Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LDS Church Reportedly Disbanding All LDS Student Wards Except For Those Serving Students Residing On College Campuses

On April 12th, 2011 the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints intends to disband all of its student wards, except for those serving students who actually live on a college campus, and replace them with congregations for students and singles together in 12 to 17 new all-singles stakes. Bishops announced the move to congregants on Sunday April 10th and invited all the young people to a valleywide meeting at the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on April 27th. One comment posted by Idahogirl to the story indicates that while the Tribune story only describes the Salt Lake area, the change may be churchwide; it has already been done in Pocatello, Idaho.

The LDS Church has not addressed this change officially on their website. The Church's motive appears to be to curtail "ward-hopping" by singles, in which they jump from one ward to another in search of the "perfect spouse". But by failing to land a fixed "spiritual home", they make it difficult for themselves to establish themselves, serve in callings which can promote spiritual growth, and to get temple recommends. Additional discussion of this story presented in the CougarUteForum and on LDSTech.

One single man who is a ward-hopper tells his story HERE. The unidentified blogger is a 32-year-old single male living in Salt Lake City. Since returning from his European mission twelve years ago, he's been ward-hopping, attending every LDS singles ward that has existed in the last decade from Provo to Ogden - and a few in Vegas, California, Washington and St. George. And he seems to be searching for the "perfect wife".

However, his observations about single LDS women shed some light on why he has not been successful; he needs to look in the mirror. He voices strong criticism of single LDS women. First and foremost, he thinks the bulk of single LDS women are too fat. He doesn't restrict his criticism to those who are morbidly obese, but also criticizes those who are merely chubby. He states, "young men will never want to be intimate with them if they're even a little heavy". That, of course, is a totally misogynistic attitude; there's nothing wrong with a woman who is a bit chubby or what I call "pleasingly plump". In fact, I'm a bit biased in favor of women who are a bit chubby, because they generally aren't obsessed with their weight. Since this man identifies as a lawyer, it's possible he might be looking for a trophy wife who's shaped like an hourglass so she'll look good dangling from his arm like an accessory.

The second part of his criticism seems more valid. He finds that a preponderance of single LDS women tend to be addicted to "cult causes" like holistic/herbal medicine, animal rights, vegetarianism, feminism, and gay rights. Worse yet, these women look down upon men who don't think as they do, and furthermore, they have a habit of wanting to "steady the ark" or "speak evil of the Lord's anointed". He writes, "I am amazed at what a huge amount of women in the Church criticize the Church openly for what they perceive to be conservative/puritanical political policies on women, gays, divorce, the temple, wedlock, and adultery/fornication - even totally active singles. All of these beliefs have somehow replaced these women's testimonies and retarded their ability to appreciate and interact with traditional, non-artsy, down-to-earth males, which are the only males who can support a family".

Bingo! All you have to do is read Feminist Mormon Housewives to understand what he's talking about. FMH teems with "ark-steadying" and occasional flaming of the Brethren. Other similar examples include Joanna Brooks and Jana Riess, although both remain faithful members of the Church.

The LDS Church actually needs to junk singles wards and stakes altogether, except in and around college campuses where there are significant numbers of LDS students. Singles need to learn how to get along with all people, otherwise they become too insular and self-absorbed. Both singles and marrieds can learn from one another. This first step is a good move by the Church; more proof that our Church enjoys inspired leadership.


Shawz Family said...

I find your continued fixation on Feminist Mormon Housewives disturbing. Why are you calling out individuals and small groups... You must have an alternate motive. Nothing else explains it. The number of blog posts that are written by members of the church that you would consider 'ark steadying' goes well beyond a couple of individuals and a single blog.

Jack Mormon said...

You exaggerate. Out of hundreds of posts, I can only recall specifically "calling out" FMH about four or five times. On many more occasions such as my posts on the recent conference, I've merely cited FMH as an informational link without any editorial comment.

FMH is much more prominent than most, so they will get more attention. And when someone, in my opinion, unjustly criticizes the Church, they can expect to get criticism in return. Perhaps you'd care to explain why you want to shield FMH from criticism.