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The Destiny of the Unmarried

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 15, 2009

In 1922, the older teens and young adults of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association discussed a lesson entitled “The Destiny of the Unmarried.” The text of that lesson is presented below.

Before you read further, clarify your expectations, as a Church member in 2009 familiar with Church teachings. Do you expect this lesson to praise, condemn, or console the unmarried? to defend a conscious choice of lifelong spinsterhood? to warn against the eternal consequences of such a choice or fate?

The Destiny of the Unmarried

I. The Image of God.

That man and woman should always stand together is proved by ancient and modern scripture. We are told that: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1:27.) “Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord.” (I Cor. 11:11.)

The modern prophet Joseph Smith taught that no woman could enter the celestial kingdom without having been sealed to some man; but neither can a man enter there without his wife. This need not seem at all arbitrary for no man or woman can enjoy the full degree of the completeness of earth life without the association of their mate and the making of the home ties. If the full joy cannot be had here, how much less can it be complete in the next world!

Since marriage is ordained of God, and commanded of Him, man is not justified in refraining therefrom except for good and sufficient reasons.

President Joseph F. Smith after quoting the following: “And again I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man,” (Doc. and Cov. 49:15.) said:

I desire to emphasize this. I want the young men of Zion to realize that this institution of marriage is not a man-made institution. It is of God. It is honorable, and no man who is of marriageable age is living his religion if he remains single.” (Gospel Doctrine, p. 341.)

II. The Incomplete Image.

There may be reasons why a few men should not marry and undertake the responsibility of caring for a family. Incurable disease, mental or physical, should deter any man from such responsibility.

There are many women who can never know on earth the great joys of motherhood, and of united blessedness. Incurable ill health should deter women as men from marriage.

But there is a more deadly reason than that why countless women today (and the same condition has existed in the past) must remain spinsters all their lives. The horrors of war have taken men by the thousands, leaving their possible wives and sweethearts to face life alone for all time. Is it not time that such injustice should be prevented?

These general causes have given rise to two classes of spinsterhood:

1. Voluntary Spinsterhood.

There may be good and sufficient reasons why some women should not marry. But the woman who does not care for a home and family is a very rare being indeed.

a. Voluntary spinsterhood may come to the woman who as a girl allowed herself to be classed as the flirt and who through caprice threw away her chances of matrimony. She, of course, is deserving of her fate. One should never trifle with the serious affairs of life.

b. Very rarely a woman who is especially gifted and plans for herself a “brilliant career” may refuse matrimony – but these cases are few.

c. Difference in religious faith is another cause for voluntary spinsterhood and should receive serious consideration. there are cases where the desired mate is of other and incompatible religious faith. This condition affects the young men as well as the young women of Israel. The leaders of our church stand firm in their advice to the young people that if they will refrain from uniting themselves with the unbeliever they will receive manifold blessings therefor both here and hereafter.

There is one sure way to prevent this condition and that is by refusing to associate closely with any one whom one would not be willing to marry should one’s impulses lead in that direction. This is not a narrow view to take, for while we cannot and should not try to seclude ourselves from “the world” yet it is not necessary to be on the most intimate terms with any but a chosen few. Man has a right to choose his friends. Christ associated with unbelievers but he did not make intimate associates of them. The reward of life congeniality will be well worth any apparent sacrifice.

2. Involuntary Spinsterhood.

That one should be forced through uncontrollable circumstances to lead a life of “single blessedness,” seems a great injustice. There are many reasons for this condition, some that are justifiable and some that seem most unjust.

a. The death of one’s sweetheart may be a justified cause for failure to marry. In that case one must be sure that the deceased is one’s true mate, then the passage of time does not seem so interminable.

b. The responsibility for a dependent father or mother, or for the raising and training of young brothers and sisters, may be a sufficient cause to justify one in refraining from marriage. In these cases one must be one’s own judge entirely. Certainly such unselfishness will not go unrewarded.

c. The most frequent cause of involuntary spinsterhood is that one does not receive a congenial offer of marriage. Again one must be one’s own judge in such matters. Some people are so constituted that they can take a second or third choice and make the best of it even if it isn’t the perfect state of their girlish dreams. In such cases the securing of a home and the possibility of the priceless gift of motherhood makes any sacrifice seem worth while.

