Mormon dating for global singles. Swiping for salvation: Why Mormon singles put their faith in a dating app.



Mormon dating for global singles

Mormon dating for global singles

Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More than , Mormons have used Mutual, a dating app for the faithful. CNN Benjamin Brown is a glasses-wearing lawyer who flavors his language with words like "heck" and "gosh.

Mormon doctrine holds that intrafaith marriage -- a union to another Mormon inside the church's temples -- is essential for salvation in the highest level of heaven. Brown, 31, said he "often went on multiple dates a day" while a student at Brigham Young University. Nonetheless, he graduated single.

Six years ago, he began flying cross-country in search of a wife. On weekends, he created elaborate dating strategies for new cities, filling his calendar with singles events he heard about through the social media grapevine. On Sundays, Brown attended multiple church congregations called "Young Single Adult Wards" that aim to help Mormons ages 18 and up socialize and, ideally, get married.

I was booking red-eyes just to attend church somewhere and meet new people. Some weekends, I would go to three, four, or if I was really ambitious, five wards in one Sunday," Brown said. So much of church revolves around dating. Curious eyes wander the pews, scoping out the well-groomed singles while hymns are sung and the sacrament is passed.

In the pulpit, leaders announce upcoming social events planned to help teetotaling Mormons get to know each other. The latest in Brown's ward: Mutual has collapsed the singles wards onto a digital platform, providing an alternative to the church-sponsored matchmaking venue.

Dating apps writ large have been blamed for tectonic social shifts, from delayed marriage to relaxed sexual mores. Vanity Fair hyperbolically credited Tinder as the source of a "dating apocalypse. To swipe through the app is to get a glimpse inside a cultural enclave antithetical to the modern dating landscape. One user, Brandon, who is 28, captures the ethos of the app in his "About Me": Boice proudly cites dozens of marriages that have resulted from Mutual, including international unions from the UK to the Philippines.

In the face of declining millennial religiosity, Mutual, which is named after an old church program that brought Mormon youth together, may have another benefit: One swipe at a time, Mutual is uniting the Mormon diaspora, perpetuating lineages, and addressing the anxieties of youth facing familial and cultural pressure, as well as a personal desire, to marry within their faith.

Mutual is a dating app exclusively for Mormons. Heavenly resources Growing up, Jillian Sewell spent Sundays dreaming of her perfect spouse. When she enrolled in Brigham Young University, Mormonism's flagship school, Sewell expected to get married right away. When I didn't, I thought I wasn't good enough.

After a semester, Sewell returned home to Arizona, where she prayed for help finding a husband. Mutual was the answer to her prayers, she said. I feel like Heavenly Father, he has so many resources -- and Mutual is one of them. For the majority of users, though, their endings aren't so neat. Mormons today face longer tenures in singledom and a skewed gender ratio. There are Mormon women for every Mormon men, according to one study , creating a statistical dilemma that complicates church leadership's bold project to ensure all youth attain a temple marriage.

In late July, local church leader Wayne Janzen held a conversation with women in a Washington, DC singles ward, asking them to air their dating grievances. He validated their frustration with what one woman said was a "lack of options. Though you'll rarely hear about it from a pulpit, Mormon leaders are concerned with the continuity of their religion.

Their solution was to continue investing in singles wards, creating stronger nuclei for Mormon singles to congregate outside of Utah. They even created a church building in Arlington, Virginia exclusively for singles, a first for the faith. Today, the singles community in the DC metro area comprises its own "stake," the Mormon term for a group of congregations, similar to a diocese.

It has grown to roughly 5, members. Janzen is the stake president of this singles community. In his meeting with single women this summer, he said leadership became especially concerned by unmarried Mormons about a decade ago. But he didn't say how. At the end of the conversation, he implored the women. Ranked in order of preference, they were: While the LDS church does not encourage loveless marriages, they present marriage as a choice between a church-sanctioned marriage or no marriage at all -- an attempt to dissuade singles from looking outside the faith for companionship.

Mormon doctrine is clear that temple marriage is essential to enter the highest echelons of heaven, and leadership never encourages interfaith dating or marriage. That messaging made an impact on Brown, who said he did not consider dating a non-Mormon until he was nearly 30, when he was at a low point in his life and was tempted to try secular dating apps.

