And encouraging young women to reflect on the experience of fairy tale princesses for guidance on how to find happiness in their own lives? How twisted is that?
There are so many things wrong with this type of philosophy.
First, it creates an atmosphere where girls, young women, and mature women are always looking for true love's kisses and happily ever afters - and the fact is that what they are looking for may never come. This book says that "The Gospel is the Way to Happily Ever After." But simply living Mormonism isn't going to guarantee that Happily Ever After, particularly since it is a bogus religion filled with lies (and was obviously a hoax from the very beginning).
Second, the impossible expectations that this mindset creates only guarantees heartache and likely depression. I have felt that kind of heartache and depression in my life. I had a lot of unrealized expectations that made me feel "less than" that were probably caused by this very philosophy. Expecting certain things because I was living a life that I was told was the "right way" was obviously naive, but it was also to be expected considering what I had been raised to believe.
Third, there are acceptable struggles and trials that everyone goes through. But there are other situations that occur that are not acceptable, such as abuse. By telling girls, young women and mature women that trials and struggles are necessary before reaching the goal of "happily ever after" causes many of them to think that unacceptable situations are okay because they will lead to the ultimate goal. And that is simply wrong. I went through that type of situation as well, and I stayed in an abusive marriage for way too long because I kept thinking that this was my trial. If I hung in there and tried to be the very best woman I could be then the abuse would stop and my "happily ever after" would begin. What amazed me is that when I told my Bishop about what was happening, he essentially said just that. And a very good friend of mine who was LDS told me that I needed to be more submissive, that perhaps I was causing the abuse myself. Naturally, I was shocked that she said this, and I told her that regardless of the circumstances, he had no right to hit me or call me horrible names. Abuse is never okay. Period.
Fourth, lumping every girl, young woman and mature woman into one group is very harmful. What about individuality? What about personality? What about being the master of your own fate? So many lives have been harmed because of people being told that they should be a certain way when they clearly are not. People should be encouraged to be who they are, not told that who they are is not good enough and that they should strive to be a certain way. Fit the mold or be damned.
Just look at what this link at the Deseret Book website says about this book:
Sometimes we need a reminder that life was never all sunshine and roses for fairy-tale princesses. Before the true love's kisses and happily ever afters, there came once upon a times of poisoned apples, spindle pricks, and impossible tasks.
Speaking to the princesses of our Heavenly King, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf compares their challenges to those faced by famous fairy-tale heroines. Recounting Belle's captivity, Cinderella's servitude, and the sacrifices of the miller's daughter, President Uchtdorf emphasizes that each princess had to overcome adversity before she reached her happily ever after.
Your Happily Ever After is an inspiring and uplifting message that will encourage latter-day princesses to focus on God's plan, to find happiness in service, and to embrace the blessings of the gospel.
Chapter One - Trial Is Part of the Journey
Chapter Two - Stay True to What You Know Is Right
Chapter Three - The Gospel Is the Way to Happily Ever After
Of course, this type of philosophy is not only limited to the female gender. From very early ages, boys are told that they are supposed to be the Prince Charming for some lucky girl out there. A white knight in shining armor. The Priesthood Leader of their home. The breadwinner for their future family. And on and on. Talk about pressure. Of course, that pressure is multipled by 1,000 if that boy is really gay, and is told that acting on being gay is a sin that should be repressed. The Mormon Church has caused many gays to commit suicide with that type of glossing over (and condemnation) of their actual traits and sexual identify.
Human beings are NOT "one size fits all." People are very different, one from the other. They vary in their likes and dislikes, their talents and abilities, the way in which they react in various situations, etc. If human beings were all robots it would be one thing, but they are not. They are individuals, and as such, they should not be told what they should do, how they should think, or what they should believe. Those things they should decide for themselves without a lot of guilt being applied to get them to CONFORM. Truly, what ever happened to FREE AGENCY?
Years ago in 1978 when I was 27 years old, I wrote the below poem about this very subject - the fairy tales on which children are raised and the harm they cause.
NOBODY TOLD ME
Nobody told me that life would be hard,
That once in a while I'd be dealt a bad card.
I wasn't told that so much is at stake,
That sometimes love dies and that my heart could break.
I honestly thought that my dreams would come true,
That life would be great, and I'd never be blue…But life's not that way, and love doesn't stay,
And you don't get your way… in the end,
So when you are told about streets paved with gold,
Don't get too sold… on those lies.
All through my childhood, I heard fairy tales,
A world filled with hope in which nobody fails.
I always believed that the stories were real,
Cause no one would lie, they would know how I'd feel.
That sleep would bring dreams that would last until day,
When Prince Charming would come, and whisk me away…To magical lands where life would be grand,
And we'd walk hand in hand… throughout time…
But the times that you cry will show it's a lie,
And as much as you try… it won't change…
I grew up believing that love conquers all,
But later discovered that's not true at all.
For there are some things that will never be right,
That can't be resolved though you try as you might.
And banging your head on a wall you can't see
Will just drive you crazy… eventually…So cut all the strings, the pain that it brings,
And stop spinning your wheels… round and round.
Cause life's not a game in which no one's to blame,
No, it's just not the same… as they said…
So what can you do when the going gets tough?
When life isn't easy and things become rough?
When everything seems like it's going to crash,
And you're feeling dizzy from constant backlash
From each obstacle being thrown in your way,
And you're ready to throw in the towel in dismay… Just know who you are, your own shining star,
And you will go far, being YOU.
Cause if you do that, then you'll know where you're at,
And you'll never fall flat… on your face.
Being YOU... who YOU really are... and living an authentic life.© Diane Tingen, 1978
These are the keys to happiness - and to a real Happily Ever After.
Yesterday, I had posted a link to this book description in a Facebook group, and several people posted comments. Later, one of the people posted a link to an excellent blog entry he had written about this topic entitled Et Tu, Dieter?, in which he explains his loss of respect for Dieter Uchtdorf for going down this road. My favorite line from the blog entry is this: "Now, Deseret Book is publishing Uchtdorf's misogyny-wrapped-in-a-poofy-prom-dress-and-topped-with-a-tiara talk as a book, also titled Your Happily Ever After. By publishing this book, Uchtdorf is essentially chiseling it into stone and the church is endorsing it as the "proper" way for women in the church to live their lives. He and the church are setting women and men (and entire families) up for disappointment, misery and lifelong guilt if their devotion to the church doesn't have the perfect (and impossible) fairy tale ending. It's a disgusting example of inoculating devout members against "the world" (i.e., REALITY)."
Pages from YOUR HAPPILY EVER AFTER...