Subject: Great advice for single Moms in Sep. 2006 Ensign ---- Yeah, right!
Date: Aug 19, 2006
Author: Lucyfer

The September Ensign [official Mormon Church monthly magazine] includes an article entitled “For the Divorced Single Parent” by Kaye Terry Hanson which contains some very poisonous advice. Single Moms (the article never once mentions single men with kids, BTW) who are foolish enough to follow this advice will not only find themselves exhausted and utterly demoralized, but also quite possibly bankrupt.

First of all the author shares three considerations for single mothers that she lists in order of importance. Quite predictably they read:

1. The Gospel and the Church
2. The children
3. Yourself

She goes on to describe how important it is the be “completely active in the church” by attending all meetings, making sure home visits are made and home teaching occurs, serving others through a multitude of church callings, regular temple attendance, and of course, paying tithing. The paragraph on paying tithing reads, “Even at this time of potential financial challenges – ESPECIALLY at this time – keep your tithing current that you may have access to promised blessings.”

Now, let’s just think about the real-life result of following this advice. I have been a divorced Mom and have some experience here. First, what is Mom supposed to do with the kids during all the home visiting, callings and temple attendance? If you really did all of this it would translate into at least 6-8 hours away from home each week – and that would be on top of having to be away at work. Not all of us have family members willing and able to watch a passel of kids at the drop of a hat. Some of us have to pay a baby-sitter. I make a good salary and I would have a hard time coughing up the funds for this level of out-of-home activity.

In addition, as a single Mom I had to do everything myself – all the cleaning, all the laundry, all the shopping, all the cooking, all the driving kids to their events, helping with homework, on and on and on. Exactly WHEN is a single Mom supposed to do all this wonderful church stuff? What is a single Mom supposed to NOT do in order to get this church stuff done? Now add three hours of church meetings with the kids in tow each Sunday – oh yeah, and don’t forget to honor the Sabbath so don’t even think about doing chores on Sunday. The trade-offs here are simply not plausible. The advice this authors gives is not humanly possible – it is a complete set-up!! All this does is make single Mom’s feel guilty for not doing all that is expected, or leads to utter exhaustion if a Mom is stupid enough to try to comply.

Now let’s think about the whole tithing thing. US Census Data indicated that the poverty rate for single mothers in 2004 was 36%. (I wish I had some Utah data, but all I could find was for the whole nation). This means that over one third of all single mothers had income below the federal poverty standard for their family size. If you have ever seen the federal poverty rate charts, you know that the level of income defining poverty is GRIM in the extreme. Even at 150-200% of poverty, people are POOR! (go to for the article).

The sad fact is that divorce leads to poverty or at least diminished economic security for many women and their children. In many cases Mormon women have been stay-at-home Moms. This often means little advanced education, few marketable work skills, and very little work experience. While alimony is a possibility, just try to live on that and child support and see where it gets you. Work will be necessary to pay the bills, but low-paid work may be all women with little experience can find. Lots of the low paid/low skill employment involves shift work – another dilemma with child care!

So, here we have women and their kids in households with significantly less time and less income being asked to put forth more time and money all for the good of “the Church”. The “blessings” this leads to would include poverty, household squalor, less time with the children, exhaustion, guilt, and just all around misery.

Am I missing something here? This advice is not family friendly at all! Following this advice puts vulnerable women and their children at extreme risk. Once again if you follow things through logically and think about the real-life consequences of walking the Mormon talk, it just does NOT compute.

Families are forever, my a$$!

Subject: Re: Great advice for single Moms in Sept Ensign ---- Yeah, right!
Date: Aug 19 17:00
Author: levine

I had a few conversations with my TBM mother about how the church's advice for single moms was NOT helpful.

And she'd say, "Yeah, I know, but they HAVE to say that stuff. If they didn't say it, the single moms would get the impression that they didn't have to attend to meetings and callings and pay their tithing. And then everybody would get that idea."

Sort of a slippery slope kind of thing where the end result is total apostasy for the entire church, I guess.

Church leaders are so afraid of losing their iron grip on the members that they have to maintain a hard line with everybody, no matter what their circumstances.

Not that I give a sh!t, but I was a single parent with a handicapped child for 8 yrs and NOBODY offered to lift a finger to help me do anything.

I made it OK and now I'm glad I did it myself, but there were tough times when we ate Top Ramen and potatoes for dinner.

