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The captivating landscaping that surrounds the temple features a cascading water feature, family-themed statues, and numerous brightly colored flowers, hedges, and trees. The site is surrounded by a grove of beautiful Washington evergreens. The Seattle Washington Temple is one of only five temples featuring an angel Moroni statue holding the gold plates. Because the Seattle Washington Temple would be situated near the Bellevue Airfield, the proposed height of the spire was reduced, and a red strobe warning light was installed at the base of the angel Moroni statue.

When the airfield closed in , the light was permanently shut off and later removed. After all, more than 90 percent of men and women, according to Guttmacher Institute surveys during the past 50 years, have reported engaging in premarital sex.

And the older a single person becomes, many people believe, the more ridiculous it seems to forgo physical intimacy. That's the perspective of Mormon poet Nicole Hardy, who, in a New York Times essay last month, described her decision to join the rest of the modern world.

Though she credited her church for giving her family stability and joy, those were not enough for the Seattle writer to remain chaste. They argued about her reasoning. They said she misunderstood Mormon principles.

Others told their own stories and empathized with her complaints. Clearly, it struck an LDS nerve. There are millions ofunmarried Mormons; some say up to a third of the faith's adult U. For a religion that makes marriage and family central to a person's eternal potential, that can be tough. Though Mormon men also are expected to be abstinent before marriage, the challenges facing LDS women seem particularly difficult. The church tends to align with a more traditional culture, in which men typically are seen as the deciders and women patiently wait to be asked.

Young and restless Frances Johnson, an unmarried twentysomething writer in Washington, D. There is something adolescent about the LDS singles culture, Johnson says, and that could be because those members often are isolated in their own congregations and sometimes act as if they still are in college or high school, even if they are in their 30s and 40s.

For Chris J. What troubles Chris, who lives in Arlington, Va. She later returned to the fold and is preparing to marry in the Salt Lake Temple. He presumed she had remained chaste. Anna, a year-old Salt Lake City therapist, supports the church's stance and is at peace about her past experience and excited about her current path.

She sees some LDS singles who struggle with the sorrow of being alone, while others are able to reinvest their energy into professional and personal projects and relationships.

She laments what she sees as the church's sometimes overgeneralized and theological approach to singles, failing to acknowledge the grief and loneliness they endure trying to live LDS standards. Such a dynamic can lead to a "split life" for such people, who may choose to give up either their sexuality or their spirituality. They may be better than men at forming close ties with other women, creating support networks for themselves.