Condemnation of current LDS dating habits

Elder Oaks made some fascinating comments about current LDS dating habits during the May 1 CES fireside. I will give lengthy excerpts below, but to sum up: young LDS men and women need to pair off more and grow up and get married. No more hanging out like the folks on “Friends.” This is what I would term a serious “call to repentence.”

First, an important comment: I have very little experience with the LDS dating scene. My wife and I met on LDS singles two weeks after I put my profile on there. She is the only LDS woman I have ever met or hung out with. So, I am singularly unqualified to give opinions on Elder Oaks’ talk.

My wife, however, does have a lot of experience in the LDS dating world. And she agrees heartily with Elder Oaks’ comments. My wife says there is a whole group of young LDS men and women who love to hang out in womens’ apartments and watch TV, play video games and eat food prepared by the aforementioned and increasingly stressed young women. She says the environment allows men to postpone making commitments. Her advice to the young, unmarried men and women who read Elder Oaks’ thoughts: “follow the words of the Apostle!”

So here’s what Elder Oaks had to say, according to the May 7 edition of Church News:

He said there is a trend among young adults to “postpone adult responsibilities, including marriage and family.” Young adults are “hanging out” with members of the opposite sex rather than having traditional one-on-one dates.

“For the benefit of some of you who are not middle-aged or older, I also may need to describe was dating is. Unlike hanging out, dating is not a team sport. Dating is pairing off to experience the kind of one-on-one associations and temporary commitment that can lead to marriage in some rare and treasured cases.”

He listed some trends that have made dating rare: 1)cultural tides against commitments in family relationships. “Dating involves commitments, if only for a few hours. Hanging out requires no commitments, at least not for the men if the women provide food and shelter.” 2)the women’s movement discourages dating. “As women’s options have increased and some have become more aggressive, some men have become reluctant to take the traditional male initiatives, such as asking for dates, lest they be thought to qualify for the dreaded label of ‘male chavinist.’ ” 3)TV programs such as “Friends” glamorize hanging out. 4)Dates need to be less expensive and simpler so people can afford to go out on a date.

Addressing returned missionaries, Elder Oaks said: “It is time for you to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with.” He told the young women: “Resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple.” He told the women to quit subsidizing freeloaders, to lock up the pantry and bolt the doors, hanging out a sign, “will open for individual dates.”

You gotta love Elder Oaks’ penchant for taking on the tough subjects. Sounds like good advice to me. I never would have found the happiness I have with my wife if I hadn’t focused laser-like on finding a temple-worthy LDS wife.

So, what does the rest of the bloggernacle think of Elder Oaks’ advice?

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

272 thoughts on “Condemnation of current LDS dating habits

  1. As one who was in the single scene for a few years, I can see where he is coming from. There were many awesome guys at institute who seemed to want to “hang” more than seriously consider dating. After “hanging” for about a year with some, they might ask them out. I met my husband, who then asked my out about a week later. We saw each other every night, alone for the most part and really got to know each other. There is only so much you can learn about a person when in a group setting.

    Dates don’t need to be expensive and any girl that thinks that is not ready to date, no matter her age. We played raquetball, watched TV, took a walk, there are a million different and cheap things to do. The point is to get to know one another, not to impress. My husband drove a little beat up truck, that got us from A to B and that’s all that mattered. Guys need not worry about impressing with money. If they have to do that, she’s not worth it.

  2. Talks like Elder Oaks’s get given every so often, somewhat unfairly I think.

    If the stats an old bishop of mine gave me are correct, about 30 % of active LDS females will never have the chance to marry an active LDS male.

    Outside the church, where the numbers are more even, men tend to marry up in looks, and women tend to marry up in status. Low-status men and plain-looking woman have poorer chances of getting married. They are the leftovers.

    Inside the church, or at least the active part of the church, there is probably something similar going on, in addition to the effects of male/female imbalance, and along with Zeezrom’s persuasive dad/cad dynamic (although I disagree with suggested remedy #1).

    So, every now and then a general authority comes and and pins the blame for the horrific cost of this mismatch on the few active unmarried males, when the truth is that if each one of those men were given by lottery to some active unmarried female, most of the women would still go home empty handed.

    Dating is a terrible American custom, which turns the propagation of the species into a competitive market.

    General authorities stories about their own courtships invariably reflect both a strong sense of self and considerable pride in their personal competitive power.

    Advice to the as-yet unmarried male, however phrased, is almost always tantamount to a plea to be less fussy. It just will never be convincing from some of the fussiest wife-choosers on the planet, many of whom would never have become general authorities had they married someone else. (I think Elder Oaks’s first marriage is a case in point.)

    So, talks like Elder Oaks’s have been given before, will benefit a very few people whose perspective gets jostled, will do almost nothing to solve the statistically insoluble underlying problems, and will be given again in a few more years by someone else with more or less the same results.

    BTW If you think the BYU dating scene is horrific now, imagine what it would be like under polygamy…

    Actually, polygamous cultures generally become arranged-marriage cultures. That would solve the male/female imbalance, Zeezrom’s dad/cad dynamic.

    It might well worsen the difficulties of low-status men, who now do artificially well in the church because of male/female imbalance.

    None of it will happen though.

    Between feds, feminists, and fundamentalists, the chance has well and truly gone.

  3. Elder Oak’s talk was excellent. As Christ said, “let those who have ears, hear.” There are many people on this thread who have “itching ears” looking for “cunningly devised fables.”

    It is unbelievable how thoughtless many of the comments on this thread have been. As a father of a 19 year-old girl (who dates a lot) I did a search on Oak’s talk to assist her in helping her friends out of the trap “hanging out” has become for many of them. I found this blog.

    May I share my experience about marriage. I married at 26 after many long years of dating. I dated a lot. I did not expect to remain single that long. My best friends (from high school on) were almost always women. I found them captivating, lovely, thoughtful and generally kinder than men. I loved them and learned from them. To love and beloved is a wonderful thing. After my wife an I dated for three years (we knew each other for five), we married. It was a leap of faith. Frankly, I was frightened of messing it up. Both my parents had been married multiple times. I wanted something different. But our marriage was founded on solid friendship. Yes, there was physical attraction too, but at its core, we were friends. It has been a sweet thing for over 23 years. Remarkably, it has gotten better with time. I believe our marriage has grown, deepened and endured life’s struggles by doing our best to follow the church’s teachings and striving to have the spirit with us as much as possible.

    That and plenty of forgiveness and service (I always feel like my wife gives more of this than I do, but I try to make it up to her).

    We moved from Utah to New Jersey for work. I got an opportunity to attend graduate school and took it. Part of the curriculum was in England. We took our little girl, (who was then two) along and spent time in Munich, Stutgart, Lucerne, Brussels, London and Stratford on Avon. My wife was pregnant with a little boy at the time.

    According to one blogger, you can’t see Paris with a child. I beg to differ.

    We have six children now. We’ve had our ups and downs. Jobs have come and gone. Money has come and gone. But even in our difficulties, we consider ourselves blessed. Some have more worldly things than us, but we have love that makes any poor home a wonderful thing. We are not without worldly blessings, but it isn’t the center of our lives. We live less than half a mile from the lifts of a world class ski resort. We ski about 30 days a year as a family. And, we continue to try to follow the advice of the prophets and heed their warnings.

    We make mistakes. We work through it. We forgive each other. We love each other.

    I believe that our happy married life has had more to do with following the counsel of the prophets and striving to live with the spirit than anything else. Most of our trials could have been avoided by following their words more closely.

    For those of you blistering these pages with blasts at Elder Oaks, please consider the final paragraphs of his talk. He explains that he understands that general principles don’t apply to ALL people. There are exceptions to every rule. He readily admits it. These exceptions are for you to work out with God. He quotes Joseph Smith’s comment about governing a diverse people; “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”

    Those of you attacking Elder Oaks and his comments are remarkable for your sad unwillingness to hear the whole message. At worst, you are willing agents of evil, at best, you are simply ignorant and appear “happy as a pig in mud” to remain blindingly stupid. But this is nothing new. They were like that in Christ’s day too. Mocking and scorning. Putting him to open shame. Shooting out the lip. Some of you would cruxify him again if he were here today. But he isn’t, so Elder Oaks stands as proxy. The comments I have read on this blog are largely painful and pitiful. I cannot fathom why you will not “learn wisdom in your youth.”

    Yet, I trust that some of you will. And for you I am glad. Be kind to yourselves and to those of a common faith. If you have issues with words spoken over the pulpit, work them out with God in sincere prayer. Seek to live in harmony with the teachings of the prophets.

    Honor Elder Oaks. Honor his message. In so doing, you honor God. Pray. Be believing. The Lord will bless you. If you do this the church will be one step closer to unity of the faith, a place were we “see eye to eye” and once again “sing the song of redeeming love.”

  4. Brother art, thanks for the input. I haven’t read this thread in a while, and yes, there are lots of comments disagreeing with and putting down an apostle of the Lord. It is amazing to me that so many people think they are wiser and more inspired than an Apostle of the Lord, but it is also part and parcel of the internet, where everybody gets to be wise in his or her own eyes. But I would like to point out that there are also a great many people supporting the apostle as well.

  5. I don’t understand.

    My dating time at BYU was spent dating girls I wanted to date.

    “Hanging out” was when (A) I didn’t know anyone I wanted to date. (B) One of them wasn’t available or (C) I wasn’t comfortable asking a girl out and wanted to get to know her better.

    The result of not hanging out is surely fewer dates, not more. And now, I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter to go out with a guy she doesn’t know and trust.

    I hope this works for other people…

  6. Other girls I knew told me to go out with my wife. So I did. And it worked just great.

    Kinda like arranged marriage. Worked for me.

  7. The bottom line is this.

    Attractive women get dates and get married. Ugly women don’t. If you aren’t getting dates, UBugly.

  8. I have been single for a long time. My family was not active in the church when I grew up. I can count on my hand the amount of times I went to church before college. I did not go on a mission like my friends that were active. I never went to church while I was in college in Utah. The girls I dated in high school were all non Mormon. I was not impressed with how immature the Mormon girls were there. I mostly dated non Mormon women in College at the UofU, again because of the complete lack of maturity and the fact that I would probably not get accepted. The only Mormon girl I dated in college was the one I married. She then divorced me 1 month later because she felt she was not ready for marriage! She had other issues within her life that were unresolved. Such as being from a divorced family that was not functioning properly. We were friends for awhile afterward, but I was too much of a dad for her. I left Utah and went to Seattle working as a financial planner and started to go to church for the first time in my adult life. I was 26 at the time. I took a few people out but just for fun. One girl was bent on kissing me every time I spent time with her, although I was not at all interested in her that way. Again, way to immature and still had her parents pay most of her way.

    I moved back to SLC and dated one Mormon girl that I was not attracted to physically but more mentally. She was a designer and also taught design. When I met her family and saw how she lived her life, I could not see myself being apart of it. After that I was about 27 years old. I did not meet anyone else that I wanted to date in the ward. I was working as a financial planner still. I bought my own house and lived with a few retarded roommates. Kind of fun, but not really. Would rather have been married. I asked one girl that I thought was interesting. She turned me down. I believe for several reasons, mostly because I was not a return missionary did not meet her list of expectations. Did not take anyone else out at the time, except friends that wanted to fortunately date me. Not interested though. I was in the Elders Quorum at the time. Decided financial planning was not for me long term. Decided to go to Medical School in a Europe.

    I was in the bishopric in a family ward in England. No prospects for dating except a few girls that could not take care of themselves and had not even stepped foot in a uni. Did not have time to travel to London to meet others at the singles ward. I did take out a beautiful, sweet Ukrainian girl for about a year. She was also a medical student and Orthodox. Probably the best woman I have ever spent time with, even though her english was weak. Her family decided she could not go to the USA, so we ended the relationship. I asked one mormon girl out that lived in Vienna, Austria. She was just plain weird. Would not even let me meet her mom! I went skiing instead in the Austrian Alps during Christmas by myself because of this. When I traveled back to be with her, she was busy chatting with other guys on the web while I was at her apartment. I told her what I felt about the issue and subsequently left her for another country to visit unplanned. We were to be at church within the hour of me being at her apartment! How is that for rudeness! Travel all the way from London to get that one…. I asked an engineering student in Strasbourg, Fra to go out. She was just plain strange as well…that date ended early. Did not ask anyone else out while in Europe…well, I did take a Polish girl out while visiting the University of Warsaw. Nice girl…into headbanging music though.

    Back here in the good ole’ USA…traveled from one state to another to try and finish school. Did not meet anyone in all the singles wards I went to. Now teaching gospel doctrine to yale students…no one to date. A few intelligent girls though, but mostly not interesting. I have about six months left until I finish medical school. I will visit about 4 other states during this time. Obviously…no dating can really take place during all this moving. Will be 34 in six months as well. Trying out for Anesthesiolgy next July for residency. Hmmm. We will see how things turn out…hopefully not more of the same! Tell me what to do next? Not exaclty looking to marry someone who is divorced with kids either. Many times I would be asked if I was a returned missionary and get the cold shoulder from the sisters. I know that I am not fat, ugly, stupid or lazy. I get lots of cute women that flirt with me at the hospital(had a girl tell me she had just had a boob job and wanted to walk out of the hospital with me…). Give me a break…like a boob job interests me… Tried the online thing and frankly it is impossible to date someone unless they live in your general direction. Do NOT use the internet for long distant relationship…it is fruitless and a waste of time and money.

    Essentially, it is very difficult to meet a quality person in a singles ward outside of Utah. The numbers are just not there. I may have come to the conclusion that I may have to marry someone who is not of my faith. Maybe I will go back and beg that Ukrainian girl to come back here….Pay off her parents or something!!!!

    why I wrote this is another mystery..

