Marriage is arguably one of the most important topics in all of Mormonism. It is considered ordained of God (PoF), temple marriages are sealed through the Melchizedek Priesthood, and it’s considered required for Mormon exaltation (D&C 132). The importance of marriage has led the church, in several situations, to support legislation to preserve the sanctity of traditional marriage. During these heated campaigns the church has made its point clear – it respects, loves, and welcomes those who favor, or desire same-sex marriage, but it highly values the preservation of traditional heterosexual marriage and supports legislation to that end. But is there a clear way to strengthen marriage staring us right in the face, or rather, wallet?
During the last two years, the U.S.A. (and the world in general) has seen tremendous economic hardship. It has been dubbed the “Great Recession” by many – a nod to the 1929 “Great Depression.” I recently read an interesting piece in The Christian Science Monitor (which I generally find to be a good, mostly unbiased source of information – this article being a noteworthy exception) entitled Recession’s silver lining: falling divorce rate.
This article presents some profound, highly methodical research, and is very well written. There are absolutely no poor leaps of logic, it is based on sound science, and it certainly does not equate correlation with causation. 😉 Okay, okay, so the article leaves a lot to be desire.
Here is the key:
These tough economic times may have at least one positive side effect: they might be encouraging greater family solidarity. The evidence for this? The US divorce rate fell during the first full year of what might be called the Great Recession. That’s the first such decline since 2005.
But others may be rediscovering why they got married in the first place. Recession reminds them that marriage can be more than an emotional relationship. It is also an economic partnership and social safety net, points out the National Marriage Project report, “The State of Our Unions 2009” (WARNING: pdf file).
If this is true (and since it’s in print, it must be!) maybe the church is “barking up the wrong tree” to preserve the sanctity of marriage. My suggestion would be to increase tithing to 20% or 30% even. Furthermore, a strong campaign pushing for legislation raising taxes, and further government intervention in the way of fixing higher prices would be just what we need to truly preserve the sanctity of marriage! After all
There’s nothing like the loss of a job, an imminent foreclosure, or a shrinking 401(k) to [help spouses] gain new appreciation for a wife’s job, a husband’s commitment to pay down debt, or the in-laws’ willingness to help out with childcare or a rent-free place to live.
What do you think? Discuss. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1208/p02s04-ussc.html  http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/Union_11_25_09.pdf