57: LDS Young Single Adult Experiences Revisited

Mormon Matters episode 31 featured a panel discussion about the LDS Church’s struggle to meet the needs of many of its young single adults and some of the possible reasons why. Episode 33 then highlighted in a more personal way through first-hand accounts from two people in this group some of the tensions they face as singles in Mormon culture as well as in their own spiritual journeys. This episode revisits the LDS young single adult experience with new panelists—Kayela Seegmiller, Derrick Clements, and Megan Sanborn Jones—who each experience the gospel and both the blessings and the tensions of being active, committed, single, and young Latter-day Saints in ways not explored in depth in the earlier episodes. Fresh and mature insights (as well as great laughs) abound in this terrific episode!

Please listen and then share your own stories and insights in the comments section below!

Comments

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37 comments for “57: LDS Young Single Adult Experiences Revisited

  1. Gail F. Bartholomew
    October 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Once again a great episode.  I struggle with two faults ideas this episode high lights in which we Mormons perpetuate.  

    One,  how we spend so much time raving about how important and inherently good women are.  This is because we expend a lot of energy trying to convince our selves the inherently unequal system of the patriarchy is some how equal.

    Second, we spend so much time pretending that root of all moral problems is male arousal.  This idea would  imply first of all that morality instead of being a  complex set of reasoning that would guild us to choosing good behavior in the many complicated situation that life brings, but only sexual behavior itself.  This idea also impys that sexual feelings instead being only of many God given motivations that effect us everyday.  

  2. Jacob M
    October 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    This was a great discussion yet again! As a 30 year old active single adult in the church, I found a lot of similarities between myself and the panelists. My favorite comment was about how someones status, single or married, with children or without, was nobody’s business. As a church we have too many meddlers who know the answers for things they aren’t and shouldn’t be involved with.

    I can also attest to the comments about how women are praised incessantly while men are berated as often. It gets rather tiresome to be told how much of an idiot you are all the time. I will say, however, that it is caused by the gender power balance in the church structure. En have power, therefore they need to be corrected, whereas women don’t, so they need to be praised.

    Lastly, no one knows what necking or petting are! 🙂

  3. Beatrice
    October 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Great discussion.  I particularly liked the point that Kayela made about how pornography is talked about in the church.  I have had similar experiences with how masterbation is discussed.  I think there are a lot of trickle down effects of how these activities are talked about and how both men and women think about themselves and the members of the opposite sex.

    For example, when I was a young women and a young single adult, I thought of masterbation as something that only really bad people did.  I put it on par with other sins such as stealing, harming others, and doing drugs.  I also assumed that I should not marry or date someone who had struggled with this, because it revealed larger problems with his character (The whole David Bednar idea of looking for the highest quality of marriage partner and not marrying someone who doesn’t take out her second set of earring).
     
    However, in my mid to late 20s, I discovered that it is fairly common for individuals to engage in this behavior and that lots of good solid Mormon people have engaged in this behavior sometime during their lifetime.  I think we put such a strong stigma on activities such as masterbating or looking at porn that if we find out that someone has done these things we label them as a really bad person.  For example, I believe that many women in the LDS church would justify a woman leaving her husband if she found out that her husband was looking at porn.  However, this may not be the healthiest perspective because as Kayela mentioned, there is a lot of individual variation in the levels of participating in these activities and how it impacts the individual’s life.

    • Jaz
      August 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      I believe it is as bad as stealing etc, if not even worse. But I also believe in repentance and moving on from weaknesses in our lives. I have a little saying, “its not about what we have done, its about what we are doing about we’ve done”, and if someone is doing the right thing about having participated in those things e.g. repenting and working to not participate in it any more. When we choose a spouse, we should be looking for the highest quality. But the persons past does not determine them, its who they are now and what they stand for and their desire to continue to strive to be better in everything they do. I believe it is not right to participate in these practices (porn/masterbation) and know of the great effect that it can and will have on an individual, family, society, whether they see it or not as our leaders warn us of. We have no right to judge another, that is up to the Lord. We are to love and support with a Godly Love, and make sure our motes are out of our eyes.

      • Shmitty
        January 15, 2014 at 2:59 am

        So then what are unmarried people, who have no sex life or intimacy supposed to do?

  4. October 27, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I haven’t quite finished listening yet but I am really enjoying this.  I have recently left single life but I have promised myself never to forget the trials singles pass through in the church.  It’s something a lot of long-married adults just don’t seem to get.

    I really like Derrick bringing up Elder Oaks’ talk about the agency of others.  People need to realize that when they are trying to give men guilt trips for not being married that they are scolding them for something that is not completely within their control.  It is true that in our culture men are the designated pursuers but women still have to want to marry them.  I know a lot of men who try as hard as anything but still haven’t found someone who wants to marry them.  Getting scolded for that must be so insulting and hurtful.  We need to be a lot more compassionate and thoughtful in the things we say.

    And of course there is the obvious point that we should trust adults to make their own decisions and live their own lives.  That would be nice too.

  5. Jacob Brown
    October 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    The anthropomorphic deity of Mormonism really drags the institution into all kinds of human social conflicts. Because God is a perfected human being, knowing him involves discovering or defining characteristics about him that draw us into these cultural dilemmas directly. For example, I think it would be fair to say that the LDS Church portrays God as male, white, old, straight, married, and the father of many children. Can you see how each of these assumptions about his character (which is the perfect example we are to follow) leads quickly to many of the LDS position on otherwise complicated issues?

    The innovative doctrine of the King Follett Discourse (summarized as “what if God was one of us?”) puts us in a critical position. The concept occurred within a specific cultural social context. The assumptions of that context were cemented into the collective consciousness of Mormons. We began wondering, “if God is a perfect man, how can we be more like him?” Well, first you have to figure out what he’s like. This is where and when projection came into play. You can see why we cling to so many old ideals and ideas from the 19th century.

    Without the capriciousness of Joseph Smith, we struggled to push through tough issues like polygamy, race, gender equality, and homosexuality. The supple clay molded by Joseph is now set hard. It is brittle and fragile. The intermolecular bonds of the clay are based on tradition, authority, loyalty, and obedience. The constituents that provided fluidity (spiritual giftedness, constant revelation, and theological speculation) have almost completely evaporated away.

    My biggest take-away from  this discussion is that the patriarchy, i.e., sexism, is damaging not only to women, but also to men. The whole church suffers and groans. When I listen to Joanna Brooks, Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, Heather Olsen Beal, Kristine Haglund, Jana Reiss, and others on this podcast I am almost brought to tears thinking how much I missed out being raised in the church. Mormon ears are not tuned to these voices in the institution. Even when the voice is female, I occasionally suspect the person speaking is male. The glove is female, but the hand is male. The female soul has been possessed by the male spirit.

    • Dan Wotherspoon
      October 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Some great things to chew on here, Jacob. Thank you!

      Interesting to bring in the human propensity of imitatio dei. Just as we naturally strive to align ourselves with God when viewed as male, white, old, straight, married, and father of many, there are many things about the Mormon God that I also think we shouldn’t forget: Mormonism’s God (when expanded to really think about the full theology) is a union of male and female, a divine couple who (opposite of typical Christian views based on Greek ideas of perfection) have bodies, parts, and passions, who are “in the fray” with their children not above it, who are in real relations with them more as “parent and child” trying to raise children into full maturity rather than “creator and creature” testing whether or not to reward with (beatific vision) or punish (with hell), whose powers are only persuasive, calling and ever anxious for us to turn our lives toward “all that they have,” Gods who groan and weep when we choose against love, each other, our own best interests, etc. 

      Who/what we are naturally inclined to want to imitate is a mixed bag within Mormonism, for sure, and especially at the level of Sunday rhetoric, but in the end I find it stacked far more toward positive, ennobling ideas rather than the potential stumblingblock particularities you are highlighting. 

      Thoughts, back? I’m not at all trying to hijack away from your great point about how our discourse is male. That is really important to point out. You express sadness that you missed out on a lot being raised in the church. I just wanted to add it, that at least in my experience growing up Mormon, I was also exposed to these larger ideas about God and God’s character that I am really glad I DIDN’T miss out on.