  9. Having been married 16 years I have some things to say in this blog, Dating for marraige is important and needs to prayerfully approached no matter your situation and it is a natural step in eternal and earthly progression.

  10. Elder Oaks said “Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with.” I was also told by a bishop that the correct order of things is : 1) go on a mission 2) marry 3) finish your college education. Luckily I finished college before being sealed in the DC temple.

    In retrospect both Oaks and my bishops comments are absurd. Marriage is H-U-G-E commitment – its not a square dance – you don’t just want to “pair off’ with someone. And getting into an adult commitment (and subsequently having children) before you are ready to do the adult thing of paying your bills is insane. No person – this includes women too – no person should have a child until they can pay for it!!! A CHILD DESERVES TO BE BROUGHT UP IN AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH ITS NEXT MEAL IS CERTAIN AND IT WILL HAVE A ROOF OVER ITS HEAD! A woman that allows herself to have children before she can provide for them is a terrible mother!!!

    WOMEN: Most marriages end in divorce – most women with children will end up single mothers – you had better be able to provide for you and your children!!!

    MEN : Most marraiges end up in divorce – when it does you WILL lose half of everything you own! Women NEVER pay alimony to a man!!! There is nothing a man will get out of marriage that he can’t have unmarried – he can have sex, a clean place to live, good food and even a child without being married. He can probably have more sex if he stays unmarried. Supporting yourself is like swimming in the ocean – it can be hard work. Supporting an entire family is like swimming in the ocean with people hanging on you – the more people hanging on you the harder it is and the more likely you are to drown – having the typical large Mormon family is virtual suicide.

    Why should men pay for dates? Women ask for equality – they want equal pay for equal jobs. Hey if you make as much money as us then YOU pay for the dates.

    I have been married almost 2 decades now. If it was not for having children we would have divorced long ago – but we both feel deeply obligated as parents – no matter how much each of us hate being married to each other. We both were pressured into it by church leaders, mission companions (we met on a mission), family etc.

    Just like the rest of the world – MOST LDS marraiges end in divorce – the remaining ones that stay together are not necessarily happy. they may stick together due to family expectations, or because the woman has no college education or valuable skills and cannot support herself and the children. But there are a ton of unhappy LDS marriages that smile through all the pain. I am sure there are some truly happy ones – but just “gathering your courage and pairing off’ is not the solution.

    Marriage is a HUGE commitment – its stupid to just “pair off” – its not a square dance – the real consequences to women married too young and without any real marketable skills, the real consequences to children spawned in such potentially troubled waters, and the real consequences to men (read: get divorced and lose all your money) are too real to believe such a cavelier statement as ‘take courage and just simply pair up’ – I just can’t even imagine making that statement like its a matter of putting all the single guys on one side of the gymnasium (cultural hall) and the single girls on the other and simply matching them all up. Thats insane

  11. Re: post 178 I knew one guy whose first kiss with his wife was ove the alter. After 10 years of marriage and several children later he reveals he is a closted gay and has been with perhaps a hundred anonymous men in gay houses since they were sealed in the AZ temple. Beware of any LDS guy that follows the rules too easily – HE IS PROBABLY GAY!

    I am thinking of starting a new organization : MAM (Mormons against Marraige)

  12. Bob, I think you make some interesting points, but I would like to point out that your claim that “most marriages will end in divorce” is patently false.

    Pollster Louis Harris has written, “The idea that half of American marriages are doomed is one of the most specious pieces of statistical nonsense ever perpetuated in modern times.”

    It all began when the Census Bureau noted that during one year, there were 2.4 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces. Someone did the math without calculating the 54 million marriages already in existence, and presto, a ridiculous but quotable statistic was born.

    Harris concludes, “Only one out of eight marriages will end in divorce. In any single year, only about 2 percent of existing marriages will break up.”

  13. Geoff, thanks for the information – nice to know that marriages are safe and divorced are not common. Seriously, the “up-to-date” divorce statistics your provide refute Dallin Oaks call to repentence to rush into marriage. The link you provide shows that waiting past the age of 25 reduces your risk of divorce 24%, waiting to have children reduces the risk of divorces another 24% and waiting until you make an income >$50,000 reduces the risk of divorce 30%.

    The link you provide proves the point – wait, don’t “pair off” and rush into marriage, finish your college education and probably a graduate degree, get a good job, and wait to have children.

    Geoff, based on the statistics you provide on your link, Dallin Oaks call to repentence is a prescription for disaster. Look around you – you see its true – young couples who are unhappy but can’t divorce because they are too poor to – he makes to little money to pay alimony and child support to a 23 year old wife and their 5 children.

  14. My wife says there is young LDS men and women who love to hang out in womens’ apartments and watch TV and eat food prepared by the aforementioned and increasingly stressed young women.

    Addressing returned missionaries, Elder Oaks said: “It is time for you to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. He told the women to quit subsidizing freeloaders”He said there is a trend among young adults to “postpone adult responsibilities, including marriage and family.”

    So men who eat a few brownies in a womans apartment is a freeloader but a woman who expects men to pay for dates is not? Society (and the Church to an even greater degree) makes women into freeloaders – they expect men to pay for everything – to be “taken care of”. As a result you see so many bright LDS women, brighter than many men, who get no college degrees and whose highest calling in life is house elf (borrowed from Harry Potter).

    It also sounds like young men and women have a duty to have children and populate a world already drowning in population overgrowth. Like the woman’s netherparts are a slide at a McDonalds playhouse, in which child after child is supposed to come sliding down and pop out of the chute. A womans reporductive system is not a fun slide for children to come popping out of.

  15. Rick, you’re picking a fight with the wrong person. I don’t necessarily disagree with you (although I think your comments in #215 are a bit inappropriate on an LDS-themed blog). Thanks for adding your opinions. Peace, brother.

    It’s worth pointing out that we don’t marry based on statistics, we marry based on who we meet and whether we (hopefully prayerfully) decide to marry that person. I know people who married at 18 who are ecstatically happy and people who waited and married at 30 who are miserable — and vice versa. But, if you read this thread carefully you will see that there are people who have realized that the Apostle’s advice is very timely and very correct, as it always is.

  16. Geoff, sorry if my humor offended. I am not trying to pick a fight, – it does seem to me that in LDS society having a differing opinion is considered the height of affrontery. I wonder about the strength of any idea that cannot handle scrutiny, teasing or debate.

    The link to statistics that you provide shows that waiting past 25 to marry, waiting to have children, and waiting until you are able to secure a good job (>$50K/year)provide much more “divorce-protection” than having a religion.

    Elder Oaks suggests youth not postpone “adult responsibility” – defining it as pairing up, getting married and having a family ASAP. I would have to say that marriage is more sacred than that. I would have to say it deserves proper preparation and patient consideration. It deserves more thought than picking team players in gym class. Children deserve to be brought up by compatible parents in a healthy family environment. Children deserve stability, and that is to a large degree financial – and I don’t feel it is good parenting to bring a child into the world until either parent can support the number of children they have (without welfare, church support etc).

    Being financilly stable is “adult responsibility”. Not biting off more than you can chew – or in the LDS vernacular, running faster than you are able – is adult and responsible. Rushing into marriage and making lots of children is not.

    As far as an apostle always being correct – I have to admit due to the sensitivity of many LDS to anything that seems in disagreement with ‘total, unquestioning and strict obedience”, I hesitate to point out just a few things like : white salamander letters, Judas was an apostle, Meadow Mountain Massacre etc. This is not to negate all the good the church does, the good people that fill its wards every week, the volume of service it provides – but Apostles are not always right. God may have given us apostles, but he also may have given us a brain. Why not use both?

    If the link you provided is correct – then it shows that if divorce rates are less than 54% it’s because people are patient and delay hurrying into marriage – giving the respect due such an important decision – a decision which potentially effects a great many people (children included). Children are the innocent victims of bad marraige – if they split up or stay together. True real honest-to-goodness adults owe it to future children to be truly responsible and if they must marry, give it the consideration it deserves. If the link you provide is inaccurate and untrue, then it really has no relevance here.

  17. Rick,
    While waiting until one is financially stable to be married and have children might reduce divorce stats, women have healthier birth outcomes if they aren’t reproducing later in life. (Despite what Ripley’s Believe it or Not might lead us to generalize with their stories of 64 year old new mothers.)

    CNN article: More Hurdles as Women Delay Birth

    And, here is a graph that crashes through the FLOOR showing fertility rates and age. Take a look at rates for 30 and 40 somethings. Most people are suprised that your chances of becoming pregnant at that point are THIS LOW!!!

    Just b/c birth after 35 has become popular doesn’t mean that modern medical science can help you conceive. Fertility science ISN’T a guarantee. The best fertility clinic, $80,000 and a fantasy MIGHT or MIGHT NOT reverse the clock for you at 40. If it can be altered, you are going to be facing bad odds when it comes to everything from preclampsia, dangerous multiple births, gestational diabetes to birth defects. (Just b/c some hollywood stars have been able to do it doesn’t mean that it is as common or safe as has been portrayed.)

    Catch 22- have children early and struggle with financial stress and a young career OR wait till one has a career and it’s too late to have kids to be stressed about.

    Speaking personally as a woman who forged a career and put aside children for quite a while, I just kick myself each year that some other part of me breaks down with old age or becomes considerably less elastic. Without a doubt I know this would have been exponentially easier on me physically and a whole heck-ov-a-lot safer 15 years ago. (Ah, those college days when I could easily pull all-night’ers, and go run 5 miles the next day! Regular menstral cycles, better digestion, better blood pressure, no blood sugar problems, etc. etc. etc.)

    So, now I can buy a kid a Baby Einstein toy that I couldn’t have then. Big deal. Kids will play with the cardboard box anyway. I was just as intellignet and resourceful then as I am now and would have made it work.

  18. Rick, thanks for your comments. I’m not sure if you saw our comments policy, but I would ask you to take a look at it. I hope you will continue to comment here.

  19. While both J.A.T. and Rick have valid and worthwhile points, Rick’s over population line is just silly. First population is a local phenomenon, so my restricting family size has vitually no impact on a country that might have an over population issue. But, furthermore, the line is just so dated now. The developed countries, across the board, are running into declining and aging population problems that are putting a severe crunch on gov’t social safety nets, and the problem will only get worse. Immigration mitigates the problem somewhat, but many immigrants lack the skills to make up the ecomonic difference of the missing native born population. Moreover, you have Africa’s war and AIDS impact that has caused much ecomonic collapse and more war as a result. Now the population stabilization/decline is spreading to the lessor developed countries too, so we can anticipate the immegration valve will dry up in the next generation. All of these trends were apparent a generation ago and are now coming to full fruition, which makes any talk of over population so laughable today.

  20. J.A.T, I am not advocating that women wait until they are 40 to have children – as Geoff’s link points out, waiting until 25 reduces the divorce rate considerably. The graph you provide a link to shows that the chances of infertility at age 20 is 3% and at 30 is 5% – not a huge difference statistically. And despite what Steve says, populations are booming – America itself is about to reach a landmark population goal, it really is not necessary for LDS to take the commandment to replenish the earth as a personal challenge.

    Overpopulation is not silly – populations are not declining. As I mentioned , it is common knowledge that the USA is about to reach a landmark number – much of the population boom is in young uneducated (read: unprepared to “make up the economic gap” – also read : LDS youth without college educations yet) population.

    So a woman waits until she is 25, and then has a reasonably sized family – perhaps 2 children, or even 3 if a person insists on believing (in contradiction to all known data) that the world population is shrinking in order to more than replace herself and her husband – she can do all of that before the age of 30 – and be better prepared financially and intellectually to be a stimulating and prepared mother and wife.

    I am not saying couples have to set the goal of being “financially stable”, as you put it JAT – that is such a vague goal that nobody can ever reach it. Its like waiting to go to the temple until you are 100% worthy – its vague and cannot be reached. The research Geoff shared in his link shows divorce rate drops 30% when an income of $50,000 or greater is reached – that is certainly specific and obtainable. JAT when you say you waited until you were “financially stable” – do you mean until both you and your husband made 6 figure incomes and could live in Potomac Maryland as neighbors to the Marriots – or did you wait longer than a realistic and achievable $50K per year?

    Age 25 prior to marriage, $50K income per year, at least married 7 months before conceiving – that is realistic – does not put the mother at risk for infertility.

  21. Geoff, in reviewing the link you provide about divorce rates being less than 50% – I think the author purposely skews the statistics to mislead. Maybe I am wrong but when most people (I am generalizing here) think of chances of divorce – we think of : in the entire life of these people what are the chances they will get divorced. The author of the page you provide a link to discusses YEARLY risk of being divorced – or to the average person in meaningful terms : what is the risk I will be divorced THIS YEAR. That does not concern me – although a large goal is met by achieving smaller successive goals – what really means something to me is : will my marriage last… not today… not this year…but forever.

    Considering that age greater than 25 and income of at least $50K greatly bulletproofs a marriage against divorce – and considering that infertility with advancing age only affects women – it seems all the wiser for men to wait – at least until 25. Men know themselves better by then – are usually more successful and therefore have better chance at a marriage that survives, and better chances of attracting a larger number of potential mates ( women look for successful men, like it or not – a doctor attracts more potential mates than the clerk at 7-11) – with a larger number of potential mates the chances of being h appy with ones choice increases.

    Men have nothing to gain by marrying in a rush. Men do not risk infertility with age – they tend to make more and more income as they age and gain education – not marrying the day you get off your mission seems like very wise for a man – but perhaps we should only marry the young women….. sorry if I had to throw that in to stir up some more debate. Men really gain little by way of marriage – everything they can have while married they can have while not married – women tend to gain from a marriage : men tend to take care of women financially in a marriage and also in a divorce. The only thing a man really stands to gain from a marriage is Heavenly Fathers approval for having a celestial marriage and being willing to work all the days of his life to be the head of a family. That is reason enough – but it is a huge sacrifice for a man – if he is the sole financial support of his family, he has quite a burden on his shoulders – maybe why men in traditional marriages die younger than women. There is a myth that marriage provides health benefits to men – but newer more slective studies show that the health of divorced (been through heck), widowed and single never married unmarried men is very different – and different than married men (link : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8350032&dopt=Abstract ). It may be that never marrying and always being single is the healthiest choice – but of course Heavenly Father is not pleased with that.

