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consiglieri

Racism In The L.D.S. Church

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Brigham Young University professor Daniel K. Judd computed in the year 2000 that only 6% of those Mormons who marry in a temple ceremony subsequently go through a temple divorce. This is a small fraction of the rate in the general American population. 3 Unfortunately, the value may not be accurate:

- Most Mormons who have their marriage sealed in a temple ceremony and who subsequently divorce do so in a civil ceremony. This avoids the rather complex temple "cancellation of sealing" (divorce) procedures. Thus, their divorce is not counted in the above figure.

- Some Mormons marry in a temple ceremony, divorce in a civil procedure and subsequently remarry in a second temple ceremony. This would count as two temple marriages and zero temple divorces -- thus reducing the apparent divorce rate.

That might be relevant if these studies were putting numbers on every marriage and divorce throughout a lifetime, which would be impossible. The Heaton study in Religion and Mental Health ed by Judd is doing what most of these studies do, asking a group of people questions. The site you got these random complaints from have obviously not looked at how the studies are done or what was asked, they are just trying to poke holes in them without relating to them. As always, church attendance is a big factor which seems to be routinely ignored as it is in the suicide studies. When church attenders (measured by at least twice a month attendance) is factored in the divorce rates are lower.

Overall, the Mormon divorce rate appears to be no different from the average American divorce rate. A 1999 study by Barna Research of nearly 4,000 U.S. adults showed that 24% of Mormon marriages end in divorce -- a number statistically equal to the divorce rate among all Americans. 5 Members of non-denominational churches (typically Fundamentalist in teaching) and born-again Christians experience a significantly higher divorce rate; Agnostics and Atheists have much a lower rate.

And what was Barna asking and to whom? What constitutes "Mormon"? The only claim being made are that committed Mormons have a lower rate of divorce. The minute they blend that with an undefined group of "Mormons" the results are irrelevant to that group. We have all seen how easy it is to play with suicide stats by blending church attenders with non-attenders and then calling it all "Mormon" to get higher rates of suicide.

This simple statistic obscures an interesting factor: Mormons who marry fellow believers have an extremely low divorce rate:

Which brings us right back to temple marriages having lower divorce rates, doesn't it? BTW, at least in the Heaton study temple marriage was used as an indicator of commitment. Temple marriage paralleled the church attendance variable.

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Sorry Libs... I think you're naive if you see race as being a non-relevant issue. I tend to agree with much of what you say, but if two people of differing races are going to enter into a marriage, they'd be foolish not to consider beforehand the issue as relevant. Are they both sure they understand the added pressure no matter how good of character or personality they are... are they truly able to surmount the possible differences in culture and attitudes, and there are differences, including among families. I wouldn't be so cavalier to describe these as irrelevant... but more something to be acknowledged and considered as to their particular relationship no matter what ethnicities are involved.

GG

I missed this, earlier, GG. Thanks for the response.

I truly believe race is irrelevant. Culture, personality, attitudes, religious beliefs, etc., ARE relevant, yes, I agree, but not skin color, and I seriously believe that should never be mentioned, as a consideration for not marrying someone. That would be racist. My daughter and son-in-law (daughter is white, sil is black) grew up in the same town, going to the same schools and, basically, came from a, very similar, middle-class upbringing. The only real cultural difference, I can think of, were differences in some of the types of foods they liked...but, even there, they had many of the same likes (they both love Mexican food). The issue is not race. That's incidental to other more important issues.

Back in the 50's and before, race (because of widespread racism) was more of a determining factor, in some of those important issues (like socio-economic status). But, that is becoming less and less true (as the articles I posted affirm).

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I have recently become a Mormon. But one of the things I checked out while I talked to the missionaries was marriage and crime. They had told me how the members of the church really tried to embrace the Holy Spirit. So I checked out divorce rates and crimes rates of all of the major religions. Sadly the prison populations and divorce rates matched. So at least from these figures the LDS were no different. But as I told the missionaries it is a testament of how strong the flesh is and how strong Satan is, and not how weak the church is.