      • Rolf Straubhaar
        October 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm

        Dan, I resonate with the points you’re making
        really strongly–the fact that God is someone who’s past experience is
        something I can empathize with, and that God is a being who, through personal
        experience, can empathize with me, is truly beautiful and ennobling, the height
        of what is wonderful and sublime about the Mormon notion of an anthropomorphic
        God.  Like you, that is one of the principles that, upon reflection, truly
        anchored my faith as I first encountered it as a preteen and young adult, and
        I’m similarly glad that isn’t something I missed out on.  

         

        That said, I think it’s a lot easier for us
        white, straight men to have that experience with God as God is presented in
        Mormonism, because a God that looks like us is the one that Mormon authorities
        have most fully described.  Yes, our theology
        asserts that God is both male and female, but as has been said in many other fora
        (and as I’ve heard about eloquently from my wife as well), that basic truth
        provides little comfort or insight when there is no corresponding corpus of
        insight into what God is like as a woman and mother, in the same way that there
        is into what God is like as a man and father (for that, we have the entire
        standard works, and almost 200 years of conference talks and exciting 19th
        century speculative theology).  The same could
        be said for communities of color, at least within Mormonism—there is an amazing
        body of work and thought in black theology and liberation theology regarding
        the racially and socioeconomically diverse faces of God, but there’s nothing
        like that for poor Mormons or Mormons of color (and probably won’t be, until we
        get some apostles of color up in this piece—and even then, there isn’t as much
        room for exciting speculative theology in those directions in the current
        church climate as there was when Brigham Young and Joseph Smith were shooting
        off their mouths about the most exciting dimensions of what God is like as an
        exalted man).

         

        Anyhow, in short, I totally agree with you that
        this is one of the most exciting areas of Mormon thought—but I think within the
        same breath it’s important that white straight male members of the church like
        us recognize that we are speaking from a position of privilege in how fully
        that idea is able to help us resonate with God as an individual, at least
        within the parameters of what Mormonism has had to say about the subject so
        far.

      • Jacob Brown
        October 31, 2011 at 11:20 am

        I agree with you and Rolf that there are some powerful motivations for constructing a deity that fits our personal and cultural ideologies. I love the humanism in the human-god of Mormonism. However, I must also recognize that it is terribly narrow minded and not really all that creative to come up with a god that thinks like you, looks like you, and acts like you. Were we created in the image of God, or have we (the “royal” we, the “empowered” we) created God in our image?

        Really, all that’s a discussion that doesn’t really fit here anyway. I am not so concered with the imitation of that deity, but the traits we have endowed him with and how those are used for irrational justification of persistant and thoughtless traditions. Our confidence in understanding the nature of God rarely allows us to delve deeper into the contemporary cultural and social conundrums.

        The discussion is cut short because we just recite the lifestyle of God. We cannot imagine him being black, female (only his unseen and unheard female cohorts), or gay. Well, maybe if I was black I wouldn’t imagine God any other way than black. If I was female, I might find it hard to not believe there was an equally powerful female God. And if I was gay, I might find it hard to believe that God had never been attracted to someone of the some sex.

        I’m saying that the foundational argument for some of the institutional positions on complicated issues can in some way just be reduced to projections that are convenient for the powers that be.

        What a sad abuse of the humanist doctrine. The universe is so much bigger than me. It is so much bigger than the human species, or the Earth, or even our own Milky Way galaxy. If we had continued the “think big” tradition of the early Mormons, what interesting and crazy ideas would have accompanied the scientific and intellectual developments of the 20th century?

  6. Anonymous
    October 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I want to thank the participants for discussing what at times approaches misandry within the church. This is a problem which,  I as a male in the church, have noticed in both society and the church. This is a topic that is generally not discussed because, in some ways, it is a politically taboo subject. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This rhetoric is corrosive to the male psyche and the male self image.

  7. October 28, 2011 at 5:36 am

    im not mormon so i dont know but which is considered worse in lds, having sex before marriage, getting a temple divorce, or being single for ones whole life?

    thanks for your help guys. 

    love the show, big fan 

    • Dan Wotherspoon
      October 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      Great question, Jack! Thanks for asking it! 

      I don’t even know where to begin, as I think you’d see lots of people come down on any one of the three being the least favored. If I had to guess what a survey of typical Mormons would say, they’d probably say sex outside of marriage is the worst because temple divorces and the being single one’s whole life are easier to imagine as not being that person’s “fault” to the same degree as unmarried sex.