    Its very hard to finish school while married – and even more so married with children – take it from my personal experience – it is so much easier while single.

    While none of you may agree with me, or appreciate my sense of humor – please appreciate this : my comments are sincere, and are meant to provide a viewpoint in an effort to help more people be happy. I am sincere in wanting happiness for everyone. I did exactly what I was told – I did the mission before finishing school, prayerfully married a RM lady in the temple, tried to be completely worthy at the time – never had sex until after I was sealed etc, years later finished a doctoral degree with children. Let me tell you – it was very very very hard on EVERYONE. I proposed to my wife after only a very very very short period of dating – upon the advice of my stake president – we were not very compatible and again it was very very very hard.

    We are still married nearly 2 decades later – I had the choice of following the prophet and my stake presidents advice or not – but never considered questioning a church leaders “suggestion” – I am raising my children to THINK and pray, ponder and pray however you want to say it – but think think think. Do not just follow and pray. I wish I had thought about things a bit more. An interesting statistic is the number of divorces that occur in LDS temple marriages lately in the elderly – people married 30 years or more, sealed in temples – once the children are raised and gone – the divorce. The 1st presidency has commented on this trend in the Ensign. Regardless of whether you agree with my or not, my comments are those of someone who would hate to see people who have a choice struggle through by rushing – especially to a point in which they are trapped by age, finances etc and no longer really have a choice.

    To all the umarried – despite my teasings, I desire for you happy marriages.

  22. Sorry Rick, but Japan and Europe are facing declining populations. The USA would if it weren’t for our virtually open border immigration. Populations are stabilizing in India and China but, again, my family size would have no impact on those countries even if that were not the case. Lastly, if all heterosexual couples (married or not)had 2-3 kids, that still yields a net population decline. You’re forgetting that in any given population, we’re not all breeders.

    Now, I think Dallen is misguided on this declining Mormon birth rate issue, but for a different reason. There’s a lot more low hanging fruit out there if the GAs would make the church more sinner friendly and welcome back the 80+% single twenty-somethings that have left the church. It’s a generation that’s been kissed off, many of which will soon be breeders even if they don’t know it, and the current regime doesn’t seem to grasp that their babies won’t be going to Primary and that means a much smaller church. In other words there’s no way the 10+% Dallen is preaching to could possibly make of the slack, even if all of them were prolific breeders.

  23. Rick,

    I beleive the vast majority of LDS people, including the vast preponderance of the authorities, value the sort of information that can be gained by secular analysis.

    However, I also rather suspect that they believe that faithful adherence to the principles of the the gospel allows such members to do better than the statistics of the world at large, though not so much as to override every temporal consideration.

    Second, it seems a pretty fruitless enterprise to analyze the direction of the apostles in secular terms alone, without seriously considering the theological motivation behind what they see, not to mention their vast collective experience with this matter as those who are familiar with the consequences of this and that precept in the lives of millions of members. And that is even before you account the role of inspiration in revealing the Lord’s will in this matter.

  24. Steve EM,
    80+% inactive 20 somethings? Oh my goodness! Are you serious? Where can I find these demographics? I’m fascinated and want to look at them more.
    Thanks,
    JAT

    Rick,
    I see the wisdom in your advice, and I think that every youth needs to be able to hear arguments like yours (and Dallin’s) and begin approaching major life decisions taking into consideration all these factors and thinking about each step in temporal and spiritual long & short terms.

    Just wondering, taking into consideration that some parts of the country are economically depressed, what career can a 25 year old find themselves in earning $50k? (Many LDS 25 yr olds have taken 2 yrs off for a mission and are usually JUST getting outta college and ready for their first professional job or even getting into an unpaid internship.)

    In my part of the country here are some average salaries:
    *beginning gov’t lawyers earn on average $35-$42K for the first few years (and have 2-4X that much in student loans).
    *New Ph.D.’s earn around $40- $50K (even with 5+ more years of school). *Some construction and trade jobs will pay this much, but how many are smart enough to get into plumbing or electrical instead of majoring in psych or English?
    *BSN, RN Nurses earn around $45K (more if they get a second job or work OT),
    *New policemen/troopers and teachers are anywhere in the low $30k
    *Med school takes a few more years to get through, as is a MBA or CPA/financial planning certificate.

    What about benefits? 20 somethings are the fastest growing medically uniusured group in the country.

  25. J.A.T.
    Here’s what I know, and others are welcome to correct me: An activity rate in the teens for age 20-30 singles has been my experience locally the last number of years in two units (Northeast and bible-belt South) and local couple missionaries assigned to young adult support, have confirmed that statistic as typical church wide. Not that the flock can’t be gathered but, at the moment, we have lost a generation and the situation is grim. I suspect most of our young people have self excommunicated as I did even though I was still a believer and had nothing against the church. People in that position just know there’s no place in our church for people with weaknesses like that. The difference is I was an aberration back then. Today such folks are the majority. Dallin’s preaching to 10+% of the problem is like the Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dike. His heart’s in the right place, but the effort is misguided.

    Steve EM

  26. J.A.T. makes a good point about the trade school route being overlooked by many. Those are good jobs, many of which can never be outsourced, and once someone learns the trade and gets beyond the apprentice stage, they can go into business for themselves (probably with some business education at thier community college.)

    Even Med School these days looks like a way to be poor until~40; Dentists seem to be doing much better.

  27. Steve EM.

    Its one of the reasons the Bretheren want people to get married aged 20-30. To retain them due to the LOC.

  28. Okay Steve, I guess I will try and answer or debate your position. You say India populations are stabilizing – and I guess a decline in growth from 1.5% to 1.4% per annum in the past half decade is some improvement – it really is not much – not when you consider the tremendous population the continent houses to begin with. link : http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=in&v=24

    I notice you provide no evidence to support your position, and no wonder since it is wrong. But a 1.5% population growth of x billion people in the year 2000 is not really a smaller population growth when compared to a 1.4% growth in 2006 ….when it is a 1.4% growth of 2X population (the population has grown in those 5 years…see….understand). The population growth rate could dwindle to 1.1% and it still would be growing by millions because the population is already so burgeoning.

    Here are links to the rest of the world http://www.globalgeografia.com/world/growth_rate.gif . True and luckily, Europe is controlling its bith rate – and thank The Lord for expensive gas in Europe – it is making them more responsible. They are not the selfish self centered world citizens the United States people are. I hope and pray gas goes to 7 dollars a gallon here. Maybe then we will be more careful with petroleum products and begin a more repsonsible lifestyle.

    I understand that you think and feel locally – most LDS, as cliqueish as we are do. You say that what you do in your own family will have no impact there – so drive your SUV and guzzle gas and resources, have a dozen kids etc – you feel it has no global impact. I get your point.

    But you are wrong – but there is also no changing your mind so I will not try to make more points etc -

    lastly Steve, are you livign a polygamous lifestyle? You claim that if heterosexual couples have 2-3 children it is still a net decline of population. 2 children replace a 2 adult couple. 3 more than replaces it , unless there are 2 wives. Plus with adults living longer, there is a net population growth since we then have the 3 senior adults of your marriage living at the same time as the 3 children you hafve to replace them – longer lives, even with only 3 children to replace your marital unit is still a net population growth. Thank The Lord for drive by shootings, crack and natural disasters for thinning the herd.

  29. JAT, other estimates for government lawyers places first year grads at >$44K link : http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/profiles/careers/106289.html

    They come to an average of about $108K. I am guessing you and your mate are lawyers – who too soon are trying to live the image of attorneys – can’t live with one car, can’t live with cars that cost under $20K new etc – probably own a SUV, probably have club memberships etc.

    All the careers you mention (Except law officers and teachers) make at least around $40K their first year. I have several friends in law enforcement and they can moonlight in security and easily bring their per annum income to $44K. So if one member of the new family has one of those jobs – and the other does some daycare, they can hit that $50K mark.

    I am again betting you waited until you were making SIGNIFICANTLY more than $50K per year.

    Trades – the average manager of a IN AND OUT burger makes $100K per year with benefits. The average cement trucker out here makes $50 K plus benefits.

    I gradauted medical school with only about $30K debt – I worked quite a bit during school (I have one other professional degree and so could make decent money on

  30. I could make a decent living with less than 20 hours of work per week on top of school. But many of my peers are in debt to the tune of > $300,000. Crazy.

    A cement truck driver who begins saving in his companies matching 401K program at age 18 is way ahead of an internal medicine specialist when they are both age 50.

  31. I will assume that it is wisdom that a boy fresh off his mission – no college degree, no income earning capabilities – should pair up and marry an eager bride as soon as possible, so that she is not “increasingly stressed” for having to serve brownies to friends hanging out in her apartment.

    Assuming that is wisdom – its still hard to blame a boy for wanting to wait. Because there really is no benefit ever from being married. Other than to please Heavenly Father – and there is no real reward here in this world for pleasing him. Most of us have a hard time feeling his pleasure at our good choices. He does not reward us with money etc for doing right.

    A man can have a clean apartment – I was very clean before getting married – perhaps a little too obsessive but very clean – and a single OB/GYN friend of mine pays a Hispanic woman $50 per week to clean and she cooks 5 meals each week for him as well. A man does not need to get married to have some cook and clean for him – I did not eat as well when single, but where I lived was wwaaayyyyy cleaner than it has ever been since being married. But for one thing it was easier to clean – my end table did not have a stack of magazines, or knicknacks, or little statues and figurines etc on it. A woman often uses the mans money to buy lots of cute little bits of junk he does not really want and then expects him to help clean it – and empty end table is much easier to clean.

    About an hour ago I went to get salad dressing out of the refrigerator. My youngest son used the jelly, it spilled down the side and stuck to the dressing jar, and when I pulled the dressing out- it pulled the jelly out too – which broke on the floor and which I had to spend time cleaning up. Soon I am betting one of my kids steps on a sliver of glass that I missed and I will have to take care of that too. When I lived by myself I was clean – these things did not happen – I did not spend an inordinate amount of my time each day cleaning up other peoples junk – and my refrigerator was not packed with enough food to feed a small army all the time. I cannot get anything out of the refrigerator without spilling a sippy cup whose lid is not on securely etc etc etc etc.

    Men do not need to be married to have a clean apartment, to eat well – or at least well enough, to have sex, or really – for that matter, even to have children. My recently divorced brother – an attorney – longing to have a child of his own – adopted a child of one of his clients that is now in prison. The child is well cared for. A marriage provides nothing to a man.

    Most women recieve at least SOME financial benefits from being married. Even though 60% of the secular women work (may be less in the LDS community) – the man usually provides most the finances and benefits. My wife has never worked for money outside the home. What a deal. She works ever day but can show up for work in dirty sweats – I can’t. If she is late getting started for the day she does not get fired – I would get in trouble. Marriage has lots of benefits for women – none for a man. It only confers more work – more cleaning, having to run faster financially to pay for more rooms in a house and more food and more car to carry all the children etc.

    I have heard people say – I don’t want to die alone, so I got married. I have actualluy heard that : do you want to die alone? Here is news – we ALL die alone. We cross the veil alone.

    I do wonder if Elder Oaks comments are directed at the young men because they are still in that unquestioning state, or at least more of them are. These single men have great social lives – and as many of the young women who posted far above have pointed out, there is a readily available supply of young women ready to NCMO – why would a young man want to get married?

    The only thing he stands to gain is Heavenly Fathers approval – that is enough, but only if your testimony is very strong – because you can’t get anything of tangible intrinsic benefit from that. You will have to wait until you are dead to receive that benefit.

    My first year of marriage was a nightmare – I held so many calling. I worked 6 days per week. I was the Bishopric esecutive secretary, taught the 12 year old Sunday School class – I was given the class because they had a reuptation as a behavior problem, I was made a ward missionary – this was when they stillhad stake missionaries – but since you could not have any other calling if you had a stake calling at the time my Bishop made up “ward” missionary so I could do that job also, I was also home teaching secretary – had to call everyone to check on home teaching – another calling that was made up just for me. My wife was a RM – and so rigid – she literally made sure we had correlation on our honeymoon – I kid you not. There was no pleasing my wife or the Bishop or my place of employment. Everyone wanted me there all the time every day. And complained when I was not there. Money was so tight. My father in law had problems financially and borrowed what little money I had saved. My wife , despite protection, was pregnant almost immediately – without insurance. One car family. Totaly incompatible. I had pretty much gotten off my mission, got married as my stake president told me. I wanted to go have some fun – had no money to do it – and all my wife wanted to do was go to the Temple (we were lucky enough to live hear one – went 52 times that year… times $5 each time for clothing – was alot of money). It was great and all – but it would have been fun to go to a concert that year or something. I wish I had heeded my own advice I give here – based on the link provided by Geoff, wait until 25, wait a while to have children (not 40 of course – geez no need for Grandma to have kids), and wait until you make $50K per year. —- and maybe add live far enough away from your parents and in-laws that they cannot make demands on you.

  32. Rick,
    First, God bless you and your family. You’re obviously overburdened and have been so for along time. I sincerely suggest that you and your wife agree on a plan to get the kids more involved with household maintenance; it’s good for everybody. And I think many of your points are valid regarding we LDS using our brains and needing to do what’s right for us, not just taking some GA’s, SP’s, or Bishop’s advice without interpreting and adapting it for our own situation. Many of your warnings to young people to avoid some issues you faced are valid too. And people should refuse church callings they can’t bear.