Subject: Not just single moms
Date: Aug 19 17:16
Author: Jim Huston

Lucyfer and I work with people with significant disabilities. The Mormon Church maintains the same hard line with them. You have people on SSI receiving a check for $603 per month to cover housing, food, transportation and all other living expenses, then are required to give 10% in tithing to a cash rich organization. Taking advantage of those who have the least and are most vulnerable. I wonder how many of those old men could live on $543 per month?

People need to start waking up.

Subject: Re: Great advice for single Moms in Sept Ensign ---- Yeah, right!
Date: Aug 19 18:51
Author: makesmyheadspin

I can relate to that. When I got a divorce, it was because he was too controlling and growing at it, and jealous all the time. Religion wasn't the issue. Go figure.

Anyway, as a single sister who wasn't sloppy looking, who was outgoing, not dumpy, or filled with any emotional problems, the sisters just didn't become inviting to me and no longer were welcoming to me, at least not to THEIR homes. Some were still kind but all of a sudden the sisters that we once exchanged babysitting with, free baby sitting just to help one another out while everyone was a stay home mom, that seemed to stop happening gradually.

People in the Ward try to fix you up with gross or weird people. Single or divorced TBM men feel threatened by a woman who's independent minded or not subservient.

One brother from the church politely told me and meant well, that maybe I should not wear clothing that showed my nice figure. Nothing was tight or too short on me. I am a size 4 so my clothing is small and I wore very nice clothing. Not dumpy jumpers or dresses made for Mary Poppins. I would have slit my own throat before asking the church for ANY assistance at one point.

Child care is expensive, GOOD and TRUSTWORTHY child care. I got no help from any sisters in our word, even before going inactive and leaving the church. The one told me I couldn't afford her prices...she was polite about it and smiley, but she wanted nothing less then two hundred dollars a week and that was that. She knew I was struggling too. Non members were the one's that came through for me all the time. Non members were the one's who were real.

The fact was, I was a threat to THEIR sexuality, THEIR womanhood, and they didn't want THEIR man to notice me. I was a threat, just like many other single sisters are threats. I also represented that Mormons can get divorces. That's all I stood for in the eyes of many TBMs.

If you get a divorce you can be treated like you have Mormon Kooties.

Believe me when I tell you, it was somewhat of a tough time, Ramon noodles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sometimes being so scared I would cry myself to sleep at night and worry about bills, making sure I could make a car payment, making sure I could buy us food. Shopping at beloved garage sales to buy my older son a nice and affordable bike, which I did....for five dollars. Right in my budget at the time. Clothes for all of us at garage sales or thrift shops, when I could afford even to do that, that is.

I got a job and put myself through college. I got scholarships, some aide, etc...

For my annual female check up, I went to Planned Parenthood. It was dirt cheap. Planned parenthood was nicer to me and more helpful then the church was. Go figure. They just wanted to know my income and charged me practically nothing. I got my annual from them at that time.

I got educated in the law. I got tired of never knowing my rights, getting ripped off at the auto mechanic, having my ex periodically toy with me, etc.

There were times when it was rough, to say the least, but I somehow made it. I did it. I'm a better person. I'm so much more stronger. I somehow became a person who wanted to never ever depend on anyone ever again. It was as if I was on a mission, but not a church one.

My kids learned a lesson by watching me go through that. They value education as they should, but more so now. I learned to depend on only myself. My TBM relatives told me while struggling I could move out with them and to stop torturing myself, but of course they told me I would have to at least attend church meetings. I told them no thank you but thanks for the offer. They were only willing to help me, and my children, conditionally. How rude. That's what the Mormon religion teaches people, conditional love and stupidity.

So, for awhile now I've been doing well and I'm not anywhere near as secretly stressed out as I once had been for awhile. Education is the key. I'm just glad I did have some college behind me already before I became single. That helped too, but I didn't finish it back then.

The Mormon church is purely a joke. It's a joke. Many of the people are jokes too. Not all of them, but too many. Usually the one's with higher callings too.

If it wasn't for the Mormon church I probably would have finished college long ago but they kept teaching how selfish and vain women are for wanting a career instead of wanting to be a devoted wife and stay home mom. Sure, they tell the youth to value college, but they don't really support that for the women, not really.

