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Surprise Mormon announcement could open doors for more women missionaries
Now allowed to serve missions at 19, more young LDS Church women will likely take part.
October 9th, 2012
03:09 PM ET

Surprise Mormon announcement could open doors for more women missionaries

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Big news broke in the Mormon world this weekend, when the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a lowered minimum age requirement for missionary service, most notably for women.

Women can now go out in the field to serve their church at 19, instead of 21. Though this may not seem monumental to outsiders,  some Mormons say it's a game-changing moment that may rewrite women's futures and even influence broader dynamics within the LDS Church community.

“The narrative of young women has been that marriage trumps everything else as your most important spiritual pursuit,” explained Joanna Brooks, scholar, blogger and author of “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith.” This shift “signals a reorganizing of expectations for women’s lives. … It changes the storyline.”

By 21, many Mormon women are either too deep in their search for a husband, if not already married, or too entrenched in their education or career path to step away for a Mormon mission, Brooks said. With the lowered age requirement, they have more choice. They, too, can go out in the world, study their faith intensely, follow spiritual callings and grow as individuals before they marry. And, Brooks said, they can be viewed more as equals when they return and start dating.

The surprise announcement by President Thomas S. Monson, who’s considered a "prophet, seer and revelator" by Latter-day Saints, left Brooks in tears. She wasn't alone.  The Universe student newspaper at Brigham Young University reported that dorm halls "filled with shrieks, tears and disbelief." The announcement was made Saturday morning at the semiannual LDS Church General Conference, as more than 20,000 gathered in a Salt Lake City conference center to hear from church leadership. Millions of other Mormons tuned in via satellite, the Internet and television.

Not since the 1978 announcement that black men were able to serve in the priesthood has a revelation been greeted with such excitement, Brooks suggested in a blog post. That sentiment was echoed in the BYU newspaper, where an 18-year-old student drew the same parallel to '78: “It feels like one of those days. There are so many opportunities for so many more people now.”

There are 58,000 Mormon missionaries currently proselytizing in the field, of whom generally about 15% are young women, a church spokesman said. There are also older couples serving in these ranks, but the vast majority of missionaries are young men. Previously able to start service at 19, men can now answer a call to serve at 18 - giving them the option to head out right after high school, a move that The Salt Lake Tribune reported would affect admissions, scholarships and recruiting at Utah colleges. But that decision, too, is a shift that church officials hope will increase missionary numbers.

“We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty – and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable, to respond to the call to serve,” Monson told Latter-day Saints on Saturday. “Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”

The expectation of women to serve may not be the same, as they do not hold the priesthood. And their missions, if they do serve, are still limited to 18 months, while men serve for two years.

It's details like that that dampen enthusiasm about the age change among some Mormon women.

"We were told today that it's a vital time for the Lord's work and we need all hands on deck. Why are some hands valued more?" wrote Jana Riess, a prolific Mormon blogger and author of, among other books, "Mormonism for Dummies" and "Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving my Neighbor."

"It's progress for women. It's just not equality," said Riess, who initially shared in the tears of joy. "And after a few glorious moments of believing it would be, that stings."

But providing more equity in opportunity, in a church where change happens slowly, is the big takeaway, said Brooks, a feminist and activist who, as a college student and beyond, faced her own struggles to find her place in the only church she’d ever known.

“I would have relished the chance to get out early and put my faith to work,” she said. “Subtle changes can produce wide effects.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Women

soundoff (682 Responses)
  1. Kebos

    Must be a shortage of recruits to drop the age. Pathetic, truly pathetic.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • katherine

      You know nothing.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      katherine, knowing nothing is knowing more than Mormons. That is a complement to Kebos.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      katherine, knowing nothing is preferable to believing nonsense.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • T Ostrow

      58,000 does not sound like a shortage to me. My understanding is that allowing 18 and 19 year-olds to go, right after high school, will enable an even higher percentage to go on missions. After their missions they will then be able to do college, military service, or a career without having to arrange for an interruption for a mission.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  2. The Truth

    I wonder sometimes, what the world would look like if every missionary, every religious proselytizer spent their time helping the sick, taking care of the elderly, feeding the hungry and the children instead of trying to convince the rest of us that their invisible spirit realm world view is real.