    But I will add that for some people, true love only comes once in their lives, and delaying marriage could be tragic, even if that means a recent RM marrying a 19 year old. Even with my post mission LofC issues, I married young and am glad I did when true love entered my life. Granted, we were living together before marriage, so compatibility wasn’t a question. Regarding my family size since you asked, I’m monogamous and have 5 great kids ages 24-6, all from the same woman so, yes, family planning was practiced or there would be a lot more. And I know what you mean regarding accidental children precautions aside; I have a 26 year old biological son I only learned about last year (his mom abruptly dumped me at BYU back then and quickly married the sap who raised him.). I believe his mom’s panic after a prophylactic failure likely caused his conception, but that’s another story. I would have married her had I known but, obviously, she didn’t view me as suitable husband material. He’s a grown man now and it’s water over the dam.

    We do make life more difficult than it might have to be. Part of the issue here is we Americans and LDS suffer from a linear thinking that the nuclear family is the norm; it isn’t! The norm through most of human history was 3 generations under the same roof with young people married at adolescence in arranged marriages. With longer lifespans today, the model would be 3-4 generations under the same roof. Note that many of our old rich still do this today, minus the arranged marriages. Not that I’m advocating a return to arranged marriages.

    I’ll add that the one paycheck family is no longer a viable economic model for most and we need to accept that and move on. It’s a matter of economics: if you double the number of workers, the value for labor declines. To be blunt, many women who might not otherwise want to be in the work force are forced into it by women who voluntarily enter. It’s akin to Farmer’s productivity improvements driving down commodity food prices. The more food is produced the cheaper it gets. More laborers equal lower wages. Not much we can do about that.

    But on the population issue, you’re obviously a Malthusian have trouble grasping the new numbers. You are assuming universal mating and fertility and that is never the case. Some people never mate or conceive. Among fertile couples, some decide not to have kids for many reasons, some sinful and some not from an LDS perspective. I’ll add that changes in life expectancy are short term “pipeline length†issues that at best impact population over a few generations until the equilibrium is reestablished. Then, even today, not all children live to reproduce. So, if all the fertile reproducing couples only replace themselves via 2-3 kids, the net population declines and would continue to decline every generation that were practiced. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing in the developed countries now. The declining state of the developed countries’ social safety net finances tells the whole story.

    Regarding population being a local phenomenon, first, I wasn’t born LDS and resent your swipe that LDS are somehow provincial. Second, I’m old enough to have heard from my parents, “eat all your dinner, there are children in India starvingâ€. One day I held up my plate and said “here, send it to themâ€. It was the day I figured out that my conditions in the USA had no bearing either way on some kid in India and vice versa. Some people are just slow learners in getting over these myths.

    I really enjoyed your wish for $7/gallon gas, classic Malthusian. While I lament the developed nations failing to grasp that cheap energy is what drives our standard of living and proactively moving on from mineral fuels, we will move on from those fuels long before the world runs out. Someone should have told Malthus the stone age didn’t end because the world ran out of stones.

    G-d bless.

  33. What in the world do stats have to do with success in marriage no matter the ‘Rush’ or not? Surely, nothing! It’s the principles man, the principles!

    Rick, I am not personally interested in whether you have advice to give regarding how people show pursue their mates, whether they ‘Rush’ into it or not, but what is more interesting is how you are managing your mate and your relationship currently. If you were concerned that the temple cost you $250 in clothing for the 52 weeks you attended back in the day, then what was the purpose of going to the temple then, to appease your overbearing wife? My goodness man, get your family pants on and tell her to close her mouth and cancel the next ‘comp inventory’ and what you might find is that you just empowered yourself for a better you in the relationship no matter the number of weeks you have regretted being married already! I have heard you say nothing good about your wife in this post, Rick, but instead you have only said that ‘we are still married’ like there are many times it could have ended up otherwise, which given your appeared bitterness, might have called her bluff and made her see straight that there are 2 equals in the marriage and not just a leader and follower, of which you appear to be the latter!

    I’ve been married 18 years next month, and have had some awful times with my wife, but we have raised 3 really good yet fallible children and now after all this, I can’t say enough good about my wife. She is my best friend and my eternal companion, and yes, we rushed into marriage, had our first child 11 months after marriage while I was a student with little or no $$$ and all we ever do when we look back is smile at each other and say, ‘Thank goodness we did it that way!’ It does not get any better than that in my mind no matter the bad employment experiences, the little or no pay, the cost of temple clothing, the incredible mass confusion on Sunday mornings trying to get small children ready and have meetings to attend, the lack of time between my wife and I, and so on and so on it goes. Nothing but a peaceful and blissful experience in the end of all these things!

    My advice, ‘Rush to get married and work through the struggles together no matter the hardship, you will find peace and happiness eventually!’

  34. Stevem I am going to have to look up Malthus as I am not even sure of what you are talking about with that.

    Steve and Dislike, you both make really good points. I have considered walking several times – and have blamed it on concern and love for the kids that I have not. I have just assumed she would get the children, and with no marketable skills nor college degree it would be up to me to support both their and my existence. In previous years where I have made good income this would have been possible – but at those times I did not want to forego seeing my children _ really do enjoy them – espeically now that they are into sports and carious other activities.

    The situation is compounded by my return to med school and the poor income earned in residency. Its been a sacrifice for everyone, my wife is used to several luxury vacations per year and seeing her family whenever she wanted – now its minimums again – at least for a few years.

    But I have decided to call a divorce attorney and see what would actually happen – maybe I would get custody of them, or at least most of them and she could do enough for awhile for herself. if not then in a few years walking would be realistic – but its not realistic that she will somehow miraculously learn to earn enough income for herself and the children – parting the Red sea is more likely. Its not feasible that my meager income would support us in seperate households at this time. There is enough equity in the house that if we sold it, and if she would change school systems she could own a new house completely in a different area code – if I was willing to give her all the assets of the house – I don’t know have to see what an attorney would say. Maybe there is a way out of this mistake.

    She is a great mother – I can say that about her – well, she is a bit in overdrive about pushing the kids into the whole perfect Mormon thing – straight A’s in seminary, Eagle scout – 2 of them are teens and so far as we can tell, non-smokers, non-drinker virgins – the way we were … for whatever that is worth.

    But you make good points – now to look up Malthus

  35. Rick, now I am starting to sympathize with your plight which is nothing short of a ‘bad situation’, not good!

    The beauty of this life is that normal can be had within Mormonism too, but you may have to work a little harder to find it given that we tend to live in the extreme while trying to balance the normal! In other words, you simply have to pick your battles and if one of those battles is with your wife, then probably expect a long drawn out battle to get to some happy medium, but if that is what you really really want, then as they say, ‘Fight the good fight!’ In short, staying for the children is sometimes dumb, but staying because you cherish your wife inspite of her, that’s celestial!

    As for your baptizing machine of an RM wife, what good has it done her if she cannot work toward keeping her spouse happy first? Nothing and always will be that way! Seems to me that the gospel of Salvation is not about personal control of every single thing in your life, but absolute submittal to God’s plan which includes diligence, patience, contriteness of Spirit, and brokenness of heart, and definitely not over-zealousness, impatience, and telling every in their path to ‘Suck it up and get with my program!’, that is just not gospel living or happiness for that matter!

  36. I am a member of LDS and also consider my actions tówards women to be very considerate and loyal.

    However I have a bad taste in my heart and here is little about it.

    Yes she was there 3 months together, toured Europe and practically lived with one another this another example of I like you as a freind but am not romantically interested in you.

    I love her and I keep praying that whe will return. Please Pray for me anyone.

    Thanks

    A Man with a big aching heart.

    Anyhow I am praying for you singles also. It is gods plan for us to be together with our eternal companion and one of the bigest test is controlling our emotions.

    Take care

  37. Malthus : “Malthus made the famous prediction that population would outrun food supply, leading to a decrease in food per person. (Case & Fair, 1999: 790). He even went so far as to specifically predict that this must occur by the middle of the 19th century, a prediction which failed for several reasons, including his use of static analysis, taking recent trends and projecting them indefinitely into the future, which almost always fails for complex systems.”

    Steve EM, despite not growing up LDS it sounds none the less like a “provincial” upbringing. What we do as individuals, but what we do as a herd is how we can truly make a difference on a global level. It takes time, and precedes one monkey at a time but eventually we can reach the “10th monkey” – if you are familiar with that idea of the evolution of behavior. It appears your parents had no real concern with children starving in India, but rather with controlling and manipulating your eating habits.

    If they really had a concern with the starving children in India, they would have learned to be less demanding in the quantity of food you ate (and if their eating habits were like most Americans it encouraged behavior that later resulted in you being over 18% body fat or more than the ideal BMI – obese) and used the money saved from overeating to help with programs providing food to others. As well if they had truly been concerned they might have learned to prepare meals that were enjoyable enough that you wanted to eat the food, and yet still provide a meal that was adequately nutritious. But it sounds like their lack of follow through shows no real concern with starving children, and more concern with controlling and manipulating you.

    Regardless of that sort of upbringing, you are wrong with the statement : ” I figured out that my conditions in the USA had no bearing either way on some kid in India”. Regardless of Malthus’ insistence on using static analysis for a dynamic situation, the earths resources are finite. As well global dynamics allow what happens in one country to greatly affect another – stock markets, job markets, droughts, natural disasters, wars in one country greatly affect others. Your parents lack of real committment, concern and follow through regarding starving children in India does not prove that your condition could not affect kids in India.

    In fact many people, even on the individual level have great impact on large populations in foreign countries. I would give examples, but they are so numerous I know I would get carried away and soon this post would be many paragraphs long. You calling your parents bluff, and realizing their lack of real concern and follow through, and recognizing their efforts at emotional control no doubt personally empowered you; but at the same time led you erroneously to believe that there is no “butterfly affect”.

    Its beyond the scope of this format and everyones time and interest, but I pray you someday understand that by acting locally we can have an effect globally. Agriculturally, scientifically, economically, scholastically. Simple discoveries such as that Leprosy does not cause fingers to fall off, but rather causes loss of sensation and that repeated trauma causes the death of tissue (as well as rats eating their fingers while they sleep) has caused tremendous impact in India – technology and the internet has caused large shifts in Indias economy – droughts and subsequent famines. Regardless of the fact that a small boy in America cannot see the impact of his actions beyond the walls of his own house, and regardless that his parents voiced concern over the wellbeing of people they have no sincere interest in; what we do as individuals can have a global impact – especially once we learn to act as a herd for others wellbeing.

    It may be comforting to feel our actions here have no impact there so that we can live self centered lives with a clear conscience, in this day and age it is easy to see how we can make a global impact.

    Interesting to note that Malthus was onc considered one of the 100 most influential people of the century and Darwin considered him very influential in forming his own ideas.

  38. Dislike of social democracy writes : As for your baptizing machine of an RM wife, what good has it done her if she cannot work toward keeping her spouse happy first? Nothing and always will be that way! Seems to me that the gospel of Salvation is not about personal control of every single thing in your life, but absolute submittal to God’s plan which includes diligence, patience, contriteness of Spirit, and brokenness of heart, and definitely not over-zealousness, impatience, and telling every in their path to ‘Suck it up and get with my program!’, that is just not gospel living or happiness for that matter!

    I think your last sentence is very true. Unfortunately I think we (referring to we LDS) are very guilty of this. How many times have well-meaning people established programs that have nothing to do with real people, but is all about numbers : home teaching statistics (does not matter if families do not even want the home teachers to come by), baptism statistics, ward temple attendance statistics, etc. My wife’s mission certainly placed a high priority on numbers – each month publishing a newspaper with which missionaries had baptisms, the number and ranking them from top to lowest baptizer. The monthly newsletter made it appear that how many people you dunked underwater was all important. People get run over in the path of quota machines.

    No doubt many program machines are well-intentioned : get the singles married, get the inactives back into the seats at sacrament, get everyone a temple recommend, get 100% home teaching, get everyones homes busting at the seams with canned wheat, get every young man on a mission etc. However such quota machines often ignore the real people’s limits and abilities, real people’s desires, and perhaps the Lords timing and may be in fact over-zealous.

    Your first sentence is a mischaracterization. Stating she “cannot work for her spouse’s happiness” implies a lack of concern for my happiness. I know that is not the case. It is incorrect as stating “God cannot work for man’s salvation”. Just because something is not achieved does not mean someone did not work for it.

    This is a problem I had with mission presidents who kept track of and published the number of baptisms or a missionary. Success at something SOMETIMES has little to do with how hard someone works. When getting into med school I saw MANY 4.0 students who did not make it – most medical schools have something like 2000 brilliant applicants each semester and accepts maybe 10% of them. Often medical students get in because of knowing the right people more than being much better than 90% of the other applicants.

    My wife works very hard at trying to create a happy marriage and family life. Her (and myself) somehow believe that faith and church obedience will somehow magically make everything work. When I decided to join the church my father told me to always remember “All your faith and 25 cents will buy you a cup of coffee”. At the time I considered it cynical – now I realize in reality “all my faith and 3 bucks will buy me a cup of coffee….. if I was allowed to drink coffee”.

    Having fewer children – thereby having less stress , having more money and having nicer figure makes for more happiness that making sure you have family prayer each day. Relaxing and doing some fun things together makes for greater happiness than making sure you make it to church each Sunday. Raising a child that is responsible and can support himself financially is more important than making sure they go on a mission and learn to follow directions and try and get a lot of people dunked underwater. In short learning what makes a person truly happy beats learning all the rituals and requirements of being a good Mormon – in that I agree with you.

    However, as misguided as her efforts may have been, she certainly – we certainly have tried. Its just that too much effort was made in prototypical Mormon activities instead of cimple common human activities. A few more Rolling Stone concerts and a few less efforts to attend General Conference live would have gone a long way.

