Justin Hales and Camille Mabey met in an undergraduate statistics class at BYU, a private university in Provo, Utah owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She was a sophomore at the time and he was a junior.
“It’s kind of a unique opportunity to find someone who you’re interested in building a future life with,” Hales said of the BYU experience.
“A lot of students have the mindset of taking advantage of that opportunity while they’re here rather than waiting until they’re somewhere else and don’t have as many similar people around them.” On a national scale, couples like Hales and Mabey are an anomaly.
Dating and marriage play a significant role in the social culture at BYU.
Brian Willoughby, the average age of first marriage in the United States has reached an all-time high (27 for women, 29 for men) and the overall rate of marriage has dropped to an all-time low.“I think figuring out how you’re going to make it work is part of the process and easier to do when you’re younger.By the time you’re 28 or 30 you have a set plan and daily routine so it’s harder to throw someone else into the mix. As non-LDS, you will get some sort of a special treatment in school.I have to take only 3 classes on church religion which focus mainly on the Book of Mormon and Doctrines. These classes are notoriously useless and they got lots of complaints from LDS and non-LDS alike because they are pretty hard.In my ward right now, on Wednesday, there’s a trip to the LDS temple and on Sunday we’d have ward prayer meeting. In my opinion, they serve two purposes: to strengthen the LDS faith and to get kids to marry each other. Some kids I talked to get very frustrated about marriage because they think that if they got out of BYU without a ring on their finger, they’d never find a right spouse. LDS girls here are generally not that ambitious which I hate. For a non-LDS to date LDS here, you know the relationship won’t last. This video is not 100% accurate but it has some really good points.They love to have LDS husband who could marry them in the temple which I can’t do. LDS girls/guys are smart and good-looking; it's just that their ideology makes me want to run into walls sometimes. After a year-long courtship, the pair said “I do” last May 4 and are now finishing school together.Hales describes BYU as conducive to marriage, since 98 percent of the university’s 34,000 students are Mormon and share life goals.The whole experience was really cool cause I love to learn about religion. Most of the social activities here are church activities. In your own ward on Monday, you’d have Family Home Evening when you talk and play games with your “family members”, usually your neighbor apartments. They were both BYU LDS students but now they are not LDS anymore so they got kicked out. Quite a few LDS students come to BYU with a doubt, some come because their parents want them to go. In Utah Valley here, there are at least 1,000 atheists (my roommate showed me this group on Facebook).Though if you mind the LDS missionary mode, you'd feel like some sort of a target. On Tuesday, there’s Institute where there’d be speakers on spiritual matters. You’d find someone to talk to eventually but they could be “diamond in the rough.” Additional Edit: Most Mormons take jokes very well.