Thursday Morning Quickie #11

[Note: The following text was taken verbatim from the "M Men-Gleaner Manual, Love, Marriage, and You" used in 1956-1957. Previous entries in this series can be found here.]

Lesson 20

Preparing for Children

This lesson is to be taught separately to M Men and Gleaners

JACK AND MARY “fell in love” during a period of two and a half years of dating and courtship. They wanted to marry and both wanted children. She was twenty-one and he was twenty-five. How could they get married and have a family and still allow Jack to finish his professional schooling? They talked about this problem many times for several hours and finally decided to discuss this situation with their bishop. He was very understanding and encouraged them to marry. He did point out, however, that he favored the Church teaching that one of the main purposes of marriage was the bearing and rearing of children and he encouraged them, even though there was schooling ahead” to prepare for a child. The couple took his guidance to heart, were married and went away to school. The wife obtained a job and worked for nearly a year. About that time she told her husband that he was going to become a father in another seven months. She continued her work for three months and then spent her full time and energies in preparing for the new arrival. The husband continued his school work and was extremely happy when a fine young son, weighing seven pounds and two ounces, made his appearance into their household. In fact, when he received his advanced professional degree in medicine, an informal dinner was held in his honor and on this occasion his wife was presented with a home-made diploma for “achievement in motherhood.” The boy brought joy and happiness to this couple and strengthened their family relationship.

Quickie Questions

1. Did this couple make the right decision? Why or why not?
2. Do children usually add or detract from happiness in the family?

________________________

Thursday Morning Quickie #11

Comments

  1. The answers to those questions seem pretty easy if all you have to go off of is the preceding paragraph. It’s when you factor in real-world data that it can get dicey.

    4 Month full-time preparation for a baby? Wow.

  2. Why is “fell in love” in quotes? Like they weren’t really in love?

    1. Well, according to this story, obviously they made the right decision to get married.
    2. It depends on how hormonal the pre-teenage girl is. Ask me again in about 9 years.

  3. mmiles says:

    his wife was presented with a home-made diploma for “achievement in motherhood.”

    So does that mean she graduated and they wouldn’t need to have more children unless she wanted a graduate degree in motherhood?

    I’m pretty sure this lesson was written by a woman because details like how much the baby weighed are included.

  4. Mommie Dearest says:

    I’d rather talk about Spanish painters.

  5. a home-made (natch) diploma for “achievement in motherhood.”

    I have seven of those in my closet.

  6. Kristine says:

    Wait–she didn’t tell him she was pregnant for two and a half months?? Maybe they really weren’t in love!

  7. p.s. please note: This lesson is to be taught separately to M Men and Gleaners.

  8. Kathy,
    Clearly you labored hard for your education.

  9. Norbert says:

    a home-made diploma for “achievement in motherhood.”

    I was trying to think of a Mother’s Day gift. Thank you BCC!

  10. mmiles says:

    Kathy,
    You should let your kids out of the closet now. They’ve been in there long enough.

  11. living in zion says:

    I am trying to figure out the point of this lesson. I truly don’t get it. The questions “Did this couple make the right choice?”
    “Do children add or detract from family happiness?”
    don’t have anything to do with the story. Oh well. At least there is no pioneer story in lesson.

    The whole thing gives me the creeps. Too Stepfordish for my taste.

  12. I’d like to bare my testimony that I know this story is true because our first child, a son, also weighed 7lb. 2 oz. and was born while my husband was in school.

    Also, they had a baby a year and half into the marriage, then he completed an advanced medical degree and they still only had one kid? So, the kid was, like, 8? Yeah, I’d say they found a TON of joy in child-rearing and couldn’t wait to expand their family.

  13. Boz: My hemorrhoids are my badge of honor.

    mmiles: Not nearly long enough.

  14. Mark Brown says:

    Do people still go ask the bishop how many kids they should have and when they should have them? It is my understanding that the church has tried to get bishops out of the family planning business.

