In the recent April 2011 General Conference of the Church, it was mentioned more than once that the singles in the Church (and specifically the single men) need to get married. The encouragement didn’t get much more specific than that, so it was left to each individual to determine how, exactly, they would accomplish this, but the message was certainly clear: There are too many single adults in the Church, and the Church leaders think that their unmarried status isn’t entirely outside their control.
As President Monson said:
Now, I have thought a lot lately about you young men who are of an age to marry but who have not yet felt to do so. I see lovely young ladies who desire to be married and to raise families, and yet their opportunities are limited because so many young men are postponing marriage.
I realize there are many reasons why you may be hesitating to take that step of getting married. If you are concerned about providing financially for a wife and family, may I assure you that there is no shame in a couple having to scrimp and save. It is generally during these challenging times that you will grow closer together as you learn to sacrifice and to make difficult decisions. Perhaps you are afraid of making the wrong choice. To this I say that you need to exercise faith. Find someone with whom you can be compatible. Realize that you will not be able to anticipate every challenge which may arise, but be assured that almost anything can be worked out if you are resourceful and if you are committed to making your marriage work.
Perhaps you are having a little too much fun being single, taking extravagant vacations, buying expensive cars and toys, and just generally enjoying the carefree life with your friends. I’ve encountered groups of you running around together, and I admit that I’ve wondered why you aren’t out with the young ladies.
Brethren, there is a point at which it’s time to think seriously about marriage and to seek a companion with whom you want to spend eternity. If you choose wisely and if you are committed to the success of your marriage, there is nothing in this life which will bring you greater happiness.
I was fortunate to have met my future wife in high school, so I haven’t had an extended period of post-mission singleness in my life. So I can only say this as an observer.
But it seems odd to me that unmarried adults would be a problem in the Church in this day and age. I mean, in the past, men and women had a minuscule pool of potential partners from which to choose, and yet somehow they were able to find someone. Now, with modern transportation and communication methods (and the size of the Church worldwide), the pool of potential spouses is absolutely [i]huge[/i].
I can only guess that an oversupply in the single LDS population stems from an unwillingness to get married on the part of the men and women, meaning that even with so many potential candidates, they choose not to marry because they are waiting for an unlikely “ideal” to come into their lives.
So the solution to the problem would have to be a shift in the culture and expectations of LDS youth and single adults. Since many of these attitudes probably stem from the culture at large (and the influences of advertising, movies, music, books and idealistic messages in Church lessons and videos), I doubt a few talks in conference are going to do much to discourage the single men from waiting for the “perfect” woman (however they define it) to come along.
In other words, President Monson may need to counsel the single women to do everything they can to look like Kim Kardashian if he wants this problem solved.