"The problem is that SOME [exposure to the gospel] may be worse than NONE. I've been around people from part-member families (and while I know not all are like this), ones that I have known have had no trouble taking the sacrament and then going out to lunch and ordering (gasp!) an iced tea. Not that that is evil incarnate, but it suggests that this person, at least, has fully learned the lesson of her youth: the church is nice, and it works for some, but it wasn't crucial to me (as your mother) that you be raised by someone who believes in it. She would have perhaps been better off raised without the gospel and then encountering it wholeheartedly instead of learning that 'the half-way covenant' is good enough."I think this is the problem; this person believes the Church should trump all relationships, especially marriage. You shouldn't even consider marrying an outsider. Why would you? They aren't part of the Church, and the Church is the most important thing in life.
I don't want my kids exposed to these kinds of clannish, suffocating ideas, at least not until they are old enough to judge for themselves. I think it is a toxic mindset. And I don't think it's only Mormons that are afflicted with this; most churches (I'm looking at you Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Judaism, etc.) strongly discourage marrying outside of your religion. I whole-heartedly reject all this foolishness.
Which is more important, my wife or church? You shouldn't even have to think about it.
My wife will always take precedence over church. My family will always take precedence over church. Guess what? I hope my children do learn that the church is nice and okay for some people, but it's not the most important thing and it's not for everyone. It certainly shouldn't determine who you marry and it definitely shouldn't make you feel bad about yourself.
And that brings me to the second reason I won't raise my (theoretical) children Mormon: the church can't deal with sexuality. If I was scarred by the repressiveness of the church teachings growing up as a straight male, I can only imagine the hell it must be to grow up gay and Mormon. If my kids are gay, I don't want them them to be made miserable by constantly hearing about how bad of sinners they are, just for being themselves. There is a lot of ugly, unnecessary guilt imposed by the church that we could do without.
The number one lesson that will be taught in the Flanders' home is that being a good person and good to others are the only essential things. Everything else, including church, is fungible.