  15. B.Russ says:

    Wait, who is this Mary broad?? I thought this was a story about Jack and Diane!!

  16. Bare that testimony, Sunny. Bare it for all the world.

  17. Nicole says:

    Are you sure this isn’t in one of today’s manuals? (Says the person who has now lived in two different wards that primarily serve med/dental students of prestigious state schools.)

  18. “Do children usually add or detract from happiness in the family?”

    What a manipulative question.

    Children do bring happiness to a family. They also make graduate school more difficult because they very much change the financial dynamics and stress of grad school.

    Mark,
    I think if they needed the Bishops help on the topic, it was a sign that they were not ready.

  19. Also, they must not be LDS if they dated that long.

  20. 16- Snap. I was hoping nobody would notice. Thanks for being a friend.

  21. Sunny side up.

  22. I’ll post pics of my “testimony” later.

  23. on this occasion his wife was presented with a home-made diploma for “achievement in motherhood.”

    If someone had presented me with this, I would have been tempted to present them with the contents of my stomach. :P

    I’ve heard that in general, children tend to decrease marital happiness. In my husband’s and my case, though, our children brought us closer together because they gave us something to be united against.

  24. jimbob says:

    This story needs a post script where the husband has to work in plastics in a suburban area, rather than his preferred field of general internist in a high-needs rural area, because the wife stopped working, forcing them to increase their debt load significantly so as to feed the child.

  25. Jack and Mary made many decisions. I would say that the decision to get married, go to school, and have children were all right decisions.

    On the other hand, the decision to ask their bishop was not a right decision.

    Also, the story claims the main reason for marriage is to bear and raise children. Clearly, this is a pre-Proclamation story, as we all know one of the main reasons for marriage and family is to engage in wholesome recreational activities, such as shotgun hunting and Formula One racing.

  26. Alex,
    You knock F1 and I knock you.

  27. “Formula One racing.”

    I was wondering why I saw the Andrettis at Temple Square.

  28. B.Russ says:

    Little ditty about jack and mary
    Two Mormon kids growin up in Murray
    Jackies gonna be a medical star
    Mary debutante frontseat of jackies car

    Suckin on chilli dogs outside the Creamery
    Mary sittin next to jackies side
    Hes got his hands where they should be
    Jackie say, hey Mary lets run off
    Get Married in Manti
    Bring all the family with
    Get sealed f’r eternity
    And jackie say a

    Oh yeah life goes on
    Long after the thrill of children is gone
    Oh yeah life goes on
    Long after the thrill of children is gone they walk on

    Jackie sits back reflects his thoughts for a moment
    Scratches his head and does his best Elder Packer
    Well you know Mary we oughtta run of the city
    Mary says, baby you aint miss no-thing
    Jackie say a

    Oh yeah life goes on
    Long after the thrill of children is gone
    Oh yeah life goes on
    Long after the thrill of children is gone

    Gonna let it rock
    Let it roll
    Let the BoM belt come down
    And save my soul
    Hold on to 21 as long as you can
    Changes comin’ round real soon
    Make us gleaners and M men

    Little ditty about jack and Mary
    Two Mormon kids doin the best they can

  29. I thought the ‘Voices’ stories in the Ensign were bad, but this is a whole worse! Unfortunately, this 50s mentality has permeated until now, and much of the General Conference discourses focus on… we where so young and broke bred like rabbits and look at us, so happy.

    Did this couple do the ‘right’ thing? From the story we’re led to believe that they’re fine, however, when money is tight, idealism flies through the window. I’m quite unimpressed with the ‘mothering’ award… because the job she had was just an excuse before she found her true ‘vocation’.

    Children don’t cement any relationship. They’re just a product of it. If the relationship falters, the arrival of a new child will do nothing.

  30. (28)- I find myself disturbed at the amount of time you had available to spend on this little endeavor, yet so very, very pleased that you did.

