Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood

Yes, Robert Pattinson, There Really Are Mormon Themes in “Twilight”


I hate to disagree with Robert Pattinson. He’s just so darn beautiful. But when His Hunkiness goes public with ignorant statements like the following, I have to beg to differ. And hope that he won’t crush my skull.

“I think people make up all these Mormon references just so they can publish ‘Twilight’ articles in respectable publications like the New York Times. Even Stephenie said it doesn’t mean any of that. It is based on a dream.”


Apparently Pattinson is worried that if the Twilight series is dismissed as being infused with Mormonism, the Eclipse movie will only take in $295 million in domestic box office instead of the $296 million that New Moon sucked out of fans.

OK, Robert Pattinson, here’s a reality check: Yes, the Twilight books were conceived in a dream that Stephenie Meyer had about a vampire named Edward (that’s you!) and an ordinary girl talking in a meadow. But so much else about the series is decidedly Mormon that to claim that people “make up” Mormon references is just silly. What’s buried deep inside any good novelist is going to “out” whether the writer intends it to or not. That has clearly happened here.


The Religion News Service ran a pretty good article about the Mormonism-Twilight connection last week. Although the first few points (like the fact that Bella doesn’t drink alcohol, remains a virgin until marriage, and doesn’t want to abort her unborn half-breed) are superficial, some of the others get to the theological heart of Twilight‘s Mormon roots. Here are a few quotes from the article:

  • “A crucial Mormon belief is that humans can become divine. In the “Twilight” series, the Cullen family of vampires once was human but now lives without death in a resurrected condition. Meyer describes the Cullens, particularly Edward, as “godlike” and “inhumanly beautiful.”
  • Mormons believe angels are resurrected beings of flesh and bone. …Bella describes her vampire boyfriend, Edward, as an angel whom she cannot imagine “any more glorious.” Edward’s skin sparkles in the sunlight, and he visits Bella’s bedroom at night. 
  • A unique LDS teaching is that marriages are “sealed” for eternity; spouses are referred to as eternal companions. Bella describes her relationship with Edward as “forever.”
  • The Book of Mormon teaches that a remnant of . . . [ancient Israel] came to America around 600 B.C.; their descendents, the Lamanites, are among the ancestors of the Native Americans. Quileute names in the series are decidedly Hebrew: Jacob, Paul, Sam, Ephraim, Jared, Seth, Joshua, Levi, Rebecca and Rachel….” [I’d also add here a point that Maxine Hanks has made: in Meyer’s imagination about the Quileutes, a specific kind of spiritual leadership is passed from father to son, becomes activated in early adolescence, and stands between the Quileute people and their ruin. Hello, Mormon priesthood.]

To those points we could add a few more. In an article for BYU Studies and Mormon Times that I wrote last year (summarized here), I argued that the overall theme of Twilight corresponds with one of the crucial issues in the Book of Mormon, which Stephenie Meyer has identified as her favorite book. That issue is overcoming the “natural man.” Edward Cullen is literally carnal. He has to make the decision every day to overcome his nature and be selfless and good–what the Book of Mormon argues is the challenge of every person. The natural “man” (or woman, or hottie vampire) is an enemy to God and has to be put off in favor of struggling for holiness. (Mosiah 3:19)


Edward’s journey is made possible through exercising his agency, another key doctrine that, while hardly unique to Mormonism, is fully developed there. Agency is a radical freedom, the ability to choose one’s eternal destiny and not be defined by whatever path seems laid out by circumstance. Edward’s natural tendency is to be a vampire, but he knows he can be much more. He can be loving and good. (Well, except when he’s not in one of his mercurial fits of inexplicable rage for which Bella winds up apologizing. You can’t have everything. But this is Flunking Sainthood, where we extend grace even to the moody undead.)

Yes, Robert Pattinson, there are Mormon themes in Twilight. Fans sit enraptured as Bella continues her quest to be part of an ideal LDS family that mates for eternity, has regular Family Home Evenings, and is headed up by a benevolent patriarch and a gentle homemaker. But cheer up. Your character gets to live forever and (spoiler!) reproduce even in your postlife–another peculiarly LDS doctrine. Weird, yes . . . but definitely Mormon.

  • JJN

    The bulleted list of ‘connections’ are as weak as they come. Talk about grasping at straws.

