having 12-year-old boys pass the sacrament is another example of this. Kids should be allowed to be and act like kids. They are only young for a few years. They have their entire adult lives to act like responsible adults.

The activity with the wedding dresses etc. IMO isn't very far removed from the modern fundamentalist polygamists, who begin indoctrinating their girls with the idea of marriage before they've reached puberty. And a lot of those girls are forced into plural marriage at 16 or sometimes younger.

What TBM Eavesdropper and other TBM's don't understand is that the modern world is very different from the attitudes and practices they maintain about marriage and careers. The divorce rate among Mormons is about equal to non-Mormons. If young Mormon girls are indoctrinated to get hitched ASAP, begin bearing children, and expect their husbands to care for them, most of them will be in for a rude awakening when they have to face the real world of job layoffs, business reverses, mortgage foreclosures, bankruptcies, divorce, etc.

Another quick example of what I'm trying to say: Two weeks ago, Carrie and I ran into a TBM couple in our former ward (the hubby happens to be GBH's grand-nephew.) While chatting they told us that their youngest daughter, who is 21 or so, was "in Utah, looking for a husband."

Carrie and I joked about how typically Mormon that was. By contrast, our own 21-year-old daughter has just begun her senior year of college, which she attends on a $100,000+ scholarship. She is already getting job offers for when she graduates next spring. She's also considering grad school. Whichever she chooses, "looking for a husband" ain't anywhere on the agenda. :-) If "Mr. Right" happens along, that would be fine, but she isn't spending her life preparing for that eventuality as the be-all-and-end-all of life.

Subject: Re: mini adults.....
Date: Sep 22 22:01
Author: missinglink

Enjoyed your comments. It caused an old painting to flash into my mind. The painting was of the first primary and I saw it on the cover of one of the church magazines many years ago (I think while I was a missionary). At first, I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong with it but it was obvious that something wasn't right. Then it hit me: the children were all just scaled-down adults! Weird...

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19. Feel Ugly in Temple Clothing? 32. The Changing Temple
33. First Time to the Temple 42. Washing and Anointings
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127 Temple Marriage Ceremony 155  New Names Given in the Temple
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331 The Temple Endowment not Changed per Apologist 339 Temple Marriage vs. Traditional
359 Canceling a Temple Sealing 366 Naked Touching in the Temple?

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