Is Mormonism Good for Families?

No. Just like with any other advertising slogan, the Mormon propaganda about families must be taken with a grain of salt.

1. According to the Mormons, families can be together forever after death. Not really a distinctive teaching, as most people who believe in a life after death think they will spend eternity with their loved ones. What makes the Mormon concept of eternal families unique, though, is its conditional nature. Only Mormons who have been “sealed” to each other in a Mormon temple and who have served the Mormon church until death get to be together as a family. Family members who are not Mormon (anymore), do not belong in Mormon heaven.

2. Mormons take pride in spending one night a week as a family. The question is whether the focus of these church-appointed Monday nights with their church-published lesson materials and church-approved activities is actually on the family or the church?

3. Mormons are pro-family, a fictitious 1950s family. Father goes to work and “presides” over his family. Mother is a housewife and takes care of the children, who honour their parents by growing up to be faithful, obedient Mormons. Such families are not only rare in this day and age, they weren’t the norm in the 1950s either. The “traditional” family is a myth.

4. The Mormon church lays claim to a considerable part of a family’s time and means. For starters, it extracts 10% of the family income, and more if possible. Also, the average Mormon easily spends five to ten hours a week on church assignments, depending on the traveling time to church and to other members (traveling costs also at the family’s expense). This burden can double if one or more family members have leadership positions in the church.

5. The Mormon church is highly segmented. The dozens of organizational units are divided by sex, age, marital status, and combinations thereof. A lot of the time Mormons spend in church, they don’t spend together as families but in separate, church-defined groups.

6. Outside of Utah, the Mormon church is a rather marginal affair. Since Mormons are encouraged to marry within their own religion, families are often geographically torn apart when the children marry Mormon partners from another country, or even continent.

7. Mormon missionary work is a disruptive influence on families. When young men and women go on a church mission, they may not have direct contact with their families for two years, except one phone call on Christmas and one on Mother’s Day. This is impressed upon the missionaries from the day they enter the Missionary Training Centre. Not even funerals of loved ones are an excuse to leave the mission field (emphasis added by

“Your training schedule will not allow time for visits from family or friends. Please advise your family not to request visits, because such visits would distract you and your companion from your training. Please do not meet your family or friends at the temple at any time. Church leaders have also asked that missionaries not be excused from the MTC to attend funerals, marriages, farewells, baptisms, or other family events. While you are at the MTC, all communications with family and others should be limited to weekly letters and/or weekly family e-mails” ( Your Stay at the MTC).

Family… Isn’t it about time?