Manti Te'o and Mormonism: Understanding LDS dating culture

Published: Friday, Feb. 1 2013 11:00 a.m. MST

In this photo taken on Jan. 22, 2013 and released by ABC Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, right, speaking with host Katie Couric during an interview for "Katie," in New York. Te'o has told Couric that he briefly lied about his online girlfriend after discovering she didn't exist, while maintaining that he had no part in creating the hoax. The interview will air on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Disney-ABC, Lorenzo Bevilaqua, Associated Press

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Our take: In the wake of the Manti Te'o "catfishing" controversy, chaplain Stephen Weber explains that many would understand how Te'o was duped if they understood the Mormon dating culture as opposed to mainstream dating.

Much of media coverage surrounding the so-called "catfishing" of college football star Manti Te'o has highlighted the questions left unanswered. Amid an athletic industry replete with falls from grace, Te'o's repeated claims of innocence do little to address assertions that no relationship could survive on texts and tweets alone. But, according to some LDS scholars, his Mormon faith might.

Stephen Weber, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chaplain at Yale University, has worked with thousands of Mormon college students in his 35-year career. Weber, a life-long member of the LDS church, says that those looking for answers in the Te'o controversy may benefit from a better understanding of Mormon dating.

Read more about Manti Te'o and Mormonism: Understanding LDS Dating Culture on Huffington Post .

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