So I have to teach the Young Men a lesson this Sunday on choosing an Eternal Companion, and while I was going through the lesson, I noticed a sort of lacunae.
Why do we want to get married?
The only thing the manual provides is that old chestnut “Men can’t be exalted without being married”.
There are basically two problems with this:
1. Doesn’t that sound like the reason to be married is nothing more than the selfish desire to be “exalted”? Isn’t there more to marriage than that?
2. Spencer W. Kimball said “we promise you that insofar as eternity is concerned, no soul will be deprived of rich and high and eternal blessings for anything which that person could not help, that the Lord never fails in his promises, and that every righteous person will receive eventually all to which the person is entitled and which he or she has not forfeited through any fault of his or her own” and while some argue he only meant the women, that’s stupid. (ie- God is no respector of persons, black, white, male, female, bond, free, etc.)
A few other hypothetical reasons and their issues:
1. Nookie- Yes I could possibly get away in a class of 14-17 yo just saying marriage gives you permission to have nookie and nookie is fun, but in our nookie saturated society, the pedastel is too high already, and anyone in a real marriage knows it’s not all about nookie. (especially with the gaping reality that yes it is easy and possible to have nookie without being married!)
2. D&C 131 also mentions this “eternal increase” of having children, but it was Mormon who said that being full of Charity meant all little children were alike unto him (and he said this to his son, basically telling his son he loved everybody elses’ kids as much as him). And we are eternal self-existent beings who our Father in Heaven adopted. So this goes into why the male famale eternal partnership is required to make such an adoption real. (Eric N. can sling Vivaporous stones, and Geoff J. has that Erastus Snow quote he can throw out, but my only response is “Why? Why? Why?”)
3. The Marriage/Family relationship is the closest we have to practicing the divine relationship in this life with God and others. It is a relationship where we are supposed to be completely open and giving of ourselves to another. This sounds great, but is probably only true of marriage back to about 1970 something. Just look back a few generations to when women didn’t have any idea how much money there husbands made, etc. I guess we could say we’ve received further light and knowledge, but It’s hard to say.
4. To protect the fundamental rights of children to the protection and care of their biological parents. But this brings up questions of why we want to have children and isn’t marriage more than having children? I mean, how do I face my childless sister with such an answer? What about after the children all grow up and move out? And what about adoption and the eternal scheme of things? Isn’t our marriage for eternity more than biological pragmatism?
So I’m stumped, any help?