      I’m not digging my tradition’s rhetoric on any of this. I think the LDS gospel has gorgeous ways of supporting everyone in any of these situations. Culture/habits of mind? Not all that great. I think the main problem is Mormons like to always imagine the “ideal” and rarely address head on the fact that many lives don’t match up. I don’t know why this is so other than it being human nature, but in the LDS case, I also sense leaders fear that offering beautiful views of God’s love, forgiveness, that any life can turn around, that there are joys that can be found no matter what your situation might lead to less of a commitment among hearers to striving toward the ideal (especially if taught to youth). I hate that there is this lack of trust in people (and God!) that they shy away from emphasizing these most important Christian teachings.

  8. October 28, 2011 at 5:40 am

    “men cant control themselves”, that is insulting and sick 

  9. Matthew
    October 30, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Thanks again for another fine podcast.  I was intrigued by Derrick’s notion of owning the law of chastity, seeing it not as a set of prescribed rules, but rather as flowing from one’s own sense of rightness with God.  But as much as I agree with that idea, I don’t see it as being particularly compatible with the way the church works.  What if in my own personal relationship with God I feel absolutely fine with premarital sex?  That is a position that could never be accepted by the church, nor by almost all of the members, despite all the rhetoric about working out one’s own salvation, finding one’s own spiritual path, etc.  It seems we’re only allowed to take this kind of personal approach to any gospel principle if in the end we come to the conclusion that the rules already prescribed by the church are exactly the right ones.

    • November 1, 2011 at 12:21 am

      Thank you for responding, Matthew.  I can definitely see where you are coming from–sitting in Church and hearing the message of “sameness” come through can make it difficult to believe that leaders truly trust the members’ agency and discretion to know what is right.  However…I still firmly believe it is possible.

      To answer your hypothetical question: “yes but.”  I think about how Adam and Eve are revered in our scriptures for their decision to “break” a commandment, because they could see how to obtain the higher truth.  I understand that our church culture is highly “sheepish” sometimes, but I don’t think that comes from scripture, doctrine, or  truth.  I predict that that culture will only get more and more open as the Information Age becomes more and more the present reality.

      So, yes, but I am not totally saying that morals are totally relative.  I can’t personally imagine myself ever feeling fine with premarital sex–not because the Church teaches that it is wrong, but because I would feel disrespectful of my partner, and of the sexuality that I believe is sacred.  Again, not sacred because anyone in a suit and tie has stamped sex with a sacred label, but because it FEELS sacred to me, worthy of my reverence.  If someone honestly didn’t feel that way, how could I condemn them?  But for me, it feels right to surround sex with the wholeness and commitment of a marriage commitment.

      The reason I am optimistic that it’s possible to have this mentality as an active Church member: when it really comes down to it, total conformity is not a principle of the Gospel, as much as it is a characteristic of our culture.  The Church discourages local leaders from making temple recommend questions any more specific than they are written–I see this as permission to live the gospel how we truly believe we should, and to have the freedom to honestly answer the questions how we believe is right.

      Why do you think it can’t be that way? I may be missing something from your point.  (Love the discussion, by the way!)

  10. Jake
    October 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I attended a singles ward for a number of years and remember the continual exhortations, threats, etc. about getting married. The prevailing attitude among the ward and stake leadership seemed to be that we were all just too picky. Our bishop used to say “we were all a bunch of sixes chasing tens.”  It was insulting then as it is now when I think about it. How grateful I am now that I didn’t succumb to the pressure and marry somebody I didn’t really love just to b able to check off the temple marriage box on the list of commandments. How nice now to be able to appreciate someone for who they are without that being distorted by their marital status.

    • Anonymous
      November 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      One reason I’ve delayed marriage is because people tend to misunderstand me. I have a remarkable ability in creative genius that has shown light in times when creating my own businesses and projects. However, this is not easily communicated except when the end result is seen. For this reason, in dating, I many times feel like I’m selling myself short. When a girl sees my work, her interest increases dramatically. And all the ladies who have pursued me have been those who have been “seduced” by this talent. However, if I am at a singles event or ward party or just church with people I don’t know (it’s been many years now), I don’t get the same respect.

