Last night I watched a documentary called Young, Mormon and Single. It was about Mormon people who hadn’t yet found their ‘eternal companion’ so went to duck beach for a weekend to meet other single Mormons.
It was surprisingly quite upsetting. Mormons believe that unless they get married in a Mormon temple then they will not get to go to the celestial kingdom where all their families will be. So yeah…there’s quite a lot of pressure for them to get married.
Here were people at the age of 25 thinking that they were too old to be unmarried and worried that they would spend the rest of eternity without their families. How depressing!
I always enjoy watching documentaries about other groups of people and cultures because I feel we can learn something from looking at other ways of living life. What did I learn from this? Well I’m not sure what the documentary makers were intending to portray but this is what I thought:
1) Making people think they have to get married to spend eternity with their families is cruel and results in quite a few depressed and desperate young people. In my opinion marriage should be about creating a union, and I’m concerned that perhaps some of these people try to convince themselves that they have met their eternal companion just so they can get married. After all if someone held a gun up to my head and said, “Marry this guy or you’ll never see your family again” then I might just do it!
2) How to party without alcohol. Yes, we can learn something from everyone and I think this is what the Mormons can teach us! They don’t drink, but were there for a weekend of parties and awkward social situations. How do you cope with that without beer as a social crutch? Their answer was to drink loads of energy drinks! But also they had a variety of games to play to encourage people out of their shell and to get them interacting. One girl said that by not drinking they had to be more willing to make a fool of themselves and not be shy.
I remembered back to my youth were I used to pretend to be drunk. I knew that I could get ‘hyper’ without the need to drink. Unfortunately that’s not really socially acceptable in this part of the uk so I always kept a bottle of something in my hand and let others believe I was drunk. Now that seems really backwards. Why can’t we accept that we can do silly things, let our hair down and have a good time without alcohol? I can still get hyper when I’m with my cousins and sisters but the deep impression of social norms have caught up with me and I’ve got older too, so yes- I use alcohol as a social crutch when I’m around strangers. But I wish we were in a society where this wasn’t the case.
Frank ???(to fill in later with link) thinks that when you interact when drinking it’s all a bit fake. He doesn’t see the point and is now tee total. I completely understand this and am very tempted to go teetotal myself. If only beer didn’t taste so good!
3) You can take the alcohol out of the girl but you can’t take the girl out of acting slutty.
Something that has long been debated is whether religion is linked to morality. Religion certainly offers a strict moral code but even if these rules are adhered to does it make you a more moral person? The singletons on the tv program were not allowed to drink or have sex or even kiss each other. Naively I thought this was because of their moral standards and imagined them to all look for the inner beauty in people, really spending time getting to know them and not getting caught up in materialistic qualities like the clothes or cars owned by potential mates. However this group of singletons wasn’t at the moral level I imagined. Like in every group of young people, there was the Slut. The one that flirted overtly with all the men but doesn’t want to date any of them. The men wanted to date her and the women hated her. There was also the Awkward Guy. The one for whom social events, conversation and adhering to fashion codes doesn’t come easily. Seeing as they were looking for a lifetime partner I was expecting him to be accepted into the group and for people to want to get to know him better. But no, he was the excluded runt of the litter. And sadly his religious views dictate that he remain a lifelong virgin. Bummer!
So the ‘no drinking, no kissing’ rules were kept impeccably but I think the whole reasoning behind them may have been lost as there were plenty of hot tub parties, bikini twister games and bitchiness towards other girls going on.
Religious? Yes. Moral? No more so than anyone else. Shallow and narrow minded people exist in all societies.
Threat of never seeing your family in the celestial kingdom + wanting to have sex – alcohol – sex – kissing = some desperate, depressed and likely confused people!