There are other dispositions that are so positive that daily happiness could never result unless one is truly and deeply in love. One takes a very grave risk in marrying without the perfect love that should unite husband and wife. The grind of daily cares and annoyances needs the poise and adjustment of continual love and perfect understanding in order to secure the atmosphere of love and joy in the home. And this living home atmosphere is the birth right of every child born into the world. If he doesn’t have it he is cheated of something for which no amount of wealth or one-sided attachment can atone. Prayer alone can guide one in making such decisions.

III. The Ultimate Destiny.

Those who refrain from marriage for any good cause have much to do in life and if they live right have a promise of a glorious reward in the future life. The gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed through Joseph Smith teaches that justice and happiness will come to every worthy soul.

1. The Justice of God.

It is a great comfort to know that if one is willing to obey a law but has no chance to do so that one will be accounted worthy of sharing the blessings of obedience. No one can question the justice of our Father in heaven and in this respect one may be assured of an ultimate joyous adjustment.

2. Readjustments.

As has been stated before, marriage is a ceremony pertaining to this earth and while the association of men and women will continue throughout eternity the ceremony uniting them must be performed here. If some unpreventable cause has operated to separate on this earth those who belong to each other, and if the ceremony has been performed here, then readjustments will be made on the other side so that they who belong to each other will be united throughout eternity. Oh, the comfort of this knowledge and the joy of this promise! One can endure imperfection if necessary for time if one can be assured that perfect joy may be enjoyed in eternity. A mate will one day be found for every righteous woman.

IV. Duty of the Unmarried.

There is much work in the world to be done by those who are not so closely bound by the ties of home and family. Ruskin tells us that “Pleasure comes through toil and not by self-indulgence and indolence. When one gets to love work, his life is a happy one.” So there is much happiness in store for all who will to find it.

The first duty of the unmarried, then, is to take their active place in society. If a life job is not cut out for one and found waiting, then one must hustle and find it.

1. Life Occupation.

The world today is more friendly to women than it has ever been before. Every woman (as well as every man) should have a life work – one for which she is fitted and which she loves better than any other. If a woman can’t have the one she likes best then the simple part of wisdom is to find one that she likes next best. And into that second-choice job she should pour all the pent up zest she would like to give to the work she likes best. If that is done, she will be sure to make a success of her life.

a. The love of home and the desire to make a home is the wish of every normal woman. There is no reason why every woman cannot make a home – if it is only a tent or a one room apartment. She can have the “home atmosphere” there if she so chooses. She may also have the chance to make a home (in the real sense) for father or mother or brother or sister. “Home is where the heart is,” we are told, and if that be true every woman may have a home – though it be not the perfect one of her dreams. There are times when one must learn to be satisfied with a half loaf of bread or go hungry – and a half loaf is far better than no bread at all.

Any effort put forth by the girl in learning to be a good home maker, thereof, can all be used, for wherever she is she may have the privilege of making a home.

b. The love of children is also innate in the breast of every normal woman. The same philosophy of the half-loaf holds in this respect. If a woman has no children of her own “to mother,” let her look around – she will not have to look far – and find some child that is starving “to be mothered.” The process of mothering includes very many acts aside from the one of giving the breath of life, and these can often be performed just as well by one who may not be bound by the ties of kindred.

Some young women have wished for motherhood and mourned its absence so sincerely that they have adopted one or more children with the most gratifying results.

With the world in the condition it is today, no mother-heart should long be unsatisfied!

2. Active in Social Betterment of World.

The cares of raising a family are so many and so taxing that the entire attention of the mother is required while the children are young. It is entirely fitting that much of the so-called social betterment work of the world should be executed by those who for one reason or another have not the full responsibility of home on their shoulders.

Those who are not married must possess and transmit to the world as their children; faith, hope, cheer, trust, sincerity, and happiness! Thus all have the chance to help make the world a better place in which to live.

QUESTIONS.

1. (a) Discuss the fact of men and women being made in the image of God. (b) Just what does that mean?

