Brigham Young University
| Divinely-translated articles about|
|Restoration by interpretation|
|Even by study and also by faith|
|Following the needle of the Liahona|
Brigham Young University (abbreviated BYU) is a private university in Provo, Utah, named for the Mormon prophet. It is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Unlike many other strict religious universities (e.g., Bob Jones University), it is an accredited, internationally recognized university, complete with reputable scholastic and research departments as well as a diverse NCAA sports program, and not in any way a diploma mill— the university even openly teaches the doctrine of evolution. That said, it remains more than a little weird.
As one can imagine, BYU is 98.5% Mormon. BYU advertisements sport people of all races and ethnicities, but in reality, the school is one of the least diverse schools in the nation. BYU exhibits obvious disdain towards non-Mormons: tuition is doubled for non-LDS members, and all students must adhere to its strict LDS-based Honor Code, regardless of religious affiliation.
Many students take a break from school work to perform missionary work. In addition, students are pressured to get married ASAP. Returning Missionaries are especially attractive to young BYU women. There is very little time between a couple's first date, their wedding, and their first child. Thus, many young BYU women drop out of school, marry an older Returning Missionary, and assume the role of stay-at-home mothers with a handful of kids by their early twenties, something that former LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley encourages.
Many BYU LGBTQ students attend gay conversion therapy classes, and are pressured to marry the opposite gender. Almost all gay students at BYU have contemplated or attempted suicide at some point. Church literature forbids the word "gay" and instead, slaps the term "same-sex attraction" onto the entire LGBTQ population, thus ignoring the transgender population.
Students must also take a vow of abstinence and comply with strict guidelines regarding activities and dress code, including a prohibition on facial hair, hair past the ears for men, dyed hair, "unnatural" makeup, and tattoos.  BYU allows a beard exemption for individuals with medical conditions that preclude shaving, but this exemption must be "renewed" every term with a doctor's note. BYU does not allow religious exemptions to their no-facial-hair rule. Women are treated as walking pornography: clothes that reveal shoulders and knees are strictly prohibited. If a women incites a man's sexual feelings, she is completely to blame. A woman's virginity is held on a pedestal. Abstinence until marriage is held at utmost importance. Pornography and masturbation are considered as adultery, and are enormous sins that must be confessed to Church leaders, all of whom are old white men.
In addition, all students are required to obtain a Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement for each year they enroll at BYU. This can be obtained from their preacher (LDS or other churches). If this is not forthcoming, then students cannot graduate, even if they have completed all the necessary courses for their degree. In addition, members of the LDS who suffer excommunication, disfellowshipment, or disaffiliation are expected to "discontinue enrollment," as is anybody who fails to produce the required ecclesiastical endorsement for that year. Students who enroll as Mormons but lose faith while at BYU risk expulsion without any credits, making it harder for them to enroll elsewhere.
- BYU science professors don't view teaching evolution as excluding faith, The Maneater
- see here
- This prohibition is especially entertaining given the prominent image on their website of a statue of Brigham Young sporting a full beard.
- Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement & Withdrawn Ecclesiastical Endorsement
- BYU Has Altered Its Awful Policy Affecting Students Who Leave the Mormon Church While in School