How many women on this board were taught you were selfish for wanting to be or becoming a career mom/wife? They teach you if you're not home to be there for your children that the whole family can be in danger of straying and all sorts of stuff. (a way to try and control the baby makers)

At any rate, I grew so much and in so many ways. Once I got a divorce, it was the beginning of me knowing full well nobody, no church or no man would ever control me. I had to learn who I was and grow up myself. By the way, as hard as it was with single momming it, scrimping, and scraping, often sleep deprived from studying into nearly morning, working, being a single mom, scraping up change for gas money back then, I graduated with honors. I also have a lot of respect from the children's school staff and am well liked by them, which makes a difference; one less stressful thing to be stressed out about when there was hardly enough of me to go around as it was.

The home would be a sloppy mess at times during exams, but nothing that respect, it was Mormon-esque.

That article is a joke and so is the ninny who wrote it. On another note, who is a married woman to write such an article and give advice on nothing she will ever know anything about? More humor from Mormon world. More instances where tTBMs are nothing more than ignorant, ridiculous turds.

Subject: You have a great deal to be proud of...
Date: Aug 19 20:59
Author: Lucyfer

I had lots of advantages when I got divorced - I was the breadwinner - my husband was "self-employed" and never made a nickel. I had a college degree and a great job. I knew I would be OK financially without his lazy butt around.

But I know this is not the case for most women. Most women really struggle after divorce and your story is compelling! The Mormon Church sets women up to suffer from divorce by discouraging education and independence. It's criminal.

You have so much to be proud of - I hope your kids understand what it took to do what you did.

I love fierce women!

Subject: I love your reports on the Ensign
Date: Aug 19 17:11
Author: tol

and I hate the church - SO MUCH!!! Thank god I had left the church prior to the single mom status - but even with a husband - he could not get and keep a job - we paid our tithing -

even when we could not afford school clothes, medicine, doctor visits, etc. For all the goddamn NOTHING blessings -

Where - where do they get off giving advice - who is this lady and why is she qualified to give advice - has she tested it, run focus groups, read the literature, talked to experts -


Subject: Re: Great advice for single Moms in Sept Ensign ---- Yeah, right!
Date: Aug 19 17:54
Author: cl2

In the church, we were already feeling like a failure because our marriages didn't work out. Then we are given this kind of drivel. They asked me to be in the YWs program about two years after my husband left (even though I hadn't attended in years). Young womens requires MANY, MANY hours a week--I had been in it before and I knew what the requirements were. I felt I should take it, but was wise enough not to. I don't know how I got the nerve to say no to that one. I actually just wrote a note to the bishop as I couldn't face him. I was beaten down enough--and didn't want more judgment.

Then, to top it off, go to church when you are a single mother and see how they treat you. The women think you are after their husbands and the husbands don't dare talk to you for fear of repercussions from their wives. Your kids are ostracized as they come from an UNWORTHY family. The list does on and on. AND every talk and lesson reminds you how you have failed--how you must not have been righteous enough, blah blah blah.

I'm glad you can read this stuff, Lucyfer, and "return and report" as I couldn't stand to read it word for word of have the Ensign in my home. Things like this just reinforce why I left.

Subject: Doh - I forgot it is all about snaring a new Priesthood holder!
Date: Aug 19 18:31
Author: Lucyfer

Silly me! What woman needs to support herself when there are foolish Mo men just dying to marry us and take care of us.

I don't know, but the middle aged and very overweight divorced women with LOTs of kids I have seen in Dh's family would not be considered much of a catch by potential husbands. My experience dating as a middle aged divorcee certainly would not lead me to believe the fellas are lining up to marry these women.

No accounting for taste in spouses, I guess

Subject: Re: Great advice for single Moms in Sept Ensign ---- Yeah, right!
Date: Aug 19 19:03
Author: lightfingerlouie

I hate the phrase "access to promised blessings." What a joke.

I am angry that the church keeps pushing this nonsense. What blessings? What does the church do for single mothers? I gather it takes their time, money, and energy, when they could be with their kids. What a stupid list of priorities. When do kids come second?

So much advice from well-paid Mormons. They have all the answers for those in a tough situation. All you have to do is pay, and "hearken unto counsel."

Subject: Tithing is always part of the solution
Date: Aug 19 19:37
Author: Leaving

I'm not going to bother with any specific quotes because they all read the same. Just go to and look up any talk on tithing and you will find the following.

"Pay your tithing before you pay any other bills."

"The Lord doesn't need your money. You pay your tithing because you need the blessings."

Of course there will be a faith promoting story about a TBM woman who paid tithing even though she and her children might starve. Then just in the nick of time, anonymous (probably the bishop) delivers food to her home.

