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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 came across some interesting sites the other day and thought I’d share them for people to see.  These stats are rather old (9 years), but they are interesting nonetheless.

The first site shows information on the various divorce rates amoung various Christian denomonations and other groups.  The interesting thing is that athiests have the lowest rate at 21%.  You can view this site at this link: Baptists Most Likely to Divorce.

Now, you’ll notice on that report that although Baptists are the most likely to divorce, Mormons have a 24% divorce rate, which is only 2% lower. 

However, there is one exception: Mormon Temple marriages.  Those Mormons that Marry in the Temple have only a 6% divorce rate.  You can view this information at this site: In Era of Divorce, Mormon Temple Weddings Are Built to Last.  You will notice that this article gives reasons of why the divorce rate for temple marriages is significantly lower.  This list includes the following reasons:

  1. They Date within their Faith 
  2. They Make Sure they’re Committed to their Faith
  3. They get their Lives Squared Away before Marriage (that’s why I was 30 before I was married! : )
  4. They Make the Wedding Ceremony Sacred
  5. They Marry for Eternity
  6. They Believe the Family that Prays together Stays together
  7. They Get Help when they have a Problem
  8. They Believe Children Create a Happy Marriage
  9. They have Family Home Evening every Monday Night
  10. The LDS church and active members discourage divorce.

I would have to agree with these statements.  The Mormon marriages I’ve seen work apply all of these aspects to their marriages.  Those marriages that are unhappy or that fail are not applying these to their marriage.

Do you have any experiences with these suggestions that support these claims?  I’m sure the readers would love to hear!

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?

 

Because of the recent media on the Fundamentalist LDS group that “got busted” in Texas for abuse and polygamy the LDS church has made efforts to distance itself from this sect.  Below is a recent interview with the LDS public affairs representative regarding the churches current stance on polygamy and how it wants the world to view the LDS church:

 

Polygamy is a huge issue and it is a great concern still for members of the LDS church.  Some have concerns with polygamy and say the LDS church still “practices” polygamy in the sense that it is still a revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants section 132.  In addition, people are still married in temples for eternity to spouses after one spouse passes away, so polygamy is technically still a part of LDS doctrine. 

Depending on the Christian you speak with, they will either denounce or embrace polygamy.  Generally speaking, the Christian world claims the Bible to be the only word of God.  The Bible contains polygamy all throughout it’s text and depending on which Christian denomonation you speak with, they can argue for or against it.  Here’s a christian website discussing the issue: http://www.gotquestions.org/polygamy.html.  Here’s another website that has people, including pastors arguing for polygamy and that true Christianity should allow polygamy with other Christians arguing against it: http://www.answering-christianity.com/ntpoly.htm.  As you can see in many cases interpretations of scripture are a matter of semantics as to whether God truly “approved” polygamy in the Bible or not and are up for interpretation.

Those who follow the LDS faith could have an easier time answering the polygamy question than their fellow Christians due to the fact they believe in modern, continuing revelation. 

Joseph Smith stated “I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 324). The LDS website also says polygamy isn’t allowed unless God directs it.  Therefore, God can take away polygamy or ordain it through his prophets as he did through Nathan in the Bible (2 Samuel 12:8).  Currently the LDS church doesn’t practice polygamy on grounds of a reveleation from a prophet named Wilford Woodruff that is contained in the Doctrine and Covenants in the “Official Declaration 1.”

However, there are still some questions that remain for both LDS christians and other Christians who believe in the Bible:

If the LDS church wants to take such a strong stance against polygamy, shouldn’t the church completely take it out of it’s doctrine, since it is still supported in D&C 132?  Why or why not?

Also, if one is to consider himself/herself a true Christian, should they believe in polygamy because it is supported in the Bible?  Why or why not?

 

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