Some Mormons who flirt with dating non-members live in areas with scant Mormon populations or feel they have exhausted their options at church. For many, Mutual brought them back to the Mormon dating fold, providing an incentive to seek a temple marriage that rhetoric alone could not. A recent convert to the church, Elle Bretherton said she faced loneliness as she adapted to a new life as a Mormon at Pepperdine. She, like Brown, dated non-Mormons.

It just wasn't going to work. Within weeks, she had met her future husband. Like Bretherton, Brown faced the prospect of decreased observance as he ventured outside Mormonism to date. He says he attended church less while dating his non-Mormon girlfriend. They eventually broke up, and he was left with a sense of foreboding about the prospect of being forced out of young single adult wards when he turned 30, after which he would be expected to attend a "mid-singles ward" for Mormons ages 30 and up.

These wards are regarded as a dreaded marital purgatory. Brown is determined to avoid this fate. He once skipped a flight home to extend a fruitless weekend scouting singles, buying a ticket on a last minute red-eye to visit a Mormon ex-girlfriend.

Catching wind of his arrival, Brown said that his ex's previous boyfriend, who held a local church leadership position, came over to her house to disrupt their date. The night ended with punches thrown in the driveway. The prospect of mid-singles wards offers fatigued Mormons minimal incentive to stick with the church, but the appeal of Mutual brought Brown back to regular church attendance. Now, he says he has faith again that he will be able to find a Mormon wife. Stories of marriages from the apps are powerful anecdotes, but their evidence is only qualitative.

Mutual also shares the criticism that has recently been levied at Tinder: In a sense, these apps support the claim that the Internet is funneling us into self-selecting echo chambers, affirming homogeneity rather than diffusing dogma.

If this is true, then faith leaders with a vested stake in their religion's longevity have cause to rejoice. These apps have facilitated the connections and conversations their strategic planning, and investments, couldn't. The subgenre of religious dating apps is growing -- with millions of users on apps like Minder for Muslims and JSwipe for Jews.

Most importantly, these apps have incentivized disillusioned users like Brown to buy into the project of salvation -- both their own and, in turn, their community's. What remains to be seen is whether they are simply faddish phenomena or long-term trends. In the meantime, Mormon youth will continue to embrace Mutual as a source of hope that, through ardent swiping, they just might find their eternal companion.

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Mormon Dating Culture (Male Perspective)



Mormon dating for global singles

Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More than , Mormons have used Mutual, a dating app for the faithful. CNN Benjamin Brown is a glasses-wearing lawyer who flavors his language with words like "heck" and "gosh.

Mormon doctrine holds that intrafaith marriage -- a union to another Mormon inside the church's temples -- is essential for salvation in the highest level of heaven. Brown, 31, said he "often went on multiple dates a day" while a student at Brigham Young University. Nonetheless, he graduated single. Six years ago, he began flying cross-country in search of a wife. On weekends, he created elaborate dating strategies for new cities, filling his calendar with singles events he heard about through the social media grapevine.

On Sundays, Brown attended multiple church congregations called "Young Single Adult Wards" that aim to help Mormons ages 18 and up socialize and, ideally, get married. I was booking red-eyes just to attend church somewhere and meet new people. Some weekends, I would go to three, four, or if I was really ambitious, five wards in one Sunday," Brown said.

So much of church revolves around dating. Curious eyes wander the pews, scoping out the well-groomed singles while hymns are sung and the sacrament is passed.

In the pulpit, leaders announce upcoming social events planned to help teetotaling Mormons get to know each other. The latest in Brown's ward: Mutual has collapsed the singles wards onto a digital platform, providing an alternative to the church-sponsored matchmaking venue.

Dating apps writ large have been blamed for tectonic social shifts, from delayed marriage to relaxed sexual mores. Vanity Fair hyperbolically credited Tinder as the source of a "dating apocalypse. To swipe through the app is to get a glimpse inside a cultural enclave antithetical to the modern dating landscape.

One user, Brandon, who is 28, captures the ethos of the app in his "About Me": Boice proudly cites dozens of marriages that have resulted from Mutual, including international unions from the UK to the Philippines. In the face of declining millennial religiosity, Mutual, which is named after an old church program that brought Mormon youth together, may have another benefit: One swipe at a time, Mutual is uniting the Mormon diaspora, perpetuating lineages, and addressing the anxieties of youth facing familial and cultural pressure, as well as a personal desire, to marry within their faith.

