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Posted by: Lowpriest ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 11:06AM

I ran into the father of a high school friend. We were in the same ward over 30 years ago. I was very happy to see him. We chatted for a while, and I asked how his daughter was doing.

He said, "She's great. She's married to a bishop and they have eight kids.

We eventually said our goodbyes and I have to say that I really enjoyed seeing him. But, when I thought about it again later, I became concerned about his definition of doing well in life. It's not that either of his criteria are bad, but of all the things that you could take pride in, why is being married to a church leader be the first thing that you would mention?

If someone asked you how you or someone close to you was doing, what would be the first thing that you would mention?

Has this changed based on how you feel about the church?

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Posted by: GregS ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 11:13AM

She succeeded in attaching herself to an up-and-comer and has already met her quota of future tithers. All she needs to do now is endure to the end. Easy-peasy.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 01:27PM

when my neighbor was called as bishop, his wife was posting about it on fb. One of the other women told her that she was now in the elite group (she didn't say elite, but a word like it, but I cdan't think of it). I thought OH MY HELL!

It is very important for many mormons to be the MORMON ROYALTY.

A girl who we ran around with in school (she was my mother's best friend's daughter) found out I had left the church as I went to visit her mother when she was really ill. She sent me an e-mail to tell me how she was there to call me back into the light and she had to tell me that her husband was called as bishop at a very young age, younger than most in the church.

Her sister (who we also ran with, they were the same ages as my sister and I) also had a bishop husband.

They were WILD in high school.

But they've arrived. I never wanted a leader. I wanted my husband at home.

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Posted by: kilgravmaga ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 11:10AM

Bishop at a young age?
Holy crap!
Did the shame of your life compared to their lives kill you all at once or slowly over time? You aren't dead by suicide so you must have rejoined!

Right?

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 01:37PM

How their health is.
What their work/vocation is.
How their marriage is going.
What hobbies they're enjoying.
What their academic accomplishments are.
Etc.

Notice, nothing the guy said (other than "great") was actually about HER. It was about her husband and family. You didn't get how SHE is doing, you got how her husband and family are formulated. That's not the same as how SHE is doing :(

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Posted by: Kristy ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 02:05PM

^^^^this..

Bingo.

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Posted by: Visitors Welcome ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 09:24AM

My thoughts exactly. I think both of you will agree to my post below. Or not, which would be interesting ;)

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Posted by: kilgravmaga ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 11:24AM

How their health is. <--- healthy enough to have babies
What their work/vocation is. <--no worky!!
How their marriage is going. <--- he is a bishop so obvi great!
What hobbies they're enjoying. <-- Hobbies? You mean callings!
What their academic accomplishments are. <--She is a woman, so Kids!!!

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Posted by: Visitors Welcome ( )
Date: July 22, 2018 01:41AM

kilgravmaga Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> What hobbies they're enjoying. <-- Hobbies? You
> mean callings!

LOL That's hilarious.

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Posted by: idleswell ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 01:45PM

ok. So her husband is a bishop and they have 8 children.

All she has to do is endure to the end? We all know better. If it were only that simple. Her 8 children need to serve missions, be married in the temple, become leaders (or their spouses) of the Church and above all, never, ever, end up on this site. That is much to worry about - raised to the 8th power.

In my opinion, anyone whose self-worth (and LDS worthiness) is that heavily invested in independent decisions of others is set for a world of heartbreak. We know she will be judged on how well her children conform to their prescribed roles. She better prepare to apply every holy or unholy resource at her disposal to keep those (precious) children on their proper LDS trajectories.

I know my ex-wife felt those pressures with our children. She felt pressure from other sisters in Relief Society and mostly from within herself. Anything would justify keeping our children in line... Some might qualify as abuse.

I recall an especially trying drive we took as a family. My wife started with our ~10 year old son, "When you serve a mission ..." (She intended to tell him about a privilege he would enjoy as a missionary.)

Before his mother could finish, son chimes in, "I'm not going on a mission."

Mother persists, "When you serve a mission..."

"I'm not going on a mission."

This continued for the next ~90 minutes. Our son's ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) made him highly contentious against authority.

Later, I confided in my wife, "You realize that every time you encourage him to say he isn't serving a mission, you reinforce the thought in his mind?"

