Religion

Mormon Marriage Madness

Via Everything is Terrible

UPDATE FROM THE COMMENTS! greenishblu sez:

I believe these were all clips from “The Singles Ward,” a rather popular film among a certain segment of the population here in Utah. (Can you guess which segment that would be?)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306069/

Though it’s a Mormon film made for Mormon audiences, I’ll at least give it credit for poking fun at some of the excesses of Mormon culture (spiking the punch with Mountian Dew? Ludicrous, but viewed by SOME Mormons as nearly as OMGWTF as spiking it with Jim Beam.

Also, the title? For those not in the know, unmarried Mormon men and women are encouraged to attend special “Singles Ward” services (a ward being a analogous to, say, a parish) where everyone is single. I guess the idea is to whip up the sexual tension so high that they have no choice but to get hitched.

And that “If you’re over 25 and unmarried, you’re a menace to society” thing? That’s only just BARELY an exaggeration. I’ve heard Mormon women lament hitting 21 without getting married, saying, “If you’re over 21, you’re off the shelf.”

Yeah.

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36 Comments

  1. i, too am pretty confused. If this is real they didn’t drive home the point to a heathen like me. I suppose i’m not worth saving, but still i think it’s a sign that BYU needs to beef up their film / screenwriting program a little. :)

  2. I believe these were all clips from “The Singles Ward,” a rather popular film among a certain segment of the population here in Utah. (Can you guess which segment that would be?)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306069/

    Though it’s a Mormon film made for Mormon audiences, I’ll at least give it credit for poking fun at some of the excesses of Mormon culture (spiking the punch with Mountian Dew? Ludicrous, but viewed by SOME Mormons as nearly as OMGWTF as spiking it with Jim Beam.

    Also, the title? For those not in the know, unmarried Mormon men and women are encouraged to attend special “Singles Ward” services (a ward being a analogous to, say, a parish) where everyone is single. I guess the idea is to whip up the sexual tension so high that they have no choice but to get hitched.

    And that “If you’re over 25 and unmarried, you’re a menace to society” thing? That’s only just BARELY an exaggeration. I’ve heard Mormon women lament hitting 21 without getting married, saying, “If you’re over 21, you’re off the shelf.”

    Yeah.

  3. It’s got to be a spoof. The bit about unblocking MTV is a dead giveaway. I didn’t find it all that funny though. It seemed like it was recut from a longer video that might have been funnier. It was definitely missing something.

  4. I lived in Maui for a year while taking a little break from college in 1981 and I worked in a photo lab developing insanely boring vacation pictures. Some of the most disturbing pictures I developed were from Mormon college age missionaries documenting all the activities severely sexually repressed young men might engage in while living in an isolated spartan dorm setting. (And FSM bless all those non Mormon guys who thought they should be taking pictures for Playboy in the pre-digital age).

  5. The only way this video will make sense is if you have spent a large amount of time with a mormon living in Utah.

    This is from an actual film called “Single’s Ward”, it was made by mormons for mormons, so it’s really confusing to normal people.

    @swordsbane Actually, the MTV thing? It’s true, remember, these are the same people who aren’t supposed to watch R rated movies.

  6. @swordsbane: If you haven’t been to Everything Is Terrible before it might seem odd. Their thing is that they find old videos, PSAs, infomercials, etc. and cut them down to the most ridiculous/depressing bits. Worth checking out if you find that sort of thing funny. I can only take it in small doses, but some of their videos are hilarious.

  7. When I was in high school, I went to BYU, the LDS-church run university, once for a journalism conference.

    When in the cafeteria for lunch, I saw caffeine free Mountain Dew, and my head exploded.

    What the HELL is the point of that? No one drinks Mtn Dew for the taste. No sane people anyway…

    Wait, did I just solve my own riddle there?

  8. Not quite a spoof. It’s a comedy by and for Mormons and it’s certainly tongue-in-cheek, but ultimately it’s meant to be “faith-affirming” or some such shit.

    There’s a whole slew of these Mormon movies, which you just become automatically aware of by having a Utah driver’s license. With most of them, you can pretty much guess the plot from the title like “Mobsters and Mormons” and “Baptists at the Barbecue”… and, oh, I don’t know “Pornstars and Prophets,”

  9. “I think they should sell cigarettes only next door to nuclear power plants. That way, you get cancer, but also treatment at the same time. I think they should sell cigarettes only next door to nuclear power plants. That way, you get cancer, but also treatment at the same time. ”

    LOL

  10. I found this prologue to Eric D. Snider’s review illuminating:

    Please note: “The Singles Ward” is a comedy for Mormons. Non-Mormons will not understand the jokes and won’t laugh. Of course, Mormons, who will understand the jokes, probably also won’t laugh. But anyway. If you’re not Mormon, you can probably skip the review, too.