Mutual is a dating app exclusively for Mormons. Heavenly resources Growing up, Jillian Sewell spent Sundays dreaming of her perfect spouse. When she enrolled in Brigham Young University, Mormonism's flagship school, Sewell expected to get married right away. When I didn't, I thought I wasn't good enough. After a semester, Sewell returned home to Arizona, where she prayed for help finding a husband. Mutual was the answer to her prayers, she said. I feel like Heavenly Father, he has so many resources -- and Mutual is one of them.

For the majority of users, though, their endings aren't so neat. Mormons today face longer tenures in singledom and a skewed gender ratio.

There are Mormon women for every Mormon men, according to one study , creating a statistical dilemma that complicates church leadership's bold project to ensure all youth attain a temple marriage.

In late July, local church leader Wayne Janzen held a conversation with women in a Washington, DC singles ward, asking them to air their dating grievances. He validated their frustration with what one woman said was a "lack of options. Though you'll rarely hear about it from a pulpit, Mormon leaders are concerned with the continuity of their religion. Their solution was to continue investing in singles wards, creating stronger nuclei for Mormon singles to congregate outside of Utah.

They even created a church building in Arlington, Virginia exclusively for singles, a first for the faith. Today, the singles community in the DC metro area comprises its own "stake," the Mormon term for a group of congregations, similar to a diocese.

It has grown to roughly 5, members. Janzen is the stake president of this singles community. In his meeting with single women this summer, he said leadership became especially concerned by unmarried Mormons about a decade ago. But he didn't say how. At the end of the conversation, he implored the women. Ranked in order of preference, they were: While the LDS church does not encourage loveless marriages, they present marriage as a choice between a church-sanctioned marriage or no marriage at all -- an attempt to dissuade singles from looking outside the faith for companionship.

Mormon doctrine is clear that temple marriage is essential to enter the highest echelons of heaven, and leadership never encourages interfaith dating or marriage. That messaging made an impact on Brown, who said he did not consider dating a non-Mormon until he was nearly 30, when he was at a low point in his life and was tempted to try secular dating apps. Some Mormons who flirt with dating non-members live in areas with scant Mormon populations or feel they have exhausted their options at church.

For many, Mutual brought them back to the Mormon dating fold, providing an incentive to seek a temple marriage that rhetoric alone could not. A recent convert to the church, Elle Bretherton said she faced loneliness as she adapted to a new life as a Mormon at Pepperdine. She, like Brown, dated non-Mormons. It just wasn't going to work.

Within weeks, she had met her future husband. Like Bretherton, Brown faced the prospect of decreased observance as he ventured outside Mormonism to date. He says he attended church less while dating his non-Mormon girlfriend. They eventually broke up, and he was left with a sense of foreboding about the prospect of being forced out of young single adult wards when he turned 30, after which he would be expected to attend a "mid-singles ward" for Mormons ages 30 and up.

These wards are regarded as a dreaded marital purgatory. Brown is determined to avoid this fate. He once skipped a flight home to extend a fruitless weekend scouting singles, buying a ticket on a last minute red-eye to visit a Mormon ex-girlfriend.

Catching wind of his arrival, Brown said that his ex's previous boyfriend, who held a local church leadership position, came over to her house to disrupt their date. The night ended with punches thrown in the driveway.

The prospect of mid-singles wards offers fatigued Mormons minimal incentive to stick with the church, but the appeal of Mutual brought Brown back to regular church attendance. Now, he says he has faith again that he will be able to find a Mormon wife. Stories of marriages from the apps are powerful anecdotes, but their evidence is only qualitative.

Mutual also shares the criticism that has recently been levied at Tinder: In a sense, these apps support the claim that the Internet is funneling us into self-selecting echo chambers, affirming homogeneity rather than diffusing dogma.

If this is true, then faith leaders with a vested stake in their religion's longevity have cause to rejoice. These apps have facilitated the connections and conversations their strategic planning, and investments, couldn't. The subgenre of religious dating apps is growing -- with millions of users on apps like Minder for Muslims and JSwipe for Jews. Most importantly, these apps have incentivized disillusioned users like Brown to buy into the project of salvation -- both their own and, in turn, their community's.

What remains to be seen is whether they are simply faddish phenomena or long-term trends. In the meantime, Mormon youth will continue to embrace Mutual as a source of hope that, through ardent swiping, they just might find their eternal companion.

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