Tue
Nov 15 2011 11:00am

Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, and the So-Called Mormon Agenda

Edward and Bella in Twilight: Breaking DawnI am not a religious person. Oh, I have flirted with one or two over the years, would probably have called myself a Christian as a child and, as an impressionable Australian teen, was even coerced into spending some time at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by some cute American missionaries. I actually think it was that experience, more than any other, that set me on the path to profound atheism; I am, like British humorist Douglas Adams, “a radical atheist,” because “I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and it’s an opinion I hold seriously.”

It may have been Joseph Smith’s magical “golden tablets” that did it. I mean, really?

This does not, of course, mean that I am opposed to spirituality in others; I not only applaud but admire anyone of deep faith—at least, as long as they offer me the same courtesy. There is, I will admit, a part of me that wonders if anyone raised in Catholicism, in Judaism or in Islam (just as examples), and who has never even once questioned their teachings, has really given the matter enough thought, but I think each one of the many, many religions humanity variously holds sacred offers up at least a nugget of wisdom and a particle of deeper truth from which we can all learn, regardless of our avowed creed.

All of which is a preamble to this statement: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and its sequels may well reflect her Mormon belief system and, as has oft been claimed, push a Latter-day Saints agenda upon young girls the world over—but who cares?

Academics like UCLA’s Angela Aleiss have pointed out the manner in which Bella dutifully cooks and cleans for her father, doesn’t drink coffee or alcohol, and eats meat sparingly, all precepts of the faith. She considers Twilight’s sparkly vampires the paranormal romance equivalent of Mormonism’s angels, and believes Bella’s teen, immortal marriage to be a reflection of Mormon doctrine. “It’s possible that Meyer never set out to weave Mormon imagery into the Twilight background,” Aleiss allows. “Yet intentional or otherwise, it’s hard to ignore.”

Twilight by Stephenie MeyerMy question is: why shouldn’t Stephanie Meyer have woven Mormon imagery into the background of her books? Whether intentionally or not, why does anyone care that Bella is a good little helpmeet or that Edward insists on abstinence before marriage? Are we really suggesting that the supposed target market for these novels, the world’s teenage girls, are so utterly helpless in the face of subtext that they will blindly switch faiths and reshape their values based on the described devotion of an impossible supernatural creature, as embodied by Robert Pattinson? Has attendance at Mormon Temples jumped alarmingly among this demographic in the six years or so since Twilight first hit bookshelves? And why “alarmingly;” is Mormonism really so bad, as religions go? Why all the hate? I mean, has no one seen Big Love?

I think on this point the Religious Right, which declares that the media has a liberal bias, might be just a little bit correct. The objections seem to stem mostly from the fact that these books—and I concede this—adhere to many fundamentally conservative ideals. But to this I would counter: so does a lot of Romance.

Whether religious or not, at the core of almost every romance novel is the idea of a Happily Ever After, of a love that will last a lifetime, usually accompanied by marriage and children and all of those things people of faith are sometimes mocked for insisting upon. And if in this case the Happily Ever After happens to be influenced by religious ideology, how dare anyone object? Where’s the tolerance? Where’s the respect? It’s not like you then have to convert; if you don’t like the message, don’t take it on. One of the only tenets of Scientology I find at all appealing is their credo that “It’s only true if it’s true for you,” meaning you don’t have to buy into all of the stuff about the aliens and the past lives and such to join their Church; you can be in it just for the tax breaks and the possible celebrity sightings, and still be welcome in their halls.

So whenever I reread Twilight and its sequels, and companion novella and its Official Guide—as I am sometimes wont to do—I’m not in any way bothered nor offended by the reinforcement of traditional gender roles or the perceptible-but-ignorable undercurrent of religious dogma. None of it happens to coincide with my sense of the universe, but it works for Bella and Edward, and it is their story that has me hooked here, not the larger implications of their endless love.

An Official Breaking Dawn posterIt is just a good story, one that has captured my imagination, delightfully plays with some familiar Urban Fantasy tropes and always takes me back to a time when Sweet Dreams romances, often featuring the “I Can’t Believe the Popular Boy Likes Me!” plotline, always a winner, made up a big part of my reading material. For all her stuttering indecision, I like Bella; for all his stalky, antideluvian ways, I like Edward, and when Breaking Dawn, Part 1 arrives in cinemas so tantalizingly soon, I will be among the throng there on opening night to see the wedding and the honeymoon and the pregnancy and (forgive me) Taylor Lautner’s abs.

