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Mormons and motherhood


YPestis

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As Columbo said, "Just one more thing". (dated myself with that one) Can you tell this is a touchy subject for me?

I have a non-Mormon nephew who is gay. He's 100% convinced that my other niece, the one that worried my sister by not getting married in college, is gay and so is the guy she married. I happen to agree with that assessment. So I have to kind of wonder if that's how the gay Mormons work it out for themselves, by marrying another gay Mormon. It's interesting...

Before the legalization of homosexuality in the West, this was pretty common (mostly amongst middle and upper class people because self-awareness about homosexuality was much greater in these groups, thanks to classical literature etc) and called 'lavender marriages'.

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"better to die with virtue than to live without it" - haven't heard that in terms of Mormonism, but in Catholicism there was a young girl who was sainted because she defended herself against rape or something - so protecting virginity is more important than protecting your life....can't remember which saint....."

Saint Maria Goretti

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Before the legalization of homosexuality in the West, this was pretty common (mostly amongst middle and upper class people because self-awareness about homosexuality was much greater in these groups, thanks to classical literature etc) and called 'lavender marriages'.

Or they stay in the closet and marry a straight person and try to live in Mormon society that way. I was reading a blog by a gay Mormon man (Invictus Pilgrim - unfortunately, set to private now) who finally came out to his wife with devastating results for him, her and their children.

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I thought that I'd add something about my younger niece. She has a serious auto-immune disorder, and because of that she miscarried once and delivered premature twins once, who quickly died. She had to be bedridden for her other two pregnancies. She will always have this disorder, in which one of the symptoms is that she has very little appetite. So what does her saint of a priesthood husband decide to do? Why, take a new position in his company that means they have to live in Japan for 3-4 years. Yes, it's just been so great for my niece to be sick and taken away from her support system and have to raise her two sons completely on her own in a foreign country. :roll: Did she even think of saying no so that she could take care of herself? Noooo....not when there's so many Mormon brownie points to be had by being a long suffering wife. In the most recent picture I saw of her she looked emaciated. But my sister and her husband just pretend it's not happening.

It was hard enough on our family when my sister converted to Mormonism when she was 18. But to now see how her 6 children are turning out...it's heartbreak all over again. As always, I blame the patriarchy.

Did you ever watch that PBS documentary on the Mormons? They interviewed a man who had lost his wife from complications during labor. They had 7 kids and knew she could die with another pregnancy but they still had a feeling that there was someone missing from their family, so they went on to have the 8th and she died hours later. The interviewer asked if he'd do it again and he said yes because it was "what the Lord wanted". That is another thing that seriously made me start to question. Anyway, your story reminds me of that. It's just sad. :( Why not just say "Enough is enough. If we feel the need to have more children, let's adopt"? It's all about keeping up appearances and being more faithful than the next person to get the most points, just like you said. In fact I remember in Relief Society a couple of years ago they passed around a sign-up sheet because they needed people to bring someone meals or something. At the top of the paper in big bold letters it said "Remember, sisters! She who serves most wins the most points!" :naughty:

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Just because there is always an exception to the rule...

One of my daughter's medical school classmates is a 37 year old Mormon mother of 6. She got married young, had a bunch of kids, (the oldest is starting college, the youngest is around 8) as was the norm, and then went back to school, which is definitely not a common occurance. She is planning to become a psychiatrist, which I find interesting, given that anti-depressant use is very common among Mormon women.

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Sorry, but to me it all seems to be based on someone who wanted people to worship him and America. I also don't know why people buy into something which tells them to wear special underwear and learn a secret handshake for when they meet God.

They buy into it because they were raised to accept those things as true. Mormonism isn't inherently stranger than any other religion. Most people who believe that Jesus was a deity buy into that for the same reasons. Nobody is born believing certain things about deities or afterlives. It's all a matter of what you're exposed to. If you're raised in the Mormon church, then that seems normal to you. It's the same if you're raised Catholic or Baptist or Muslim or anything else.