    I'll bet it would be a prettier and happier place.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Kebos

      It would be. It truly would be.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • katherine

      I actually have respect for this comment and point of view but you may not know that a high percentage of missionaries in the LDS religion are called to serve "welfare" missions and spend 2 years doing just what you described. I can't say I've ever dedicated 2 years of my life helping people plant crops, build homes or educate the illiterate without pay.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • KTinCA

      What makes you so sure that mssionaries don't help the sick, take care of the elderly, feed the hungry and the children during their missions? Speak only of what you know.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Anne112

      Missionaries do these things but they do them in order to convert people to their faith. They do not do them simply to do good works.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  3. Premature Emaculator

    Damn it! I'm too late!! It looks like somebody else already gave that 19 yr old cutie a pearl necklace...

    October 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • katherine

      What an ass you are. I'm sure females all over the world love your sense of humor or lack thereof. I'm quite sure you've been told this more than once in the past but for hell's sake grow up!!!

      October 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Shake

      @katherine

      I agree that is gross especially since my milk shake formula is guaranteed to taste more delicious!

      October 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  4. katherine

    Just grateful for freedom of religion in our country! I'm happy to see people doing good in the world no matter if their beliefs align with mine or not. Not many of you know just how much welfare work this church has done for disadvantaged people all over the world; nothing expected in return. You'll never see their donations plastered all over the news as well. Their work is done quietly. I for one have been served by a Mormon in the past and have been thankful for their soft heart. If you think otherwise of their religion go to LDS.org and get some real facts. It's a website I've found quite uplifting at times.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Where is your God now?

      The Christian missionary mindset is generally depicted as that of simple religious folk with a pure desire to peacefully spread their gospel and message of love. In reality, their methods of propagation are often anything but peaceful and usually leave behind a native population stripped of their culture and often decimated. With Christianity failing in the west, the evangelists seek new and greener fields in the poor and uneducated sections of third world countries, backed by huge coffers from the less zealous, who are nonetheless convinced that to bring civilization and religion to the poor natives is a noble cause, even if they don’t want it.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @katherine,

      I have no particular axe to grind with the LDS church. But these statements are naive.

      "Not many of you know just how much welfare work this church has done for disadvantaged people all over the world; nothing expected in return."

      This is simply not true. The purpose is always conversions. "Nothing in return" may be anticipated, but it sure is encouraged. This is not unique to the LDS.

      "You'll never see their donations plastered all over the news as well. Their work is done quietly."

      Actually we did. Despite effors to disguise the money trail, the finger prints of their funding efforts were all over Prop 8 in California. I expect this is not what you meant.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • katherine

      Actually Prop 8 is a great example of them living their religion to the best of their freedom. You may know about the Prop 8 funding but do you have any idea how much money has been spent on third world countries doing great work? I bet you have no clue! You simply know what the local news tells you and you make the choice to ignore the rest of the world.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @katherine

      Mormons' are bigots and racists. They are stupid people and so many levels. They are a joke.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • NoTags

      It sounds like you are really into the "Lying for the Lord" LDS philosophy.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @katherine,

      I'm sure they spend lots of money overseas – once all the nice temples are built.

      Just like the Catholics, just like the Evangelicals, all with the purpose of making more converts to "God's word" and more t'thing to keep the whole machine running.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • katherine

      24 hour crisis center? Now that's a joke! AND it's a joke that you feel the need to criticize other people's peaceful beliefs when they are doing nothing to harm you. If you don't like Mormons then they would gladly have you NOT join their religion. No one is forced but if anyone makes the choice to have a religious belief other than what you believe they have the right to be respected and not ridiculed. What you said about Mormons would be considered awful if you said it about Jews but you think because you pick Mormons to ridicule you're safe. Jews deserve respect as do people of any other faith. I would never call an atheists point of view a joke but I guess I'm just better than you are.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @katherine

      You Wrote: " Actually Prop 8 is a great example of them living their religion to the best of their freedom. "

      Oh, yes... by throwing millions of dollars in attempting to limit the civil rights of others, *because* of their religion. Yeah... that's real great. 😯

      You Wrote: " You may know about the Prop 8 funding but do you have any idea how much money has been spent on third world countries doing great work? I bet you have no clue! "

      The rest of this post of yours is what is known as an "argumentum tu quoque." Your argument is a 'red herring.' In other words... so what if they attempt, vigorously to limit the rights of people by spending millions of dollars against people's rights... just look over 'here' instead at the money they put into proselytizing doing great work.

      Bad argument -katherine.

      Peace...

      October 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @katherine

      You are incorrect.

      I am saddened by all those who cling to religion and continue to endorse it as reality and insist that it somehow should govern morality and law-making. One can lay out all the evidence and build (and have built) an airtight case against every single religion on Earth past and present, but still believers will not budge from their point of view, even when presented with the lies and contradictions in the very scriptures they base their beliefs on.

