In our opinion: Cultural commitment to marriage

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  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 12:50 p.m.


    official church counsel is NOT to delay marriage for financial reasons. One can always argue that you are never really ready to marry until you have your college degree and a well paying job and a house.... which would mean you would be looking to marry in most cases when you are about 35 to 38 years old!! Try finding a mate at age 35. Good luck with that. Due to the LDS culture most marry before age 25 so if you wait as you suggest to 28 or 29 you are picking from a much smaller pool of candidates. This is reality. No question young couples are going to experience financial struggles for many years as they try to get their education and have children at the same time but if both husband and wife are grounded and willing to work hard while having less they can develop stronger bonds with each other than they otherwise would. Of course there is always the Obama way -- just live of the government and let someone else pay your bills.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 27, 2012 6:30 p.m.

    @ BrentBot: Other anthropologists have presented other theories about what has led to the downfall of cultures/societies. Nothing in the literature supports the claim that your guy is right and the other guys are wrong. As a matter of fact, considering that there is a greater consensus regarding the other theories, your guy is more likely wrong.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    Marriage reflects the natural moral and social law evidenced the world over. As the late British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin noted in his study of world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called "expansive energy," which might best be summarized as society's will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.

    Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Chairman of Harvard University’s sociology department, Pitirim Sorokin. found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.

    When marriage loses its unique status, women and children most frequently are the direct victims. Giving same-sex relationships or out-of-wedlock heterosexual couples the same special status and benefits as the marital bond would not be the expansion of a right but the destruction of a principle. .

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    "Children of any age, should only be allowed in the homes of married people committed to the life period of childhood. "

    Does this include a widow or widower? Are the children taken away when one parent dies? Or does the widow of an military vet lose the children when the spouse is killed in service?

    It's easy to make these 'off the cuff' rules based on your view of right and wrong. They are usually short sighted or just plain wrong.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 10:06 a.m.

    @Mike. Trying to insult those who don't believe in "your magic," as a problem with comprehension is a strange approach?

    and being lectured on selfishness from those who believe in the "Virtue of Selfishness" just doesn't ring very sincere.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Nov. 26, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    So let me get this straight – the reason this demographic shift is bad is because there won’t be enough people to pay off the national credit card? Since when did economic growth (based on an ever increasing population) become the new economic theology?

    Assuming we will always have some level of growth due to technological advances and productivity gains, can someone please explain to me why a leveling off of the global population will spell disaster? Seems like this change may just be a natural consequence of a world reaching its resource limits…

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 25, 2012 5:03 p.m.


    Very well said. Pride and selfishness destroys people and families and nations.


    Do you have a "piece of paper" in your wallet that authorizes you to drive a car? Did you have to read a "piece of paper" and then to be tested on your knowledge of that "piece of paper" before receiving your driver's license?

    Does the President swear an oath administered by someone in authority before having the privilege and the responsibility to perform his duties?

    How very much more important is the responsibilities within marriage. Your driver's license is temporary. The President only has a temp job. Marriage is not temporary. Those who pretend that it is less than their most important responsibility in life are full of themselves, i.e., pride and selfishness.

    Society depends on selfless people who sacrifice their own desires for the good of their family. That requires commitment. If signing a piece of paper and reading the words of Prophets is too much to ask, then the concept of marriage may be beyond comprehension.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 4:17 p.m.

    Having commented on the allegation of prodigality in baby boomers, I want to add:

    So far as the purported theme of this article ("cultural commitment to marriage")is concerned, I agree that many have abandoned, or are now abandoning, that cultural commitment, or are working to confirm and expedite certain changes with regard to marriage. There is little to be done about it other than to teach, support and promote honorable marriage, multiply examples of successful marriages in our own lives, and abandoning the pride and selfishness that leads to marital dissolution.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 4:05 p.m.

    As intergenerational burdens mount and public debt explodes, so do the realistic hopes of a generation (or two) left to pay the overdue bills of profligate baby boomers.


    What are these "overdue bills"? It sounds like a sneak attack on Social Security (surprise surprise!!).

    SS was, of course, sold to the populace as an insurance scheme and should be treated as such; it was, and is, contributory, any "bill" is that which is chargeable to the government that confiscated the contributions. It should not be paid back to policy holders in inflated dollars but should have continued to be adjusted for inflation and paid back BY the requisite bureaucracy.

    What other "due bills" might there be? What might some rather typical "profligate baby boomers" have actually received and never paid for? How about billing the Vietnam War - but this some boomers (and also their parents' generation) paid for twice, first with their own pre-draft plans, their wounds, psychological traumas, deferred careers, and later with taxes to pay the interest on the money borrowed for the war that was foisted upon them and charged to them.

    Space does not permit me the further development of this theme.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    at LDS Liberal 3:47 p.m. Nov. 24, 2012

    Lets be reasonable & hold every POTUS since Reagan w/ an Ivy League degree culpable.

    at Mike Richards 11:28 a.m. Nov. 25, 2012

    So, you need a piece of paper and/or a ritual to validate teaching values?

    Common sense & rational thought show that selfishness is detrimental Our cave dwelling ancestors learned that very quickly.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    What is "marriage"? Is it a "part-time commitment"? Is it something that we should abandon if we decide that we need a break from an oath and a commitment? In a civil ceremony, what do the words, "for richer or poorer" or "in sickness or health" mean? In an LDS temple marriage, what is the concept of "eternal marriage"? Neither is temporary. One lasts until death. The other lasts beyond death. Neither has an "escape clause".