So what if it’s Mormon-y? So what if it does lead young girls into exploring that particular faith? (Which I find unlikely.) After all, once they learn the bit about how church leader Brigham Young used to refer to his more than one hundred wives as “heifers,” they’ll probably run away screaming, anyway.

Just as I did.


 

Rachel Hyland is Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.

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25 comments
Tori Benson
1.
I'll be honest-the supposed under current of Mormonism never occured to me until I read this article. Does it really matter? Like you, I read because the story captivated me and I like the premise of not so popular girl getting the sexy brooding guy. :)
SarahGoldberg
2. SarahGoldberg
I have to say, one of the plot elements that one could see a strong justification in through Mormon beliefs did bother me a lot when I read the series (and I should admit that though I've read the first book a couple of times, I've only read the rest of the series once): [probably unnecessary SPOILER alert] that Bella does not consider aborting her pregnancy when it is clear that her life is in danger. Now, this did not bother me because I saw it as being in line with the Mormon anti-abortion position, I was just concerned that the main character seemed to believe -- in this and other cases -- that her own life was not worthwhile. And I consider this more an objection to plot and character development than a moral objection: I thought that if there was a religious motivation for making the plot proceed this way, it made the books weaker. I know this is a touchy subject, and I'd wonder whether readers who consider themselves pro-life had this reaction or whether this is just me being closed-minded in the opposite direction, and not understanding the sacrifice Bella decides to make for her future and future family with Edward. Any takers?
SarahGoldberg
3. Amyj
I never noticed the religious under tones until the media started talking about it. It didn't matter the 1st time or the 6th time I read the books, why should it. I read a nice story and moved on. Yes I will be seeing Breaking Dawn just like I did all the others :).
Christopher Morgan
4. cmorgan
The one thing I could never get over was how flat and helpless Bella was in general. She gets carried around by either Jacob or Edward throughout the entire series like a 100lb sack of plot device. I like my heroines a little more independent and active. I supose that the whole passive/demure female thing could be tied to religion or personal
beliefs, but it just bothers me.

@sarahgoldberg Never thought of it that way, but then I always felt that the series lost it's overall umph, making an already shakey plot worst. With breaking dawn being the weakest of the series. Of course this is also how I feel about the Hunger Games Trilogy and other YA series.
Jay Ringelspaugh
5. jpwire
I think to some extent every author's personal beliefs appear in their work. What's the difference in the Morman undertones when most of the romances have their characters getting married in the Christian Church? Is that acceptable while Morman is not? And look at C.S. Lewis, he definately had religious undertones in his stories which are suppose to be great works of literature. I don't feel that it will have a lasting impact on the girls who are reading. Both of my nieces have read the series and were oblivious to any Morman leanings.
SarahGoldberg
6. CdnMrs
Great post. I have heard the arguement that Twilight pushes the Mormon agenda and I've also read articles by Feminist Scholars that suggest Twilight is warping the minds of young women in this generation through the proliferation of unrealistic relationships. I think that discussing books and literature and having an opinion on it is an important thing and keeping a tab on what our kids and young people are reading is part of our job as a parents, but at a certain point when is it too much? When is it some scholarly type person just trying to make their research/point of view look relevant by jumping on the most recent bandwagon? Twilight, at least the 1st book, is following themes and trends in literature that have been around forever. It's essentially a Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty story with vampires thrown in the mix. I guess haters just gonna hate.
Chelsea Mueller
7. ChelseaMueller
None of it happens to coincide with my sense of the universe, but it works for Bella and Edward, and it is their story that has me hooked here, not the larger implications of their endless love.

That's exactly it. You can appreciate a story even if you have different beliefs or principles than the characters within it.

Really excellent post, Rachel.
Stephanie Treanor
8. Streanor
Really enjoyed this article. I feel that most stories are fueled by religion, you can make that argument for anything really. It speaks to us as human beings and our core beliefs. I do not believe she was pushing a mormon agenda or offending people with her beliefs.

I think however she offends impressionable young readers by speaking to their inner most desires and leaving them with unattanable expectations of men in general.