      Understand, I am not talking about a belief in God. I do understand that. I am talking about religion. Every one of which has been empirically proven false but yet clings like moss to ancient rocks.

      I believe the single most important factor in this inability to see through the foolishness of religion is fear. Children’s stories of heaven and hell. The initial indoctrination for many, simply cannot be undone.

      Secondly, there is a feeling of community that comes with any “club” Naturally this is not relegated to religion so it does not qualify as an excuse.

      Lastly some minds are unable to think creatively enough to imagine the more plausible alternatives. What are those alternatives? Well we have to turn to science, but also we have to accept what we don’t know and keep looking. And in truth, we don’t really know anything about how the universe came to be, what came before and where it is going. If there are multiple universes and time lines through which we move, these would be marvelous discoveries. There is a wonderful article in Scientific American this month regarding a new spin on the Quantum theory. That being the quantum universe could have foamlike fluctuations that rule spacetime, not unlike the 0’s and 1’s that are the foundation of computing and storing information.

      If we wish to believe in the supernatural, we have to make things up. Hence religion. It doesn’t mean there is no god, or gods, or aliens, but it does mean that we don’t have the answers and most likely never will.

      Now we arrive back at fear. What will happen to me when I die? For me, I look forward to an eternity of nothing. Others fear this prospect and prefer to believe in fairies and fantasies and are not even ashamed that their mental description of an after life is akin to that of a 5-year-old’s picture book.

      I believe the Universe and the “everything” are FAR more bizarre than we could ever imagine with the faculties we have thus far obtained via evolution on this planet. And I wonder how many millions of civilizations across the vastness of space and time have pondered likewise.

      Finally, the entire planet is affected by the irrational belief systems of the various mainstream religions. It affects the global economy, it affects world peace, it affects our secular life style in the United States. These ancient belief systems are based on superst.ition and mythology.

      One would think humans would have moved forward by now but instead we as a species behave in the same self-destructive manner now as we did thousands of years ago with more at stake then at any other time in history.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • FactCheckMan

      @therealpeace2all
      From my experience those who try to gain credibility by pointing out "logical fallacies" using latin phrases and cliche buzzwords like "red herring" have very little understanding of the underlying meaning...and ironically, use them AS a red herring. Katherine's reasoning was clear: do some unbiased homework and you might actually learn that this organization is a world class leader and very well-respected on the humanitarian front.

      @Where is your God now
      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
      @24 Hour Crisis Center

      You are all barely one notch above NoTags...borderline Troll. I'm surprised how many people can't have and don't want to have a civilized discussion and learn some facts. The level of vehemence in a post and the level of ignorance are always directly correlated.

      October 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @FactCheckMan,

      welcome. You clearly got the memo that @No Tags alluded to.

      I have no particular beef with the LDS church. They behave much like all the others.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Katherine, you say "do you have any idea how much money has been spent on third world countries doing great work? I bet you have no clue! "
      So, tell us. How much? And how much of that was spent supporting proselytizing?

      October 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • FactCheckMan

      Speaking of logical fallacies...is there a latin phrase for "beware of oversimplifying and generalizing"?

      If you want to ask an honest question and get an honest answer, I am your man. Every person has biases, including me, but I won't make a statement I can't back up with first-hand knowledge and I won't lie to you.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • FactCheckMan

      @sqeptiq (and everyone else), check this out: http://mormon.org/humanitarian-aid

      I personally have received and unloaded containers of clothing sent from Church members to flood victims in a remote city of western Ukraine. The container showed up, clothing was distributed, trucks pulled away, end of story. Zero "proselytizing".

      October 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Pete

      Prop 8 is one reason all Mormons would burn in hell if it existed.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  5. The finisher

    I agree with some atheists on this.They change religion so much to fit the needs of the people(or "leader").No man is greater than another.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  6. Where is your God now?

    CHARGES FILED AGAINST HILDALE HUSBAND AND WIFE

    The Utah Attorney General's Office has charged Rodney Hans Holm with unlawful s.e.xual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and bigamy. The 36-year-old Hildale resident is facing four third degree felony counts for allegedly taking a 16-year-old girl as his third wife and fathering two of her children. The defendant's legally recognized wife, Suzie Stubbs Holm, 36, has also been charged with two third degree felony counts for allegedly aiding and abetting the unlawful s.e.xual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and bigamy.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • bryes

      Rodney Holm and Warren Jeffs are part of a different church, so don't confuse them with the Mormons of which this article is discussing.,

      October 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Makes no difference to me who committed the atrocity.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Where is your God now?