2. Do you think that woman’s active participation in the affairs of government might not hasten the end of war?

3. What are you doing to make of yourself a good citizen?

4. What do you intend doing with your life in case you never marry, and why?

5. What are you doing now to prepare yourself as an active member of society?

6. (a) How may those who do not marry have the joys of home and children? (b) Do you know any children who are hungering for mother love and how may they get it?

7. Tell how you feel about the splendid teaching of your Church regarding the ultimate complete happiness which may be enjoyed by every righteous woman.

Well? Is this what you expected? Why, or why not?



29 Comments »

  1. 1. I thought you needed marriage to enter the *highest* degree (D&C 131), but this lesson says otherwise. That’s weird to me.

    2. It’s more accomodating to circumstances than I expected. Interesting that it enumerates those circumstances.

    3. We seem to make fewer assumptions about what women want these days, at least officially.

    Comment by The Right Trousers — April 15, 2009 @ 8:58 am

  2. I thought you needed marriage to enter the *highest* degree

    If by this you mean that you need to be married in this life to enter the highest degree, you are incorrect–that has not been the teaching during my lifetime.

    If you mean that you need to be married in this life or the next, the lesson confirms that.

    One can endure imperfection if necessary for time if one can be assured that perfect joy may be enjoyed in eternity. A mate will one day be found for every righteous woman.

    Comment by Last Lemming — April 15, 2009 @ 9:39 am

  3. I was surprised by three things in this lesson. The first was the rather harsh condemnation of single men. I cringed when I read the quote from the Gospel Doctrine manual. I have several good friends in their mid-30’s who are decent, upright, righteous men who haven’t found someone to marry yet. I certainly find it unjust for someone to state that they aren’t living their religion as a result.

    The second thing that surprised me was that the lesson explicitly stated that in some circumstances, a career was a valid reason for a woman to forgo marriage. Such a sentiment would never be preached over the pulpit today.

    The third thing that surprised me was the support of single women adopting children. On my mission, I met a woman in one of the wards I served in who was in her late 30’s and unmarried. She had adopted a daughter and was in the process of adopting another. I thought she was remarkable, and I was glad she was providing a loving home with the blessings of the gospel to these children. However, the ward members were quite opposed to this, and made their disapproval known.

    Comment by Keri Brooks — April 15, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  4. I have a very brilliant cousin (female) who hasn’t been able to find the right guy yet (we were talking about this over Christmas).

    She has friends who comment on how she can devote herself to her work in the meantime, and her quasi-violent reaction is interesting. Yes, she can have a career, but she’d rather have the option of leaving it behind.

    I think the words “brilliant career” are an interesting qualification. I don’t think the Lord really wants someone turning down a legitimate marriage proposal from a worthy/eligible suitor because she can sell used cars… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    (I have an 11-year-old daughter who seems to think that she’ll never get married and wants to be a professor, so as a father I’m trying to strike the right balance here. If the option is between curing cancer or marrying the high school dropout guy in the singles ward who plays video games all day, it’s an easy choice.)

    Comment by queuno — April 15, 2009 @ 10:31 am

  5. Lasr Lemming: Quoth the lesson:

    “The modern prophet Joseph Smith taught that no woman could enter the celestial kingdom without having been sealed to some man; but neither can a man enter there without his wife.”

    It looks to be playing fast and loose with established doctrine… but maybe thar’s how it was commonly understood then?

    Comment by The Right Trousers — April 15, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  6. Thanks for such thoughtful comments. I’m fascinated by them and reading them all carefully, but would rather not steer the conversation at this point by tossing in my own ideas.

    I do want to be sure I understand The Right Trouser’s #5 — is your take about “fast and loose” because you understand that sealings must be performed during life, or because a man (but not a woman) needs sealing for celestial glory, or –?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 15, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  7. Ah, yes, 1922. John Derbyshire wrote a very worthwhile essay on that:

    These reflections arose from reading reviews in the British magazines of Virginia Nicholson’s book Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After the First World War. The book seems not yet to have been published on this side of the pond, but I shall certainly read it when it does appear. No person born in Britain in the twentieth century can ever tire of reading about “the war that was called Great.”

