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In this recent post on the Wheat & Tares blog, the author, Jake, bases his article on the statistic that temple-sealed Mormons have a miraculously low divorce rate of 6%.

In support of that percentage he uses a number of sources, the first being a 1984 “Nontemple marriages are about five times more likely to end in divorce than temple marriages.” About 5.4 percent of LDS males who married in the temple were later divorced, and about 6.5 percent of the females.

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I followed a link in Jake’s article to the Ontario Consultants of Religious Tolerance website (religioustolerance.org), which provides the following information: Overall, the Mormon divorce rate appears to be no different from the average American divorce rate. Members of non-denominational churches (typically Fumndamentalist in teaching) and born-again Christians experience a significantly higher divorce rate; Agnostics and Atheists have much a lower rate.

This data is supported by an earlier study the That information is very important as it confounds the church-approved messages regarding Mormon temple marriages that are repeated ad nauseum over the pulpit.

Let’s interpret the doublespeak of BYU professor Daniel Judd’s claim that only 6% of Mormons “undergo the demanding temple marriage breakup.” Is he really saying that only 6% of Mormons get divorced? He is only saying that 6% of Mormons actually go through the process of severing their temple marriage. He doesn’t clarify that an individual who gets a secular divorce doesn’t necessarily go through a temple sealing cancellation.

From what I’ve found, in order to get a temple sealing cancellation one needs permission from the First Presidency.

If you’re a woman, it is customary to receive written permission from the ex-husband.

(Need I even add that if you’re a man, such permission in not necessary?

) Understanding what it takes to get a temple sealing puts Henton and Goodman’s 1984 study in the proper context and explains why only 5.4% of males and 6.5% of females get a temple divorce.

After all, if females want to remarry in the temple, they need a sealing cancellation with permission from their former spouse. Even with falling divorce rates, their numbers mirror the rest of the nation whose rates of divorce are also in decline.

Men don’t have to play by the same rules and their numbers are lower for it. Since 1990, their numbers have looked like this: (The full chart for divorce rates by state can be found on CDC’s website here) If you’ll allow me to use Utah as a representative for the Mormon church, data suggests they have consistently been above the average U. In reality, temple-married Mormons get divorced like everyone else.

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