  • blooit

    Grasping at straws is an understatement. Any author will put pieces of themselves in their work, but the parallels here are weak at best. I guess we could also say that since Bella’s last name is Swan, birdwatching themes are also present in this film.
    I’m not trying to be disrespectful and maybe some small “Stephanie Meyer culture” peeks through, but the mormon conspiracy theories out there (although notably not in this article) are really absurd.
    Too bad though – wouldn’t an avidly preachy Twilight have been fun . . .?

  • JAHS

    I think your’e exagerating a little when you say these things are “decidedly Mormon”
    The Bible teaches resurrection too (1 Cor 15:21-22)
    and that man can become glorified like God (Romans 8:16-17, 30)
    The first resurrected being Jesus Christ had a body of flesh and bone. (Luke 24: 38-43)
    Here’s something about the natural man as well (1 Cor 2:14)
    And as I recall there’s a lot of Hebrew names in the Bible too.
    These ides might be decidedly Christian but not necesarliy decidedly Mormon.

  • Fresh

    As I recall the vast majority of the Hebrew names mentioned may well be indeed Hebrew, but are in fact names of Stephanie’s relatives. I really had to laugh at the lack of research in this article at that point.

  • Chelsea

    I see Mormonism all over Twilight, and have to admit I’m a bit baffled by those who don’t. To suggest that an author’s religious worldview would have NO influence on her writings is kinda silly.
    What I find most fascinating in Twilight is Meyer’s treatment of the dangers of sexuality (rolled up into very real physical danger for Bella). The forbidden aspects of sex, but also the idea that there is a right time and a right place, and that it can be a transformative experience. Another very Mormon theme.

  • alimac

    Sex before marriage is not just a Morman idea .Edward was born in the early 1900’s The proper gentleman in the 1900’s was taught not to have sex before marriage .
    Also I don’t know about you but many people choose not to drink and what did you want underage Bella to do ? Crack a beer open in front of her father .
    As for Abortion it’s not just a Morman thing .A lot of other relgions argue aginst Abortions .
    As for angel like what else would you call a living “David” statue .
    Stephenie Meyer is the Author and it would be reasonable for some of her experienceces and beliefs to transend in to her works .
    All artists give themseleves at least a little to their work .

  • Richard

    Ok. Let’s be real people.
    (1) The writer of the books/series was/is Mormon. It is next to impossible to write a series like this and not allow some of yourself into the books.
    (2) If the writer had not been Mormon would there be a discussion like this? Let’s say the write was Catholic, or Pegan, or had not religious preference at all. Even if the book was exactly the same would it still be said that Mormon Doctrine was laced into the books. I think not.
    (3) Everything else aside who cares if “Mormon Principles” principles are included in this book/movie series. Just because principles of a religion happen to be in the series, or happen NOT to be in the series does that make a difference to the fans?
    I think not.

  • http://Wow! Derek

    This is silly, I believe him now! Writer’s like this one seem to be fishing so they can have a story that pops up on-line about the “Twilight series”! I just read the story and I laughed at the evidence! What did the writer expect us to say “wow, how dare this woman put good moral’s in a teen movie” I feel kinda stupid for even responding to this drivel! Leave the people who like the movie and it’s writer alone and go pick a fight with someone that is teaching our kids bad morals, Oh wait that would mean that your article wouldnt get many hits because none are as populer as this series. Oh this is sad!

  • Shellybelle

    I am not Mormon, but why is Stephenie Meyer being treated like she’s horrible for being one.
    I agree with many of the above posts. Big deal, Bella doesn’t drink. Not all teens are boozers, no matter what religion. As for the premarital sex, Bella wanted to have sex, it was Edward who didn’t before marriage. I’m sure stemming from the fact that he’s over 100 years old.
    As for the abortion issue,…. oh, let’s crucify Bella for not wanting to kill the child growing inside of her.
    It’s amazing the jealousy that is out there involving people who are not Twilight fans.