      It happened, that is all I am reporting.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  7. DontvoteforRomney

    Also in my book Obama took the debate. Romney looked and talked like a desperate car salesman. Lying for a bump of 4 pts. If he does that before the election scary to think what he will do after I am not buying it thank you.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And he wants to kill Big Bird too.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Meatwad

      I don't even need a car ya'll. Besides I ain't got no damn money. I can just use my infinate imagination.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • dowdotica

      could not agree more. tragically though its only now that the ill informed and uninformed crawl out from under their rocks and try to catch up and in the end? it really comes down to 2 sh!!!tty car salesmen trying to sell us all a new sh!!!ty deal. the rock dwellers just need to go back under rocks and not vote...

      October 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Obama is done for

      Well there is always 1 idiot who thinks obama did well. Not so great without teleprompters.

      October 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  8. Where is your God now?

    Charges filed against polygamist policeman
    The Associated Press
    Originally published October 6, 2002

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - State prosecutors have secretly filed criminal charges against a polygamist police officer in southern Utah, and a newspaper has sued to get access to the court doc.u.ments. The charging doc.u.ments were sealed, at the request of the Utah Attorney General's Office, by 5th District Judge James L. Shumate, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday. The paper filed suit in St. George on Friday, asking that the doc.u.ments be made public. The nature of the charges was unclear, though the accused, Rodney Holm, has been under investigation for bigamy and unlawful s.e.x with a 16-year-old girl. A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office would not comment on the sealed charges. Holm is a police officer in the border towns of Hildale, Ariz. and Colorado City, Utah. In a child-custody hearing earlier this year involving a former wife, Holm acknowledged marrying three women and fathering at least 21 children.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • mark

      Residents of Hilldale and Colorado city are not members of the LDS church. We don't want them and they don't want us. They split from our church more than 100 years ago. Try understanding what the meaning of what you post is before you do so. It makes you look slightly more intelligent.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Where is your God now?

      Who cares? They did what they did. Where is your God now?

      October 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Pete

      Warren Jeffs is Mormon, he may be considered crazy, but he is Mormon. Kind of like Southern Baptists are crazy, but are still Christian.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  9. DontvoteforRomney

    Mormonism is a cult. If you get a divorce you are barred from the religion. If a non mormon enters a temple they clean the carpets and wash down the enitre temple. Scary that one may be President. Romney is a draft dodger, going to convert people in France rather than serve his country in Vietnam. Now he wants to serve this country as President when he couldnt do it as a young person. I will take Obama any day over Romney

    October 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Towelie

      Towelie says, "If you are going to go to France, don't forget to bring a towel!"

      October 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Towlie,

      are you high?

      October 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • katherine

      I don't think this guy is high but I do think he's a back woods hick who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. Get at least one fact straight before expecting any respect!!

      October 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Towelie

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I am so high right now...I don't even know what's goin' on...

      October 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @towlie,

      thanks man, you never disappoint!

      October 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      That's funny, my wife was divorced and she isn't barred by the Church of LDS. And non-Mormons can't enter the temple at all. And anyone who calls the "Mormonism" a cult is obviously an ignorant bigot.

      I'm voting for Obama too, but I'm not a bigot (or a Mormon for that matter).

      October 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @rocketscientist

      If you are a Mormon you are a bigot. If you support Mormons you are stupid and most likely a bigot.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Pete

      Anyone who is a member of any religion is in a cult.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Brett

      Wow. You really know your stuff. I heard that divorced Mormons are banned from McDonald too. I also heard that if a Mormon enters into a bar, then they have to shut it down, clean all the floors, and possibly even move the location so that Mormons can't find it. I also heard that Mormons think the world is flat. Oh wait, what am I thinking!!? I just made all of this stuff up so that I could rag on a bunch of people that I don't even know!! It didn't even take a lot of thought and consideration for me to do that!! Doesn't that seem like such a stable foundation of society? Freedom of religion and freedom to absolutely lambast on someone because of inaccurate and biased information about their church? Wouldn't you feel much better about yourself if you got off your couch and went out and did something that actually helped someone else?

      October 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  10. dowdotica

    not much that i follow moronism but is true that they believe it is okay to lie if it serves attaining the long term goal?

    October 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • FactCheckMan

      Absolutely not. In order to be considered in good standing with the Church, Mormons must affirm to Church leaders that they are honest in all their dealings.