Thankfully, we only had 3 children. Each rebelled in their own way: our son was drugs; one daughter was academics; the other daughter was young men. In each case their mother was determined to intervene to keep worldly influences from her children. She could never achieve what she sought most desperately because it depended on the agency of others.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 12:01PM

“Our son's ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) made him highly contentious against authority.”

They call that a disorder?

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Posted by: idleswell ( )
Date: July 24, 2018 09:25AM

With many psychological disorders it is a matter of degree. People will be somewhere on a continuum between submissive and defiant. Some defiance would be healthy; total defiance can limit opportunities in life.

My son never progressed past 8th grade. He is gifted in oral communications, but refused to submit anything for grades or attend a class or ... According to the public school system, he never existed.

Perhaps he would "outgrow his ODD." He is 34 and has never been employed. Since following instructions is a condition for most employment, his attitude is incompatible with most workplaces.

He is homeless. Since he can't abide living conditions with others, he can't stay in rooming houses, group homes or shelters for street people.

He lost custody of his child. He witnessed his daughter's birth, but Child Protective Services apprehended her after ~10 minutes. His lifestyle isn't conducive to parenting.

Our son blames the "system," the 1%, the police, courts, drug laws, his parents and the rest of society for his problems. If he could cease his constant War Against the Machine, he might find an end to his troubles. But he's unlikely to surrender since that is against his nature.

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Posted by: Lowpriest ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 01:15PM

Idleswell said,"In my opinion, anyone whose self-worth (and LDS worthiness) is that heavily invested in independent decisions of others is set for a world of heartbreak."

I had not thought about it that way, but I noticed the same thing in my own family. Sure, I love my kids and I want them to be happy and well, but my TBM wife seems to define her own worth by how active the kids are in church. Unfortunately for her, only one of them is. While DW wife is super smart, super kind, and has many things to be happy for, she is normally just worried about something over which she has no control.

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Posted by: idleswell ( )
Date: July 24, 2018 04:00PM

The cruel part is that this is not even LDS doctrine to consign sins across generations. We are not to be punished for Adam's transgression (nor does Adam take ours). We each make our own peace with God.

Nevertheless, Mormon culture measures successful parenting (and most personally, motherhood) on the standing of the children in Mormonism.

A bishop tried to convince my wife that this was not doctrinal. He used a reference from none other than the great LDS buisness guru and philosopher, Steven Covey. Covey says that if parents require strict obedience, when children desire to make their own choices (as all will want to do), they have no alternative but to rebel.

My wife left that meeting saying, "Bishop R. is clueless. He has no idea how the ward works."

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Posted by: anono this week ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 02:46PM

All that's important to mormons is procreating, dumping babies as often as possible. this is their validation of worth. It's all about what social class your in. This is very real and demoralizing to anyone who is not perfect. We singles who are over 25 are basically vermon, and going to hell. They don't understand anyone who is different or even pretend to have empathy for anyone who's not in their social circle. The husband is likely an engineer and they live on the east side and have piles of money. They won't even consider labor work, but are involved in marketing or something?

Being alone and poor is what mormons fear and depise most of all, really it's an American phobia especially on the right, I think.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 03:32PM

Mormon identity and status are tied directly to high callings or being married to someone with a high calling. Many mormons also love bragging about giving birth to many children. They'd be proud of having eight of them.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 06:48PM

Marriage to a bishop or SP or .... is something to be a matter of condolence. I would say: "I am sorry to hear that. It must be hard on your daughter..."

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 06:57PM

Woo-hoo! Next step: Calling and election made sure!

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Posted by: Shinehah ( )
Date: July 20, 2018 07:48PM

"Being married to the bishop means that I can generally get him to tell me the juicy things he hears in 'confidential' interviews and I only tell two other people and they each only tell two other people and...."

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Posted by: Visitors Welcome ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 04:00AM

Lowpriest Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> He said, "She's great. She's married to a bishop
> and they have eight kids.
>
> It's not that either of his criteria are bad, but of
> all the things that you could take pride in, why
> is being married to a church leader be the first
> thing that you would mention?

Marriage is, for most people, a large part of their daily life for many many years. Even in countries where people have the same job for 40 years, most marriages outlast most jobs, and most people spend more time with their spouse than with their colleagues, friends or bloodrelatives, children included.