  • Pamela

    Well seeing that Pattinson knows Stephanie Meyer personally, is starring in the movie franchise, he has no doubt talked to her at great length about Twilight. My betting is, is that he knows more about the creation of Twilight than a blogger, who hasn’t spoken directly with the author (as far as I can tell).
    Yes I am sure Meyer’s religious morals will no doubt influence and inspire her writing. However for every example you have given, I can give several more that are not Morman, or even inspired through religion.
    For example:
    The names you mentioned? A lot of the names are of her own family, brothers, uncles etc. The wolfpack are based on her brothers.
    Most couples consider their relationship to be “forever”; what is so Morman about that?
    Angels are throughout every religion just with different names and guises. “Angel” being the most common term.
    Vampires are immortal, it’s the absolute basis of the myth surrounding them.

  • KarenA

    Is this author a licensed bigot? Fantasy in every genre is between the imagination of the author, and the imagination of the reader. Is there nothing of more importance that this writer could spend time in editoralizing? What a debbie downer!

  • Your Name

    Okay, commenters. Jana Riess has a PhD in American religious history and has written books on Mormonism. She is a perceptive observer of religion in media (see her book about religious themes in Buffy), and is quite well-qualified to speak to this topic. Her observations of the connections between Twilight’s themes and Mormon theology are quite plausible and worth paying attention to. Feel free to disagree about the significance of all this, but don’t diss the religion scholar who probably knows way more than you do on this topic.

  • Your Name

    “I argued that the overall theme of Twilight corresponds with one of the crucial issues in the Book of Mormon . . . That issue is overcoming the “natural man.” . . . He has to make the decision every day to overcome his nature and be selfless and good–what the Book of Mormon argues is the challenge of every person. . . .”
    Say what? Working toward becoming perfect has suddenly become uniquely Mormon? Of course not. Pointing out obvious overlaps with Christ’s teachings simply strengthens the Mormon link to Christ . . . whether intended or not by the author of this blog.

  • MIel

    WHO CARES? Twilight was the lamest book series EVER! I don’t get what the big deal is. I can see where dumb teen-age girls swoon over this crap, but grown women? Who cares if Stephanie Meyers is Mormon or if a little of her beliefs creep into this book. I just don’t get why anyone cares.
    Besides, what is so scary about Mormonism anyway? Seems like everyone is out to crucify this religion. Get a grip people!

  • Your Name

    The first thing you learn at the young writers’ summer camp is “write about what you know.” If the author of the vampire series is a Latter-Day Saint (that is, a Mormon) she is likely to write about things she knows, of which LDS practices and doctrines would be a part. That really isn’t the issue. The issue is the allegations that the author is trying to brainwash her readers with her Mormon themes, which is ridiculous. Virtually every novelist writes about the things they are familiar with in one way or another. Do we hear the alarmists histerically accusing them of trying to brainwash their readers? Not usually. We hear these allegations because, and only because, these are “Mormon” themes. The allegations seem to be coming from the same groups that proclaimed loudly that they could not under any circumstances vote for a Mormon (that is, Mitt Romney) because of the Mormons’ “un-Christian” beliefs. Taken down to its core, the argument from this group is that we should not read the Twilight books, nor watch the Twilight movies because the author is a heretic. Stated in these bald terms, it is easy to see the histeria for what it really is.

  • Samoht

    Try reading Orson Scott Card.

  • Sue

    JAHS: ‘These ides might be decidedly Christian but not necesarliy decidedly Mormon.’
    More evidence of the link between the Book of Mormon and the Bible, as if it were needed! Also proves that Mormons are Christians, after all.
    The Twilight series is dripping with examples of LDS teachings and way of life, goals and expectations, despite what Robert Pattison and others might believe. Doesn’t make the books/movies any less enjoyable for that, imo.
    Thanks to Jana for (another) great article, and to Stephanie Meyer for such inspirational and enjoyable story-telling.

  • Sue

    JAHS: ‘These ides might be decidedly Christian but not necesarliy decidedly Mormon.’
    More evidence of the link between the Book of Mormon and the Bible, as if it were needed! Also proves that Mormons are Christians, after all.
    The Twilight series is dripping with examples of LDS teachings and way of life, goals and expectations, despite what Robert Pattison and others might believe. Doesn’t make the books/movies any less enjoyable for that, imo.
    Thanks to Jana for (another) great article, and to Stephanie Meyer for such inspirational and enjoyable story-telling.