      Now I am working on a new 5-10 year project that combines business, art, cutting-edge regenerative medicine, and charity. I’m not doing this for the women. It’s my passion. I could get married now, but honestly, many of the women I’ve met don’t treat me with the respect they normally do once they understand me and what I do. There’s no way I’m going to settle for that inferior sort of relationship just as I’m not settling on my passion and what I’m about to give to humanity.

  11. Beatrice
    October 31, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Derrick’s comments motivated me to write my own post about the church’s stance on teaching rules or teaching principles.  Check it out if you are interested. 

    http://gbbothsidesnow.blogspot.com/2011/10/on-obedience-parenting-styles-and.html

    • November 1, 2011 at 12:26 am

      Cool, Beatrice!  Excited to sink my teeth into it…

  12. TK
    October 31, 2011 at 6:55 am

    A few thoughts on maybe why a portion of us (LDS twenty-somethings) are single and faltering in the church: 

    Using myself as an inductive example, I am a late twenties, bachelor’s degree holding (engineering at BYU), mission served, raised in the church, above-average salaried professional. Yet, for all this (seeming) success and put-togetherness I am a frequent pornography user. Maybe I could be classified as a high functioning addict–but I’m not very fluent in psychoanalysis. I’ve definitely fallen into the mentioned cycle of use, guilt, distance from others, use, etc… I think part of the driver for this cycle is the clear, forceful message that pornography use destroys relationships and families. So, it seems that in a long drawn out decision making process, I have chosen to minimize the victims of my pornography use by choosing not pursue any lasting relationships. So here I stand, no prospects for marriage, declining social skills, awash in money I saved and invested in the still subconscious hope of a family, a bit estranged from the doctrines I so fervently preached as a missionary.

    Yet I’m still active (in the classical sense of attendence) in the church (though I find Sunday school blindingly boring). I’m frequently overseas for months at time for my job (which is extremely stressful) and have ample opportunity and motivation to disregard other church teachings (such as the WoW), but I easily decline. It seems that sexual sin is my Achilles’s heel, but I’ve had opportunities for premarital sex but, again, I have chosen against doing so. I feel spiritually rudderless with no story to follow. You may say that I feel that way because my life is not such that I can have the gift of the holy ghost, and you’re probably right.

    Maybe there are not many of us, but this story of sexually frustrated, guilt-ridden believing (yet otherwise successful) has left some of us singles without good idea how to deal with the church. On the other side, most of my peers use pornography and they are all well-adjusted, intelligent, oft-married, and guilt-free (at least of pornography use)–an enticing position.

  13. TK
    October 31, 2011 at 6:55 am

    A few thoughts on maybe why a portion of us (LDS twenty-somethings) are single and faltering in the church: 

    Using myself as an inductive example, I am a late twenties, bachelor’s degree holding (engineering at BYU), mission served, raised in the church, above-average salaried professional. Yet, for all this (seeming) success and put-togetherness I am a frequent pornography user. Maybe I could be classified as a high functioning addict–but I’m not very fluent in psychoanalysis. I’ve definitely fallen into the mentioned cycle of use, guilt, distance from others, use, etc… I think part of the driver for this cycle is the clear, forceful message that pornography use destroys relationships and families. So, it seems that in a long drawn out decision making process, I have chosen to minimize the victims of my pornography use by choosing not pursue any lasting relationships. So here I stand, no prospects for marriage, declining social skills, awash in money I saved and invested in the still subconscious hope of a family, a bit estranged from the doctrines I so fervently preached as a missionary.

    Yet I’m still active (in the classical sense of attendence) in the church (though I find Sunday school blindingly boring). I’m frequently overseas for months at time for my job (which is extremely stressful) and have ample opportunity and motivation to disregard other church teachings (such as the WoW), but I easily decline. It seems that sexual sin is my Achilles’s heel, but I’ve had opportunities for premarital sex but, again, I have chosen against doing so. I feel spiritually rudderless with no story to follow. You may say that I feel that way because my life is not such that I can have the gift of the holy ghost, and you’re probably right.

    Maybe there are not many of us, but this story of sexually frustrated, guilt-ridden believing (yet otherwise successful) has left some of us singles without good idea how to deal with the church. On the other side, most of my peers use pornography and they are all well-adjusted, intelligent, oft-married, and guilt-free (at least of pornography use)–an enticing position.