I have never received any communication from the Holy Spirit about the race of someone, except the Jews which I am to respect. So from a personal viewpoint the church does not care about race. But the divorce rates and crimes rates should give us some pause. If indeed the pressure is that strong then members and leaders can come under that pressure as well. So take some things said with an eye to social norms at the time.

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I have recently become a Mormon. But one of the things I checked out while I talked to the missionaries was marriage and crime. They had told me how the members of the church really tried to embrace the Holy Spirit. So I checked out divorce rates and crimes rates of all of the major religions. Sadly the prison populations and divorce rates matched. So at least from these figures the LDS were no different. But as I told the missionaries it is a testament of how strong the flesh is and how strong Satan is, and not how weak the church is.

I have never received any communication from the Holy Spirit about the race of someone, except the Jews which I am to respect. So from a personal viewpoint the church does not care about race. But the divorce rates and crimes rates should give us some pause. If indeed the pressure is that strong then members and leaders can come under that pressure as well. So take some things said with an eye to social norms at the time.

I don't remember where i saw the figures, but i was under the impression that the divorce rate for LDS who were married in the temple (and thus are 'active' in the faith) is much lower than the divorce rate for the population over all. I'm interested in learning where your figures came from.

I have no idea about the crime rates and how they compare. I'd love to see your figures for those as well.

:)

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Culture, personality, attitudes, religious beliefs, etc., ARE relevant, yes, I agree, but not skin color,

The thing is, those factors are hardly ever separate from each other, and placed into neat little compartments.

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Franktalk, are you sure you saw statistics that specifically mentioned Mormons as opposed to Utahns. We have a lot of non-members here. I've never seen crime rates specifically for Mormons.

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The thing is, those factors are hardly ever separate from each other, and placed into neat little compartments.

Sure they are, but not in neat little compartments, no (that's kind of my point). I just gave you the example of my daughter and her husband. They share a culture and many similarities that have nothing to do with skin color. (I don't really know what skin color would have to do with anything, these days). Not unless there is some stereotyping going on.

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I'd have a very difficult time if one of my children married an orc or a goblin. I'd be OK if they married a dwarf or elf, but I'd want them to be sure they understood the difficulties they were likely to have with their in-laws.

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I'd have a very difficult time if one of my children married an orc or a goblin. I'd be OK if they married a dwarf or elf, but I'd want them to be sure they understood the difficulties they were likely to have with their in-laws.

lol :D

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That is a good point actually, Nathair. In-laws... they aren't always of our culture, are they? XD. Though I would hope in laws wouldn't cause that many problems. 0.o

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That is a good point actually, Nathair. In-laws... they aren't always of our culture, are they? XD. Though I would hope in laws wouldn't cause that many problems. 0.o

Some do, some don't. A friend of mine married a man from a Sikh background, she had some problems with him adjusting to a more independent wife, etc; but the main problem for the marriage was with the extended family.

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There have also been a lot of problems with white and Asian when one comes from a different country or where the family's culture is still very much with their country of origin.

There is a wonderful couple in our ward with a white husband and an Asian wife. They are both highly educated and have beautiful children.

I wonder what message we may be sending our youth as to how to view this couple . . .

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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if two people of differing races are going to enter into a marriage, they'd be foolish not to consider beforehand the issue as relevant. Are they both sure they understand the added pressure no matter how good of character or personality they are...

If there is "added pressure" when people of different races marry, should our response be to counsel the two people to not marry in the first place, or to counsel our membership at large to be tolerant and supportive?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Just like mankind carefully breed dogs and cattle and other animals to keep thoroughbred lines and for other purposes, God is the one who has an interest in controlling the breeding going on among humans. It is His issue to keep diversity among us. You want to fight Him on it?