  • Jana Riess

    Clearly, people are passionate about this series! (Well, except for Miel. No problem.) I appreciate all the comments on both sides — thanks for checking out the post.
    One thing I do want to clarify is that I in no way find the books’ dormant Mormon themes a threat; I simply find them fascinating. There’s no conspiracy here. In fact, I’m Mormon myself.

  • Eve Ellsworth

    I find this to be REALLY reaching! What teenage girl DOESN’T say that she wants to be with her true love ‘forever’. I think the connections made are very weak!

  • Mike

    A crucial Mormon belief is that humans can become divine. In the “Twilight” series, the Cullen family of vampires once was human but now lives without death in a resurrected condition. Meyer describes the Cullens, particularly Edward, as “godlike” and “inhumanly beautiful.”
    There is nothing “godlike” about an immortal teenage vampire ghoul and his necrophiliac girlfriend, and there mere fact that someone would even suggest a similarity between the ascension of God and a vampire – a fictional demon with many historical close ties to satanic ritual – is so incredibly offensive to me
    I don’t care how cute R-Patz is… Go watch a real vampire movie like “Blade” or “Van Helsing” and then come back and tell me how “godlike” you think vampires are. Shame on you Religion News Service

  • dillet

    Mormon themes, yes, certainly. So what? To those who see them as “dangerous, out-to-convert-our-children”, don’t be so paranoid.

  • Carl

    If Twilight smacks of Mormonism…well then we all are in trouble. Mark Twain once said that the Book of Mormon was chloroform in print. Ditto with for Twilight books.

  • Corina

    Big deal if it is influenced by mormon idealogy. Battlestar Galactica in both the Classic and New version have intertwined Mormon theology. In the end it is a great story to follow.
    The neat thing about Twilight is that many things are open to ones interpretation. Give it a rest will ya?

  • Chelsea

    Mike, It’s true that vampires aren’t traditionally thought of as “godlike”, but Meyer explicitly describes Edward that way in Twilight.

  • Caroline

    Wow, your article is really reaching. You can reference Mormon beliefs until you are blue in the face, but you know what, most of those same things can be found in just about any religion out there. It is just how you interpret things. People are just focusing on the Mormon part because of the fact that Stephenie Meyer is Mormon. Big deal, so what. I’m not even Mormon and I still believe in things like waiting for sex until marriage and striving to better yourself every day and that has nothing to do with me wanting to get into heaven if it even exists. For me, it is all about morals and just wanting to be a good person. And even if Stephenie Meyer admitted that the ideas in her books did come from her religion, so what? It’s a great story and it isn’t like it is teaching people anything bad.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright was criticized widley among Catholics and Evangelical Christians for saying in his book, “Surprised by Hope”, that Christian resurrection will involve spirits being revived in physical bodies that will inhabite forever a transformed earth, and that these are the clear teachings of the Bible. Indeed, the alleged heretical aspect of his assertions was pointedly made by noting that the physicality of the resurrection is something that is distinctively Mormon (even though he makes no reference to Mormonism in his book). Wright’s rejoinder to his critics (e.g. in First Things) was that the Mormons have simply been more willing to actually read what the Bible says about this doctrine.
    So, yes, the concept of physically embodied eternal beings are taught in the Bible, but not generally in the Sunday Schools of most traditional Christian denominations. The association of that Biblical teaching with what many see as distinctively Mormon beliefs is one that the critics of Wright’s book were very explicit about.
    Likewise, any honest examination of the Bible shows that Christ called his disciples to look forward to receiving godlike attributes in the eternities, and this original Christian doctrine, described by Bishop Irenaeus of Lyon in the 2nd Century as “God became man so that man could become God”, is still preserved and taught in the Eastern Orthodox churches (including the Russian Orthodox Church my mother grew up in, in Japan) as the belief in “theosis” or “divinization”. Catholics and Protestants criticize Mormons for embracing ths doctrine, but it is they who have abandoned an ancient Christian teaching.
    Ancient Christians believed in the “harrowing of hell”, the belief that Christ descended to the world of the dead between his own death and resurrection, and brought out many people who had died before Christ preached his gospel of salvation on earth. This belief is mentioned in Peter’s First Epistle, and is the basis for Paul’s mention in First Corinthians of baptism performed on bahlf of those who died without receiving it in life. It is part of the classic formulation of the Apostle’s Creed, which predates Nicea by a century. Yet it has been dropped from Catholic and thus Protestant doctrine, even while it is embraced enthusiastically by the Mormons, preserving another aspect of ancient Christianity.
    The idea that even the vampires in the Twilight narrative, who died into a kind of living hell, might have some hope of redemption, is a very Mormon idea because it is a Christian idea that other denominations have abandoned.
    So there are a number of aspects of the Twilight narrative that have points of similarity with aspects of Christian belief, but in several cases they are beliefs that have a solid Christian pedigree but have been rejected by many modern churches, even as they are embraced by Mormon Christians, to the point that those legitimately Christian doctrines are labeled as “heretical” simply because Mormons accept them.
    The extremists of anti-Mormonism have denied that anything the Mormons believe is Christian, even the centrality of Jesus of Nazareth as the Word who created the earth (see John 1 and hebrews 1) and redeemed mankind (John 3:16), to the point that they make the ridiculous claim that Mormons have a “different Jesus”. For some reason, though, they don’t claim that about the Orthodox Churches, who differ on the precise formulation of the Trinity, or the Catholic church, which has issued five hundred years of doctrinal statements rejected by the Protestants.

