Divorce

(also see “Dating” and “Families, eternal”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Faithful Mormons married in the temple have a significantly lower divorce rate than the general population. The teachings of the church encourage couples to stay together and promote family values. There are many programs available in the church to strengthen marriages.  Faithful Mormons who choose the right will not commit infidelity, a common cause of heartache and divorce.
 
An example of how Mormon prophets and apostles encourages marriage is from Spencer W. Kimball’s teachings: “‘Soul mates’ are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price.” This counsel is applicable to dating, but it is also applicable to divorce. Faithful Mormons who pay the price of obedience, sacrifice, and charity can make almost any marriage work and be blessed by God.
Some Mormons who stop believing and leave the church find themselves with a strong marriage. Some of these couples feel that they have to give the church some credit for helping them develop this marriage. Mormonism encourages couples to stay together and work through difficulties. There is no way to know for sure, but many people with strong marriages wonder if they would have stuck it out were it not for the church. Thus, the nonbeliever might agree with the believer’s sentiment: faithful Mormons married in the temple have a significantly lower divorce rate than the general population. The teachings of the church encourage couples to stay together and promote family values. There are many programs available in the church to strengthen marriages.  Faithful Mormons who choose the right will not commit infidelity, a common cause of heartache and divorce.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Because divorce is so discouraged in Mormonism, there might be some couples who stay together longer than they should. There are many instances when the best thing for the children or one or both spouses is to get divorced. It’s possible that in some instances divorce is wrongly delayed and suffering unnecessarily prolonged due to teachings of the church. In some instances it might be better to divorce sooner, before the relationship between spouses is toxic, to allow exes to get along better. In addition, the teaching from President Kimball listed in the pro section above can also be a con, since it implies that those with failed marriages did not pay the price or were not righteous enough. Losing an eternal family via divorce is devastating and thus made worse in that it is an outward sign of failure, which can influence many to hold on to a broken marriage much longer than necessary. Faithful Mormons who remarry after divorce face the emotionally difficult task of getting their previous sealing canceled by the first presidency.
The nonbeliever is likely to agree with the cons listed in the believing section, and they are not reproduced here for the sake of brevity.
 
See the “Dating” section – due to less time spent dating and no sexual intimacy before marriage, it’s possible that many Mormon couples are actually a poor match. When one person stops believing in the church, this can be a big deal breaker because of the fear that disbelief will break up an eternal family. Many couples had little in common with each other in the first place when they got married aside from sexual tension and religious beliefs. As marriages progress and sexual tension is lost, and when beliefs are no longer held in common, many couple find little common ground with each other. For many couples, Mormonism thus creates a situation that promotes unhappy marriages and divorce.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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