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I read a recent study called “Why Marriage Matters” that listed 30 key findings supporting the institution of marriage.  Since my parents were divorced when I was young, I can personally relate to many of the key findings.  In fact, I noticed that many of the findings outlined in this study such as mental and psychological distress, delinquent behavior, etc. were ones I experienced personally and wrote about in a recently published book: “Discovering Light: 12 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety and Depression without Medication“.

I’ll outline 10 of the findings that I was either surprised about, or personally experienced.

Ten Findings Supporting the Institution of Marriage

  1. Parental marriage is associated with a sharply lower risk of infant mortality
  2. Marriage is associated with reduced rates of alcohol and substance abuse for both adults and teens.
  3. Children whose parents divorce have higher rates of psychological distress and mental illness.
  4. Cohabitation is associated with higher levels of psychological problems among children
  5. Family breakdown appears to increase significantly the risk of suicide.
  6. Boys raised in non-intact families are more likely to engage in delinquent and criminal behavior
  7. Marriage is a virtually universal human institution.
  8. Divorce and unmarried childbearing increase poverty for both children and mothers, and cohabitation is less likely to alleviate poverty than is marriage.
  9. Married men earn more money than do single men with similar education and job histories.
  10. Married people, especially married men, have longer life expectancies than do otherwise similar singles.

While I’m not saying everyone needs to go running out there and get married to solve the world’s problems, I do believe that if a man and a women have a loving relationship that it is most beneficial for society if they get married rather than live with each other, which we see very often today.

What are your thoughts on these findings?

I’m sure most people have heard the news by now about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraging it’s nearly 1million members in California to do “all they can do” to support the initiative in November to over-turn the ruling supporting bay marriage. 

If you haven’t heard about this, you can read the following blogs:

California Saints To Get The Call

Envisioning a Politically Thoughtful Church Culture

California Mormons Won’t Be Cool With Acts of Protest At Their Chapels

Mormons in California Called to Defend Marriage by Top LDS Leaders

The letter from the LDS Prophet and his counselors encourages saints to do “all they can do” to support traditional marriages, especially in California during the upcoming vote in November. 

Someone told me of a friend of theirs who lives in California that contacted them and asked if they were supporting the Church’s call to “do all you can do” to support the ban on gay marriages.  When my friend told the person they were not supporting it, the individual got upset and self-righteously said “aren’t you going to support the Prophet?”  This in my mind is going too far and I feel that “doing all you can do” is objective and depends on the individual.  If certain circumstances cause someone to believe in gay marriage, yet they still are believing Latter-day Saints, maybe doing “all they can do” is different than someone on the opposite end of the spectrum. 

In addition, last December Elder Ballard said in an address to BYU students that the LDS Church takes a politically neutral stance.  Yet, of all the issues the LDS Church decided to go back on that statement and get politically involved with the ban on gay marriage.  Personally, I think it is fine if the Church encourages members to take a stand on what the Church feels is a moral issue, including gay marriage.  Whether or not I decided to vote for or against it is a personal choice and if it’s a moral issue I can take it to the Lord in prayer and see what I feel. 

Obviously, the two questions are:

1. What is your take on what it means to “do all you can do” to support the ban on gay marriage?

2. Should the church get politically involved?  If it gets involved with this, do you think the Church should get involved with other issues?  Why or why not?

 

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