One of MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.” ? Stephen King

sorry for the HP plug but its so true..
SarahGoldberg
9. SarahGoldberg
@ChelseaMueller Yes, I think both you and Rachel make an excellent point about Bella and Edward's story being what draws you to the series. And thus I must confess that like for @cmorgan the series lost me when I was no longer engaged in their story or relationship (I kept reading not out of attachment but out of curiosity). I definitely had the "100lb sack of plot device" reaction, though not in such evocative language! :)

A book works for me when I find that its elements are both internally coherent to each other and externally to some idea I have of "real world logic" (decision-making strategies in particular!) -- I want to stress: both of which are hugely subjective -- and for whatever reason the latter Twilight books didn't work for me on those grounds. Yet this doesn't keep me from being totally fascinated by them as cultural phenomena! (I'd also like to thank Twilight for making other of my favorite pop culture phenomena possible, like The Vampire Diaries. :D)

@cmorgan THIS IS WHAT I LOOK LIKE ENTHUSIASTICALLY AGREEING WITH YOU ABOUT MOCKINGJAY. But that's a conversation for another day.
SarahGoldberg
10. Canadia
Rachel,

The idea that tolerance is unequivocally good is actually one of the worst liberal biases out there. Live and let live only works when everyone actually follows it, and the truth is that no one does. As a perfect example, look at what happened with Proposition 8. The mormon community banded together and made a concerted effort to prevent gay people from being allowed to get married. Or, look at the campaigns in the US to prevent evolution from being taught in schools. You cannot be "tolerant" of every single belief or belief system. Some are genuinely harmful to society, to the believers, or their dependants. What people think matters to everyone, these days more than ever.

Focusing on the mormon agenda in Twilight, I am surprised at the fact that you are OK with her messege. Maybe it's because you've already grown up and established your own identity. Or maybe it's because you, unlike so many people raised in religious circumstances, were clearheaded, independant, and strong-willed enough to decide against being religious for yourself. Not everyone is as capable as you. Many, many people are unable to question their upbringing, or at least struggle with it. They are unable to see influences for what they are and think for themselves.

If you think that the messages in the Twilight series will not heavily influence a generation of young men and women, reading this as perhaps their first romance or even their first book, you are sadly mistaken. I know that I was heavily influenced by the literature I was exposed to growing up. Some things I had to get over, and some things I kept, but they all left their mark. Are you proposing that young people are no longer influenced by what they read? Worse than that, by not speaking out against the sexist nature of these popular works, you are in fact supporting the propagation of an anti-feminist ideology. As a modern woman, the equality, literacy, and empowerment you enjoy in life is a gift to you from women who fought tooth and nail for generations. Now you want to stand by and let the same messages that put your benefactors in chains be spread among the next generation without so much as a criticism? I find that very sad.
Megan Frampton
11. MFrampton
To add to something @jpwire says, I read C.S. Lewis as a kid, and totally missed the religious undertones because I was raised Atheist. I followed Aslan's philopsophy, not really having one on my own, and boy did I feel foolish and fooled when I figured out it was all based on a religion! But a lot of what Aslan says and believes makes sense, so it still makes sense as a philosophy. So I guess I was inculcated with a religious viewpoint early on, unbeknownst to me, but it didn't change me, I don't think, except for the better.
SarahGoldberg
12. Aestas
Ya but it's not like twilight's message is a harmful one. It's not anti gay or anti evolution or anything that will negatively influence the population. At worst, it encourages teens to wait a bit to have sex which, considering how they are starting younger and younger in today's times, might not be such a bad thing. Also, you have to consider, that just because someone is a big fan of twilight, doesn't also mean that they are going to even take the message to heart no matter how much they love the story. If a belief doesn't harm anyone, why shouldn't it be tolerated. And it's not like this is a book preaching mormonism, it's a love story where the character decide to wait until marriage to have sex. No big deal.
Carmen Pinzon
13. bungluna
I come from the other end of the spectrum. I never read these books because their themes pushed my buttons in the worst way. My sister loves them. I think you have to connect to a story, hidden message be damned. Likewise, a story can repell you for a miriad reasons.

As for today's youths, they are exposed to so many different messages that one book is not going to make that much difference, imo. Most teen readers are not analyzing the subtext, they are either digging the fantasy or riding the trend.
Aestas Aestas
14. Aestas
"Most teen readers are not analyzing the subtext, they are either digging the fantasy or riding the trend."

very well said Bungluna!
Chelsea Mueller
15. ChelseaMueller
@Canadia - Just because not everyone is tolerant doesn't mean it isn't a worthy goal. Sometimes it's better to be the bigger person. Aspiring to truly accept people for who they are and what they believe, without judgment, is a noble idea. Just because it's not a universally accepted practice doesn't discount its power or its importance.