    As awful as that war was for British men (not to mention the men of this and other nations, who are beyond my scope here), it may have been worse for women. One of the most heartbreaking books ever written is Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. Twenty years old in 1914, Brittain lost to the war, one by one, all the men she cared about, beginning with the love of her life, the poet Roland Leighton. He was expected home from the Western Front for Christmas of 1915. Brittain sat up late on Christmas Day waiting for him, to be greeted next morning with the news he had been killed on December 23rd. The others followed him, ending with her adored only brother in the last months of the war.

    So it was for untold numbers of women. Virginia Nicholson quotes the headmistress of a tony girls’ school breaking the news to her senior pupils in 1917: “I have come to tell you a terrible fact. Only one out of ten of you girls can ever marry … Nearly all the men who might have married you have been killed. You will have to make your way in the world as best you can.” This was actually a bit hyperbolic. As Niall Ferguson notes in The Pity of War: “Fewer British men were killed during the war than had emigrated in the decade before it.” Seven hundred thousand is still a lot of young men to die in four years, with some corresponding number hopelessly maimed; and the losses were disproportionately from the middle and upper classes, which supplied most of the British army’s junior officers.

    Comment by John Mansfield — April 15, 2009 @ 11:54 am

  8. I was surprised a bit by how openly the various exceptions were discussed – although, I must say, not as surprised as I would have been without all the other things you’ve posted here, Ardis. (like the question and answer posts)

    I also don’t think there’s any tension between the statements about exaltation in this post and how we currently understand things – that all those who live righteously and do their best will but lack some blessing regardless will have all blessings in the afterlife. Perhaps there’s something from someone at some time that says differently, but I can’t remember ever coming across it.

    Comment by Ray — April 15, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

  9. Lots of interesting stuff in here.

    I was interested that “Spinsterhood” was apparently an accepted term referring to the unmarried.

    Serious smackdown on she who “allowed herself to be classed as the flirt and who through caprice threw away her chances.”

    one must be sure that the deceased is one’s true mate – surprised that the idea of a “one true mate” for some people is accepted here.

    The comments about needing to love your spouse and the child’s right to such a loving home environment (in II 2. c.) is very nice I think. I wish the Proclamation were as nicely written as this.

    A mate will one day be found for every righteous woman. – This is what I expected to find in the article and there it is.

    The love of children is also innate in the breast of every normal woman. – Not sure this would go over very well today.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 15, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  10. i was interested to read about the very proactive stance in support of women during a time of war.

    Comment by ellen — April 15, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

  11. Fascinating stuff. This is really progressive considering the time, I think. This is, I believe, one of the first fruits of the post-1894 revelation on adoption.

    Comment by J. Stapley — April 15, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

  12. Who knew? This is very different than I expected. Having known many wonderful men and women who have never married, I hesitate to toss in this last quote, though, from George Durrant about finding one’s true mate. He said that after 30, anyone who isn’t immediately revolting is a good candidate for marriage. I think he was speaking to the under 30 singles crowd, and hadn’t met any basement lurking video game playing geeks with hygiene issues that we have these days.

    Comment by kevinf — April 15, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  13. I found the most interesting lines to be “Some people are so constituted that they can take a second or third choice and make the best of it even if it isn’t the perfect state of their girlish dreams….There are other dispositions that are so positive that daily happiness could never result unless one is truly and deeply in love.”

    The only advice I’ve heard from a church authority on that topic in my life is the oft-quoted, “it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price”, which carries a very different sentiment.

    Comment by Dane — April 15, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  14. I’m surprised too, at the liberality of all this. Other than the crack about the flirt, and the smearing of any woman who doesn’t love children as abnormal, it seems to be worded in a way that’s less restrictive than the proclamation.

    By which I mean that I’m used to things like this breaking my heart, and this one hardly did at all.

    Comment by Tatiana — April 15, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

  15. FASCINATING!

    The adoption bit also jumped out at me. I would expect there to be a lot of hemming and hawing about no sealings if someone did this now–kind of like having a child out of wedlock.

