Item from the Smart
Marriages Archive, reproduced in the Divorce Statistics
"Holy Matrimony : In Era of Divorce, Mormon Temple Weddings Are Built
to Last "
By WILLIAM LOBDELL, L.A. TImes Saturday, April 8, 2000
The 1999 marital statistics for
Orange County are: 19,758 marriages, 12,156 divorces.
born-again Christians' divorce rate is higher (27% of all adults) than
it is for non-Christians (24%), according to a recent survey by the Barna
other Christians or Jews' divorce rates: about the same as the national
Mormons who marry in a temple: While other Mormons divorce at the usual
rate, only 6%
of those who undergo the demanding temple marriage break up, according to
Brigham Young University professor Daniel K. Judd.
The low rate, many Mormons say, stems both from church requirements for
marriages and from the character of people who are motivated to meet them.
How do they do it?
1. They date within their faith.
If you date only Mormons, you'll marry a Mormon. And this translates into
a guarantee of shared background, beliefs and values--or one less thing
2. They make sure they're committed to their faith. As part of the marriage
pact, each couple commits to going to
services regularly, visiting the temple, tithing and following the
3. They get their lives squared away before marriage. In premarital sessions,
a local Mormon leader sits down with couples and makes sure they are living
by the standards of the church.
They are tested on such things as their faith, their relationships with
family, their sexual conduct and their use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
4. They make the wedding ceremony sacred.
You'll find no bridesmaids, best men or wedding cakes at a temple
marriage. It's a small ceremony with close family and friends, all who have
to be in
good standing with the church to attend. "It's not a spectacle."
5. "Until death do you part" isn't enough. They marry for eternity.
6. They believe the family that prays together stays together. Mormons are
taught to have family prayer time in the morning and evening,
along with a scripture reading sometime during the day.
7. They send their young men on two-year missions, which gets them used
the stresses and strains of living with someone 24 hours a day, seven
"You have to learn to live with someone," Poduska said. "And
helped me become a good husband. You learn how to pick your battles."
8. They get help when they have a problem.
When trouble looms, married couples are encouraged to seek the counsel of
their local bishop.
"Sometimes they come in themselves," said Warren Inouye, a Mormon
in Orange County. "And sometimes they are called in."
There's no marriage police, but Mormons do get monthly home visits from
someone in the church, and if something seems out of whack in the
the bishop will be alerted.
9. They believe children create happy, stable marriages.
10. They forget about "Monday Night Football" or "Ally McBeal."
Mormon families have what they call "family home evenings," usually
Mondays. That's when the TV goes off, and the family either tackles a
spiritual lesson or simply plays board games and eats treats.
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