  • Raymnond Takashi Swenson

    Yes, there are clearly parallels between the fantasy world of Forks in the Twilight narrative and several legitimate Christian beliefs, although the range of Christian beliefs is wide and disagreement over them drove the schisms between the many churches.
    Several of those legitimate Christian beliefs have actually been rejected by the majority of Catholic and Protestant churches.
    One is the belief that humans who are saved are destined to become like God. Rejected by Catholics and Protestants, but a belief of early Christians that is embraced still by all the Eastern Orthodox churches. They call it “Theosis”.
    Another belief is in the opportunity for the salvation of those already dead. It is a belief that is promoted in I Peter and I Corinthians, and was embodied in the “Harrowing of Hell” by Christ, descending to hades to release people from hell while his body was awairing resurrection in the tomb. It is part of the Apostles Creed, but is not included in the Nicene and later creeds. It is a Christian response to the need for God to be fair to the Gentile ancestors of Christians, who never lived to hear the Gospel preached.
    A third belief of early Christians, reflected all through the Bible, is in a physical resurrection. Many Catholics and Protestants think resurrection is spiritual, but Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright, in his book “Surprised by Hope”, argues forcefully that the Bible actually asserts a physical resurrection upon a transformed earth.
    All three of these ancient but now largely abandoned Christian beliefs are embraced wholeheartedly by Mormons. They are Christian beliefs, but not Catholic or Protestant ones. And they are Mormon ones.
    Wright has been criticized for sounding like a Mormon in his book, but his response is that the Mormons have simply been paying closer attention to the actual words of the Bible than other Christians. That goes not only for physical resurrection but also for theosis and salvation for the dead as well. Mormons have far better claim to be “Biblical Christians” than many other modern churches. It is ironic that many of the specific doctrines for which Mormons are condemned as “non-Christian” are ones in which they are actually MORE like the Christians of Peter and Paul’s era than are other modern churches.

  • Jack

    I hear other part of Mormon values are stalking girls by watching them sleep and slashing their tires when you see fit. Can anyone verify this?

  • Corbin77

    Look the truth is Robert and Kristen shouldn’t talk. Every time they open their mouth they say something stupid. I studied theology and no religion believes in sleeping with a dead guy or delivering a half monster. I can’t believe the Vatican hasn’t boycotted the movie. I know the Leaders of the Mormon religion don’t condone Twilight. Actually Baptist, Methodist and Christian Scientist don’t condone it either. Breaking Dawn goes against the laws of nature. It doesn’t help that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart can’t act.

  • Corbin77

    Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are major druggies and Robert Pattinson has a alcohol problem as well. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were the worse choices for Bella and Edward. These two don’t even know what religious beliefs are.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment TypicalHipster

    Being a former Mormon I can point out so many things. For one the Edward Cullen should be called Elder Cullen. Lots of young Mormon girls hide sexual interest in the travelling missionaries. They are shrouded in mystery. You cannot touch them, they are pure. Vigilant and part of a private quorum. I see the Cullen characters mirroring the traits of the untouchable Elders. Good girls aim to marry elders. We were taught to wait for eternal love and many temple practices used to mention blood and sacrifice. As far as Jacob. I knew ten of them from church, common name. Knew a bunch of kids named Swan if that matters.
    But what I am getting down to is Mormonism tells tales of beast like people and Angel/man/god combos and how they are enternal heroes. The books do reflect the religion.

