Oprah recently did a show on fundamental Mormon polygamists. The majority of women featured on the show appeared very pleased with their plural marriages and most had over five children each. I did the addition and realized there were over 20 people living together in one home. Whew… The biggest problem was lack of any suitable role or role model for women in my position in the Church. There were no childless married women I could relate to, and a lack of friends or peers with whom I could share experience. Church meetings and classes and talks inevitably involve teachings on the family.
Of course this type of marriage is rare and illegal. One notorius leader, Warren Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and husband to over 50 wives, is currently in jail awaiting his sentence after being found guilty of accomplice to rape for coercing a 14-year-old girl into a marriage with her elder cousin.
The mainstream Mormon Church no longer sanctions polygamy, and there are only a few communities of polygamists left in North America. However, the Church continues to actively support and endorse large families, so I wondered: what is life like for childless or childfree LDS couples?
Kathryn Kidd, a childless Mormon author from Virginia and a contributor to Meridien Magazine, an ezine designed for Latter-day Saints, explored this question in a article titled Other Avenues for the Childless after being contacted by women who wrote about the challenges of childlessness.
Barbara, reflecting on her experience of a life without kids in the LDS community, had this to say:
Many of the childfree and childless of all beliefs and faiths experience a sense of isolation and some exclusion. However, I suspect this must be harder in a community where having kids is what a contributor to the Latter-day Saint Liberation Front website called one of the "most profound and fundamental mortal obligations."
Technorati Tag: Childfree
The biggest problem was lack of any suitable role or role model for women in my position in the Church. There were no childless married women I could relate to, and a lack of friends or peers with whom I could share experience. Church meetings and classes and talks inevitably involve teachings on the family.