I appreciate your sharing your point of view, erichard, but it seems that you are attempting to redefine "exclusivism" as "diversity."

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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There is a wonderful couple in our ward with a white husband and an Asian wife. They are both highly educated and have beautiful children.

I wonder what message we may be sending our youth as to how to view this couple . . .

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I'm fairly certain that message is nothing more that what it reads as: "Hey, kids, marriage is hard enough. Even the smallest things end up splitting couples. Imagine how difficult it can be when you throw in a non-trivial difference of race and culture in the mix. I'm not saying to avoid inter-racial marriage, I'm just saying to consider it before you tie the knot."

consig, I understand the sensitivity, but the principle of the message is NOT to communicate hierarchy of race, nor to act on a supposed existing feeling for the intended audience. THOSE I would call racist issues. The Church manual is attempting to be practical.

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consig, I understand the sensitivity, but the principle of the message is NOT to communicate hierarchy of race, nor to act on a supposed existing feeling for the intended audience. THOSE I would call racist issues. The Church manual is attempting to be practical.

I hear what you are saying, Mars, but do you not think the implication of this message is that those Mormons who have married interracially are not following the counsel of the prophets (manuals)?

Does this not have the same tendency to create a class within the Church perceived as "less righteous," much as those young men who choose to not go on missions?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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If it does, I do not believe it to be the fault of the manual, but the fault of the one reading it. The tendency to class create doesn't come from manuals, it comes from us.

The guy who has the Scriptures before him, the many examples I'm sure we can all cite of active Latter-day Saints who are in interracial marriages, and this line in this particular manual, who then opts to focus on that part of the manual is guilty, in my opinion, of being a myopic cotton headed ninny monggins. But sometimes my opinion goes too far. ;)

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Similar to any Christian who calls Jews 'God-killers' or uses the Bible to support slavery (read Uncle Tom's Cabin) or the Westboro Baptist Church. We'll find what we're looking for independent of message, medium, and content. In any context.

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There are a number of people in this thread who have observed successful interracial marriages in the Church that seem to defy the logic of the manual counsel.

I am wondering if there are any who have seen Church marriages break up in the Church due to interracial problems.

In other words, we seem to find a number of exceptions to the manual "rule," and I am wondering if anybody has seen any examples in the Church that prove it.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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There are a number of people in this thread who have observed successful interracial marriages in the Church that seem to defy the logic of the manual counsel.

I am wondering if there are any who have seen Church marriages break up in the Church due to interracial problems.

In other words, we seem to find a number of exceptions to the manual "rule," and I am wondering if anybody has seen any examples in the Church that prove it.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I know people of all backgrounds who have split up but I don't think it had anything to do with their color, some people are just bozos. I do know one couple that broke up becayse of heat from in laws who weren't LDS, I felt bad for the couple to have to deal with dirtbag in laws

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Manual: We recommend <yadda yadda yadda marriage stuff>.

Student: Why?

Manual: Marriage is hard enough, and you want to put yourself in the best position to not get split up. Socio-economic status, race, culture, and especially religion contribute to making something that's already difficult all the more so.

Student: Are you saying we shouldn't get married unless we're essentially from the same area, race, income level, and religion?

Manual: What? No. I just said that's it's recommended to be on the same foot inasmuch as possible. Obviously there are numerous counter-examples of good marriages, and also of what should have been 'on the same foot' marriages that go awry. It's just a recommendation, nothing more.

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It's just a recommendation, nothing more.

My concern is that "recommendations" from the manual citing a past president tend to assume the imprimatur of commandments.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Definitely a valid concern.

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Did we not have this discussion just a few months ago.

I honestly don't know what the big deal is unless you are just making a big deal for the sake of it.

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Did we not have this discussion just a few months ago.

I honestly don't know what the big deal is unless you are just making a big deal for the sake of it.

Different things matter to different people. Best to bear up one another's burdens.

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