    • Jacob Brown
      October 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

      I think sexually frustrated, guilt-ridden, and believing probably describes the majority of Mormon singles. I was there and I see my two younger siblings struggle with it right now. I can not imagine you are alone in this dilemma between following the desires of your heart or following the desires of the institution. For some people the black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking works well. It can provide a sense of stability and security. For others, that same hyper-confidence in the LDS tradition erodes away self.

      I like the reframing of the law of chastity presented in the podcast, though I might take it a bit farther. To unmarried people, the law of chastity boils down to no sexual experience until you are married. Why not take ownership of the law of chastity yourself? How would you define the goals and limits of your own sexuality in a way that will be a blessing to you and others? Is your pornography use the root problem or is symptomatic of a life that is incomplete?

      Guilt is rarely transformative. It often tells us something is wrong, but it doesn’t always point directly to the root problem.

      • Eric
        November 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm

        Being married, I’m not in much of a position to give much advice to TK about dealing with sexual issues. But I have to agree with Jacob that a better approach to dealing with the porn problem is looking at it as a symptom rather than a problem. Think of it kind of like a fever — while sometimes there’s something to be said for dealing with a fever directly (like with a cold shower!), in serious cases it may be necessary to deal with the underlying disease directly.

        I’m not suggesting that finding the answer will be easy, but perhaps it would be possible to find some healthy and acceptable way to meet the need that you’re trying to fulfill through porn. The cycle of guilt just isn’t very productive.

        • an out of the box idea....
          January 13, 2012 at 7:16 am

          Well articulated TK.

          This is such a human, human topic… yet it’s made out to be sooooo extreme.
          TK is a normal american human being (sure there are wierd messed up freaks out there.. typically 3% according to certain studies)

          but most single mormon men nowadays awashed in the secular pornographic/anti-male culture find themselves in a difficult position.. as most have been raised in a shame/guilt based black/white culture within the LDS church.
          It’s a tough situation for sure.. for the typical church going, BYU RM engineer church member.

          BUT! there still is a little grey in the church which gives me hope.

          Let me explain
          -missionary discussions do not delve into an investigators porn/masturbation history
          -missionaries (19-21 yr old zone leaders/ap) interview for baptism
          -these missionaries do not ask  “when was the last time you masturbated” as stake presidents do
          -there is an increase in WOMEN going on missions
          -most of these women want to be successful on their missions
          -these sister missionaries often are super, super genuine and dedicated to their investigators
          -even though these sisters who LOVED the twilight series, they have been raised to RUN AWAY from pornography users by Julie Beck and the priesthood.
          -the missionary discussions does not delve into masturbation/porn addictions.
          -it’s also not one of the BIG 5 questions you need to ask (Murder, Homosexuality etc..)
          -50%+ mormon men have this as an intermittent issue… the ratio is likely much higher for investigators. 
          -there are many stories of converts not finding out about this commandment and finding out about the consequences of violating this commandment.

          Soooo….   wouldn’t it be awesome!! if Sister Missionaries (with Julie Beck as the fellowshipper) were required to ask their investigators about their porn usage as a requirement to join our church.

          I really wonder how many men/women would qualify to be converted to the LDS

          and if the sacrament is just a renewal of the baptism covenant.. I ask of you … what’s the difference????  

          So.. TK maybe you could leave the church.. come back as an investigator… and then the sisters of the church would LOVE you!! and want to marry such a great guy

          • Just a girl
            February 6, 2012 at 9:10 am

            As a female who has struggled with porn, I find this a very difficult topic. Porn addiction is always associated as a male problem and that so many boys do it, just confess and get help, etc. There aren’t a lot of avenues for a girl who struggles with the addiction to go down. I told my bishop once, but it was so humiliating and he didn’t really have a lot to tell me.

            Statistics tell you that other women struggle with this addiction, yet when you look up talks about this or anything, it is always directed as a male problem and the female perspective is always how she stood by her husband and he worked out this problem.