    My wife was a baptizing monster on her mission. While many baptisms can happen from plain luck, moving into a area and performing the baptism ritual that another missionary (recently transfered ) had been working for etc – baptising 5 times the average and setting a new record by roughly double the old happens by crazy amounts of work. She often disregarded her and her companions hunger and fatigue – once ending up in the hospital briefly as a result. When her mission president wanted to transfer her because she was in a gang infested neighborhood of a big city that had developed a gang initiation challenge of raping a sister missionary she argued against leaving, but giving in because he was her leader.

    Such singleness of mind and purpose makes individuals obsessively successful in business, sports, etc – but usually at the expense of real human needs and connections. I see this destructive trait passed on to my children – youngest Eagle scout in the region, my son set a school sports record his first year in high school and was nearing the state record already – he is obsessive about training and diet, my daughter completing her schools math curriculum in 4th grade – winning state math -art-and literature competitions, my daughters both feeling like they cannot just get A’s but must have the highest grade in each class – seriously, they are nuts.

    For their happiness I need to help them realize there is so much more to life than statistics, numbers, qoutas, and overzealous striving for goals. They really need a little more wordliness – a little more average man mentality – a little more MySpace chatting and less young mens and young womens.

  39. Rick,
    Learning about Malthus’ flawed ideas can wait; you have much bigger fish to fry right now. One of my comments to Dislike about your situation was deleted (for blunt language I assume) so I’ll rephrase:

    If your wife doesn’t know what’s going on in your head, forget about the consult with the divorce lawyer. You apparently married a very dominate super orthodox gal who would only be compatible with a small fraction of men. It’s water over the dam now. Dislike’s advice to assert yourself might have had a chance of working in the beginning of the marriage (equally likely of ending the marriage early on). But that approach isn’t going to work now. You’ve been married decades. She knows you too well, and if you’re not willing to walk, she’ll see right through any bluff and you’ll be worse off. And it would hardly be righteous for you to approach your wife with the intention of walking if she won’t compromise to your satisfaction (not that Dislike was suggesting that). I suggest you lay the cards on the table with your wife so she knows you’re at or past the breaking point (which is all true from your description) and see if you two can take things one small step at a time?

    P.S. – Outside parties like your Bishop, HT, LDS Social Services, etc is a waste of time for this stuff. If you two can’t take it one step at a time that leads to enough changes where you two can stay together, it’s over. But separation or divorce? – get that idea out of your head until you’ve made every reasonable attempt to turn the situation around.

    G-d bless

  40. Sorry everyone . . . going back to Rick’s post (#230)

    Rick,
    Thanks for the chuckle! I think you just described our exact opposites!!! You did get one thing right . . . my hubby just finished law school. I’m a beginning teacher.
    Did I mention I’m in an ecomically depressed part of the country?

    So, no SUV in our future or past. (Never will be.) But we’ve got ONE $500 blue book wreck.
    No six figue salaries (ha ha ha! I’m in stiches here!!!) But we’ve got six figure debt.
    No suburban home or mansion- small 1 room apartment
    Good for nothin’ new insurance policy (won’t cover birth control, pregnancy, delivery or neonatal care or our pre-existing conditions or meds)
    No CD’s tucked away in the bank, just a few Peter Paul and Mary cassettes. (ha ha)

    BTW- I’m at work now- wearing an 11 year old khaki skirt that was one of the few items unscathed from the tornado that destoryed our other apartment 5 yrs ago. It is still in great condition- Recycle reuse and repair!

    President Hinckely’s advice in the early 90′s to consider trade schools was very wise. We’d be a whole heck-of-a lot better off financially being plumbers, electricians, carpenters, day-care-providers, policemen, or especially in computer network specialists.

  41. Rick (#239): Commendable that you seem to have your head on straight, and you are mostly right that a little less church sometimes is a good thing, and perhaps the best thing in most cases, especially yours it seems!

    You have some pretty successful children there, but in the end if they are always at that level they probably will have trouble trying to understand those at different levels making empathy and compassion for others very difficult and that could be their downfall in the end! Continue on with the balance thing in your teaching of them (Mosiah 4:27)!

    As for Steve EM teachin that it is too late to make those kind of take control changes, he’s wrong…’You will always get the same results if you continue to do what you are doing!’ is probably what applies here! If you don’t make some changes, it will most likely take a turn for the worst when your children have all moved out!

    BTW, the Stones suck, go see a Coldplay concert, they rock! I took my 11 year old daughter when they came through a few years ago, and she thought it was awesome! Our Bishop took his daughter to a Stones concert a couple of years ago and they loved it and had a great time!

  42. Dislike, I appreciate your comments. I am not familiar with Coldplay. I have learned to appreciate Greenday from my son.

    JAT, your post makes you very likeable, approachable, and down to earth…it makes me appreciate your comments more, and consider them in a light that reflects upon you as a person with practical experience in the difficulties of establishing the base I recommend theoretically for starting a family and solid marriage- I think I enjoyed posting more when you seemed snooty and elitist. Da…. Da…. Dang you. ;) I will find a way to point out how starving kids in India would love to drive your $500 car and live in your one bedroom apartment.

    Steve, I appreciate your invite to your blog – but considering the post was found innapropriate, and I feel you neither have gospel or practical knowledge sufficient to give solid advice – I will decline. (I know I should not begin a sentence with a preposition but…) And I really don’t intellectually respect your dismissal of Malthus overall premise (that uncontrolled population growth will endanger limited resources) simply because of his inability to predict when world hunger would outstrip the ability to provide – granted if parents who used world hunger as a tool to manipulate childrens eating behavior actually made efforts to aid the starving we would not see the millions starve each year. Just because a youth may not be able to see how they may have a impact on someone 5000 miles away, does not mean they cannot have an impact on people 5000 miles away – that limited vision is quite disturbing.

  43. Rick,
    My invite to my blog was to Another #237, not you. I’ve been very happily married to an LDS gal for over two decades. Since you’re not happy, I tried to help. I don’t see why you’re offended regarding my advice to put off a divorce consult or comtempating walking and attempting to take things one small step at time with your wife, but I’m sorry to have offended. Good luck whatever you do.

    You’re welcome to hold your breath for Malthus’ prediction to unfold or not accept that in a dynamic where some countries are facing declining population, some are stabilizing and some are expanding, that population is local phenomenon.

    Again good luck to you.

  44. Rick,

    I read with great interest, your comments and those who responded back to you. Similarities may be overrated, but I too returned home from my mission several decades ago and found myself being encouraged to use a “New Era” checklist to reach a quick conclusion on an “eternal companion”. She left the marriage after about fifteen years expressing a need to find a childhood lost, found a neighborhood TRT (temple recommend toter) attorney and attempted to wreak as much misery and terror in my life as she possibly could, and succeeded in her efforts to a certain degree.

    All of our children are over 19 and doing well. I have a good relationship with them despite their mother’s attempts to the contrary although in recent years she has moderated somewhat.

    What is disturbing to me is the counsel to quickly marry but the run and hide attitude displayed by those same people giving that counsel, when one of the precious females makes a conscious choice to blow-off several of the temple recommend questions. I guess there really is no “service after the sale.”

    I grew up in the church learning from the writings of Spencer W. Kimball that if two people (one male and one female that is) were both living the gospel, that they could have a happy marriage; but the emphasis has to be on the word “both”. While it seems strange and it is of course impossible, how interesting it would be to go through a divorce first and then decide if you were going to get married. This would give insight into how a person would react under stress and whether or not they were a 7 day versus a 1 day LDS, or whatever belief in the Savior that they professed.

    Your “tippy cup” and “salad dressing and jelly” stories are your own and I can certainly relate, but mine was never about the kids; I loved them with all my heart and I tried to love their mother with all my heart; that job was extremely more difficult. Staying for the children is always the toughest call. Divorce is “heck” (respect for the website) and visitation, child support, and alimony are all dirty words. Having lived it, I don’t envy your position and the second time around was worse.

    Statistics are important to consider when making a decision to marry but like the old story about the two friends deciding to raise two calves to make some extra money, when “your” calf dies, that is the only statistic that is truly meaningful.

    It would be nice if your wife would treat you better and make you number one in her life. Unless you are a complete dolt, I think this would go a long way in solving many of the problems in marriages in the Church today, including yours. Not that the word “both” needs to be ignored; it does not.

    I wish for you and your family the best; whatever that is.

    Pemble-

  45. I will tell you what is wrong with dating in the Mormon Church in Utah!

    Utah Mormon singles have an insatiable appetite for gossip!

    And not limited to just females! MALES TOO! And it is the 20 year olds and the 30 year olds and the 40 year olds!

    It isn’t the singles wards that are gossip hot houses…but the singles themselves!

    Hanging out is definitely not group dating and it is the very important to the LDS singles scene! It is all too important to belong to a group, and be invited, show up see that is there, and talk about it, get information about others and talk about it and spread it. Whether it be some girl trying to boost her ego by holding game night at her house or any excuse for a party, or a guy trying to be the almighty party dude to a group gathering after work for a night of wakeboarding, or a trip to lake mead, or a group gathering for dinner or lunch, or a cruise to the Bahamas, the singles are there to HANG OUT. Meet, get to know others, and GOSSIP about it. They play the I heard and do you know game with each other. They do not accept individuality, creativity, and difference. They do NOT include non members for fear of someone bringing alcohol or using too colorful or language. They turn there noses on you if you do have non member friends you wish to include, as if something is wrong with you. They check out the “hotties†and ask about them. They hang out for the “fun times and friendships.†But ask this: Do they know where each other is from? Do they know their birthdays? Do they know or even care about the well being of each other? NO LDS SINGLES ARE SELF ABSORBED AND OUT FOR THE HUNT OF FITTING IN AND HAVING FUN, and CLAMMERING FOR MR AND MRS TEMPLE WORTHY RIGHT! But all the while they are JUST HANGING OUT, having fun, and they put on airs, and pretentiousness. What you do and how much you make is all too important. They have their profile on http://www.ldslinkup.com where they paint the wholesome side of themselves, but if you find them on http://www.myspace.com you will get to see the photos on scantily clad outfits and bikini’s, with a whole different style of language. You see that this person knows that person who knows that person who is this person who heard about this other person who knows everyone that knows about everyone. And spread, anything and everything they will, misconstruction of anything and sensationalizing of everything, comments, conversations, friends, what one drives or who one dates, ANYTHING is fodder. If they are “linked†up, they are in that malicious LDS singles gossip crowd!

    Guys do not ask girls out. They aren’t intimidated or don’t want to spend the money. They just want the PERFECT GIRL! They have a totally misconstrued idea of what women are and how they should be and what they should look like!

    They want a girl who will have the most mind boggling body and beautiful face, and they want her to bring in at least half the income, have no debt, and 800 credit score. They want her to if not have served a mission be a least temple worthy. They want her to be a virgin if at all possible, for heaven forbid that she had been with any other that her betrothed after marriage. They look for some in site that would tell them that after marriage they expect her to have his children, raise his children, put a meal on the table everyday and keep the house picked up at all times, not spend too much money. They expect to be take care of him, including rocking his world in the bedroom, every and anytime he desires, irregardless of her emotional state. They expect her to continue having a fit and shapely figure like the day they married irregardless of age or child birth. They expect her to NEVER NAG or CHANGE HIM. They want her to have an unshakeable testimony and a god like being at all times.

    So they may ask a girl out here and there, but somehow it is like there is some girl tree in the back yard. And when the girl they are dating just isn’t perfect, they just throw her down and pick another, because they can, they have a girl tree! So they pass this one and that one, based on assumption, or gossip, or doesn’t know how to cook, or had a spotted past. Or just because there is a younger hotter girl in the tree at that time. After all people can divorce like changing clothes, so why not do it before you marry.

    As far as guys marry quick for sex? OH heck yes they do! That is for sure!
    You wouldn’t think your peter priesthood guy next door, but there are a GREAT MANY who are just either are having sex, or some type of sex whether it be rubbing up on someone during a make-out hook up, masturbating to Victoria Secret, oral sex, or have a dark seeded closet porn addiction. (I cannot TELL YOU HOW MANY GUYS I HAVE DATED AND SEEN THEIR REGISTRY ON THEIR COMPUTERS— THEY READ LIKE A REGULAR XXX movie/picture thon and BROTHEL!) Guys who are Living the Law of Chastity are far and few between! EVEN AMONG THE MORMONS! Oh but they DON’T DRINK! NOPE! NO WAY! NO TOLERANCE FOR THAT WHATSOEVER! EVEN FROM NON-MEMBERS!

    Guys are not chivalrous, they do not try. They do not put effort into dating. They act like the WORLD IS THEIR OYSTER! They will date you until they find the next best thing. They have some warped sense of what is important in life. Hanging out, group activities, and social events are far too important than living life, goals, have the experience of the activity and enjoying life for it. They just want to meet people and talk about it, and talk about them, and the girls provide the ammunition, start it, or contribute side by side. They will put others down and stab them in the backs.

    What is wrong with girls? They are overly concerned with the social thing! And if the guys want the girls they jump in head first! And with the girls being sooo outdoorsy these days, heck, there are some pretty good things to do just “hanging out.†Girls today have rampant insecurity! And VERY HIGH competition among the other single females! Fake boobs, nose jobs are pretty common, let alone a great wardrobe, nicer car and job. They want to be rich, not work, and go shopping, and nest build. If you got to a singles ward in the Provo, or Salt Lake Valley, you will find a regular fashion show debuting every week! They do not let men be men. They expect to change them. They also are looking for some knight in shining amour and fairytale romance. Where they do nothing and the man just sweeps them off their feet and gives them the world. When in reality it’s the 20th century. Women’s roles in society and relationships are different, and so are guys. This is a give and take world a world of compromise, communication, and willingness to resolve conflict. And CONFLICT IS A PART OF LOVE! But instead, they are too picky and looking for Mr. Right, they are looking for Mr. Right now! They want a man to give them what the American advertising says they should have an opulent life. With a trouble free marriage and husbands who are never annoyed with anything they do. Girls are overly concerned with looking right, wearing the right clothes, and having the right jeans, and belonging in the center of whatever social gathering of LDS singles and all their gossipy behaviors and ridicule of anything.

