I just reread a nine year old post from an LDS woman contemplating marriage to an inactive LDS man. Aside from his loss of conviction (or rather, testimony) that the gospel was true, she described their relationship as very good. According to her, he treated her very well and his values were in line with a Mormon lifestyle. She loved him and he loved her. She wanted to know if she should marry him.
The response she got was an overwhelming NO. Which would have been my response, hands down, ten, twenty, thirty, forty years ago.
I’m on the backside of 50 now. I’ve seen more. Specifically, what I’ve seen more of lately, and I mean a whole lot more of, are beautiful, intelligent, spiritually sound, temple-recommend-carrying women in the church, of 30 years of age and older, who are not married, have never been married, and are actively seeking a suitable companion — with not so great results.
And that doesn’t even take into account the newly divorced, previously married to returned missionaries in the temple, population of women, that seems to be growing.
There was a time I would not have contemplated, for my life or the life of any other LDS women, marriage outside the temple. But now…it appears that good men are a decreasing commodity. And marriage and children are a blessing I would not want to forgo — even if only for this life. And I really don’t think there is anywhere stated in scripture, or mandated by commandment, or conference talk, that women would be better off single their whole lives, than to be married to a good, loving and supportive, non-lds man.
Those of you with teenage daughters right now are probably cringing and covering your daughters ears. Believe me, I would be too — ten years ago. But wait till your daughter is 30, and her heart aches to begin a family, and…nothing. O.K., now she’s 35 and more than anything she wants a child of her own. Still nothing. Now she’s 40? Is it O.K. now?
If you’ve ever read anything about or by Sherri Dew, you are aware that just waiting doesn’t always get you what you want. Even praying and having your whole family pray and fast multiple times won’t necessarily get you the temple marriage, in this life, that you so strongly desire.
To the point, I believe pretty strongly that nearly everyone will convert one day, this life or next. And like the parable of the workers in the marketplace, they will receive the same reward, whether they were fortunate enough to understand and be converted early or late. Including those good, non-lds, men willing to support our LDS lifestyle. (Yes, I’m sure they are a dwindling commodity as well, but…)
My own thought, If I were 30 and single, and had found a man who loved me and was willing to support my activity in the church, would I marry him? With prayer, and a conviction that this person was who I wanted to be with forever, yes, I probably would. If I felt Heavenly Father supported me in my decision and would stand by me through the rough times, a resounding, yes.
How long would you be willing to be single and without the blessings of children or companionship of a spouse? Your whole mortal life?
Can we teach that in Laurel class. Certainly not! And I’m not being sarcastic. Absolutely, I wouldn’t. But should we teach it in the singles wards? It just might promote a greater sense of urgency in the slow to date and marry generation of males we’ve raised in the church.