@MFrampton - Yeah, I missed that he was a Jesus allegory and Catholic classes were part of my weekly routine as a kid. I was into Narnia for the adventure.
Christopher Morgan
16. cmorgan
I think MFrampton hit the nail on the head, when we read as youngins' we don'te nessecarily pick up on the subtext but we do internalize the overt. Never got into Lewis, devoured Tolkien though (there's a bromance to write about...). And besides being hopelessly hooked on all things fantasy, I love food, think we should all strive to make the best of our situation, approve of violence only when it is the last option, and above all else belive that we should make the best of the time we have because it ain't a lot.

Overall I think that our parents, not our books, define our belifes as a kid. I mean when I was younger I was a pretty big Southern Baptist, now not so much, but that doesn't mean I don't steal have that core set of values for the most part, also doesn't mean that I'm going to go bash someone's right to marriage or a lady's right to an abortion. Just because someone is religious or has a religious set of values in their work doesn't mean they are going to try to convert the children like some Pied Piper of Christianity...
Kirstie McLavy
17. klbabydoll
Until I read this I had no idea about the religious aspects in and..and I'll say this.. Who cares !!!
As for the comment made about Bella being flat and allowing Jacob or Edward to carry her around as a 100lb sack..well I'll say this, in high school I rememeber a lot of girls trying to come to terms of who they are and what they want in a relationship. I still see that today as a high school teacher. Teenage girls are more emotional and yes they fall for the boys and fall hard. Her behavior is more of what I expect from a teen age girl who's father is not part of the picture, whoes mom has dated a lot and is a little more free natured.
As for Bella feeling her life is not worthy and would rather die then abort her child. Go ask a lot of moms and I bet you 80% would do the same thing. Its about love, an undieing love for their child. And there are not a lot of mom's out their who wouldn't give their life for their child.
And Rachel, just cause someone is shy and learning about themself (and life/relationships) doesn't mean that they can not be a strong person. In the story Bella learns to fight and survive. We do that at some point in our lives. To say this book is sexist is so dead wrong. I bet there is a time in your life you depended on someone else but have grown to be able to be the strong woman you are. Peopel have different views about how their life should be and how they chose to love someone. And that is what the women's movement was really about. Not getting us out of the kitchen but to give us a choice on what we want in our lives. To decide for ourselves, not others make it for us. Just cause it doesn't fit your life style doesn't mean its wrong or will take us back to the stone ages. Is someone in a D/s reltionship abused, weak and belittled?? If your answer to that is yes then you have a lot to learn about others lives. Learn before putting it down.
People this is just that a teen romance story.. a happy ever after with some of todays ideas placed in it. Ask most teenage girls and they would say that these points nver came acroos their minds. I asked my students and they looked at me like I was on something. And I teach at top school in my district. If you want to get all PI then stay away from fiction books and go read books that fit your view and let us just enjoy what Twilight is.. a fiction book about romance.
Megan Frampton
18. MFrampton
@klbabydoll: I think we're mostly in agreement here, that the religious underpinnings of the books don't affect a reader's enjoyment that much, one way or the other; Rachel likes the books and doesn't stress about the religion, and you weren't aware of it. Either way, the result is the same: You are both fans (as I am). And some people just didn't like it, but not because of Meyer's Mormonism.
NICHELLE BELLFIELD
19. romance_junkie_82
I must live under a rock, because I did not know that Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon. I read the Twilight series because my co-workers at the time could not stop talking about a "Sparkly Vampire"!

When I choose a book/series to read, I try to stay away from any biography about the author and her/his personal life. It only taints my view of the story and the writer. And then I'm constantly re-reading the book to find any hidden messages or meanings that aren't even there. People should read a book with an open and objective mind, not with biased views towards the writer's background or possible agenda.

SN: Has Mrs. Meyer made any statements about the religious undertones in her books? I'm re-reading "The Host" and so far I haven't noticed anything suspicious.
Aestas Aestas
20. Aestas
@klbabydoll: very well said!

@ romance_junkie: I too didn't find out until a lot after reading the books that that author was a Mormon and I only found out because some people started making a big deal about it in an article.

I agree, people should read a book just as it is, not coming into it with with preconcieved notions about the author, its message etc. I think everyone should take their own message away, or just enjoy the book as a story. To me, thats what it was, a heart warming romance that I fell in love with. That's it. It didn't change my life view, didn't affect my perspectives on anything, I just loved the story for itself.

