A Mormon Dichotomy
In Rahel Gabreyes article “A Peek Into The Mormon Bedroom: Dealing With Sex And Religion” Huffington Post, February 17, 2015 (http://huff.to/17KHtzb), she delves into the topic of premarital sex and the Mormon perspective on this matter. The author begins to untangle the complicated religious teachings about sex in Mormon faith hood, by consulting Professor Brian Willoghby from Bringham Young University. He clarifies any misconceptions and states that Mormon followers have an overall negative regard to sex before marriage and are taught to abstain from any sexual interactions before marriage. However, once married, the idea of sex is strongly embraced through positive reinforcement as something that binds the couple together. This dichotomy between the two different beliefs surrounding sex has caused many Mormon followers, more specifically women, to experience difficulty during the immediate transition phase from single life to marriage. A Mormon psychologist added to these findings, that those women who have grown up with the Mormon faith hood and have completely internalized the idea that sex is immoral, struggle even more with this particular transition because they associate this type of pleasure with guilt, wrongness and feel that they are going against their religious faith. On the other hand, it was found those women who did not adopt a negative view of sex and rather emphasized the contextual factors, as the primary determinant for the distinction between good and bad, were able to better cope with this shift. The article depicts a certain important challenge that many Mormon women can face, and it reveals the extent of the impact that religious teachings can have on individuals’ minds and beliefs.
In recent lectures we have discussed many different types of religious movements, which includes movements knows as sects and cults. Sects are small exclusive religious groups that are spin-offs from already established religions (e.g. Muslim) they often hold many of the similar fundamental beliefs however, they have a number of key differences that sets them apart. A religious cult is a very exclusive group that breaks away from conventional denominations, and is seen as a group that is in high tension with society and other traditional religious groups. Mormonism originated in the 19th century and was first considered a cult because it deviated from the traditional Christianity belief and created a lot of tension between them and their surrounding society. However, today it is a well-accepted denomination and has moved away from the cult type mentality. Despite the conflict evident in Mormonism history as it struggled to establish their religious teachings and approval in their societies, I believe that this article is a good depiction of how overall, whether it is a predominant religion, a cult or a religious movement that has fairly young origins, their teachings, mentality and values that they instill on their followers can impact them very deeply.
It is shocking to read about the internalized guilt and indignity that women Mormon are challenged with when engaging in sex while being married, even though it is considered accepted. Therefore, due to growing up with repeated negative messages regarding any kind of sexual activity before marriage, these deeply rooted system of beliefs about the general concept of sex prevails over any kind of positive teachings of sex after marriage. This clearly displays how these values have been profoundly instilled within them and is a serious matter that many women face within their marriages. Even further similar struggles are also apparent with many homosexual Mormons who have to deal with their internal conflict of trying to accept their true sexuality but at the same time trying to conform and abide by their faith. Overall, I feel that this article sheds light on a challenge that is not unique to only Mormons, but to all individuals who are faced with the continuous divergence of embracing their own decisions and abiding to their religious teachings.