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There is NO way she is the only female in an upper level science course! My ex-husband went to med school in Utah. There were 110 students in his class and about 50 came from BYU and about half were women from BYU. In fact more then half his med school class was women. I lived in medical towers which housed alot of the med students (I would say 75% were married) and there were plenty of female BYU grads in med school. I can think of 8 women right now that I still keep in contact with from that class alone.

I also have 2 female doctors that went to BYU for undergrad and they are both in their 30's with kids.

I also have a cousin who got her PHD in chemistry from BYU and now is an organic chem professor. She was mad reading what was in the orginal post because she felt like she was treated great at BYU. Of course she came from a family of strong women and knew she wanted to study science. I'm sure if you go to BYU looking for a MRS degree you are not going to be encouraged to major in science, most likely teaching, music, art etc.

I could give countless examples of women who have masters degrees in science from BYU.

I also think LDS women that want to persue medical school or science look to go to other schools espcially the ivy league or large research facilities.

There are a few stoires that do show there still is a perference for the women to be the caregiver to the kids. There was on med female BYU grad med student that got into a top reisdency. She completed it and found out she was having twins. She decided not to practice medicine(and has not in 10 years). Her husband had a PHD so they were fine with money, I know of several students that converted to the mormon religion from eastern europe. They were smart women. They went to BYU for science and computer science and got married during their studies. They both married into "good" lds families so the women were allowed to work until the husband finished school and got a job (usually 2 years later because of the mission time off) and then were told it was time to stay at home.

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I am not Mormon, but my mom bought us a bunch of Mormon children's music growing up because the family values were the same fundie as hers. There were several tapes, with various songs, some of them more "Mormon-y: and my mom told me not to listen to them because we weren't Mormon, but the rest were "good". One song I vividly remember as being one my mom told me she loved, and so I loved too, (wanting to be like my mother as i was only four or five years old) it was called "When I Grow Up".

I can still hear it in my head, and it went something like this:

When I grow up I want to be a mother

And have a family

One little, two little, three little babies I can love

Of all the jobs, for me I'll choose no other

We'll have a family

Four little, five little, six little blessings from above

So yes...I'd say that mormon girls are indoctrinated from a young age to aspire to motherhood as the "career" of choice.

ETA...I just googled to see if I'd remembered the lyrics correctly (close enough! scary as that is) and found this article about the insidious indoctrination of the music of Janeen Jacobs Brady, who wrote the song I quoted above. The article is titled: We're All Mormons Now, Janeen Jacobs Brady: How 70's Mormon kitsch from Janeen Jacobs Brady reflected the culture wars of the time. It can be found here, if you're are interested: patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Were-All-Mormons-Now-Janeen-Jacobs-Brady-Rosalynde-Welch-02-04-2011?print=1 Apparently, Janeen Jacobs Brady had an MLM music company. Wow...Mormonism and MLM all mixed up together, that must have been insane.

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"better to die with virtue than to live without it" - haven't heard that in terms of Mormonism, but in Catholicism there was a young girl who was sainted because she defended herself against rape or something - so protecting virginity is more important than protecting your life....can't remember which saint....."

Saint Maria Goretti

Don't get me wrong, this sickens me as much as anyone, and I am by no means a Catholic apologist. But the RCC does declare you a virgin again, if you've been raped. So, technically, it's "okay to survive". Yeah, there are loads of issues right there, especially in conjuction with Maria Goretti, but supposedly you do get a "second shot" at being pure*.

Now, as for the implications of the RCC regulating that, all bets are off.

*Sorry, can't recall the source.

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I know a Mormon woman through another message board. She is a college student, but older than average because she got married during college and they both spaced out their degrees according to what they could afford. Anyway, a few months ago a thread came up about choosing to be childless. She posted a LOT on that thread, and while she never said that she didn't want to have children at all, she seemed not to have much interest in kids and stated that she was annoyed by family members who pester her/her husband about when they will have kids and those who think she's pursuing her degree (Photography) so that she will have "a nice part-time job" when she is a mother. All she would say was that she wasn't ready yet, but I hope she/husband don't feel pressured into being parents if that's not what they want to do, and that she is able to set up a photography business/have a full time job like she wants to. She seems pretty non-fundy otherwise but she's very close to her family. I was really surprised to see her posting in that thread because I knew she was Mormon and she's seemed really into her faith before.