  • Bula @ The Irreverent Traveller

    I think the author of this article has some extremely valid points. I am a former English instructor and when my students were gripped by the craze of Twilight, I had to read it (“You can’t make fun of it you haven’t read it!” A pretty good argument). I was struck by the strong Mormon undertones in the series. I grew up around quite a few Mormons and the same attitude and mentality is very much there in the book. Marriage at a young age, as they got married when Bella turned eighteen. Edward being absolutely obsessed with Bella’s soul though he doesn’t claim to be religious. He also wants to wait until after marriage to do the deed. While you can write this off as him being old-fashioned, he hardly seems it by the fact that he uses expensive technology and doesn’t exactly “court” her the way you would someone in the 1900’s. Definitely a book with a Mormon undertone and I didn’t come into the series looking for that. It’s there for sure. And to market this series as books and movies to a mass audience, the last thing the author wants to do is strongly associate it with any religious beliefs. But it’s quite clever for a series that is so stupid — at least in the fact that it slips in some religious messages and themes. Stephanie Meyers just made abstinence before marriage cooler than it has been in decades.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John

    @ Bula: that’s some weak sauce.

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  • visualwave

    Well Mormonism is in conflict with Orthodox Christianity, but not drinking is not strictly a Mormon practice or a Christian one either. Orthodox Christians for instance give the Eucharist to even the very young strong wine and all. But generally do not drink much outside of church, save for Europe where there are different and more mature attitudes about a number of things. I don’t think the themes are particularly unique to Mormons either, abstinence till marriage and not wanting to abort a child even if the mothers life is in danger. Remember in the movie it was Bella’s clear choice to take the risk and many parents would risk everything including their lives for their children.
    I was refreshing to see that although Bella was attracted to a vampire, that she had a sense of morality as did all the Cullen’s. Bella remarked at Edward was “Old School” well it would be realistic for people from their time period to hold close to those values. America was a very different place than what it is now. It also begs the question, Has modern man become better in this more enlightened age with all the instant gratification around? answer no. Part of the reason Bella is attracted to Edward is because he comes from such a time. Even though he is a vampire, he and the Cullen’s hold to an objective moral standard. They for what ever reason maybe vampires but they still decide to act in accordance with what they know is true in their heart. Gods law is still written on their hearts. Contrast that with bell’s friends at school. The valedictorian is clearly promiscuous though not overtly and the represent the norm that is schools today. The Cullen’s are always separate not just because they are vampires but because of what they are inside. America has become secularized and that is not a good thing and eclipse whether it intends to be or not gives commentary on that. Secularization followed to its logical conclusion always produces moral inversions. To the point that a vampire movie whose characters are from a different time and hold to vastly different values of that time can be misconstrued as having “Mormon values”.
    As for the Angel reference I think that might be a bit Mormon but I think it is stretching it. People refer to those they love as angels all time and yes Edward in his state is very beautiful. It should serve as a reminder that even fallen angels can appear as angels of light. Human kind according to the bible can only be like the angels after the judgment / resurrection. In fact those saved and those damned if you will will both live forever and have resurrection bodies. The difference is one set will live in eternal separation from God (and therefore eternal punishment) and the other lives in the presence of God. Bella should have followed Edwards advice. Her choice while it will be eternal is a choice that might lead or will lead to damnation. We overlook the fact that these vampires are not immortal. they maybe long lived but they can and do die.
    True immortality would be just that eternal. That only Gods gives by His grace and mercy. No amount of good works can earn it. Even the Cullen’s know the truth of that. Edward is under no illusions that being a vampire that survives on animal blood will save him. He even says he is going to hell. That implies dying. When Bella decided to become one of them, she choose to buy into a lie. Rosalie tried to tell her so did Edward. He wanted her to have a long life with him. She said you won’t want me when I am old. There is a modern concept and attitude right from the modern day. It is a real insult to Edward as well as men in general and a reflection of our broken modern times that turn out to be not so enlightened as we would think.

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