Haha and in regards to Narnia, I too didn't find out about the Christian aspect until I was much older. I loved them growing up but to me, they were just adventure stories with a wise lion. The end.
SarahGoldberg
21. roady
FROM ANOTHER POSTER -
One of MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and
doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how
important it is to have a boyfriend.” ? Stephen King


Sums it up quite well.

The goal-less brooder made magically alive by her fantasy of living the perfect, sexy, non-working, maternal, eternal life with the one and only guy she'll ever sleep with is a bad enough heroine. But more sinister... a coven of vampires who are "living morally" by "making the CHOICE" to deny every physical instinct in their bodies that tells them to suck the blood out of humans... ummm, anybody else see the gay parallel there? Coming from a church of people that poured obnoxious amounts of money into a California campaign to take civil and constitutional rights away from loving, taxpaying homosexual couples a few years ago... I find the "moral" lesson of the coven to be foul. Of course, the other vampires who give in to their instinct, are evil and intent on destroying all humanity. Polar bears, hamsters, beetles and hundred of other animals sometimes EAT THEIR YOUNG. That's not evil. It's nature. But back to vampires. Something is rotten in Denmark-- or Forks, Washington. And I came to this conclusion BEFORE I knew Meyer's religious persuation. It didn't click until I saw Eclipse and had a big, eye-rolling moment about a vampire, thousands of years old, who won't sleep with the woman he loves until he signs a very conventional public document to do so . I turned to my Twilight-obsessed friend and said, "Is Stephanie Meyer... religious at all?" That was the first time I heard the word "Mormon" in conjunction with these stories. UCH, I said. I get it now! I had thought the blood-sucking moral highground was just a device to make them sympathetic and safe to "Bella," and for there to be a valid reason why neither this vampire nor his family would kill her. But then I wasn't so sure. Then I saw the trailer for Breaking Dawn. A woman who will be torn apart and killed from the inside by a potentially demonic baby, and she refuses to terminate the pregnancy?? "You have to accept what is?" How about... you have to accept sound medical advice that you will DIE? And the would-be father yelling, "You've given me NO CHOICE?" Again, with choice. But... that's exactly as it should be, right, Stephanie Meyer? NO CHOICE?

Sorry, the whole thing now completely grosses me out. If young women grow up to be older women and make these kinds of decisions for themselves, that's fine, but she's targeting ages that are highly susceptible to the subtext. This is precisely why an author like CS Lewis writes religious stories without calling them out as religious parables. It's a way to get young people into the story (because let's face it, the overtly Christ-y stuff is a turn off when you're a teen), and give them characters they love, who they might even emulate, along with moral messages they will internalize more easily - a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down -- or in this case, a super hot, lusty vampire 'going down' makes the suffering SO worthwhile. I wish this very religious writer would try some HONESTY and at least admit what messages she's sending (some of which are VERY damaging to people fighting for their rights) so that parents, especially mothers, can at least have these conversations with their daughters.
SarahGoldberg
22. Jen Loves Romance
Okay guys, let's be real here. Stephenie Meyers is not the best writer ever in the whole entire universe. Now that we have that established, yes she is Mormon. Being Mormon is kind of a way of life. It's not just going to church on Sundays its a culture, I guess you could say. As a Mormon, I live my religion everyday of my life. I don't think she MEANT to imbue the Twilight series with her personal beliefs, it's just that sometimes it just comes out. Because we live our religion everyday it's like a part of us, it's who we are more than what we do. Sure a lot of what she wrote is kind of in keeping with Mormon standards, but she never blatantly says anything to "push a Mormon agenda." Yes Mormons do not believe Gay people should be married? Does that mean we hate them? No. We just don't agree with their lifestyle. I have many wonderful friends that are gay and I love them as much as I love my straight friends. And the whole polygamy thing is just waay overdone. That was over years and years ago. Mormons do not practice polygamy anymore and Big Love is in no way an accurate reflection of our current or former beliefs. Yes the church did at one time practice polygamy, but it seems as though that and the fact that we oppose gay marriage seem to be the only things we're associated with. Let me tell you that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a lot more than that. Most of us are friendly, normal people just like everybody else out there in the world. Stephenie Meyers is not a great author. Her books, while popular, are not even anywhere near on par to other amazing writers of the past and present. So, instead of focusing on whether or not she meant to "push her Mormon agenda" on someone, can we focus on the fact that Bella is a brainless twit who isn't validated without her sparkly undead boyfriend? Also just as a last note, I know it seems like Mormons are really pushy people, but we really try not to be. I know we come across as wanting to push our agenda and beliefs on others, but we're told very specifically to be accepting and loving of other religions and cultures, and just others in general. Thank you for letting me talk your ear off with this spiel, and if you have any questions, or concerns feel free to reply away. :)
SarahGoldberg
23. Dustin
Hello! Ex-Mormon Utahn gay here...