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They buy into it because they were raised to accept those things as true. Mormonism isn't inherently stranger than any other religion. Most people who believe that Jesus was a deity buy into that for the same reasons. Nobody is born believing certain things about deities or afterlives. It's all a matter of what you're exposed to. If you're raised in the Mormon church, then that seems normal to you. It's the same if you're raised Catholic or Baptist or Muslim or anything else.

This. If someone was raised in the Mormon church, then the idea of wearing special underwear after going to the temple is normal to them. It also means that women often feel pressure to marry a RM and only work until he's done with college, so she can stay home and raise more Mormons. The easiest way to get more Mormons is for Mormon couples to have children and raise them in the church. Now, with the internet and sites like exmormon.org, most adult converts quit going to church shortly after they join.

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Ancedotal for sure. The Mormon men I know here tend to have highly successful jobs like lawyers and doctors. Their wives went for degrees in education. I'm not sure if they have gone back to teaching at all. It's not just limited to Mormons though. I've met some really ambious women that were pursuing grad school or professional schooling and their ambition was curbed in favour of their husband's career. Of course it's their choice but it blew my mind that these women were turning down offers for schools outside of their towns/cities. They would then apply non-stop to the university in their area and if they didn't get in, they would just settle for another career. I don't see many men doing the same thing for their wives.

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I know a Mormon woman through another message board. She is a college student, but older than average because she got married during college and they both spaced out their degrees according to what they could afford. Anyway, a few months ago a thread came up about choosing to be childless. She posted a LOT on that thread, and while she never said that she didn't want to have children at all, she seemed not to have much interest in kids and stated that she was annoyed by family members who pester her/her husband about when they will have kids and those who think she's pursuing her degree (Photography) so that she will have "a nice part-time job" when she is a mother. All she would say was that she wasn't ready yet, but I hope she/husband don't feel pressured into being parents if that's not what they want to do, and that she is able to set up a photography business/have a full time job like she wants to. She seems pretty non-fundy otherwise but she's very close to her family. I was really surprised to see her posting in that thread because I knew she was Mormon and she's seemed really into her faith before.

Mormonism seems to be all about marriage and motherhood. Unlike many other denominations, it doesn't look like there's much of a place for people who intend to remain single or childless.

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I would totally say it has all to do with marriage and motherhood- however, I know many Mormon women who work outside the home, and many who are sahms. There are two sisters I grew up with where one has an advanced degree, has adopted two kids, and works in a very competitive job as a scientist, her sister has a degree, but stays at home with her two birth children. Both are very active in their wards, but I think that is expected of both men and women.

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I think women get a raw deal in the afterlife. Don't they say that you don't get your own planet and instead have to have lots of spirit children with your husband and his plural wives?

The celestial kingdom sounds boring as shit for men and women. I don't understand why you'd go to all that effort to get there, when the terrestrial kingdom is pretty much just as good. They're all boring and unfulfilling :roll:

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I thought that I'd add something about my younger niece. She has a serious auto-immune disorder, and because of that she miscarried once and delivered premature twins once, who quickly died. She had to be bedridden for her other two pregnancies. She will always have this disorder, in which one of the symptoms is that she has very little appetite. So what does her saint of a priesthood husband decide to do? Why, take a new position in his company that means they have to live in Japan for 3-4 years. Yes, it's just been so great for my niece to be sick and taken away from her support system and have to raise her two sons completely on her own in a foreign country. :roll: Did she even think of saying no so that she could take care of herself? Noooo....not when there's so many Mormon brownie points to be had by being a long suffering wife. In the most recent picture I saw of her she looked emaciated. But my sister and her husband just pretend it's not happening.

