Sunday, March 23, 2014
The LDS Church's "Dirty Little Secret"
March is just Marching right along and it's time to scribble another post for all 20 of my readers out there. I know you've been waiting with baited breath.
Darn, that was a cliche wasn't it? My Fiction Workshop professor at the U warned us to avoid that cheap writing tactic. I've taken a couple creative writing courses already during my 3 years at the U and this 5000 level is the last big one. The class enrollment cap is 20 so only the most serious writers of fiction need apply. It's fun to workshop and critique my classmates' stories like the princess story one girl wrote. For guys, the sci-fi telepathic fungus one was interesting. Finally, the ever popular growing genre of sex experimentation and exploring with one's current girlfriend or boyfriend for both the straight and LGBTQ crowds reminds me just how liberal the world has become.
I submitted a piece I originally wrote in longhand on notebook paper as a teenager back in 1993, when most of these young whipper snappers were first learning to write. It was exciting to transfer it to Word about a tween-age runaway on the streets of NYC who collapses in a snowbank and is found and taken in by a cranky Frenchman with both learning to trust again. It got lots of positive feedback. My narration, dialogue and character development was praised while the overall story still needs some work as most people were confused by the setting and age of my female protagonist. A good, polished beginning takes a lot of work establishing your basic story and it's a tricky plot to pull off because he's not a pervert and she's still a minority. Remember, this author was a lonely teenager mourning the absence of a father figure and it's scary that she still feels that way sometimes at 39. Since the original short story was longer than the seven page cutoff, the class confusion was understandable. My professor showed no mercy in his editing and red pen marking with my grammar, overuse of cliches and punctuation. I don't mind since that's his job and I'm a firm believer in the quote, "There's no such thing as good writing only good rewriting." I wrote the story for me and that's all that matters; it was fun and a little scary to pull it out, dust it off and share it with strangers.
One day I might just write that bestselling novel exposing the LDS church's "Dirty Little Secret" and, sorry to disappoint all Mormon haters out there, but it won't be about Polygamy from the disgruntled ex-Mormon with an ax to grind. My topic today is about exposing an even juicer secret, a subject even the men in the highest rankings in the church don't even dare touch because it's either that repulsive or just too abnormal.
I'm talking about the singles wards. Not the glorified high school YSA (young single adult 18-30 age group) but the truly scary, run-away-screaming, 30+ single adults. The true Mormon Divergents. (Roth eat your heart out!) The most extreme you can get from The Proclamation to the Family where normal is one-time-married-only-need-apply and anyone who wasn't born with that special talent to attract your significant other by age 31 is basically told to wait in another line until the Second Coming.
It's the epidemic in the church no one is talking about.
It's why the mission age was lowered: what to do with 10,000 accomplished women in their mid 20's looking for marriage in a world where a young man's greatest achievement (after his mission if he's Mormon) is sitting in mom's basement playing his X-box and eating Skittles. Since there's no dating or hooking up allowed in the mission field it'll be interesting to see how many years must come to pass before young women outnumber men in the mission field while primary and youth groups continue to shrink. I hope it never happens but if you haven't noticed, no one is really talking about the singles epidemic in the church anymore since President Monson made the Oct. 2012 announcement about the age change while the gay marriage and Ordain Women movements now trump any and all singles mourning for marriage along with all the blessings of the priesthood. Some children might be nice too, at least for me. I always wanted to be a Mom *ducks flying tomatoes and eggs from the left*
It really isn't fair, you know. We've kept the commandments, patiently awaiting our turn for a "roll the the hay" we just want to make sure it's done in the right time, in the right place with the right person. My future children's lives are at stake here and the only hope anyone can give me is some fairy tale about populating another planet in another lifetime with a man I've yet to meet. Heck, why can't I just leave now? Why am I still here? When God needed hell, He invented the 30+ singles wards. Am I right, ladies?
No one ever talks about just what caliber of people await you in that "second line" and every single woman in the Mormon church knows exactly what I'm talking about. The only princes here are the ones from "Frozen" who are sorry you have no one to love you for eternity but how bout a quick feel up on the dance floor?
April general conference is coming and every year I hope will be the year that this issue is addressed. Not since President Benson has any general authority in the church stood at the pulpit and officially spoken "To the Single Adults of the Church" with a revelation just for us. When The Proclamation to the Family was first read over the pulpits back in 1995 I was there, in my college singles ward lapping it up and loving every word I was hearing. I still believe those words. Even years later when my two Mormon roommates suggested that if I was so hungry for temple marriage just so I could be a Mom and have kids I should adopt (I made good money back then working at Wal-Mart to support them) but I reminded them of the Proclamation and besides I wanted to be a stay at home mom and I still do.
I've also been taking LDS Institute classes these last two semesters. One lesson was about the second coming. There's a little talked about prophecy or sign of the times about silence in heaven for half an hour before Christ comes again. Most Mormons joke this means no women in the celestial kingdom or whatever but I asked my teacher, Brother Brown, what it really meant and just how long, in the Lord's time, a half hour was. He said about 20 years. That means, if The Proclamation to the Family can be considered the last big revelation from heaven, then those 20 years are about up.
Hope still springs eternal!
Have a great day, everyone!