  11. @ZenMonkey: I can’t vouch for it’s quality, or likely lack thereof. All I know is from the many, many billboards strewn around the city.

    I feel kind of ashamed at my knowledge of Mormon cinema. I never sought this out. It was thrust upon me. Not a blessing, but a curse.

  12. @greenishblu: Well, they were all out of crab juice …

    Personally I don’t mind it (although I’d much prefer the caffeinated variety if I could get it here). It still has insane sugar levels, so it’s got at least one thing going for it.

    For others, well let’s just say it’s not exactly popular, but it is ubiquitous and cheap.

  13. A guy that I used to work with is a Mormon fiction author and he told me once that most Mormon cinema and print plays out like an inside joke. That’s pretty consistent with this clip.

    @greenishblu: there is (or used to be) a store in Utah County called the Crazy Canuck that sells caffeine-free MD, so maybe that’s where BYU gets their supply. I guess like Australia, Canada has caffeine-free MD. /shrug

  14. As a former Mormon, I can confirm that this is more or less based in their extremely strange reality. Like, I don’t know any Mormon women over 21 who aren’t married. I don’t know any with fewer than three children, either. And the no MTV thing was the rule in my house. We stayed away from all caffeine, and all soda just to be safe. Actually, was not aware until right now that Mtn Dew is not caffeine free. Hm.

    I also love anything making fun of them. Not this movie, it’s far too safe and not hard-hitting or filthy in any way, but I may or may not be guilty of drive-by catcalling of the male missionaries. It’s the first and last time a woman will talk to them like that, so…. yeah.

    I’ll share more if anyone cares. Got some weird stories.

  15. Mormons aren’t the only religion with the early marriage fixation. Orthodox Jews have it also. There’s actually discussion in the Orthodox community of a so-called “Shidduch crisis” in that people are waiting longer to get married. (Shidduch is the term used for a semi-arranged marriage).

    It has been suggested that one reason religions are so quick to push for early marriage (aside from the claimed reduction in pre-marital sex) is because it locks people into the religion more effectively. People aren’t nearly as likely to leave the fold once they’ve got kids and a family.

  16. Being the only non-Mormon in my entirely Mormon family, I know exactly where this movie is coming from. Unlike any other faith, Mormonism comes with a barrel of the strongest social pressures imaginable. Do something slightly out of line and BAM people will chew you up. All of the dogma, the indoctrination, is very difficult to overcome and once you’ve done so you’re likely to be abandoned by all of your friends, support groups, and (worst of all) your family.

  17. I’m not Canadian, but friends from Toronto have told me that their Mountain Dew is indeed caffeine-free. Oddly enough, it was still marketed there as an extreme sports drink, just as in the US. According to Wikipedia, “Health Canada prohibits caffeine in non-cola soft drinks”.

  18. I really want to jump in on this conversation, but I don’t really know where to start…. My boyfriend is about as Mormon as I am (not), but his family is.. It has been an interesting year.

    @Benshums:
    I’ve gotten to see this first hand, recently.. And it’s a bit heartbreaking to see how much harder it is to remain closeted and to even think about coming out.

    I don’t really find them any crazier or less tolerable than other run-of-the-mill Xtian denominations, though… But definitely an alternate reality going on there, and a concerning culture surrounding feminine sexuality and family.

  19. @Kaboobie: Huh. how about that?

    @Tina: Oh, I can definitely identify with that. My ex-wife’s family was about as Mormon as they come, including her celebrity ultra-conservative grandmother. I had the misfortune of being dragged to a few family reunions, at which we were the only non-Mormons in 60 people. (One of the scheduled events was a “testimony meeting” We tried to duck out respectfully, but kept being pressured to attend until I finally said that if I was compelled to attended a testimony meeting, I’d be compelled to bear my testimony. That ended that. :) )

    If you’ll forgive the blogwhoring, if anyone is interested in my story of leaving the church (which I guarantee was a hell of a lot easier for me than scads and scads of other people), read it here: http://liberteegalitetrivialite.blogspot.com/2008/05/who-i-am-personal-history-age-10-14.html

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