      October 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  11. dowdotica

    hu,hu...a lower minimum age for missionary postions...hu,hu, just old ,hu,hu young girls in missionary positions, hu,hu...

    October 9, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  12. bibleverse1

    "Not since the 1978 announcement that black men were able to serve in the priesthood has a revelation been greeted with such excitement"

    Dang. Why isnt this bigger news?

    October 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  13. Concerned in Cleveland

    Mormon women do missionary in 3rd world nations. Bless them.

    October 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Meh

      "proselytizing in the field" is not the same as missionary work. Its knocking on doors and asking if you "have heard the good news."

      October 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • hot diggity

      did u mean missionary in the field....

      October 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  14. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Just what the world needs – more charlatans spreading their lies and delusional beliefs, recruiting more cult members.

    October 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I bet more people would open their front door to young women than two young men in white shirts and black pants with bicycle helmets.

      October 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • katherine

      It's not a cult or even close to one but you are very close to what I see as being an idiot.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @katherine

      Of course it is a cult. You are the dumbest person on the blog today, congrats.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • FactCheckMan

      @24 Hour Crisis Center
      Maybe start by defining "cult" and let the logical discussion ensue.

      I'm surprised "therealpeace2all" hasn't been chiming in with his latin and condemning your logical fallacy knows as ad hominem attack...if you don't have a good argument, just call the person a name, beat your chest, and call it a day.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Only on the planet Kolob is it not a cult. Everywhere else, yep!

      October 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      They will be greeted with the same "Get the fuck off my property!" regardless of age or gender.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  15. John Robertson

    dum dum dum dum dum .. Southpark take ..

    October 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  16. carlos

    ryand said it best: THE STENCH, wow, priceless...........

    October 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  17. carlos

    mormonic cultists are a bunch of freaking liars, just look at the willard and that will give you complete and unequivocal proof.....he cheated, lied, deceived and ruined some many lives while at bain volture capital......go ahead and vote for this depicable, vile and unamerican. UGH.

    October 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Exclamation Point!

      Hurray for broad generalizations based on people you've never even met!

      October 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Jay

      I will put you on my prayer list. You are so judgemental. How sad.

      October 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Mitt changes his position more often than most people change their underwear, but then, most people don't have magic underwear.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Brett

      Carlos,
      Have you ever met a Mormon, or heard the beliefs of their Church from an actual member? Mormons seem to get attacked by people all the time for not being a part of mainstream Christianity, but what defines a Christian? Isn't a Christian someone who tries to follow the teachings of Christ and serve others? Do Mormons claim to be perfect? No, they don't. Every Mormon that I have ever met has been a decent, respectful person who tries to live a good life and be of service to those around him. I have never heard a Mormon that I know disparage anyone else's religion. One of the reasons our country is divided as it is, is because there are people like yourself that can't look at another human being for what they are really worth. What benefit does it bring to you to knock down another person's beliefs and what he feels to be true? Does it make you feel better about yourself when you bring others down?

      October 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Miriam

      I am not a Mormon but those I have met have been good and honest people who offered to help thieir community in many ways. Two young ladies offered to help mr with extra chores after my first child was born and they did not proselytize me in any way. I think it is time for the nasty generalizations on this site to stop and the trolls to get back under their bridge.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  18. lroy

    I'm glad for the women. My bet is that their missions will also be increased eventually. Meanwhile only males are allowed to the Catholic priesthood. Why? Because Jesus chose twelve men as apostles (no females). Since the priest is Christus (another Christ), and since Christ himself was a male, there can never EVER be a female priest. If polygamists can have more than one wife, why can't a wife have more than one husband is my question.

    October 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Rich

      In the early days of the church when polygamy was practiced one of the primary purposes of polygamy was to have children. In answer to your question, and with that in mind, it makes sense that one man can father several children with multiple wives. Doesn't work the other way around.

      October 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • OkayMan

      So glad God loves me, gash and all.

      October 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • katherine

      WOW! You are really confused!

      October 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  19. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    55 comments in 3 hours on a Mormonism article.

    Everyone must be very distracted.

    Gays and atheists – the 'sure fire' lightning rod topics

    October 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  20. Frylock

    I want to join the church up the street, and Meatwad needs to learn some morals and values!

    October 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Shake

      Look at him and tell me there's a God.

      October 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Meatwad

      He made me in his own image.

      October 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Shake

      Oh yeah, that's right. God's a big meatball! I forgot!

      October 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Meatwad

      He is.

      October 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Shake

      Does he stink like you do?

      October 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.