I don't know/care about the whole Twilight-Mormon-undercurrent thing here, but I have to say...why in the world is this whole teen vamp romance thing taking over so much of the literary world that even Barnes and Noble has set aside a good portion of bookshelf real estate for it?

Have we completely lost our love for all other literature??
SarahGoldberg
24. HeatherD
As an ex-Mormon (first marriage that is now ended was even in a temple! gasp!) and now atheist, I can honestly say that I had never, 1) discovered that the author of these fantastic books is Mormon (until this blog article! I don't think I live under a rock...) nor 2) ever thought while reading, "hey, all this sounds so familiar...why is thaaaaaat...".

Like many others here have noted, I simply enjoyed the odd, new to the neighborhood, awkward teen girl gets hot popular guy plot line. And hey, if he's a vampire that won't kill you, then HELL even better!

Maybe I read these books under a cloud of reality suspension, but I thought Edward insisted on marriage before sex because he was like 100 years old and that's what guys did back then. It was his romantic, old-timey thing. Didn't bother me one bit or make me raise an eyebrow (though I did occasionally find myself yelling "oh good god just f*#&$(@ already!" lol).

And Bella not wanting to get rid of the baby? Again, I didn't find this so ridiculous. I believed the "I'm so connected to this thing growing inside me and I refuse to kill it and I really feel this will all work out...somehow..." story line. (And weirdly, it DID all work out...whew! ;)

Hopeful? Yes. A suspension of reality while reading these books? Yes. But for crying out loud, we ARE reading books about sparkly vampires. And werewolves. I think I can be forgiven for not reading too much into the ins and outs of the plot in an effort to make some real-life religion connection. It just honestly never occured to me and given my upbringing and life until I was about 25? I think any hint and I would have sniffed that crap out in a heartbeat.

And Rachel, I wholeheartedly agree...teen girls won't be signing up to the Mormon faith in droves due to these books, particularly once they actually LEARN about the faith (despite any hot 19 yr old missionaries ;)
SarahGoldberg
25. Scott Edwards
Honestly...I mean, I think it’s absolutely amazing that people can be so easily riled up when religion comes into the picture.

I'm a Mormon, I'll throw it out there.

I don't like the Twilight Series (then again...I'm a guy, which is somewhat stereotypical of a response), but it has nothing to do with my religious beliefs that I pick up a fiction book and read. If I did, then I'd be looking for some kind of answer to a question I have, either learning from some fictional story (if you don't believe in the holy books) or a real life lesson (if you believe them real).

What difference does it make if it can inspire you to live at a proposed higher standard?

Let me ask you this. If you read a fiction book where a person doesn't drink alcohol, do you automatically think 'MORMON!!' or do you think...Oh...he doesn't like the effects or whatever (idc) or don't even notice it. However, as soon as someone mentions some kind of religious belief, it doesn't matter if it’s a personal choice; it's all about the religion!

If you read a book where they don't have sex until they're married, do you think she's a Mormon or that she just doesn't want to put out and be a slut? Where does it EVER promote the word Mormon?

But no!! It all has to do with Mormon beliefs...we all have some kind of moral value and some are less than others. Don't just chop it up to religion, because it's a person’s personal belief that guides their actions, not some religious principle. Ultimately, you choose what you do and IF your parents are enforcing boundaries at a young age, it will stick with the child ALWAYS in the back of their minds.

I think that there are a lot of parents that don't enforce enough boundaries these days; I think the main reason is divorce. Do divorces have a psychological impact of families, most definitely and anyone that argues that is a fool. A broken family will build up a broken heart in a child...sadly, that's most the population these days. Parents too focused on their own lives to help guide their children.

If your child behaves against some belief you don't approve of, it's because of your inability to instruct them. Don't throw your blame around frivolously because you can't face the truth! Step up to the plate and be a parent, instead of blaming everything on media, because a child will always be throw negative advice...but it's up to you to affirm what is good and bad. Be parents, not teenagers spreading the blame.
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