    I’m totally printing this up for future use!

    Comment by ESO — April 15, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  16. Dane, look up the Spencer Kimball edition of ‘Teachings of the Presidents of the Church’. Chapter 18, under the heading: Eternal marriage requires careful preparation.

    Here is the pre-amble to the famous quote which is so often taken out of context (italics and bolding mine):

    In selecting a companion for life and for eternity, certainly the most careful planning and thinking and praying and fasting should be done to be sure that of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong. In true marriage there must be a union of minds as well as of hearts. Emotions must not wholly determine decisions, but the mind and the heart, strengthened by fasting and prayer and serious consideration, will give one a maximum chance of marital happiness. It brings with it sacrifice, sharing, and a demand for great selflessness. …

    … “Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price. …

    Taken in context, that quote has quite a different meaning than most people ascribe to it.

    Comment by Bookslinger — April 15, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  17. Thanks, Bookslinger. The entire context is lost too often when the isolated quote is used.

    Comment by Ray — April 15, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

  18. I’m totally printing this up for future use!

    I hope there’s a tongue firmly planted in a cheek, there …

    I enjoy reading things from the past, noting what is different, what is the same, and especially what is the same but is worded so differently that it makes a new impact on me. That last point is one reason I especially liked this lesson.

    But I have a fear, sometimes, when I reprint something from the past that somebody will misunderstand the purpose, and will either warp his own gospel understanding by relying too heavily on the past, or worse, will use something I provide as a club in an argument with, say, a bishop about how we should be practicing the gospel today.

    Maybe that’s an unfounded fear. Those who read and comment on Keepa are generally among the brightest in the Bloggernacle, as witnessed by the thoughtfulness of responses and the additional research contributions that so often are posted. But please, please, please — use these pieces for broadening your understanding, and even for teasing, but don’t use them to argue against a current practice. I would so hate to be the cause of that kind of trouble for anyone.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 15, 2009 @ 8:18 pm

  19. Right trousers: are you refering to the bit about marriage required for the Celestial Kingdom versus marriage being required only for exaltation (top rung) in the Celestial Kingdom?

    I ascribe the apparent contradiction to the verbal shortcut often taken wherein exaltation and Celestial Kindgom are conflated. (Exaltation being the top rung of 3 in the CK.)

    Also, the point about _marriage in this life_: People who die before the age of accountability, and worthy people who die before the age (or opportunity) of marriage have also been more or less promised _exaltation_ in the CK, yet they were not married in mortality. Thosee exceptions open the door to other possible exceptions, such as unavailability of a “worthy” or “congenial” (the word the article uses) mate.

    It at least opens the door to the possibility that a suitable spouse can be found beyond the veil or post-resurrection, because it’s essentially promised for all the deceased infants and worthy missionaries who die on their missions.

    Comment by Bookslinger — April 15, 2009 @ 8:19 pm

  20. No worries, Ardis–no warping or clubbing in my immediate future.

    Comment by ESO — April 15, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

  21. But Ardis, I love taking parts of your work out of context and deliberately misquoting them to support my favorite causes. I majored in political science, after all.

    Besides, if I don’t teach something a little edgy in my Gospel Doctrine class, someone might get the idea I should have more church responsibility. This is really great material. :)

    Comment by Bruce Crow — April 15, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

  22. Good to know, ESO — but I had you pegged as a clubbin’ sort of partyer. [g]

    Thanks, all, for such a good discussion and some good natured fun. I’m always interested in what [very little] is taught about single adulthood, and like Tatiana I’ve had my heart broken by it a time or two. This lesson struck exactly the right tone for me: it taught to the pattern but acknowledged the reality, and it presents some very practical points for discussion. Today, it seems that when the possibility of singleness is acknowledged for girls the age of those studying this lesson (“get an education in case you have to support yourself”), it isn’t presented as if it were really a possibility that would ever face anybody who was worth anything. This lesson not only takes the possibility seriously, but treats it with respect.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 15, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  23. Don’t some Bishops and Stake Presidents need a “clubbin” once in a while? I’m with Bruce Crow on this one. If you’re not edgy enough, they’ll give you more responsibility.

