This clip below was on Facebook recently so maybe you have already seen it. It made me laugh and be glad there are tools to help young and single Mormons find someone to marry. We are a peculiar people, because we want to get married and have families and wait until after marriage to have those babies. The whole premise of the app “Mutual” is to get married to another Mormon, someone with similar values and beliefs. Peculiar!
(Keep watching until the very end to see what happened to the first reject!)
In 1995 President Russell M. Nelson gave this talk in General Conference about “Children of the Covenant” and talks about the word, “peculiar”:
“Peter used uplifting terms in a prophecy regarding our day. He identified members of the Church as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” The adjectives chosen, royal, and holy we recognize as elevating. But what about peculiar? A modern dictionary defines peculiar as “unusual,” “eccentric,” or “strange.”What kind of compliment is that?’
“But the term peculiar as used in the scriptures is quite different. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew term from which peculiar was translated is segullah, which means “valued property,” or “treasure.” In the New Testament, the Greek term from which peculiar was translated is peripoiesis, which means “possession,” or “an obtaining.”
“Thus, we see that the scriptural term peculiar signifies “valued treasure,” “made” or “selected by God.” For us to be identified by servants of the Lord as his peculiar people is a compliment of the highest order.”1
The Wall Street Journal had an article written September 29, 2017, called “Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage”, by Dr. Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He said:
“Many young men and women still aspire to marriage as it has long been conventionally understood—faithful, enduring, focused on raising children. But they no longer seem to think that this aspiration requires their discernment, prudence or self-control.’
“Data collected in 2014 for the “Relationships in America” project—a national survey of over 15,000 adults, ages 18 to 60, that I oversaw for the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture—asked respondents when they first had sex in their current or most recent relationship. After six months of dating? After two? The most common experience—reported by 32% of men under 40—was having sex with their current partner before the relationship had begun. This is sooner than most women we interviewed would prefer.”
I am sorry. That last sentence—”This is sooner than most women we interviewed would prefer” is so clinically written but so tragic. “Would prefer?” How about “No way!”
Dr. Regnerus goes on to say,
“When I asked Kristin, a 29-year-old from Austin, whether men should make sacrifices to get sex, she offered a confusing prescription: “Yes. Sometimes. Not always. I mean, I don’t think it should necessarily be given out by women, but I do think it’s OK if a woman does just give it out. Just not all the time.”
“Kristin rightly wants the men whom she dates to treat her well and to respect her interests, but the choices that she and other women have made unwittingly teach the men in their lives that such behavior is noble and nice but not required in order to sleep with them. They are hoping to find good men without supporting the sexual norms that would actually make men better.”
This article was unusual in the fact that it was waving a red flag of warning as in,
- This is a dangerous trend
- Cheap sex does not a commitment make
- Non-commitmental sex is destroying the institution of marriage.
What do we do as parents and grandparents? How do we teach our children why waiting for marriage is worth it? I posted this quote by Elder Bradley D. Foster last year, but I think it bears repeating. Elder Foster is interviewing this college student, Pablo, for his mission and can’t believe the answers this kid is giving him. He said he was too good to be true.
“I said, “Pablo, tell me your story.”
Pablo continued: “When I was nine, my dad took me aside and said, ‘Pablo, I was nine once too. Here are some things you may come across. You’ll see people cheating in school. You might be around people who swear. You’ll probably have days when you don’t want to go to church. Now, when these things happen—or anything else that troubles you—I want you to come and talk to me, and I’ll help you get through them. And then I’ll tell you what comes next.’”
“So, Pablo, what did he tell you when you were 10?”
“Well, he warned me about pornography and dirty jokes.”
“What about when you were 11?” I asked.
“He cautioned me about things that could be addictive and reminded me about using my agency.”
Here was a father, year after year, “line upon line; here a little, and there a little,” who helped his son not only hear but also understand. Pablo’s father knew our children learn when they are ready to learn, not just when we are ready to teach them.”3
I was “peculiar” in high school. I was one of 5 Mormons in my high school in Tucson and had many non-member friends. I remember sleepovers where I would pretend to be asleep and my friends would talk about their sexual exploits. I didn’t feel left out, I felt relieved. I had been given a map to marriage by my parents and my Church. I was taught how to navigate. As you talk with your child you can help them fortify themselves and be prepared like Pablo was. And tell someone Mormon, single and wanting to get married, about the app “Mutual”—actually if they are younger than you, they know about it. Tell them to use it!
I recieve no compenation from the app “Mutual”.