It was hard enough on our family when my sister converted to Mormonism when she was 18. But to now see how her 6 children are turning out...it's heartbreak all over again. As always, I blame the patriarchy.

The idea of having to stuff one's emotions deep down inside while putting on a false happy face enrages me! I hope your cousin finds a way to express her feelings, because keeping frustrations inside can be toxic!

Do you mind me asking if she has Crohn's disease? my 11 year old son has it, abd a few of the things you mentioned sounded familiar.

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The celestial kingdom sounds boring as shit for men and women. I don't understand why you'd go to all that effort to get there, when the terrestrial kingdom is pretty much just as good. They're all boring and unfulfilling

Because only in the Celestial Kingdom do you get to dwell with all three members of the Godhead, (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). In the Terrestial Kingdom you are cut off from God and only have access to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and in the Telestial Kingdom you have access only to the Holy Spirit.

I have a non-Mormon nephew who is gay. He's 100% convinced that my other niece, the one that worried my sister by not getting married in college, is gay and so is the guy she married. I happen to agree with that assessment. So I have to kind of wonder if that's how the gay Mormons work it out for themselves, by marrying another gay Mormon. It's interesting...

This is a tricky subject. I am a bisexual Mormon, but I have been living as a lesbian for the past 8 years (since I was 15). I am currently with my gf of 3 years in a long distance relationship, but I would be okay with marrying the right man if he came along one day. If I'm going to marry a man he will be Mormon, but if I end up with a woman I don't mind if they're non-Mormon, since my gf is an Atheist and hates Mormons (awkward I know, but she has some really, really evil Mormon family members). I want to go to the Temple and make my covenants with God, and I don't agree with the Church's stance on homosexuality, but I (like many of my friends who are members) hope that this will someday change. Everyone has been open and accepting of me and my sexual orientation, and my gf was even at my baptism. Then again, I don't live in Utah and my ward is in the most liberal city in my state, so that may effect things. My Church is far from perfect, but I love it dearly. And this may be a non-Utah thing, but most of my female Mormon friends wait til they are done with school to have kids and a lot of them are in the process of getting their master's or Ph.D's.

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There is NO way she is the only female in an upper level science course! My ex-husband went to med school in Utah. There were 110 students in his class and about 50 came from BYU and about half were women from BYU. In fact more then half his med school class was women. I lived in medical towers which housed alot of the med students (I would say 75% were married) and there were plenty of female BYU grads in med school. I can think of 8 women right now that I still keep in contact with from that class alone.

I also have 2 female doctors that went to BYU for undergrad and they are both in their 30's with kids.

I also have a cousin who got her PHD in chemistry from BYU and now is an organic chem professor. She was mad reading what was in the orginal post because she felt like she was treated great at BYU. Of course she came from a family of strong women and knew she wanted to study science. I'm sure if you go to BYU looking for a MRS degree you are not going to be encouraged to major in science, most likely teaching, music, art etc.

I could give countless examples of women who have masters degrees in science from BYU.

I also think LDS women that want to persue medical school or science look to go to other schools espcially the ivy league or large research facilities.

There are a few stoires that do show there still is a perference for the women to be the caregiver to the kids. There was on med female BYU grad med student that got into a top reisdency. She completed it and found out she was having twins. She decided not to practice medicine(and has not in 10 years). Her husband had a PHD so they were fine with money, I know of several students that converted to the mormon religion from eastern europe. They were smart women. They went to BYU for science and computer science and got married during their studies. They both married into "good" lds families so the women were allowed to work until the husband finished school and got a job (usually 2 years later because of the mission time off) and then were told it was time to stay at home.

Wonder how your "statistics" compare to the national average. Are you Mormon?

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The idea of having to stuff one's emotions deep down inside while putting on a false happy face enrages me! I hope your cousin finds a way to express her feelings, because keeping frustrations inside can be toxic!

Do you mind me asking if she has Crohn's disease? my 11 year old son has it, abd a few of the things you mentioned sounded familiar.