    I like what it says about taking an active place in society. Living most of my life in small units in the mission field I’ve seen so many young women waiting for something to happen to them. Young men are encouraged to go on missions and such. I don’t think we see something equivalent for young women. And so a number just mark time. I think it is important for both single men and women to be actively engaged in life. Once I figured that out I found happiness (and then I got married–not saying I’m unhappily married).

    I also found the part about adoption interesting. I know in my state voters passed a measure to forbid unmarried people from adopting. I personally had issued with that; some of which are related to the post above. Children have a right to have a loving parent (or two).

    Comment by Steve C. — April 15, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

  24. Coming to this discussion late . . . sorry.

    Forgetting temporarily the main topics of the article on marriage and “spinsterhood”, I have to say that I found all of the down-to-earth, practical advice about human relations to be most meaningful. This one is sublime:

    The grind of daily cares and annoyances needs the poise and adjustment of continual love and perfect understanding in order to secure the atmosphere of love and joy in the home.

    Comment by Hunter — April 16, 2009 @ 12:01 am

  25. My grandfather’s sister never married. Everyone that knew her found her to be fascinating and exciting. She had been engage twice and both times her fiancé died before the wedding. She left Salt Lake City, ended up in San Francisco and became involved in several meaningful causes. Just before she died, my family, by chance, moved close enough to her that I could get to know her better. After she died, my mother and I went to clean her apartment. It was very clear she had a full life. It reminded me of the commercial showing an elderly lady passing with photos all around her as evidence of a rich life; learning to fly a plane, traveling to Egypt, etc. (the commercial ended with her regretfully relizing she had never experienced Kohler’s infinity bath tub)
    While we were at her appartment an elderly man arrived to share what he knew about my great aunt. They had known each other for years and he had proposed more than once. She staunchly refused saying she could never go through that again. I can’t say that I blame her.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — April 16, 2009 @ 8:07 am

  26. @Ardis, #18 – My take on it is that there’s doctrine and policy (the subjects of frequent debate), then there’s just plain old wisdom. This manual doesn’t have the names of any general authorities behind it, so I would be hard pressed to use it as doctrinal ammunition, but that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying, applying, and sharing the wisdom it contains on a self-evident basis. So please, never stop the work you do. The work is wonderful, and so are you. Looking at our history (both wisdom and folly) is ennobling for us all.

    Comment by Dane — April 16, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  27. Ardis, re your # 22, my wife was at a stake RS conference a number of years back, and a member of our stake presidency, in a moment of exceptional lucidity, was talking about education for the women of the church, and their daughters. This was actually back in the early 80’s.

    He asked how many women had planned to work at a career, and had pursued education towards that end. About 20% of the hands went up. He then asked how many had actually had to work outside the home, and 90% of the hands went up.

    He then went on to talk about the importance of education for everyone, and said that if you were by circumstances not of your choosing forced into the workplace, you’d be better off with more education, and a chance at a better paying job.

    Nothing like a little doctrine tempered by practical experience.

    Comment by kevinf — April 16, 2009 @ 10:11 am

  28. Shouldn’t there be scripture references for each of the doctrines taught? Unless there are I cannot except this as doctrine, but rather as opinion.

    I am particularly uncomfortable with the idea of “Voluntary Spinsterhood.” That sounds like it is in direct conflict with:

    “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.” (The Family a Proclamation to the World)

    Moses 3: 18
    18 And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him.

    Comment by lollydm — April 24, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  29. Periodic reminder: Keepa is a blog exploring Mormon history: events, people, doctrines, practices. We talk about things as they were, which is not necessarily always as they should have been or as they now are.

    Materials posted on Keepa are offered for their historical value, for understanding who we were and how we came to be who we are. They are not presented as an alternative to or replacement for modern thought and materials. It should go without saying that within a community acknowledging ongoing revelation, no lesson, doctrine, or practice of the past trumps a lesson, doctrine, or practice of the present.

    (lollydm, you may have missed the first line of this post, which identifies this as an official MIA lesson discussed by the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association in 1922. It isn’t a lesson I wrote to be taught anywhere today.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 24, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

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