Mormon News, August 24–28

In the News

When the 80-member BSA executive board voted last month to allow gay men to be leaders, the LDS Church hinted that it might leave the organization. But in a new statement this week, it agreed to stay with the scoutslightpost—at least for now—while affirming that the church would accept the stated allowance to still select scout masters “according to their religious and moral values.” The news settles the speculation, including a rumor this week that spread widely across Facebook, that the church had already decided to break with the Scouts. Emily Jensen, writing at By Common Consent, wondered why the church used the word “youth” in statements referring to young men, and no word about how these rulings might affect the other youth, the young women.

When trailers for Once I Was a Beehive hit theatres, there were audible sniggers as people imagined a sugary sweet, stereotypical portrayal of an LDS girls’ camp. However, the film has garnered excellent reviews, Sean P. Means (Salt Lake Tribune) giving it 3.5 stars, and word-of-mouth buzz favorable. Now Purdie Distribution has purchased national rights from director Maclain Nelson, and Samuel Goldwyn Films will handle the digital and streaming side of it. The film follows Lane Speer, a non-Mormon who participates in a girls’ camp for a week after a year of upheaval.

In his book Date-onomics, quoted in Time magazine this week, Jon Birger looked at shifting demographics and how they are impacting traditional dating practices, including dating among LDS young people. There are, according to the author, about 150 Mormon women for every 100 Mormon men in Utah. In singles wards the numbers are even more dramatic, approaching a 2:1 ratio of women to men due to the greater number of men who fall into inactivity or leave the church. This might not be a problem in other cultures, but Birger finds that Mormonism pitches “getting married and having children” as “more than a lifestyle choice. Marriage and motherhood are essentially spiritual obligations.” More women in Utah than elsewhere turn to plastic surgery, including breast augmentation and Botox, to compete in the dating game.

On the Blogs

Ardis Parshall wrote this week about being single in a church that places non-stop emphasis on marriage and family. She explained that it isn’t just specific lessons on family and marriage but a “pervasive assumption of marriage” that radiates from constant references; everything from how to teach children to stories at the beginning of sacrament talks about how husbands and wives meet. Parshall’s post generated over 100 comments and spawned newspaper articles and online discussions.

News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor