April 23, 2009

Why did the LDS Church Pull the Twilight Saga from its Stores?

Just read this sobering news that Twilight has been yanked from LDS bookstores, but the article doesn't say exactly why:
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - If you want to buy Twilight or any of the books in the popular series, don't head to your local Deseret Book.

The store, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has pulled the series by Stephenie Meyer off its store shelves and its website.

A Deseret Book spokesperson says the company is committed to meeting the needs of Deseret Book customers and the company's purpose is to offer products that are embraced and expected by those customers. The spokeswoman says if a product is met with mixed review, Deseret Book typically will move that product to special order status.

Meyer's other book "The Host" can still be found on the shelf at Deseret Book.

The author, a BYU graduate and member of the LDS faith, is keeping silent about this move by Deseret Book...
I know that I joke that Twilight IS Crack, but what is this hooey about?



  1. Sad to hear.
    I'm sure some parents who haven't even read it simply complained loud enough.

  2. It is hard to say. I don't know much about the LDS church, but could it be the Vampires themselves? Historicaly speaking Vampires are considered un-holy and demonic. Or maybe it is the baby in Breaking Dawn (though they are married so I doubt that).

  3. I am LDS and I really don't know what they are thinking. Poor Steph.

  4. It may not even be true? Has it been verified? People make such a big deal out of the fact that the author is a Mormon as if it is a stigma. And if it is true, I would think it's because of the Vampire angle - a friend, who belongs to the Baptist church, said once back when Harry Potter first came out that the church did not condone that book because of the Magic.

  5. I'm LDS as well and I think it's probably a few people who complained a lot. Some people just have nothing better to do than complain.

  6. I went to the DeseretBook website and The Host is the only book of Stephenie Meyer's that shows up. But it looks like they still sell Harry Potter books. Makes no sense. I'm LDS also and I agree with Stacey. People who haven't read the book probably are the ones who complained.

  7. I'm the anonymous that just posted about the DeseretBook website. I just checked the BYU Bookstore website and it is still available there. Interesting. . .

  8. Its also been pulled off the shelf of the libraries at our local Catholic school board schools (my kids school is one of them)Ridiculous! I remember when the HP books came out there was all this stupidity about how unholy they were.

  9. I am LDS too, and I think that is weird. I don't understand the logic. Especially if there is still Harry Potter Books.

  10. That stinks. I hate seeing censorship, but I do respect that people have the right to run their bookstore any way they see fit. While I think it's probably a personal blow to the author, I don't think it can have much more effect than that.

  11. Isn't it enough that she inserts her religious beliefs throughout the series by keeping Edward and Bella from having sex outside of marriage, even though we know in real life that there isn't one man dead or alive who would hold onto his virginity for 100 years, and there is no modern day almost-18 couple who would hold out on having sex because they aren't married unless they were die hard about their religion, which Edward and Bella do not seem to be. This ban is ridiculous only because Meyer spent the entire series imposing her beliefs on her characters instead of letting them be as they would in real life. Maybe if she would have written them true to form this would have made sense.

  12. I am LDS. I LOVE the books, I have even been called obsessed, but here is the thing: Even though She is very eloquent in the way she talks about them making love, it isn't something that I want my ten year old reading about.

    As and LDS woman/mother I can really appreciate that these books are true romance novels without the trashy sex. I don't think the books being pulled had anything at all to do with the fact that there are vampires but merely that there is more sexual content than a third grader needs to read. And there are PLENTY of LDS third graders reading them.

    And just because "everyone else in their situation" would've had sex by the middle of the first book, doesn't make it right or moral. I think anytime a company or person stands up for what their beliefs are they should be applauded, isn't that what this country is based on? I'll just buy my Twilight books somewhere else.

  13. I am not a LDS...my church is actually an Assemblies of God church. But I have had somewhat of a censorship w/ my own family. My mom had gotten yelled at by my grandmother(my dad's mom) because I have Twilight things on my facebook, which my aunt is friends with me on it...and is a lot like my grandma. They don't even read the books and they just believe what other very right wing people say on TV about it. They don't want me to be reading it, even though I am an adult. it doesn't really make sense if they still have Harry Potter in the store...but their loss on what could bring that book store some money. funny thing...I believe at the end of reading it it is more about love and it being so strong than vampires and wolves, which when it comes down to it, most religions are about love.
    BTW Enjoli...not having sex before you are married isn't cause of religion...though that can be part of it...I know plenty of people who say they are really into their religion and still have sex. It is a personal desicion for one thing, and can have many reasons behind it.

