What do Kraft and the LDS Church Have In Common? They Both Have Lots of Singles…

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.

4 Comments

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4 Responses to What do Kraft and the LDS Church Have In Common? They Both Have Lots of Singles…

  1. Goldarn

    But Elder Bednar specifically counseled the church to not marry people who were not “quick to observe” the words of the prophet. Clearly, if a young woman is doing something that is against the prophet’s teachings she is ipso facto not marriage material for a righteous man.

    Perhaps the women need to look like Kim Kardashian and preach like Julie Beck.

  2. I don’t think it’s waiting for perfection, but I do think people have higher expectations from marriage (such as more emotional and intellectual intimacy – expecting your spouse to be your best friend rather than just a helpmate).

    In addition, I think people feel more comfortable to do what they think is right for them rather than attempt to fit a social expectation. There’s less of a stigma around being single past your twenties, and even thirties today, so people don’t feel rushed.

    And people feel more of a desire to figure themselves out before joining their lives with another person permanently, because it’s harder to make a relationship work if one or both of you doesn’t really know who you are yet (if you get married, then figure out who you are 5 years down the road, and you realize that you could never really be happy in the kind of life you’re living with your spouse, it might spell divorce). In other words, they don’t want somebody who completes them, they want to be complete on their own so as to offer a whole and happy person to their spouse.

    I don’t see delaying marriage being more popular as a negative thing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting married young either (I’m 23 and been married almost a year), but it doesn’t make sense to think that absolutely everybody should be married young, or that delaying marriage is only done for irrational or selfish reasons. There are some very good reasons for not getting married, and there’s no one size fits all with relationships.

  3. WalkerW

    “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.”

    Priceless

  4. I’ve been around single Mormons for over 30 years. In Young Adult Wards and Single Wards. Single’s dances, etc. I am 51, and still single. Generally, Mormons over the age of 30 who are still single fall into the following categories:

    Women:

    Hold-outs: Mormon women who expect to marry a rich man, but are not pretty enough to procure one. They think they get more valuable with time, like cheese or wine. The men they seek marry the 18 year olds, so they are only fooling themselves.

    Left-Overs: Mormon women who are fat (obese), ugly, too old, or deformed. Or, in other words, 90 per cent of all single Mormon women over 30. Nobody wants them.

    MEN:

    DonJuans: Single Mormon men who get SO MUCH SEX as it is, they feel no pressure to marry. They’re having too much fun. I was roommates with several DonJuans and a friend to another. Believe me….they are DROWNING in sex, all young attractive active Mormon women and girls.

    Losers: Single Mormon men who are poor and probably always will be. The No’er-do-Wells. The Hold-Outs won’t marry them, and these men don’t want the Left-Overs.

    That is why there are so many LDS singles over 30.

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