123 Reluctant to Marry

123 Reluctant to Marry - Reluctant to Marry By Victor L....

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Reluctant to Marry By Victor L. Brown, Jr. Overcoming normal fears can help one prepare for eternal marriage. Victor L. Brown Jr., “Reluctant to Marry,” Ensign, Apr. 1992, 44 There are many reasons why members of the Church are single. Some people are willing to marry and yearn for an opportunity to love, be loved, and begin a family. Some have been so badly wounded by such things as abuse in childhood or marital troubles ending in divorce that marriage or remarriage terrifies them. Others may lack the physical or mental health required to enter into marriage. But some quite simply are reluctant to do what is necessary to marry and establish a family. It is those members, struggling with normal fears and apprehensions, that I would like to address. Since Joseph Smith, the Lord’s prophets have encouraged loving and supportive marriage relationships. Our living prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, has continued that admonition. To the single men in the Church, he counseled, “Do not be caught up in materialism, one of the real plagues of our generation—that is, acquiring things, fast paced living, and securing career success in the single state. … Honorable marriage is more important than wealth, position, and status.” (Ensign, May, 1988, p. 53.) To the single sisters President Benson said, “I would also caution you … not to become so independent and self-reliant that you decide marriage isn’t worth it and you can do just as well on your own. Some of our sisters indicate that they do not want to consider marriage until after they have completed their degrees or pursed a career. This is not right. … Our priorities are right when we realize there is no higher calling than to be an honorable wife and mother.” (Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 97.) What perplexes me as a stake president is that many of those who are reluctant to marry are active members of the Church and are decent, honorable men and women. They strive to live the gospel and follow the counsel of the prophet and other leaders. I believe their reluctance to marry often can be attributed to factors or attitudes that immobilize them. Among these factors are fear of marriage, other priorities, and lack of relationship skills. Consider them briefly. Overcoming Fear of Marriage We must face the fact that an entire generation has been raised on a diet of unhappy stories about marriage. The devastation of this cannot be overestimated. Most people who read the newspapers or watch television news are aware that a large percent of marriages fail. They are ever more aware of the ugliness of abuse and its innumerable victims. By the media-portrayed standards of the world, infidelity appears to be normal and fidelity rare. However, not much attention has been paid to the other side of the issue; there are happy
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123 Reluctant to Marry - Reluctant to Marry By Victor L....

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