    When a person's focus is on self, he/she is not mature enough to marry. Marriage demands that self turns into "unselfish" and that the spouse become the most important person in life.

    Read "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". Ponder it. Compare the principles found in that document to the principles proclaimed elsewhere. We are here on earth to learn how to live together in families, to learn how to become unselfish, to learn to nurture and provide for others. Marriage is the primary vehicle to teach and practice those principles.

    When a culture diminishes marriage, it diminishes itself.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    @ Tekakaromatagi: I know what the names of the groups stand for - I also know what their policies are and what they promote.

    They are all anti-same-sex marriage - and in order to make the case that gays should not marry, they have promoted the ideas that marriage is a religious institution and should only be entered into by those who adhere to those religious beliefs; marriage is only for couples who want children and can have them through "natural" means; that there are no special benefits to marriage that cannot be accessed through other means - such as written agreements, court orders, and wills; marriage should be difficult to get out of once entered into so you should only marry if you are certain that you want to be with that person and are going to be with that person for the rest of your life (and beyond if you are LDS); and children deserve two biological parents and step-families are bad for children as children are more likely to be abused by a step-parent.

    The overall message is that marriage is not for everyone. Many young people have taken this to heart and decided not to marry.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    The concept of marriage is taking a beating. Mostly because of economic demands but also because of individual freedoms.

    What if we change the rules of marriage to better fit the needs of our more modern civilization rather than the same old rigid enforcement of historic rules. The rigid rules certainly have their good points, especially for kids and health reasons but they are universally ignored by a large part of our world. How about we ease up on the rules to make them more palatable and thus more acceptably followed to the good of our society.

    My suggestion would be to allow people to put a time limit on their marriage contract. That is, allow a couple to specify an automatic dissolution of their relationship after the passage of a given time. Renewals acceptable.

    Children of any age, should only be allowed in the homes of married people committed to the life period of childhood. Further rules might include that the couple be a man and a woman.
    Children displaced by life events become preferred citizens of the community and are homed and protected under the government.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:29 a.m.


    Go read his Church Approved biography.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    @ Third try: The conservative groups that teach against marriage are groups such as NOM, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association.

    Geez, are you sure you didn't get lost on the Internet? NOM stands for National Organization of Marriage, American Family Associations stands for the American Family Organization and Focus on the Family stands for (surprise) "Focus on the Family".

    Despite their claims to be conservative I actually think they have a liberal streak in them. They are fighting poverty because marriage is a powerful tool to fight poverty because through marriage children are being raised by their father and mother rather than a series of ever-changing mother's boyfriends.

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 8:12 p.m.

    @Ranchhand. What an incredible assumption you make that Pres. Hinckley "waited" until he was financially able before getting married. What proof do you have that that is why he didn't get married until his "late twenties"?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    Gordon B. Hinkley, former president of the LDS Church waited to marry his wife, whom he had known for years, until he was financially able to support her and a family (he married in his late twenties).

    If it's good for the leaders of the LDS Church to wait until they are able to support a family, why isn't it good for the rest of the Mormon adherents?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 4:50 p.m.

    @ Third try: The conservative groups that teach against marriage are groups such as NOM, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association.

    As for the use of the "profligate" in the editorial, I think someone is using a thesaurus without a dictionary. (They also use "tectonic" very bizarrely.)

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    To all the supporters of welfare states and "safety nets" here's the deal: the baby boom generation didn't start the welfare state but they certainly didn't have enough children to sustain it and their few children aren't exactly blessed with fecundity either. All entitlement programs are ponzi schemes in the sense that they assume others are coming along to pay the bills. It did work for awhile but when family trees have no branches then you get to the place where 2 workers are supporting one retiree and somehow they are expected to support children as well- the math doesn't work.
    One thing I respect about the DN as that over the years they have stressed the importance of marriage and stable marriage as the key to security for people.
    As Margaret Thatcher used to say: "the facts of life are conservative". You can deny it but when you are on your deathbed there will not be a government bureaucrat comforting you. If you get married and have children there is a good chance you will have a loved one with you though at a time when you need it most of all.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    Looking at the world we live in today --

    When I grew up, we all looked forward to having a better life than my parents and Grandparents did.

    Thanks to GW Bush,
    My teenage and young adult children have watched in horror as my wife and I's life savings, home equity, and retire went up in smoke.

    And if we're barely making it, they feel they don't have a ghost of a chance at making it.

    I blame GW Bush, his wars for Oil, low to no taxes on his rich buddies -- and each and everyone of those who so blindly and lemminly supported him.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 3:25 p.m.

    @ Sorry Charlie
    To whom do you refer when you tell of "conservative groups" teaching against marriage?

    The editorial takes swipes at those "profligate baby boomers" in similar fashion.

    Since I am a conservative baby boomer, I'm starting to feel guilty but I certainly don't know why.

    I could think of several mistakes our culture has made, but I'd like to think I wasn't part of the decision-making. With each passing election I feel more that way.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    Since the 1970's, we have had conservative groups telling us that marriage is not necessary - that all the benefits of marriage can be achieved through means other than marriage.

    And, although divorce is relatively easy, requirements such as parenting classes and 6 month waiting periods work not only to discourage divorce, but to discourage marriage - because moving out is the easiest choice of all but is only an option if you are not married to begin with.

    If you want young couples to get married, you need to show them that marriage is an attractive alternative to just living together and that it has benefits that cannot be achieved through living together or civil unions or domestic partnerships.

    Marriage must be available and encouraged for all couples - otherwise, there is no reason to choose it over one of the easier to get out of alternatives.