    Have you seen the movie Mean Girls? That is the Utah Mormon LDS Singles! It is a clique like no other! And the name of the game is HANGING OUT! BELONGING! A PART OF A GROUP!

    News flash for all the UTAH LDS SINGLES! Just because you are a part of a group, doesn’t make it right! Just because everyone else hangs out doesn’t mean it is the best way to meet your eternal companion! If you meet someone that you are interested in! ASK HIM OR HER OUT RIGHT THEN AND THERE! GET OFF YOU HORSE YOU RODE IN AND DO IT! TRY SOME INDIVIDUALISM! SOME SELF AUTONOMY! Some creativity!
    I have washed my hands of befriending my fellow LDS singles due to how this enormously twisted mating dance of “hanging out†ends up. Little if any relationships are made, and friendships are on the surface. For the past 8 years I have hung out with non-members. And for the most part are much more Christ like, true to their word, and who they are. When they “hang out†it is for the activity or event. Social is secondary. And if there is a girl they are interested in, they ask her out straight away. They don’t waffle in the gossip pool and Hang out Friends zone. They make an effort, irregardless of socioeconomics and inflation. I have had some of the best dates THAT COST THEY GUY NOTHNG MORE THAN A COUPLE GALLONS OF GAS DRIVING! Non Members seem to be much more accepting and tolerant of others and diversity. And many have told me that they NEVER would have guessed me a Mormon. They expect all Mormons to ostracize, and judge. Recently I decided to give the http://www.ldslinkup.com a go, and hung out, went on a few trips and activities with the LDS singles. NOTHING IS CHANGED! They still remain malicious talkers, and totally involved in the next fun thing or social event or hang out! All the while thinking NOTHING THEY DO IS WRONG! AND THEY ARE JUST HAVING FUN!

    I have decided that with a large majority of the Utah LDS singles acting like insidious children, and many guys with sexual deviance, they are not worth my time dating! I would rather date non members and or move than put up with the pickiness, expectations, and the Mormon dating pool in Utah has to offer. Let alone the shallow friendships one develops within the culture!

  46. Pemble, sorry to hear your story. How old were you when you married? It really takes some maturity and foresight of what one will be sacrificing by following the prophets commands. Nobody really wants to marry at a young age like 22 – they may think they do, but often don’t realize that it is going to mean sacrificing freedom and fun – especially when children come along. Marriage starts and the fun ends – but that does not mean happiness is over.

    Following the prophet in all things means sacrifice – paying tithing is not fun at all, it is a happy sacrifice. getting married at a young age is not fun at all – no more adventures on dating, getting to know all the variations of what the opposite sex can be like, no more excitation of the newness of a new potential partner and once children arrive – no more freedome to go and do as you wish – no more late night impromptu dates.

    But salvation is not about fun. It is about sacrifice and happiness. It is about feeling the pressure of responsibility until you are almost ready to sweat blood from every pore and knowing you did a job well – the happiness comes after painful sacrifice. That sort of happiness is not created in fun filled activities, but can only be experienced when one reaches the near breaking point : physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually. It is only when we are stretched BEYOND our current capacities that we can know divine happiness. If we stay in the shallow waters, knowing only fun and selfishly doing what we want – we can never grow spiritually.

    Its a shame that youth are not more eager to give up fun and enjoyment for the happiness that can come from mind-bending sacrifice and denial.

    I wish your wife had made the commitment to eternal marriage with the outlook of how much happiness she could have if she was willing to give up pleasure and fun. If the attorney you mentioned made more money than you, its a shame that she sold her sould for the worldly things.

  47. Rachel,

    Your husband is a very lucky man to have married someone with your insights. Further if you share these ideals equally, your foundation should be righteously envied and admired.

    At age 22, as you mentioned, knowledge of the sacrifice necessary to make a successful marriage is rare.

    My blogging is still in infancy and until today I had not gone through this thread that started over a year ago. One particular comment that was to me a bit self-righteous was from the father of the 19 year old daughter. He was incensed at the comments to that point and even referred to some of the bloggers as evil. He went on to describe his successful marital experience which I am so happy for him, that he has. I do wonder if his 30 days per year of snow skiing a few miles from his home, would be his chosen subject, had his spouse decided to abandon the marriage. That activity may have changed his perspective; not that he needs to be bitter or unhappy; those are choices. But we almost exclusively gain perspective from those things that we individually experience.

    I certainly have not been picked on in my life and am grateful to the Lord for His “tender mercies.” I just felt bad for Rick and his family because of the direction that seems to be going. Heaven knows there are no guarantees other than to be as unselfish as possible, serve others and accept with humility the things that come our way.

    A few days ago, the wife of a very close friend was killed in an accident. Without the experiences in my life, although not identical, (IMHO) the compassion that I feel for him and the ability to be a better listener, would not have flowed so easily. I believe there is a reason that Isaiah prophesies about Christ that He would be a “Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” It is so our normal, “natural” tendencies towards others can be changed for the better.

    Thank-you for your post.

  48. I got married at the age of 26, and I recommend it to anyone. Life experience has taught me much. I was able to do much. We are both very mature and independent. We are able to be our own person, something I would not have been able to do had I gotten married earlier. I see many people wanting to rush to the altar for the wrong reasons. The wedding day comes and goes, and the other sexual reason is only one aspect of a successful marriage. So, hold your horses, get to know each other well (I would recommend anyone to date for at least a year, or as President Hinckley put it, through all four seasons, and go through a couple arguments, see how you resolve them, and go from there:)
    Life is good.

  49. Rachel:

    I’m sorry to say that, but if you feel that having gotten married young was not fun, or that life is not meant to be fun, then why did you get married so young? I got married later in my 20s and I can tell you it’s a lot of fun. Life is a lot of fun!! We did not have to adjust too much with each other because we were developed independent beings and had dated for three years, so we had already worked out many of our own challenges. I want to dispel the myth that marriage is not fun. IT IS FUN. It is wonderful. We laugh so much together. Same thing with the mission. It is fun. And same thing with life. It is fun. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it’s always pink and great, but most of the time, we find fun in our life.
    Again, MARRIAGE IS FUN.
    It’s a decision.

  50. Rick and Steve:

    I agree with you that “And I think many of your points are valid regarding we LDS using our brains and needing to do what’s right for us, not just taking some GA’s, SP’s, or Bishop’s advice without interpreting and adapting it for our own situation. Many of your warnings to young people to avoid some issues you faced are valid too. And people should refuse church callings they can’t bear.”
    There is sometimes this belief that we should do whatever our leaders tell us without thinking, “What does the Lord want for my personal situation?” But I strongly believe that our personal relationship with the Lord is more important than any advice anyone could give us. Find out what the Lord has in mind for you.

  51. Jen, No doubt much of what you describe is real, but speaking from more than a decade of experience as an LDS single along the Wasatch Front, you are making an enormous generalization. Those weaknesses do exist, they are serious, some of them may even be getting worse, but they are certainly not universal.

  52. First of all, I think it’s awesome that this thread is going strong after over a year. Maybe that’s the way we should do things in the nacle for now on, instead of starting a new thread that rehashes an old issue, just keep it going on the same one.

    Anyways, jen, your comments are the most entertaining I’ve read in some time. But if you’re wondering why you have apparently been unsuccessful with the guys, you have already revealed to us why.

  53. Global Footprint is an interesting site to see the “footprint” one leaves on this earth. Unfortunately, what we do in America *does* impact the rest of the world. For example, many of the “starving nations” are producing MORE THAN ENOUGH grain and vegetables to feed their populations- but they are exporting it to nations that feed it to animals being raised for meat in heavy meat eating populations. Likewise, using non-recyclable items, polluting the waters with large industrial plants, cutting down trees to build factories and housing developments…no, you cannot send your plate of food to India. But the choices we make do affect the world around us, and I am shocked that a church that has so many well traveled members as a result of international missions can be so America-centric.

  54. Oh, one more thing-
    Because of missions and such, in one of the pamphlets I read, youth were ENCOURAGED to go on group dates! To keep it “simple, no pressure”. Now, this is all through high school and the first two years or so of college, because you don’t want to keep a man from serving a mission. I think it’s great counsel, because when you are figuring out who you are, you shouldn’t be stressing over how to keep things exciting and fun in your relationship in high school. I think many youth are just confused at how suddenly, at this point, BAM, start looking for marriage, get serious about it.
    One major thing that confuses me- people are complaining that “on $8 an hour, it’s hard to take a girl out on a nice date to someplace better than Wendy’s!” But….but….but….if you can’t afford Wendy’s, and you’re only making $8 an hour…you should get MARRIED? And have utilities, health insurance, rent, car insurance, etc. etc. et. Does this strike anyone else as strange? And for the record, I love creative, no nonsense, cheap or free dates. But please don’t say “we know it’s hard to pay for a hamburger when you are trying to find a wife/husband” and then say that the counsel isn’t dangerously close to promoting young, unprepared marriages.

  55. To Mark and Eric –

    Jen here. So you are all aware…I am a 36 year old female who has been dating guys from ages 25 – 46 for the over 15 yrs along the Wasatch Front. Whom, by the way, is not a frumpy, or fugly girl with cankles. But am actually thin, fit, and fairly attractive without any plastic surgery! And I am here to say OH NOT SUCH A BIG GERNERALIZATION AS YOUD LIKE TO THINK!!!! Generalization or are most people just blind to it? Blind because they are too caught up in something like trying to fit into a super fun social scene under the rationalization that perhaps they will meet someone “special” or just making friends with the same values to see it? Yes it was a generalization. But there is VERY GOOD reason for it. I try to meet new people, get together with a group of fellow LDS singles, to establish REAL friendships, to support one another, to LOVE one another, but in silent observation, I see the most shallowest of relationships develop. Everyone just wants to know when they are going to Jackson Hole, if the fall trip to Lake Powell is on, and if Janice is still having her weekly Sun night BBQ? I keep hoping that people are getting better, but they are not! It seems like it is worse!! And it isn’t the negative or snide comments that people like to drop or gossip about. It can be just the simple, comment of what do you think about Paul? Or Paul is the one that always has his phone glued to his ear, and seems quiet, and just quit a telemarketing job, to get the ball going on all about Paul. I REALLY want to name people and specifics, and direct you all to websites with photos of BLANTENT hypocritical behavior! But I won’t. Meeting fellow QUALITY LDS singles in the Salt Lake and Provo area is almost FUTILE! Because the emphasis on the SOCIAL or HANG OUT scene!

    And to Eric….have I revealed why I am so unsuccessful? I actually have been successful at dating, or so I thought! Thought I had met some really nice guys, actually been proposed to several times. I’ve met some really nice guys, and had to end relationships due to one thing or the other, and or been dumped by some really nice guys. As I have gotten older, and wiser, more observant of the dating scene among the LDS Singles. I have been able to really notice patterns, behaviors, and expectations. When I went to college I was annoyed that people aren’t growing up. That Church was more a social event. So I stopped going to singles wards. And stopped going to singles events. After 5 or 6 years of attending a home ward, going to church to develop my relationship with the Lord, and strengthen my own testimony, yet not meeting many LDS singles, I gave the whole singles scene a go. Went to a singles ward, dated some real nice LDS guys, made what I thought were good friends. But time and time again I noticed the most rampant crazy appetite for all things social and fun with a little extra big helping of who’s dating who, and who’s doing what, and who hates who, crap-ola. Every time I was witness to this behavior, I removed myself from that particular crowd, or situation, but never fails, a week or so later, my so called sister friends are asking me why I act too good for so and so. COMPLETELY CONFUSED I stop doing things with my fellow “singles”. It is almost night and day how your “friends” seem to disappear. So I make efforts with my “friends” connecting, caring, asking how they are, offering help, service, etc. Only to watch “good friends” caught up in the LDS SOCIAL HANG OUT MACHINE exhibit self serving behaviors towards someone else. So I stop my “hanging out” and no one wonders or even cares. Until my current boyfriend and I break up. Suddenly, I’m getting calls from my “friends” with the ha ha genuine concern comments like: “we heardâ€, and “are your ok?†etc etc. Wanting to confide in what you think or want to think are your caring loving LDS sisters and brothers, you do. Only to hear about it later that month from some other girl who wanted to tell you how someone had a movie night at their house and were talking about the past relationship, and almost mocking it. I switched wards, I dropped friends, I met people in Orem, Provo, Odgen, etc! But the LDS SINGLES 6 degrees of separation is CRAZY and people love love love to talk! I randomly heard about my past relationship for over a year after it ended. I immediately reflected on all the comments about anyone and everyone else that I had over heard during church, church sponsored activities, or non sponsored parties, events, group hang outs, etc. I felt sick! Sick to actually have a first hand experience as to what affect all the crazy have to know and have to have the in conversations about who and what about nothing will do to your sisters, and brothers, sons and daughters of God! How absolutely non-Christ like the “hang out” scene can become, and brew underneath. AND THAT IS JUST A SMALL SMALL EXAMPLE OF THE CRAZY GOSSIP THAT GOES ON IN THE LDS SINGLES SCENE. I am not even going to go on about the male ego, and perception of what equates the “perfect woman.” And when I said you would NOT believe the amount of Mormon guys which upstanding values who’ve got the itch for Porn on the Internet? BELIEVE IT! IT IS WILDLY RAMPANT! And along with the Porn comes a nicely twisted masturbation issue and expectation of women in the bedroom, and what women should look like!!! And so that you know, if I would have married many of the guys I had relationships with, we’d be in counseling just like 4 of my good friends not including 2 of my sisters that have found the vile crap in their homes, on their computers. The level of damage that this creates in the family dynamic let alone the marital relationship and dating relationship is beyond measurable!!! And the single women? Like I said before it is just plain old insecurity that creeps into everything. To where they are at stealth competition with one another, overly concerned with what the world says they should look like, put their emphasis on, who they should be, and what they should have. Add a little LDS to the mix, and you’ve got some various mix of some wanna be of the world, plastic driven, fashion plates, nest builders, overachievers at arts, crafts and scrap booking scene who wants a fairytale relationship that doesn’t exist! You mix males and females up? With the sex problems, and the importance of the all powerful SOCIAL SCENE, you might see just why guys and girls in the LDS SINGLES SCENE are spending so much more time involved in “hanging out” and developing superficial relationships and friendships; ignorant to self autonomy, diversity, individuality, and creativity! All the while sooo picky at finding their “eternal companion.”