  14. It's me again...LDS Wife/Mother.

    I just had another thought. Everysingle husband I know has complained that their wives treat them differently like they are disappointed in the man they married-that they aren't like Edward. I honestly wonder if it has caused marital problems and that is Satan's greatest mission: to distroy families. The church would definately pull anything if they saw a pattern.

  15. Not LDS but a friend is. She absolutely hates the book (oops, I thought for sure she would be my Twilight buddy ) b/c she doesn't think it teaches LDS teen the right message (that you can kiss passionately, etc in your room w/o your dad knowing and not have it lead to more.) She does have a point, which of us would be able to say no to Edward (if he wasn't the one setting the limits.)

    I think the new ban is b/c so many parents are letting their 10 yrs olds (and younger)read the books. There is no way I am letting my daughter read them until she is 14 or above. Get a grip parents and monitor your children. The books should never have been marketed as young adult anyway.

  16. oh yeah, me again. I do think these books are affecting people's marriages; some claim for the better. Not for me, no matter how hard I try I keep comparing my husband to Edward and of course he can't live up to it. I am disappointed that he never, even when we dated eons ago, treated me/looked at me like Edward does Bella. I feel cheated.

  17. First off, let me start by saying I cannot stand any sort of censorship. I cannot agree more with "Anonymous" right above me in the comments. The books are targeted as Young Adult novels which is 14-21--if parents are letting their 13 year old or younger read them then they need to be responsible for that. I think even if they fall into the targeted age range it is worth a discussion.

    I know many parents that opted to let their YA age kids only read the first three and not BD--I am not sure if I agree with this however. Being "forbidden" to read Judy Blume's "Forever" when I was young didn't stop me. I still have my dog-eared copy given to me by my best friend's neighbor.

    It will be interesting to see what Stephenie's response is to this.

  18. Ok its me again LDS wife/mother.

    I posted a question about this on an LDS board and this was a response I got...it seemed very on point.

    "Here my two cents: in the last book Jacob imprints on an infant, I'm sorry but while SMeyer didn't mean to positive portray pedophilia the fact that a teenage boy finds his soulmate on a newborn baby, in this day and age of constant sickos and headlines from news about children being sexually abuse this could easily be take as a positive portrayal.

    Rough sex; when they initially consummate their relationship, she wakes up all bruised up and battered and she is ok with it. Now we may argue that He is a vampire blahblahblah and can't control his strength. However this book is marketed for YA and the talk of a woman being ok with being battered is wrong on so many levels.

    If you look on the internet since the publication of this book, teenage girls have come out with little sayings, like "Edward can bruise me and brake my headboard anytime he wants" if that doesn't translate to girls being ok with abuse Idk what does.

    Yes we can all argue that this is all fiction however we as lds ppl are told:

    aWe believe in being bhonest, true, cchaste, dbenevolent, virtuous, and in doing egood to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we fhope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to gendure all things. If there is anything hvirtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    This book blurs the line, between what is virtuous and not. "

  19. Anonymous LDS, are you serious? Deseret Books is pulling out the books because they destroy marriages...??? I'm sorry that your husband can't live up to Edward, but obviously you guys have some marital issues that have nothing to do with the books. I loved reading the books because they reminded me of how it was back when we were dating, the excitement and cuteness of it all. If anything, the books helped me recommit to my husband and love him even more.

    But, anyway, I digress.

    Deseret Books is a church store. They only sell books that teach church principles in one way or the other. Obviously, the Twilight series doesn't fit that. I don't think this means that church leaders are against the books (please don't start spreading the rumor that the books are out to destroy temple marriages, thank you). It only means that the books don't appeal to the customers that Deseret Books store has, namely people who search for spirituall uplifting books.

    I'd be interested: does deseret books sell Orson Scott Card's books (him being LDS and all?)

  20. I just checked... Deseret Books does NOT sell Orson Scott Card's Ender's series or his other sci-fi books. They do sell his biblical fiction, Rachel and Rebekah.

    So I don't think the fact that they pulled out the Twilight series in anything personal. It just doesn't fit the mark of spiritually uplifting. That's all. Peace out.