Subject: Re: Tithing is always part of the solution
Date: Aug 19 19:56
Author: anonymous for this one

My parents and many siblings love to talk about all the blessings they receive from paying a full tithe. In the meanwhile, I wonder if they ever wonder why they are all in the poorhouse, unable to get out from under their mounds of debt or even take a vacation, while their apostate brother (me) has no debt, a house worth $1M with no mortgage on it, and over a half million bucks sitting in the bank?

I'm the first place they come for financial advice or a loan. They should also come to me first for "spiritual" and tithing advice.

Subject: Check out the author (Kaye Terry Hanson) and her qualifications
Date: Aug 19 20:24
Author: Sinister Minister

She has an MA and a PhD from BYU, both degrees in Theatre Arts. Exactly how would Theatre Arts teach a person about surviving in the real world as a single mom?

The Ensign article is pathetic. What ill-conceived, stupid advice. Following that advice is a sure ticket to depression and a major guilt complex.

Subject: Re: Check out the author (Kaye Terry Hanson) and her qualifications
Date: Aug 19 21:17
Author: Jim Huston

I looked at her qualifications and you are correct. Degrees in Theater Arts. She is an Associate Professor in BYU's business school teaching Organizational Leadership and Business Strategy. I have never seen a reputable university have a professor in an area for which she has no qualifications.

Subject: What on Earth can be her motivation to write BS like that? n/t
Subject: "First, what is Mom supposed to do with the kids during all the home visiting, callings and temple attendance?"
Date: Aug 20 00:26
Author: Deenie, the dreaded single adult

Silly Lucyfer--You're supposed to call on a single adult woman in the ward (or stake) to come and watch your kids for free!!

Tell her that she owes it to the Lord, because you're out doing His work. (Don't dwell too long on the logistics of that one...why *she* owes for something *you're* doing...)

Tell her that it will make her more "attractive" to unmarried men in the stake--they'll think she LOVES children, and is eager to have a family of her own!

Don't worry about paying her--not only do you have no money, but if she really LOVES the LORD, she'll gladly watch your kids for free, even if you're gone an entire weekend on a temple trip!

After all, these single women are destined to be servants in the CK, unless they're "assigned" to a worthy priesthood holder, right? So they might as well get used to it now...


Subject: Yep. Glad I finally stopped paying what I didn't have.
Date: Aug 20 01:08
Author: can't log in here

I've not been a single mom, but I did live 1300 miles away from my family this year on a work assignment and had one kid with me. I was so busy and tired, we usually ate freezer meals because the thought of cooking was just too much. Having Sundays with my daughter kept me sane.

This thread also reminds me again of how my hubby and I were paying tithing when we were truly down & out. At some point we broke down and asked the bishop for some help. He insisted we pay our tithing, and said he'd pray about it and get back to us. The very day after the check cleared, he called to say that God told him not to help us! We were so desperate - like no food and electric being cut off desperate. I had been in a serious car accident, had lost my job and our home had been destroyed by a tornado and God didn't care? Thankfully some kind non-Mormons in the community who heard about our plight stepped in and helped us. After leaving Mormonism, our lives were like a country song in reverse. I pity the women who read that Ensign article and take it to heart. It will only drive them to a nervous breakdown.

Subject: ...........I want to state a fact.........
Date: Aug 20 03:25
Author: makesmyheadspin

Once I STOPPED paying tithing, and STOPPED going to the Mormon church all together and made friends with NEVER MOs, the REAL blessings started pouring down from Heaven....more than ever.

And another person who posted, cl2, I believe also noticed that the married women were worried about us divorced women and how their husband's started acting all weird with us. They changed

I'm telling you, you have Mormon Kooties when you get divorced.

The single/divorced "men" after the age of 30 in the church are the reject leftovers, divorced weirdo bums or some kind of mental slop left me, they are single men for a very good reason. Take your pick of whatever reason. Or they just LOOK weird. Some love to feel rustic as if they were old pioneers and grow the long beards like in the olden days.

Then you also have widowers who are basically just looking for a babysitter to marry. I've seen one who was married for some time, lose his wife suddenly, a loved member. Less than two months later he married the only single sister in the ward. He had six children, and two in diapers still when he remarried. I saw how that woman was treating his children too. She was not kind to them when he was gone. I was her VT.
She also confided in me one day that it bothered her that she was not the only woman he would be with and that she struggled with it if she thought about it too long.


Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

Listing of additional short Topics  |  Main Page