It's not Crohn's, but something similar. It's all very hush-hush in their family because they always want to show themselves as being the pictures of health.

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As Columbo said, "Just one more thing". (dated myself with that one) Can you tell this is a touchy subject for me?

I have a non-Mormon nephew who is gay. He's 100% convinced that my other niece, the one that worried my sister by not getting married in college, is gay and so is the guy she married. I happen to agree with that assessment. So I have to kind of wonder if that's how the gay Mormons work it out for themselves, by marrying another gay Mormon. It's interesting...

In a previous post I mentioned my uncle's ex wife(aunt) who was Mormon as a child. In the 80's, her mother's brother came out of the closet and it caused a lot of problems in the family. The gay brother left the LDS church and my aunt's mother and father decided to leave the church in support of him. My aunt said that some gay Mormons do leave the church and sometimes they cut off ties with their family members completely.

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A portion of my extended family is Mormon and most live in and around Utah. (My paternal grandfather's sister married into a Mormon family) Even though we are distantly related we are invited to the family reunion. Last time I was at one of the reunions I was only 14 so I didn't really pay attention to the dynamics of the families or try to notice the subtleties of the way their beliefs showed in everyday life. The only thing I remember is that most of the families were large and they were always acted really outwardly happy. From what I can remember the excessive happiness now seems a little fake.

We more recently visited a family member who left the Mormon church and moved away to Alaska. He said that one of the reasons the main problems he had with the church was the emphasis on "having child after child that you can't afford". There was also another young adult family member living with them that had also left the church. I now wonder if they felt they had to move that far away just to be free from the church.

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I know a young Mormon family who lives in my decidedly non-Mormon area, and so far the woman of the family has continued working, even though they started having kids immediately after marrying. They only have one child so far, although they've only been married three years. No one went to BYU, and much of their families are Catholic.

I wonder if being Mormon, but not surrounded by Mormons, lessens the pressure? There aren't a lot of Mormons around here to judge them for not being Mormon enough.

ETA: Mormon, Mormon, MORMON! My post needed to repeat the word Mormon some more. (mon)

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Because only in the Celestial Kingdom do you get to dwell with all three members of the Godhead, (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). In the Terrestial Kingdom you are cut off from God and only have access to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and in the Telestial Kingdom you have access only to the Holy Spirit.

I am currently with my gf of 3 years in a long distance relationship, but I would be okay with marrying the right man if he came along one day. If I'm going to marry a man he will be Mormon, but if I end up with a woman I don't mind if they're non-Mormon, since my gf is an Atheist and hates Mormons (awkward I know, but she has some really, really evil Mormon family members). I want to go to the Temple and make my covenants with God, and I don't agree with the Church's stance on homosexuality, but I (like many of my friends who are members) hope that this will someday change.

Thank you for sharing some more insight into the Mormon Church's beliefs re levels of heaven, and your own thoughts on being a bisexual Mormon, etc.

I am not being rude or snarky -- but if at all three levels, a soul would feel comfort, free from the aches, pains and sadness of "life," then I don't see anything wrong with being on the "bottom" level, if that's where I ended up. No more sickness, no more pettiness or hatred, but just an eternity of peace and contemplation with the Holy Spirit - okay, I could deal with that. But I still wonder - do souls on differing levels get to "interact" with each other? If your mom and dad got to the top level and you only made it to level two, would you never have interaction with them again?

I think once we cross to the next life, it will be something we have no idea or concept of here on Earth. I'll probably laugh and say, "boy was I completely on the wrong track when I pictured this place!" My favorite depiction of the afterlife is from a movie with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep, "Defending Your Life."

Maybe the afterlife is limited by what each of us can recognize and accept. I think there is a depiction of this idea in a C.S. Lewis book isn't there? Perhaps the final book in the Chronicles, where those who can see Narnia go through one doorway, while those who don't believe in it, go through another?

Okay, turning off my deep thoughts and heading to lunch.

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