Looking for lasting love? Head over to Crystal City, Va. if you want to find your mate. That is if you’re Mormon.
With the pressure to get married pretty intense among Mormons, a new church in the DC area calling itself the “23rd Street Chapel” is seeking to put members on the fast track to marriage — by separating them from the married Mormons.
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The 800-member chapel is the only one exclusively devoted to singles worship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and its congregation lives a paradoxical existence. “We come here with the end goal of making ourselves obsolete,” said Andrew Jensen, a 30-year-old, single Defense Department employee to the Washington Post.
Mormon faith teaches that a person must be married, or “sealed,” to reach the highest parts of the afterlife, and while it’s possible to be sealed in the afterlife, the unmarried cannot serve in the church’s key leadership positions and often worship in separate singles congregations. Thus the draw of the church, which also serves as a bit of a matchmaking agency, holding mixers, pizza parties, lectures, table-tennis tournaments and the like to encourage mingling (and ultimately marriage) among its members.
The church events aren’t the only mix-and-mingle events Mormons partake in. Come Memorial Day weekend, many of the Crystal City congregation will head down to Corolla, NC to take part in what’s become known as a wholesome version of spring break. With less temple garments and more shorts and bikinis on the scene, singles play beach volleyball, attend church and even stay in mixed-gender beach houses.
Of course, while it might be efficient in making a match, members report all of this comes with the usual issues — sexual tension and the chance that you might end up competing with a friend for the same person. No matter what your faith, some things aren’t so different when it comes to dating. (via Washington Post)