The message was sent loud and clear to any and all of the men of the church. That message was to get married.
In the most recent General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, three men talked about being joined in an eternal union. That three men talked about marriage isn’t anything new, but the force of the speech and the standings of the speaker is what may be surprising.
In the Saturday afternoon session, Elder Dallin H. Oaks had this as the center of his talk. During the Priesthood session, President Thomas S. Monson not only spoke of the subject, but he spoke very bluntly on it. The Sunday afternoon session had Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speaking about the importance of family, but his message came with the firm admonition to get married.
The three talks may have had different approaches to them. None of the elders’ talks focused solely on marriage, but the crux of the each one looked and spoke firmly and plainly towards the young men in the church.
Oaks used the topic of desires to introduce his talk. He talked about how the desires of any person’s heart can be changed by a greater desire for something higher. He talked about the power of a man’s desire by talking about a desire to live over the need of a limb. The story used was that of Aaron Ralston, whose desire to live got him through sawing off his arm to free himself from a crushing boulder. This story was made into the movie 127 Hours.
“If our righteous desires are sufficiently intense, they will motivate us to cut and carve ourselves free from addictions and other sinful pressures and priorities that prevent our eternal progress,” Oaks said.
With this as his arch, he went into one last desire – eternal marriage.
“Youth and young singles should resist the politically correct but eternally false concept that discredits the concept of marrying and having children,” Oaks said.
He then read a letter written by a young single woman. The letter read that there are plenty of young men that don’t want to get married, but are happy to hang out and date. Oaks added that there are some young women that will feel the same way.
Monson shared the admonition to desire an eternal marriage in the priesthood session, going so far as to say that it was breaking priesthood covenants by not getting married at a reasonable age.
“So many young men are postponing marriage,” Monson said.
He quoted other prophets on the subject, one being Harold B. Lee, who said young men are not doing their duty as priesthood holders when they go past a reasonable age and don’t get married. Monson then quoted Gordon B. Hinckley, who basically said that he feels sorry for young women who don’t get married but less sorry for young men who shirk their prerogative to ask the ladies out.
This was followed by laughter and six million older married siblings nudging their younger single brothers. Overall, the message wasn’t of doom and gloom but rather that marriage is the greatest feeling they will ever have.
Holland focused on the fact that everyone is given revelation on what to speak on and then resounded the importance of marriage. This message wrapped up the conference by suggesting that marriage is something for everyone.
So three big talks from three big speakers about the importance of marriage force every young man’s guilt a little higher. Meanwhile, ladies, start preparing for someone on the corner, asking any and all for their hand with a one-size-fits-all ring.
Just because we write sometimes about unsavory subjects doesn’t mean we don’t have a spiritual side. Here some highlights from the most recent LDS General Conference.
From Rugby Pitch to the Mission Field
Apostle Neil L. Anderson, tells the story of famed rugby player Sidney Going and reminds young men that though a mission may be a sacrifice, the accompanying blessings are well worth it.
What is a Latter-Day Saint?
Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, defines what being LDS is all about, and informs the world “If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one. It is not easy to be a Latter-day Saint, but in the long run it is the only course. “
Guardians of Virtue
Sister Elaine S. Dalton instructs the young women to keep their texts and their fashions “PG”, so the fellas don’t fall by the wayside in a harsh world of moral pollution.
The venerable Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, warned against innuendo in our media and holding off on taking the matrimonial plunge with a special sister. He also made sure the menfolk know that ladies are equal partners in marriage. What a guy!
A Living Testimony
Henry B. Eyering of the First Presidency teaches that “a deep testimony from God it will shape your daily and hourly choices”. Need more help getting that testimony? Eyering says to check out Alma chapter 32.