So yes, I can understand that a good marriage is the first criterion to define happiness by. And if your spouse has a good job, that can help. But mormon bishop is not a paid job, it is only a title, and a title that only lends prestige in a small subculture. Tell whoever is sitting next to you on a plane from Hanoi to Singapore that your sister is married to a mormon bishop and they will not be awe-struck.

I would be more assured if someone said, "She's happily married to a bishop" because happiness is a bigger criterion than mormon nobility to me. And "She's happily married to a rich businessman" would be even more assuring since it combines two criteria that are important to me.

I also sense some sexism here. How's your son doing? "Great, he's married to a Relief Society president" sounds less natural than "Great, he's working as a dentist." All too often, men are defined by their jobs and women by the job of their spouse. And no, not just in mormondom. There is a great French philosopher called Sylviane Agacinski. She is a professor at one of the most prestigious colleges in France, best-selling author of a few books and the inspiration of a gender equality law that has been copied all over Europe. But whenever foreign media mention her, she is only "the wife of former prime minister X" even though her career has been substantially more successful than his.

As for the eight kids, to me that is just as worrying as the bishop's title. I've never seen large families where most members were happy, at least not until they had a very small family of their own. I used to know a family with fifteen kids. Now that they are all over 35, there are less than a dozen grandkids. That speaks volumes.


> If someone asked you how you or someone close to
> you was doing, what would be the first thing that
> you would mention?

You will probably call me superficial, but I would first mention that "we" (or "me and my husband" if they do not yet know I am married) have just been to (wherever we travelled over the past three months) and are going to (wherever we are going over the next three months) and that other than that, we enjoy swimming, cycling, reading and day trips. And then I would ask them how they are doing, because maybe they need something off their chest.


> Has this changed based on how you feel about the
> church?

Of course, in TSCC it was all about prestige, appearance, and make-work. You were not supposed to be lazy, having fun, or reading things not related to TSCC. I do more volunteering for charities now than when in was in the cult, but back then you were supposed to brag about it. Hated that.

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Posted by: c ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 05:11PM

This is so true. There is a lot of sexism in the church because they teach that the value of women is finding a husband and having as many kids as possible. When I was younger, I was surprised when I found out you had to get married. I thought it was optional. Lol

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 23, 2018 07:58PM

VW, I do agree with most of that.
One exception:

The OP's quoted response didn't say she had a "good marriage."
Just that she was married to a bishop.

She could have the worse marriage ever (which, as the spouse of a bishop, wouldn't be at all surprising -- most bishops I knew spent practically no time at home helping with kids, doing yard work, taking long baths with their wives, etc.). Or the "best." That information wasn't conveyed, though. As if it weren't important. What WAS important was the status of the marriage: married to a bishop. High standing. Importance. Not a good marriage or a happy marriage, or anything of the sort...just STATUS.

That says I lot, I think :)

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Posted by: shannon (nlI) ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 12:18PM

Lowpriest Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
I asked how his daughter was doing.

> He said, "She's great. She's married to a bishop
> and they have eight kids.
>
Nope and nope....this poor woman in NOT "great." Pointing out the obvious here: she's raising 8 kids all by herself while her husband works a second full-time job for free.

Naw. She's not OK.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 04:29PM


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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 03:01PM

Interesting and fun post! Two sentences, just two, that reveal so much about a culture.

Yet, if you had revealed to say, a concerned 28 year old woman dedicated in her life and job to the cause of global warming, her reaction to hearing someone had 8 kids would very, very likely have been one of concern.....much concern, which she may or may not have voiced to you but most likely thought.

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Posted by: badam2 ( )
Date: July 21, 2018 04:53PM

They always think rank in the church is the greatest accomplishment above being a doctor or something. When someone said I had great potential, they said "you could be a bishop." And I was like "huh?" That was like the last thing I would think of.

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Posted by: recovered Molly Mo ( )
Date: July 24, 2018 10:01AM

Sadly the success of his daughter was based on who she married and how many kids she reproduced.

Thats the value of Women in the church...oh and their callings while they are making every one else happy. HER own happiness does not matter.

