I'm glad the kids had a great time, but I'm concerned about these
kinds of events making us (speaking as a Mormon) seem even more isolated and
closed off from our neighbors. If these people really wanted to impact their
community I would encourage them to participate in their school's prom
while adhering to their standards. I bet you there are a lot of kids at these
schools who share the same values as the LDS teens who would love to see someone
stand up to the pressure. All this LDS prom does, is say that we
have given up on having a positive influence on our communities so we are
retreating to our own little world. I don't think that's a good lesson
to teach these kids. What are they going to do when they are in the professional
world and they are forced to interact with people who really don't share
their values? Just run and hide?
No fear that anyone will just "run and hide" in my view. But I really
like your idea of including youth with similar values. MY guess is that these
young folks are way ahead of us and sooner than later will expand the reach of
this type of event to be more inclusive.
I used to live in South Orange County, and one important aspect is not stated in
the article that a couple of commentors have criticized without understanding
the full story. Although it's called "Mormon Prom" (which is a
nickname--the real name is usually along the lines of "Spring Formal")
they are very open to the public as long as kids attending adhere to the
standards of modest dress and no dirty dancing. A lot of the kids have dates who
aren't LDS, but there are also couples that neither one is LDS but they
come because they prefer the environment over what goes on at the schools. I
used to chaperone youth dances at my stake center that was right next to a high
school. It wasn't uncommon for us to have several hundred kids come with as
many as 50% being non-LDS, and they were willing to abide by the rules. Mormon
Prom is actually used as a great way to include the community in a clean, fun
activity and I applaud them for it.
Vai Sikahema (I know that must be wrong spelling) held proms for the students in
his city and it was NOT limited to LDS, only limited to behavior/dress/dancing.
I'm not sure how it is in CA, but in the East the dances are
disgusting and you really wouldn't want your kids participating in it.
Besides the amount of money spent on these dances with people renting condos for
the night to house boys and girls after the dances - all night! The limos the
drinks the food - some of them are paying $1,000 for the dance etc.
To: Seattle BoyGreat comment. It should be pointed out that many of the
LDS youth are VERY active in their schools and participate actively and
prominently (Student Government, Clubs, Sports, etc. e.g. one of the YW is a
cheerleader, but I have known many others in many positions of prominence at
schools). I taught early morning Seminary in RSM for three years with class
starting at 5:20 AM for many of those students who had a "zero" period
so that they could participate in such activities. They participate fully and
actively, attempting to provide positive examples and leadership. Unfortunately
the tide of filth is growing ever stronger and they are unable to change it for
everyone. Fortunately, as was pointed out, there are many non-LDS that attend
these events because they offer a better alternative. It is not seen as
"hiding" or "retreating" because this is not the only thing they
do, but is an alternative, not held to compete with, but provide an alternative
for.... Is it perfect...? No. But it is something which can help.
My son attended this prom AND his high school prom. It didn't isolate him
from the community. There is a strong LDS presence here and the kids are very
active in their school activities. A simple prom doesn't change that. In
fact, word gets around that they are having a prom and others want to attend.
When our youth start talking about "Mormal", their nickname for the
Spring Formal, others want to know about it. It is a positive experience for
My high school was about 5% lds and I went to a few dances--they were really
inappropriate. You can control your own dress and dancing but you can't
control the music and you can't control how the people around you are
dressed and how they are dancing. These students could choose to go to both but
I think that staying away from school dances is reasonable and not closing
yourself off from the rest of the world. I think that dances like this
"Mormon Prom" are great to provide a positive, fun environment. I'm
glad they are including anyone in the community who wants to come and follow the
I take issue with the following statement: "Once they turn 16, however,
Mormon youths are 'encouraged' to start dating." This is not
true. They are not supposed to date until they are 16, to help avoid problems,
but once they are 16 they can then, if they choose, start dating. As a parent, I
can vouch that the longer they wait to date, the more happy this parent is.
We just had LDS Prom in Vancouver Washington, my son had a wonderful time. He
refuses to go to his school prom because of the children having inappropriate
relations with clothing on the dance floor, even though the school has rules
banning "grinding." The kids ball together so the chaperones cannot see
it. LDS Prom was simply fantastic!