  21. Hey Kathy at 1:12 - I am a "right wing people" and I love the twilight series and the cast that was chosen for the films. Not all "right wing people" however, are as they are stereotyped. I find it ironic how those that don't like being stereotyped actually stereo type others. We all absolutely have a right to our opinion - you included and I respect your right to decide to do and read what you want. But we also have to respect other's rights to choose not to carry a product if they don't want to. Like someone else said, I would just shop elsewhere - we all have choices whether we agree or not.

  22. What i think...as a former LDS member **with nothing against the church**, the best guess i have is that it was pulled because of the sexual tension, which seems reasonable. The book is not a spiritual book by any means and i was wondering why they were selling it at Deseret Book in the first place. as far as the BYU bookstore still selling it, it's because they sell all sorts of books.

    the sad thing here is that it must've been complained about a lot by..mothers, most likely. well, if you don't want your ten year old reading it, then don't buy it for her. it's that simple. BUT it bothers me that sexual tension can make people so uncomfortable. your children are going to feel it, most likely LONG before Bella's 18 years and if they're sheltered from it, without good examples of how to deal with it, LIKE IN THIS BOOK, then they're going to go exploring...and that's what i've found with a lot of my LDS friends who've had pre-marital sex..plain and simple, no one ever talked about it and they didn't know what to do when they got into that situation. my children will be able to read this if they want to, then we can discuss where their morality stands and what chioces are available. that's the best you can do.

  23. Thats stupid, isn't LDS a mormon church anyways??? were the males have like 5 wives? So why would the husbands be complianing?

    But any ways, i go to a private Christian school and the whole immortal vampires & sex stuff hasn't cause a problem.

    My Bible teacher saw the movie and my english teacher reads them. . .i think it was some crazy jealous Harry Potter fan.

  24. they probably pulled it cuz it about vampires i had the same experience.....

  25. Here is my view on the matter. I too have relatives that have taken the "Twilight Is Religiously Bad" approach and refused to read the book or watch the movie. They just rely on information fed to them not on their actual opinion or interpretation. So this is how I see it as a mother and aunt....

    1. I would much rather my pre-teenage daughter read about sex in a loving marriage than watch the trash that being dished out on every tv show out there.

    2. I also would want my daughter to know that yes in a relationship there will be kissing and there probably will be the desire to want to go further, but it is possible to wait and say no. Even when there are unsupervised times making out does not have to lead to sex.

    3. I think that girls can look at Bella and see that she held out for the right guy who treated her well and loved her more than himself. She didn't settle. I would want my daugther to have a boyfriend that loved her more than himself...who wouldn't?

    4. I would also like to point out that this is book can create a wonderful open door for these types of discussions with teens. While many parents cringe when they are watching some embarrassing sex scene on any given TV show, a discussion of the book could be quite opposite.

    5. No where in the book does it say anything negative about religion, God or life after death. You all know the history...Carlisle (son of clergyman), Edward (not sure if he still has a chance at heaven), Bella (convinced that God would not deny someone as good as Edward)...you get the point.

    Finally...IT IS FICTION!! NOT REAL!! Just like every other book on the kids book list at school.

  26. One Word: FICTION!

  27. Im a christian, but I hate to remind these hypocrates, that in our own bible, Noah and many men of the old testiment had several wives and solicite affairs. So, please, spare us with the sex stuff. Edward tells Bella NO, on many occasions, So in a way, Edward has better behavior then the men in our christian bible.

  28. Its a very, very short-sighted move. It not only hurts Deseret Book financially, it makes the store look silly, hurting the entire LDS market (as I've oberved elsewhere.)

  29. First off, to all those who seem to be annoyed by the fact that I am both a discerning reader and a lover of Twilight, the point I was trying to make is that as a writer (which I am currently earning my Masters in right now), it is just bad form to impose your beliefs on your characters and in so doing sacrifice the more realistic and relatable approach. Bottom line, her religious beliefs are heavy handed, yet she tries to disguise them in a not so subtle way. I'm not saying that Meyer can't voice her opinion or broadcast her beliefs, but call a spade a spade. And because this is America, like you so kindly pointed out, I can both love the series and critique it at the same. I love the Twilight series, but I am not a blind reader.

