98: The Pressure on Young Mormons to Marry – The Men’s Edition

Heather sits down with Tom, Craig, Tad, and Jeremy to discuss their experience with the pressure the church places on young men to marry.


LDS.org: Young Men’s Curriculum – Enrichment Video About Chastity

Quote about Sex – Butch Hancock


  1. Tad

    I haven’t listened to this yet. I am sure my perception will change when I sit down and listen to it completely without balancing listening with thinking about the next thing to say. I just have this perception that among the participants, I am the angriest one yet the one with the fewest reasons to be angry.

    Reply Jun 03, 2015 @ 23:06:50
  2. tolworthy

    Oh I can so relate. Everything Heather said was exactly my experience. Women were perfect, on a pedestal. Put the church first and your career will look after itself. (Really? I have been to three universities but always put the church before career. Now I stack shelves). Any two people with nothing in common can have a perfect marriage (thanks, Kimball and the Celestial Marriage manual). Never touch a woman or yourself before marriage (I didn’t) and your sex will be much better. Everyone should get married and have a family, even if you’re an autistic introvert with no interest in money or social situations: one size fits all.

    Heather, you are exactly right.

    This hurt my TBM wife as much as it hurt me. I was supposed to be a knight on a white horse, a great breadwinner, and I wasn’t.

    Lo these many years later I am with someone who chose me for me, not for the church. It is…. amazing. I agree that outside the church can be just as toxic in other ways, I’ve seen that in others. But my experience is exactly what Heather describes. Thanks for the podcast.

    Reply Jun 04, 2015 @ 09:36:10
  3. JYN

    Interesting discussion. I look forward to the panel with women. I hope there is a single woman in her late 20s or early 30s to offer her perspective. No one understands the pressure to get married quite like an older single. And how the message changes from “you’re perfect! Just stay worthy and wait for the right man!” to “still unchosen? Too bad but you can get married in the next life. In the meantime, try not to feel sad about never having companionship or a sex life in this life.”

    I think the messages to both genders are ultimately damning but the disempowerment of women makes me livid.

    Reply Jun 04, 2015 @ 15:21:36
  4. J. Reuben Clerk

    I agree with Heather. The pressure to get people married young is to keep people active in the Church.

    It’s the same reason they lowered the missionary age: because they saw people dropping off before they went on a mission and they see the incredible difference in retention rates for returned missionaries versus people who don’t serve.

    Reply Jun 04, 2015 @ 21:55:40
  5. Senile Old Fart

    A change in cultural expectation that encourages civil marriage, followed in a year or so by sealing, is in order.

    Reply Jun 05, 2015 @ 19:34:38
  6. flyingmooseman

    One aspect no one brought up which suprised me was marriage as repentance. The miracle of forgiveness did quite a number on me; my wife and I messed around (petting, dry hump) premission and I ended up “confessing” in the mtc. I was given that book, and the guilt it created was crazy. What we did was the reason I couldn’t master the language, or baptize. She waited, and everyone expected a wedding would soon follow by I dumped her! For a year, I tried to find someone I felt connected with/attracted to buthe I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to date me but her. Parents, leaders, etc no one could understand why I didn’t just marry her! I was actually “counseled” that it didn’t matter who I married- as long as she was faithful to the gospel love would come; no vonnection/attraction needed! The idea formed in my mind (thanks to MOF) that because I had touched her then went on my mission, I had to marry her-that’s why no one would date me! I finally gave in to what my mind saw as my duty. We have been married for over a decade now, and while I love her, I can’t say I’ve ever been in Love with her; we are so different in likes, education, even approach to life conversations are sadly one sided. Without the pressure to “just do it” I doubt we would have gotten married, and I thinkentails I would be in much better place.

    Reply Jun 06, 2015 @ 15:00:04
    • tolworthy

      Such a sad story. The “it doesn’t matter who you marry” thing got me too. After 19 years we finally divorced, and I still hate doing that to the children. it was the most amicable divorce ever, and we are still friends – better friends now than when married. We simply never should have married. Now I have found somebody who really loves me and it’s amazing. But sometimes the saddest stories are those who do not divorce – those people are heroes, usually staying together for the children, but so much misery was caused by Kimball, in so many ways. He has gone now but he is still hurting people from beyond the grave.

      Reply Jun 07, 2015 @ 00:32:26
  7. Sally

    Loved the podcast, especially the different angles brought to the table. Good job!

    Reply Jun 12, 2015 @ 08:25:24
  8. Holly

    I love hearing your take on growing up in your church culture, Craig. Since we shared so many of the same leaders and teachers (except YM/YW, of course), I like getting your perspective & comparing it to my own. Do you recall our one Sunday School teacher who detailed all the various manners of sex we should never engage in? I didn’t know a few of them were a thing until he mentioned them. Yikes! :) Good to hear your voice, Craig.

    Reply Jul 01, 2015 @ 17:00:53

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