By Eric Johnson
Question: I have a 53 year old male friend who is living with a 26 year old LDS girl. He has strong feeling for her and has recent began going to the LDS church. What is the LDS position on a 26 year old LDS girl, living with a 53 year old divorced male on their prospect to marry ?
MRM’s response: Of course, there are several problems with this scenario, regardless of the age difference. First of all, Mormonism teaches that a person must be sexually pure in order to attend the temple. The only way to get to the celestial kingdom is getting married for “time and eternity” in one of their many temples. For an LDS girl to not get married this way, she risks her eternal future to lose the opportunity for the celestial kingdom and be relegated forever in a lower level of heaven.
Like Evangelical Christians, not every Mormon does what he or she is supposed to do. It sounds like this is true in this case. As far as the age difference, that might not be considered such a bad thing in LDS circles. After all, Joseph Smith was married to 33 women, and when he was in his late 30s, he had taken 11 teen-aged girls as young as 14 as wives. So, in a sense, a quarter century difference was the practice of the founder! While I’m being a bit facetious, I’m sure this information is something the girl could use with her LDS friends and family to justify the age discrepancy. And again, the difference in their ages, by itself, is not the scandal. What is the scandal is that they’re living together before marriage (sexual purity) as well as dating someone outside their faith(s). (If your friend claims to be a Christian–you didn’t say–check out http://www.mrm.org/friendshipping and http://www.mrm.org/unequally-yoked)