  30. Wow.
    Yeah, the whole Jacob imprinting on Rennesmee creeped me out and pissed me off, but it's fiction.
    And with the rough sex.... once again fiction! I think Stephanie Meyer made it clear that Edward was stronger than humans and that he didn't want to have sex with Bella because he didn't want to hurt her! I think that sends a good message personally.
    Another thing, sex is a part of life. Whether people want to believe it or not, teens have sex. Even religious teens. Even 13 and 14 year olds! There was a 13 year old at my school who had sex with a 19 year old (yes, gross I know, but it does happen!) If anything, this book is sending a positive message to wait until you are married!
    Now, I'm probably biased because I'm not religious and censorship pisses me off like nothing else, but all I think this is going to do is hurt the bookstores profits.

  31. The whole 'imprinting' thing is explained numerous times as 'non-sexual.' It's a soul-connection and like a protective bond.

    It's NOT sexual, so I don't understand the negative reaction to it.

    The 'innocence' of the series is one of the things that made it so successful, I think.
    The purity of B&E's love was special . . . the beauty and truth of *that* kind of permeated the whole story, including Jacob and Reneesme, too.

    Having a kind of committed connection that isn't vulnerable to circumstance or emotion . . . I mean, isn't that how you could define real, true 'love' at its core?

  32. For those who are not LDS, I fully expect you to roll your eyes at what I am about to say.

    For those of you who are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -- You should know better than to embrace these books if you have been paying attention to the counsel frequently given by the First Presidency and Quourum of the Twelve. This material is not acceptable for adults or children when weighed against the standards outlined in numerous conference talks, scripture and the for strength of youth pamphlet.

    I could spend a great deal of effort to beat around the bush and find the lightest and most complimentary way to address this issue so it does not ruffle feathers, but in the end most people who dont want to change their life style or give this kind of material up will be offended and fight back anyway so I want to be plain and straight.

    My motivation for saying these things is because I believe in being an influence for good in this world and that we have been asked by our LDS leaders to speak up on moral issues and not stand on the side lines ignoring these eroding influences. I am not a perfect person, but even imperfect individuals can and should encourage each other to grow stronger in spiritual character development.

    Before you get angry and dismiss what I am saying, read the section on media in the for strengh of Youth pamphlet very carefully several timesl, then go to the subject of media on LDS.org and read several of the talks given there - M. Russell Ballard -"let our voices be heard" H. Burke Peterson - "leave it alone"., read president Hinkleys book "speaking out on moral issues.

    Ballard's talk "let our voices be heard" makes a good point that most people profess a belief in family and moral values, but that intelligent evil is cunning enough to approach and gain access to these kind of people by using amoral approaches in media. This is exactly what Meyers is doing with Twilight to bring innapropriate imagery and thoughts to the mind of many people who will initially think and argue that the stuff is clean so they dont have to worry.

    The Twilight series places the readers mind at the edge of a sexual encounter frequently. Yes, Edward refuses to give into Bellas begging for it, but not because he has any moral objection to premarital sex, rather its because he is afraid he will kill her in the act. The author does not give proper moral context to the temptation these two face in contrast to the Biblical account of Joseph and Potiphars wife where she grabs him by his clothes and demands come lie wih me Joseph, in this account he recognizes the spiritual danger and literally runs away leaving a piece of his clothing in her hand to avoid the temptation.

    Stephanie Meyers is not giving us that kind of moral context and the reason these books are so popular is because they generate exciting sexual tension and fantasy for young and old minds to feed off of. These are normal temptations which we must resist and I applaud Deseret Books very late effort to aknowledge the controversial content. I do think if they are recognizing the content to be objectionable, they should just pull it all together and not offer it even as special order. It either fits right in with morally acceptable LDS standards for consumption or it does not. In this case I argue the latter.

    People arguing that Meyers approaches the sexuality and ultimate consumated act in the most artful classy way is so irrelivant to standard keeping Latterday saints. There is plenty of exciting porn which approaches the consumer with very soft, delicate descriptions of other peoples private desires and love making encounters but none of that makes it acceptable. Not to mention that it is completely unrealistic for two kids to spend the night in bed kissing in thier underwear and never actually go all the way. Your teen daughter may enjoy hours pondering how nice it would be to have some excitement in her life like edward and Bella do and perhaps she can enjoy those feelings and be as strong as they are in the books.

    Yes Meyers doesnt give us much compared to traditionally labled erotic literature, but she is willing to generate plenty of mental imagery and enough description to marinate in those exciting feelings between those two characters. Do you really want your wife, daughter, son or husband to spend that much time thinking about the sexual tension and account of the act when they do finally have thier experience together?


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