    Why I complain? Because it would be nice to meet a great NORMAL guy with NORMAL expectations, NORMAL habits and NORMAL flaws, who holds the Priesthood, and that I can marry in the Temple, bless and baptize my children. Rather than someone who is a terrific person, great values, and goals, etc etc, but thinks that baptism for the dead means that Mormon’s must do strange things with dead bodies in the wee hours of the night!

    I would really like to see the Church authorities take a much firmer stand against the all too important “social†aspect of the LDS Singles and dating habits! It may mature a vast many of them and raise their level of spirituality to a whole different plane! There is so much more to life and this world than some stupid excuse for a party, weekly BBQ, trip to Lake Powell or being a part of the 300 or so Mormon singles that went on that non church sponsored cruise to the Bahamas this past Spring! Just because the world does it, and Vegas commercials glorify it, doesn’t mean that when you are not at church, or at church sponsored website, or social event, means you can let your moral, values, and even the slightest of letting go of what is truly important and striving to live like Christ in ALL THAT YOU DO! Are we not taught better? I know I was. And when I am alone or in group that is substandard to the teachings of the Prophets and Lord, I remove myself. But a far too many cannot steer clear from standing at social flame! It makes it hard to meet others or even trust others have more depth than the childlike behavior that I like to call LDS Social Single Swingers!

  56. Jen,

    As I said the problem does exist. My disagreement is with your characterization of how predominant it is. Most LDS singles are not active participants in the scene you describe. The ones whose behavior you describe accurately need to repent. One does not need to be a doctor of divinity to know that it is seriously wrong, and un-Christian in the worst way.

    If I were to complain about LDS singles culture, I would start with the bizarre convention that you do not so much as say hello to a person, without the other assuming one is eternally interested in them. Also the very common convention of (young) women treating anyone that is not interested in going out on a second date as her worst enemy. And then wonder why formal dates are few and far between…

  57. It seems odd to wonder why women are acting like immature girls waiting for their knight and shining armor when men are encouraged to run off and serve missions at nineteen, whereas women have to wait to twenty one, and even then they aren’t encouraged, they “can if they want to” go. Women are told their best place is in the home, they are told their most important work is in motherhood, they are told to sustain and hold up the priesthood- tell me, where is the motivation for a young girl to bust her butt to get a high powered executive degree, go through law school, etc., if she will either have to a) drop it ALL when the babies and babies and babies come or b) try and be a working mother and be more than a little looked down upon for basically going against the Apostles counsel on how a wife and mother should act.
    Please don’t get all condescending about these “immature” girls “waiting for guys to take care of them”. Look back at YW activities where they make lists of qualities they want in a guy, or wearing a temple wedding gown and having their pics taken, or making cookies and learning to sew while the guys are out bungee jumping and having week long survival in the woods camping trips. AGAIN, yes, I know the Apostles say “get a degree! futher your education! don’t just wait around!” but like I said, I don’t know many people who are going to bust it to get a very expensive and time consuming degree just to drop it to live the perfect Mormon woman life. It’s easier to get an easy, quick four year degree, and hopefully meet an RM while you’re doing it, and maybe you’ll finish, but if you don’t, hey, you met the man that will “take you to the temple”. Which, by the way, ALSO implies passivity on the part of the girl- it’s always “wait for a man who can take you to the temple”, do they ever tell the guys “wait for a woman who can take you to the temple?” I’ve never heard such a thing. Only women get taken I suppose, and don’t sit and judge the actions of women when they feel they are fighting over a small supply of what they have been told their whole lives will make them complete, giving them a home and babies to take care of. Wow, the more I think of it I’m actually quite shocked that no one can have any sympathy and see this obvious connection, instead of complaining about the sisters.

  58. Admin,
    Why was my comment deleted? It wasn’t any more risqué than jen’s rant. All I did was acknowledged that much of her complaints against many men are likely valid, but if she lowered her standards somewhat, she’d likely find a very compatible mate she could grow together with and be a lot happier.

  59. #259: In practice, I think LDS young women are more diligent, not less, in pursuing higher education than LDS young men.

  60. Steve EM, if you don’t want your comments to be deleted, please keep away from discussions of past sexual practices. In fact, my advice would be to keep away from all discussions of sex altogether. Your doctrinal discussions are kept intact.

  61. Thanks Geoff. Can’t say I understand the sex phobia in a thread about dating/marriage or why it’s inappropriate to mention personal history in reference to jen’s charge that virtually all LDS men expect to marry a virgin, as I certainly didn’t, but I do thank you for replying.

  62. waitaminute! – (and Mark below)

    Jen here, I never discounted the role that motherhood and childrearing takes. In fact, I mentioned that many men, (and to note, not just Mormons but men throughout Western Civilization) seem to have this concept of the super all empowered woman! i.e. education, job, bearing and raising children, household maintenance (laundry, cook, clean, etc), and all the while maintaining a svelte shape, rocking sex life, without spending any money. Add the Mormon standards, and culture, and participation in the ward, women are held to some super being “perfection” status that is just not completely obtainable. And you are right, I heard the same sermon over and over, about a women’s place is in the home raising children, not out in some super self involved career. But as society changes, so do demands, and so are the encouragements and discouragements from the words of Prophets. I have heard more and more from church leaders the importance of education, and furthering oneself. Yeah, sure it is extremely difficult to raise a family and get your masters or pursue a super career or business. But society is NOT your momma’s world anymore. As the world grows, technology progresses, interconnects, and resources are taxed, you cannot expect to count entirely on one household income, and if you do, then don’t plan on 6 children! With the personal and national debt at an all time high, inflation, economics, and the basic job market, you never can be sure that your husband will always be able to provide. And that doesn’t even hit on illness, disability, tragedy or divorce. Not to mention, being educated, and having furthered your education you are able to teach your children on a whole additional plane. In addition, having a higher education, even a career or work experience, makes you a much stronger individual, multifaceted, and an overall more interesting person. Knowledge is power, and everyone knows it. The effect of having even just an associated degree is great. You, your marriage, children, your friendships, your family, your association in the world is VASTLY improved. If your Eternal salvation rests on your hands; you are responsible for you first. In spite of the giving role of wife and motherhood, you have got to keep yourself held harm whether that is religious standing, education or whatever. I guess what I am saying is that you may nor be able to always rely on the MAN to bring in the bacon and that education may become more than just making you out for a more well rounded being!

    Why I am condescending against the immaturity of females? Because a GREAT many of them ARE getting an education and a career, but the immaturity comment was due to the female focus on the super swinging social life or hang out thing, getting caught up in it, and placing importance on it, and getting even just a little gossipy about others. Coupled with the illusion that marriage is some happy and fun thrilling thing, and Mr. Soul Mate will sweep me off my feet and take care of me. When the reality check is that marriage is: WORK, and full of dumb arguments, and getting tired of each others nuances and idiosyncrasies,etc etc. SINGLE PEOPLE NEED TO LEARN to seek out what real LOVE IS! Love is NOT all fluff and pleasantries, the saying: “There is a fine line between love and hate.” is all too real. Hating/dislike/discust/distaste is all as a part of love! Love is a respect that has NOTHING TO DO WITH BIG BOOBS, GREAT SKIN OR LOTS OF MONEY! You love ispite of what you dislike or hate. I hate it when you do that but I love you for it, because it is you! ALL people are flawed, and carry their own “bag of worms” with them. You just decide which bag of worms you can handle, accept, and work with love inspite of them. Happiness is wanting what you have not having what you want! Getting along, and keeping that pleasant romance part of Love alive is CONSTANT WORK WORK WORK effort and WORK, it is not just expected to exist underneath everything! And then raising a family on top of the marriage? Yep plan on lots of 4 letter words called EMOTIONAL PHYSICAL and FINANCIAL WORK! In addition, women need to REALLY get it through their heads that men DO have a right to expect their wife to not “let themselves go” your health and physical fitness are very important! You were given the GIFT of a human MORTAL body and you have better take care of it! (and I do NOT imply that girls need try to be yoked or even sport a baywatch babe bod or expected to have the body fat of Giselle Bundchen. ATTENTION GUYS! THAT IS NOT WHAT REAL WOMEN LOOK LIKE!) Besides keeping closer to ideal body weight, flexability, endurance and strength, you are a more pleasant person, and much more capable and efficient in all you do! I mean really, you try to look nice when you date, so why do so many forget about it or give it up in marriage? Guys! Pehaps you may want to let it sink in a LITTLE DEEPER that women are not going to be able to keep a fulltime career, raise children, cook meals, and hit the gym even 2 times a week. And if she has an education? Well don’t be surprised if she comes with student load debt, in addition to a car loan and her Visa card. And so that you know the female physique will NOT be the same after childbirth, and sometimes her stomach will NEVER be flat again, but her boobs will! Women do not wake up with make up and their hair done. That actually takes an hour or so (depending on individual! Pam Anderson is quoted saying that “beauty isnt natural, it requires 2 hours infront of the mirror!”) In addition, women don’t look like 25 year olds forever. They look like a 25 year old for the YEAR THEY WERE 25! They get older, and fatter, THE SAME AS YOU! (Its just plain old mortality, the HUMAN basal metabolic rate drops 5% every year after the age of 32! They are just not as bald or hairy as you may end up!) Women will always be more talkative, open, and expressive, about everything especially of what bothers them, and this is not necessarily nagging. Waitaminute! you are correct in that MEN SHOULD BE THANKFUL IN CONSTANT PRAYER (and a little genuflect in her direction wouldnt hurt either) THAT SOME GIRL IS WILLING TAKE THEM YOU TO THE TEMPLE AND SEALED TO THEM! THAT WOMAN ACTUALLY GIVE UP HER EDCUATION GOALS OR CAREER TO BEAR YOU CHILDREN AND PUT FORTH THE EFFORT TO RAISE THEM (and for those who think the words “raising children” is a simple 2 word thing women SHOULD do, THINK AGAIN! You may want to research what other words, and sentences and paragraphs, pages and books of just what it takes to raise a child from birth to an 18 year old normal contributing member of society and not sustained with antidepressants or adhd medication! Even the littlest misconcieved notion of what it takes to raise a child can render your child with some tendency to a full blown personality disorder from having to cope with the lack of some aspect of nurture dymanic due to misinformation and denial during a childs formative years!) AND YOU BETTER SMILE WHEN SHE WANTS HER OWN TIME TO TAKE OFF FOR A LITTLE OF HER OWN “BUNGEE JUMPING” WITH HER FRIENDS EVERYNOW AND THEN!

    So there is just another SMALL portion of what NOT realized in dating world according to me! As LDS singles, we seek out eternal companionship, but many are actually stuck seeking out some superficial social fleeting event, ignorant of what your should be truly looking for. Life is not whether or not you got invited to Chuck’s hot tub shindig or to Melissa’s for food night. It is not about standing out with hottest rack, and best shoes, and something to do every week and weekend. Having $300 jeans and big sunglasses is not what makes up a person. It is not about whether you heard that Lance dated Carrie, but Carrie is too good for him. It is not about Mark is a a 41 year old plastic surgeon and only dates 24 year olds. Who cares?!! I only want to know who is kind, sincere, true to themselves and striving to be more Christ like, anything else? Give it a rest! I only want to go to Melissa’s food night because I might get a great recepie for Gazpacho, learn something new, have good food that I didnt have to prepare and perhaps I might just meet some new GENUINE people that are treading down the same path as me. And I could care less if I didn’t go to Chucks Hot Tub party, because I hate hot tubs! Yuck! People Soup! Even if Lindsay, Chloe and the “beautiful people partiers” were there! (I have actually heard the “beautiful people party” term or coin for a few years now. STUPID and ODD!) I sometimes wonder if all the hanging out and social events entices, traps, and blinds many of opportunities to find, meet and marry that eternal companion, and they simply pass many who are caught in some mormon dating wormhole. I know that much of my experience with the LDS Mormon singles has been a unliked distraction towards the greater picture. So I just remove myself.