On the flip side, without marriage and children, most Church Inc. members assume that a woman is unfilled and unhappy...or worse, someone to be pitied.

As a divorcee, I was was subjected to "you poor thing" or "Im so sorry" all the time. Id smile and say, "Please dont feel sorry for me. It was a corrective actions to a mistake". People were shocked that after time I was happy and even "blessed".

I took on a new successful career, I raised my kids MYSELF (Their TBM Dad came into the picture again later wanting to be in their lives. After he decided to be a decent man, but the relationship was never the same)

THEY became successful themselves and really well-rounded and grounded people. They lived in a home of love and encouragement, rather than one of constant arguing, bickering and pettiness.

I am not married, my kids are grown and I feel like going TADA!!
My best accomplishment in life...was raising my kids. NOT because I coproduced them with a TBM or my uterus was functional, but because despite all the opposition that I couldn't do it without HIM....I ignored that back talk and did it anyway.

Oh, and I bought my own home...while the ex is still in a dinky apartment with a crazy room mate who thinks he is a LDS prophet. (kid you not!)

Not bad for a chick that "doomed herself" (yes I was actually told this!) by leaving a "worthy priesthood holder"

RMM

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: July 24, 2018 10:23AM

Important. Should be read in the YW class.

I figured out very young that happiness has nothing to do with being part of a relationship. Relationships don't come with guarantees. Like you, most of my happiness comes from accomplishment. Yours has enriched your children as well yourself. How great is that?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: July 24, 2018 10:19AM

My father was the Bishop for twelve years--all of my youth. He was then High Council and finally was Stake Patriarch for many, many years. He was without doubt the most revered and respected man in the county. People still talk about The "rush of the spirit" they felt when he was announced Patriarch at the Stake Conference that Sunday.

He's been gone quite a while now. My elderly mother never talks about him thought they clearly loved each other dearly. She talks about herself a lot. Seems to have a deep need to finally be seen as something other than the "help-mate," or doesn't the Bible say "helpmeet?" They are all human underneath. Even the Mormons as we all found out for ourselves. We want to be taken on our own terms and seen for our own talents and uniqueness. So natural to feel that way.

The helpmates can say they feel fulfilled but I probably won't believe them.

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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: July 24, 2018 09:56PM

Hate to break it to you, but it isn't just mormondom in which women seek men with status. It is generally wired in women to want a strong, aggressive male to obtain resources which allow her to fulfill her biological role to bear and raise children.

Plenty of research on women wanting a dominant, aggressive male. With many exceptions, of course.

One example recently is the Florida school shooter who is being bombarded with love letters while in prison. Apparently that is a big turn-on for many women.

Or maybe I'm missing something and women are all looking for the guy in his mom's basement. Or a shy janitor.

In general, women see men the way men see their jobs - a source of income. So yes, we judge men by their job status and income, and we judge women by the man they married. Effecively the same thing.

Which is why I've noticed women don't seem as sad when their husband dies, as guys do when their wife dies. When women lose their husband, it's almost like getting to retire from their job. Especially if they get his pension, etc, as my MIL did after being married only a couple years before a husband died.

Again, there are exceptions, but that is what I've observed.

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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: July 24, 2018 09:59PM

Let me add, so a bishop is a man with power, and powerful men generally get more goods for the women.

Also, a bishop is a man of status. And status also gets you more goods, as the tribe rewards those with status.

Status and pecking order are very important to survival, so most of us are wired for it.

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Posted by: Lowpriest ( )
Date: July 25, 2018 11:11AM

I suppose that your observation may have merit in some cases. I have also known people of both genders in the church (words chosen carefully) who seemed to be motivated by status and goods as you say.

However, more often the bishops and families that I have known have been motivated by a desire to comply, to serve, and to help people get to the celestial kingdom. In regard to the last item, I feel that the LDS church has an unfair, unethical, manipulative, dishonest influence on its members. In my view, the mormon religion exherts disproportionate influence on the lives and life-goals of its TBM members when compared to people who are not in a cult, even considering a natural tendency for people to be lauded and be rich.

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Posted by: Vladder ( )
Date: August 01, 2018 03:29AM

Totally agree with everything you said.

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Posted by: logan ( )
Date: August 01, 2018 03:21PM

Women dont love the players, they love the game.

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