            For me, it all started when I was thirteen and got raped… it led to an insatiable curiosity about sex which in turn led to an addiction to porn. When you tell people that they give you answers like “it is understandable” and “the majority of rape victims become addicted to porn” instead of getting the real life suggestions as to what you can do to combat it.

            The whole things leaves you feeling incredibly unworthy and utterly defeated.

  14. Cadence Woodland
    October 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    The law of chastity discussion was spot on.

  15. November 1, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I really appreciated Kayela’s comments on how difficult it is to fully jump into a career or life path that could potentially be put to a stop when women have kids if they decide to stay at home. It almost feels wasteful. It struck me that this a big underlying reason why I’ve had great trepidation committing and investing in any graduate programs or a single career path. It is sad to me that I’ve had that sort of reservation, because it seems mainly driven by fear.. fear of not succeeding, of not following through, or of really growing to love something completely and then having to give it up. But really, I think motherhood is just a season in our lives, and women are so much more than mothers and wives, which when properly realized can make them actual better mothers and wives.. more independent and able to enrich the lives of those people they love the most by sharing a more developed gift of self– which I believe is the greatest gift we can give anyone.  

    I’m really grateful for Megan’s example of following her heart in her balancing her family and career, and giving proper attention to both. I loved the discussion about how our stories do not and should not always follow a cookie cutter mold, and we need to be more accepting of different stories, for others and ourselves. 

    And Derrick, is there any way you could post that article your professor wrote? That is a really beautiful concept of relating our own sexuality back to the earth. I really think it is critical that we do own the law of chastity. I gave a lesson on it earlier this year and then was asked to speak in sacrament on it, and it was amazing really studying and learning for the first time the variety of reasons for the law of chastity– which always stem back to the greatest reason of God’s love for us and desire for us to be happy. Neil A. Maxwell said that we should be philosophical defenders of chastity as well as practicers, and I feel that if we really understood the beauty and blessings of it, instead of focusing so much on the proscriptions– it would become more of a joy to practice it and we wouldn’t have so many problems with the restrictions– our adherence to the law would be a more natural result of our reverence for our own souls and the souls of others. It’s something I wish we could have more open discourse about in church, because it really is beautiful and makes so much sense!

    Thank you so much for the insights! This was a really great blend of backgrounds and attitudes coming together to form another great podcast 🙂

    • November 7, 2011 at 2:19 am

      I spoke with my professor and found out that she is fine with me sharing it, but it is not published.  Anyone interested, just email me derrific at gmail.com.  

  16. Carolinabell68
    November 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I have a friend who is divorced.  She fell in love with a non member.When I told my husband about it he felt it wasn’t a good idea.  Why is it that some believe that a “non member” will drag us to perdition and unhappiness. We need to be careful that our Young Women don’t think that member/RM = righteousness /happiness.  There are members who treat their wives or husbands horribly, with hold affection and intimacy among other things.  Yet, because they are members, or have pioneer ancestry, are returned missionaries, High priests, etc, we believe they may be closer to exalted state.  I have been married for 20 years and maybe in my 20’s I would have thought differently but now I have seen too many dysfunctional mormon sealed marriages.

  17. Eric
    November 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Although I am far from young and far from single, I found the podcast interesting. While the tendency isn’t unique to the church, I hadn’t particularly noticed before how much of our rhetoric is often derogatory toward men. It’s actually a bit disturbing.

  18. Anonymous
    November 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I am serious when I say the first and foremost reason I left the church was because of doctrines, history, etc. shattering my testimony and utterly destroying any confidence I had left as a church member.

  19. Nicholas Hubbard
    November 16, 2011 at 4:25 am

    I just got done listening to your podcast thing. I thought it was pretty interesting. I wish that I could go back and read everything instead of having to listen to it again. Meh, I’ll get over it. I just had a few thoughts because the gal Megan is married, and the one guy has been in a long term relationship. I’m not sure what the host’s “status” is but he seemed pretty objective about everything. I thought that you’d appreciate my point of view on such things because I’m single as they come, so I’ll share a few thoughts. I can’t remember everything but a few things stick out that I’d like to take a stab at. 

