Thursday, January 14, 2010

Children mean Sacrifice

Much of the trend towards self-centeredness in marriage is evident in attitudes toward children, and how much of the developed world avoids them. And in that vein, the words of Joseph Smith, the prophet:

"The women of the latter-day saints are more beloved of the living God than any other women, because they are willing to bear His children." (The Prophet Joseph Smith by Truman G. Madsen)

“the time would come when none but the women of the Latter-day Saints would be willing to bear children.” (Young Woman’s Journal, Nov. 1890, 81)

This is actually severe enough that some developed countries have a negative growth rate, and the world population is soon slated to start shrinking. But that is a post for another day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Better to be a Pro-Family Slut, than a Anti-Family Zoramite

Mind you, neither one is good. But let's compare it to the parable of the Two Sons.

"But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.' The son answered, 'No, I won't go,' but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, 'You go,' and he said, 'Yes, sir, I will.' But he didn't go. Which of the two was obeying his father?" They replied, "The first, of course." Then Jesus explained his meaning: "I assure you, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the way to life, and you didn't believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to turn from your sins and believe him." Matt. 21:28-32 (NIV)
Why would I bring this up this way? I blogged just a bit ago about the rapidly declining marriage rate, for the nation at large. So many of us simply don't see this for a number of reasons
  1. The Church is very family oriented, and so are the people we associate with, as a whole.
  2. We tend to think of people as being like ourselves.
  3. Most of us (or so it seems) are already married, so we don't think about its effects.
However, too often, we unconsciously absorb the underlying attitudes in the world, even when we don't adopt their behavior. And what does this have to do with this parable?

The entire point of virtue is families. And if we miss that point, we have completely failed at virtue. This is not an idle question. We are as capable of sins by omission as we are sins of commission. And that means husband and wife.

PS. This is not a pass for screwing around, undue haste, or guilt because you are trying and can't. It is simply a reminder on the massive significance of marriage.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Increasingly Antagonistic War of the Sexes: The State of our Unions

The University of Virginia National Marriage Project yearly puts out a report on marriage and divorce called, The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America. And things looks bad. Of course, what everyone seems to talk about, the divorce rate, is on a gradual decline. And that, by itself, is good. But the marriage rate is not only declining, it is doing so at an accelerating rate.

First thing to notice (pic 1, courtesy of Family in America) , is that the number of marriages is decreasing. Unless you are saving yourself for marriage, virtually every reason for marriage is now obsolete. Perhaps you say, those things that denigrated the single and out-of-wedlock were bad, but the alternative isn't looking so hot either.

Using this graph, a back-of-the-envelope calculation tells me that in 35 years, the marriage rate will reach 0. Of course, there will be a few weirdos like Mormons and Catholics who will keep on regardless. Already, it is very nearly broken in some cultural circles : see "Marriage is for White People".

Elsewhere, the last 30 years of marriage rates were trend line fitted and found to be accelerating at a rate that gives us about 20 years, give or take, before marriage as a cultural institution is effectively dead for the masses. Men and Women have effectively decided, "Why buy the cow if the milk is free?"

This makes the entire divorce hand-wringing seem like it is quite missing the point. I could point out a host of other alarming graphs and statistics, but this doesn't give you significant pause, nothing else will either.

The Pew Research Center doesn't have much good to say either - putting those who are actively seeking a relationship as a minority.

I see no solution for this or the ills it will bring with it, but the Gospel itself.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mormons Honor Tolkien « MORMON SOPRANO

"Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to. (J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter to Michael Tolkien, March 1941)"

PS. More on the War of the Genders coming soon!