    MARK — I agree with you. Yes bizarre! Many women think if a guy says hello, he has got some idea about dating, or seeing them as marriage material. I will give you a funny example; I have this particular friend in her 30′s. I have seen her do this one over and over. She meets some guy, talks with him, then is telling me followed with some comment like, “why is he talking to some other girl?” OR “I thought he was interested in me?” Or “That is soo un-cool.” This friend has even accused me of stepping on her toes or flirting with the guy because he talked with me! If she doesnt say anything to me, and I talked spoke with the guy that had been talking with her, I may get a attitude shift towards me, with perhaps some unconscious little digs. Because how dare he talk with me and share things about himself with me! After all, he was talking with her! She has even verbalised out loud that he shouldn’t talk with me; anything he said to me should have been directed towards her! Some crazy mind bender going on in her head because all I heard was some guy talked to her = he is into her = hers. My particular friend isn’t the only girl I have heard and seen this from; she just does it the worst. I don’t get that! I am not this way and don’t think I have ever processed thoughts like this. Maybe that is why I have always had an easy time hanging with the boys? I don’t know. But as far as this bizarro behavior I am dumbfounded! The basic attitude I am picking up is that either any other girl seen or heard talking with the same guy are direct competition, or the guy is some “player” and just wants all the girls! To take this further – some girls will actually think that if guy has asked them out a few times it REALLY means something serious. WHAT? yeah I know WRONG-O! A date does not make it a match in the temple! I do not believe ANYONE can have 1 or 2 dates and just KNOW that it is eternally so! Finding true compatibility and whether or not it will stand the test of time may take just that TIME! Not even a mere dating stint of 3 weeks is going to cut it! True compatibility is not a clairvoyant experience! Time and only time will reveal this mystery. (Side note: as for the itch to kiss, touch, fondle and consumate! get a grip on it! The longer you wait the better it will be with the RIGHT person! It may be a SHOCK but you really can actually date and keep yourself chaste! Being moral does not mean you go oral!) So girls who are asked on 1 casual date should not jumping to conclusions, and entertaining delusional thoughts of grandeur about where the reception will be! That is mentally OFF! And hey, it’s not just the “young” women, but across the age board, seem they really are a little miffed if they don’t get a second date. A LOT of the girls I know whom are in their late 20′s and 30′s are very guilty of this one! AGAIN I WILL CONCLUDE RAMPANT INSECURITY! Girls need some education! Heck they need some refinement/finishing school or some type of dating etiquette! SOMEONE needs to grab the reigns in young women’s or spend a day at girls camp going over this and giving girls some valuable SKILLS and knowledge! (I do agree that the younger ones are worse) If a guy asks you on a date but doesn’t call again DOES NOT equate that he had something against you in anyway! Girls, if you want old fashioned dating rules, where the guy does the courting, then suck it up! Some people just don’t always gel, and who cares anyways? It doesn’t mean you need to shoot a mean look his way the next time you see him, or tell your friends he was a jerk! Get over it, and remember you don’t always connect with everyone either and it may have NOTHING to do with anything, stop taking it as a personal insult. Besides consider it a favor, perhaps you gained a casual friend. Don’t girls know that creation of some imaginary enemy out of a guy who just didn’t call again, actually casts shadows of negative energy upon themselves. Unless the guy flat out stood you up, with no apologies or excuses, or actually caused you wrong or harm, then find him a foe! Gals who are guilty of this oddity need to THINK BEFORE THEY ASSUME (semantics of assume! It only creates an A– out of u and me). Again I would have to say I’m not about acting or thinking like this either! If some guy says hey to me, I usually don’t think, but If I had to guess what was processed in my brain, I would say I thought it cool; a guy who can make effort to be courteous. If a conversation ensues, then hey, even better; someone wants to get to know someone else! The last thing I do is let my mind make some random zigzag leap into an all white mirage with cake, spires and altars! In fact, I don’t even assume the guy is interested in asking me out. I’m just glad that some guy is making effort to be civil or even befriend me. I do not know why a GOOD majority of single females think differently. It is odd and good reason to complain about it. Perhaps someone should start a random anonymous e-mail chain letter cleverly and simply worded with what is WRONG with girls these days? Then be sure you add the pass it on to 10 friends and good things will come your way at the conclusion. Because it has REALLY sucked to be accused of flirting with some guy when all you did is talk to him (I have actually been scolded several times with the “how dare you” tone of voice from fellow sister “friends”). And I am sure it is equally rich for the guys to learn that saying hello to a girl holds some alterior meaning into he’s considering you for celestial marriage, or he must at least be really be into her! and if he doesnt ask you out again, you are now some type of jerk to her and all of her proximal girl posse! WHAT? EVER!

    Guys, consider asking a girl out to lunch. Shorter amount of money and time involved for BOTH SEXES! That way, if you dont get any connection, then not calling her again is perceived LESS of a “blow.” It was only lunch @ Cafe Rio anyways! It’s less formal, but you don’t have do go to Wendy’s or Subway! And will save both of you! Besides, if you feel the “connection” and she didn’t it is easier for her to let you know that she had fun but would like to just persue a friendship. Besides, lunch dates are PERFECT opportunities to do dutch or ask if she minded going dutch. Heck, then if you connect, she’ll be pleasantly surprised at a second call, yet still hesitant to assume you are planning a trip down isle along with that next date. If there is no connection, then girl doesn’t need to feel odd about you paying, or guilty, and you nor her aren’t out the extra $15. Besides women are a LOT more receptive to dutch dates as a LUNCH or ICE CREAM DATE! I PROMISE! GIRLS, if you think it is the DUTY of the guy to pay for EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME! GROW UP AND WELCOME TO 2006! It is actually a kind gesture to offer to take the guy to lunch and the GIRL PAYS! Even offering to go dutch on a lunch date or pay for the movie tickets is a kind thing to do! If a girl is offended by your asking for a dutch date? Well you had better have asked PRIOR to picking her up or meeting up with her or you are a heel! Otherwise oh well, make it funny, dont make a big deal out of it or some stupid excuse! Just keep it positive and remember the next time you ask, to think positive and deliver the request in a VERY positive way. Try something like: “Hey, want to do lunch sometime? We’ll do it dutch, no pressure! What do you think?” It is ALL in the the delivery! Most girls just need to realize that is NOT rude to ask to go dutch or just a lunch date! Nor is it reflective of bad manners! For any guys that think a girl who offers to pay or go dutch this emasculating or insulting? It isnt, be flattered! But dont expect it!

    P.S. Hey sorry for the soapbox/rant and preach of unsolicited whatever,

    I am not getting any younger, but am growing very wearing of the Mo-Mo dating pool and twisted idea’s, ideals, expectations and importance within the whole scene from social extravagaza to marriage and sustaining an happy/healthy marriage.

    On a lighter side…..some funny comedy I found within this thread. LOL!

    P.S. Remember when Jerry Seinfeld tells Elaine that he thinks 98% of the population is updateable? (UNDATEABLE!!!!) And then Elaine asks – how are all these people getting together, then? And Jerry says, alcohol!!! Guess that’s another strike against Mormon dating ;)

    AND… not exactly a nice thing to say, but there is truth in it. whether you have an ugly physical apperance, an ugly attitude or something ugly in or around your life that may be diming or snuffing your spiritual light out…..there is truth in it.

    207 The bottom line is this.

    Attractive women get dates and get married. Ugly women don’t. If you aren’t getting dates, UBugly.
    ~ allton | 05/14/06 16:08

  63. I just can’t pass this thread up…

    I missed the original CES fireside by Elder Oaks, but I just read the article the other night. To be to the point, I was absolutely appalled by what I read.

    Quote:

    - “simple and more frequent dates allow both men and women to “shop around” in a way that allows extensive evaluation of the prospects.”

    - “Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women.”

    - “Part of making it easier is to avoid implying that a date is something very serious.”

    End Quote

    I will begin by saying that I am not a member of the LDS church, and I never have been. I have investigated the church very heavily and I am very knowledgeable on church history and doctrine. If somebody says something that is true then I have the responsiblity to uphold that and live it. If they something that is either just their opinion of just flat wierd, or even wrong then I also need to be sensitive enough to see and understand that.

    That said, I am extremely disappointed that the church in general and especially one of the twelve would take such a loose attitude towards finding a marriage partner. I would be willing to say that if I just look at Elder Oaks comments in the light that he is telling people to step up, take life serious, be willing to take responsibility, etc. then I am okay with that, but he says nothing in the article about a person appealing to the Lord for help in the matter of finding a spouse that fits the Lord’s criteria. His wife talks of turning to the Lord, but he does not. It is a bit disappointing that I would find a more serious attitude on this matter among some Christian reform groups then I would find in a church that claims to be Christ’s TRUE church. I have observed this “play the field” attitude with certain of my LDS friends and there has not been good fruits come from it. Why does the church get of on such a tangent on this issue? Rairly do we hear to turn to the Lord on the matter. I would like to make the bold statement that the ONLY way that a person can find a truly happy outcome with marriage is to appeal and trust in the Lord that he will bring the people together that need to be together. To trust in one’s own arm is still to trust in the arm of flesh and that applies in the finding of a spouse as well. 2 Ne. 4: 34 “Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm”.

    I am glad that I have not seen anything of this nature from President Hinkley. Everything that I have read by him has treated the subject very carefully and he has always suggested turning to the Lord.

    Elder Oaks is probably right in that people, (not just the church, but everyone in the world), need to step up and begin to take responsibility for their lives here on earth. They need to pursue the individual course that they were sent here for, whatever that is! But for a bunch of guys to just randomly begin to pursue what I term as mass dating and short term, non-committal type deal, or the “I’m going to make this happen” type of attitude seems wrong. I fail to see that it will help very much. I know several people that were married in the temple that have had divorces after 20-30 years. That is really sad and disgraceful. For people to try and do things on their own without the Lord is not going to help that at all. If a person feels compelled by the spirit to date then they should and if they feel that they shouldn’t date, then they shouldn’t, but in either case they need the direction of the spirit and they need a humble commitment to Christ’s will for THEM!.

    P.S. I read thorugh the artical once more quickly and he did counsel the young ladies to “trust in the Lord” and “call on the name of the Lord daily”, because they might not ever have the chance to get married. But for the guy’s, just get yourself out there and “play the field”. Pick the attractive one’s or what?

    Whatever.

  64. Lots of interesting and amusing comments.

    Some seem to agree that LDS males are to picky and looking for Miss.Right. But after all we are talking about asking a man to give his life away – its not a date to the prom. Even then I think man has the right to be picky, and if he cannot find someone he wants to spend the prom evening with he should not HAVE to ask someone just because there is some poor girl who needs a date.

    It is expecting tooo much to think a LDS male should have to ask some single woman to get married. If the marriage does not work out – and it probably won’t – then its going to cost him dearly. If there is a child involved its going to cost him a minimum of a couple of hundred thousand dollars. I mean after all its his life he is giving away – he might end up like that poor schmuck Rick up above who jumps as high as his wife asks him. SHouldn’t a man have some right in being able to pick someone he WANTS to get married to.

    Its one thing to expect LDS boys to give up 2 whole years – the best years of their lives on a mission. It really is much more fair to ask senior citizens to go on missions because they really have nothing better to do – but a 19 year old boy has lots of important things to do ; school, sports, etc. But it is waaaayyyyy over the top to expect him to volunteer for marriage just as a church committment.

    You should not look around and marry someone you can live with – you should be busy at worthwhile activities and only marry someone you cannot live without. Otherwise you will have to constantly force yourself to be a good husband – I imagine Rick has to get psyched up to be intimate with his wife, get psyched up to go on a date with her like he is eating his last meal, has to get psyched up to listen to her nails-on-a-chalkboard voice nagging him into oblivion. Surely the telestial kingdom is a more welcome place to spend enternity than with a RM rigid unfun holier-than-thou boring demanding typical-fat-relief-society unappealing dominatrix spouse like that. Volunteering to marry some “worthy” gal like that is to volunteer to spend the rest of your life praying for the sweet release of death.

  65. Sir Nathan, that was almost poetic there at the end. I observed to many people that were the product of semi-arranged marrages. Basically they did it because they thought it was required and the “right” thing to do. So your comments really sink in with myself.

    You comment about getting marrried to someone that you cannot live without will be one that I will be quoting for some time. Thank you.

    I would like to say that the 19-year old, go-on-a-mission thing is good though. I spent several years in my early twenties working on massive service projects. I still worked part time, but I would spend hours and hours helping poeple on these projects and I think that it was a good thing. There has been times when I wondered if it was the best, but I think it probably was.

    But anyway, I grew up not expecting to marry someone that I loved. I expected to marry “the right person” and I doubted that I would be attracted to them at all. I hoped, but I doubted. I looked at marraige as a duty. And then I had the opportunity to love someone. She wasn’t “perfect”, but I was blessed to really love her and I was attracted to her. In the end result, it was just a lesson for me and it didn’t work out. But now, I have a different view of it all. I’m not after a perfect girl, but to marry someone that I didn’t feel attracted to and love deeply would be nothing short of hell for me. But I also believe that kind of love is a gift from God, and you need his help to find it. Why would he want anything else for us? My problem with Elder Oaks talk and the common LDS dating scene is that it seems to make this all structured and mechanical. I have friend that was told by some youth leader (I can’t recall what office) that the young men needed to be on two dates a week. Excuse me? Where does this stuff come from? Until now I blamed it on lesser offices and ignorant, over zealous people, but at this point it’s coming straight from the twelve.

  66. I too did the “right” thing and paired up with someone who was worthy, and did not marry someone I loved or was attracted to. It has been horrible. Finances keep us from seperating. Oh how I wish I had done the wrong thing and dared to stay single, or marry someone not so worthy but that I loved.

    Its seems ironic that marriage is considered so important and sacred, yet we might be advised to simply pair up with less thought than we would give to choosing what pair of pants we would wear on a weekend vacation.

  67. I pray the Lord is merciful and lets me die soon to release me from this earthly torture

  68. Oh my goash, it sounds like your blessing is a curse. If following the Lord led you to this turmoil you need to follow another path to free yourself.

    Bishop Larry Faria

  69. Yeah, too often getting married LDS-style is like filling a shopping list : the person should be 2 parts testimony, and 3 parts faith, with a dash of etiquette and a sprinkle of charity with a layer of boy scout wholesomeness on top.

    While it is good that the church encourages thinking of things other than physical attraction, getting married should involve some love and not creating the perfect partner in some Dr.Frankenstein sort of way. And while being overcome with physical attraction and getting married is not a recipe for success – certainly physical attraction should play into the equation more than is recommended from SLC.

    I think the real answer is to learn to listen to and follow your heart.

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