    One of the first segments was about being an older young single adult in the Church and I guess I’m right there with you. I’m almost 27 and I have been in singles wards since I got home off my mission. I went to school in Rexburg so my dating experiences are sort of whacked, like going on a date with a girl that was sick and on prednisone (prescription steroids if you didn’t know). Every girl that I have ever thought about dating has never worked out beyond a second date. Imagine how out of place I feel when I go to singles wards and activities. I have lost all desire to go to Church except to partake of the sacrament. It’s sad but true. 

    I think that for “most” people, the Church provides an adequate vehicle for singles on the path of marriage and starting a family. However, I can’t help but think I’m on the fringe of falling through the cracks of LDS culture. 

    I am very disenfranchised when it comes to dating and relationships. Part of it is the sum of my negative experiences and their influence on my perspective. I get very turned off when people are hypocritical or plain dishonest about themselves. I get very ticked off when people try to justify their behavior that is contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Refer to my status from Sunday about a young woman being “a career driven person” and you’ll get an idea of what I mean. And I know you guys talked a bit about it and for the most part I agree, except I think that it’s important to understand the predominant role of both parents in the Gospel, and that is to raise a righteous family. Anything that puts the family at a lower priority is not of God, and I don’t care who you are or what you think, God would never ever give someone revelation that would be contrary to keeping the family the highest priority. It puts me in a weird situation because in some ways because I feel a responsibility to have a family, yet I cannot find the right opportunity to experience such. 

    I understand where you’re coming from on the whole women are great men are pigs thing and I recognize there are more women are great talks from conference, however there are several talks on what a righteous priesthood holder should be as a husband and father, aside from keeping their eyes from looking at porn. 

    http://lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/priesthood-responsibilities?lang=eng

  20. Nicholas Hubbard
    November 16, 2011 at 4:25 am

    I just got done listening to your podcast thing. I thought it was pretty interesting. I wish that I could go back and read everything instead of having to listen to it again. Meh, I’ll get over it. I just had a few thoughts because the gal Megan is married, and the one guy has been in a long term relationship. I’m not sure what the host’s “status” is but he seemed pretty objective about everything. I thought that you’d appreciate my point of view on such things because I’m single as they come, so I’ll share a few thoughts. I can’t remember everything but a few things stick out that I’d like to take a stab at. 

    One of the first segments was about being an older young single adult in the Church and I guess I’m right there with you. I’m almost 27 and I have been in singles wards since I got home off my mission. I went to school in Rexburg so my dating experiences are sort of whacked, like going on a date with a girl that was sick and on prednisone (prescription steroids if you didn’t know). Every girl that I have ever thought about dating has never worked out beyond a second date. Imagine how out of place I feel when I go to singles wards and activities. I have lost all desire to go to Church except to partake of the sacrament. It’s sad but true. 

    I think that for “most” people, the Church provides an adequate vehicle for singles on the path of marriage and starting a family. However, I can’t help but think I’m on the fringe of falling through the cracks of LDS culture. 

    I am very disenfranchised when it comes to dating and relationships. Part of it is the sum of my negative experiences and their influence on my perspective. I get very turned off when people are hypocritical or plain dishonest about themselves. I get very ticked off when people try to justify their behavior that is contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Refer to my status from Sunday about a young woman being “a career driven person” and you’ll get an idea of what I mean. And I know you guys talked a bit about it and for the most part I agree, except I think that it’s important to understand the predominant role of both parents in the Gospel, and that is to raise a righteous family. Anything that puts the family at a lower priority is not of God, and I don’t care who you are or what you think, God would never ever give someone revelation that would be contrary to keeping the family the highest priority. It puts me in a weird situation because in some ways because I feel a responsibility to have a family, yet I cannot find the right opportunity to experience such. 

    I understand where you’re coming from on the whole women are great men are pigs thing and I recognize there are more women are great talks from conference, however there are several talks on what a righteous priesthood holder should be as a husband and father, aside from keeping their eyes from looking at porn. 

    http://lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/priesthood-responsibilities?lang=eng

  21. May 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I would really like if there was a way to get this in a printed version. I would much rather read what you are saying, it fits better into my day.
    I am enjoying these podcasts, having never attended a session of YSA branch, I am really enjoying what you have to say, what I can do to help make those in the church feel more welcome. What you go over pertains to more people than just those YSA in the ward.

  22. May 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you! Great podcast. I really appreciate you guys putting it together!

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