  31. Thomas Parkin says:

    What strikes me this morning is how deep this history is of teaching things that are either unrelated to the gospel or, at best, tangential to it. No wonder you got a generation or two of people who, as one of my old bishop’s wives put it, “believed that we were saved by going to Mutual.” ~

  32. 31- And participating in scouting.

  33. You mean I went to all those week night activities for nothing? I was robbed.

  34. as one of my old bishop’s wives put it

    TP (31),
    I had no idea we still called polygs as Bishops. That, or you’re way older than your FB picture suggests.

  35. B.Russ says:

    I am WAY glad that we have moved away from the idea that all couples should have kids within the first 10 months of marriage. I know its still an idea that floats around, but its not so in-your-face anymore.
    After five years of marriage, and no kids yet, I’ve got to say if ward members and family had explicitly told me I was going to hell for waiting, it probably would have pushed me over the edge. The implicit assumtion that I’m a child of the damned is one I can deal with, just don’t say it to my face.

  36. StillConfused says:

    Fast forward to the bankruptcy filing; the wife’s resentment of having to give up her life for the kids; the husband’s affair with the young hard body nurse

  37. A child of the damned?

    Methinks you’re first-generation, B. Russ.

  38. I think we all know what B. Russ’s children will look like, once he gets crackin’

    (FYI, That’s B. Russ in the orange jumpsuit)

  39. Scott, I would NEVER knock F1!

    NASCAR, on the other hand…

  40. Alex,
    You knock NASCAR, and Mark Brown hunts down your first born and feeds it to a rabid gopher.

  41. I vote that we simplify B. Russ to Bruss.

  42. Second.

  43. Scott,

    I will keep my disdain for NASCAR silent, then.

  44. Cynthia L. says:

    After seeing that charming video reenactment, I wanted to see what Bruss looks like IRL. This is what I found. Be afraid. Be very afraid!

  45. Moniker Challenged says:

    It’s always the the “how” bit that’s conveniently left out. Jack and Mary wondered HOW they were going to afford to have a family with Jack a full time student. Apparently Mary working full-time for one year was enough to fund them entirely through one baby and her husband’s medical school. Question #3– WTH was Mary working as for that year? How do I get in on that?

  46. MC,
    One thing I can guarantee you is that they were too righteous to be grad students living on public assistance.

  47. Cynthia L. says:

    THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A GRAD STUDENT ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE!! (let’s see if we can drag this out and break PBR#10’s record for most epic thread)

  48. Moniker Challenged says:

    Birthing righteousness pwns self-reliance righteousness. Gotta fill them pews, brother.

  49. #35…. I think most of the church leaders have moved away from this idea, but I think there are many members that are still holding on. Sometimes I wonder if they are frustrated that the church leaders in their day were telling them to have kids right away, and they did, and it was hard, and now they are resentful that the church has changed course.

    My counselor in Young Women recently taught a lesson on temple marriage and she just couldn’t resist saying, “The church leaders have counseled us not to put off having children for school or jobs.” The idea is still hanging on.

  50. Our first child didn’t come until we had been married for 6 years. It was hard, but I’m glad I saved myself for the 6th year of marriage.

  51. Thomas Parkin says:

    Aye, Scott. The time bending powers of bad grammar are amazing. I go back and forth in time ever since I graduated to Eternity from my remedial English course. ~

  52. #28 B.Russ

    Super!

    What can you do with ‘Little Pink Houses’? Or was that where this couple ended up living?

  53. Awesome Scott, unfortunately I’m a Ginger to the core. I don’t think I’ll be having any of those beautiful blond haired Aryan babies anytime soon.

    And whats with people constantly voting to change my name? first 152 wasn’t good enough, now you have a problem with a period? Cut me some slack here. I think its all just a giant conspiracy for you to finally make me don the Vicky moniker. I won’t do it!

  54. Vicky or Bruss.

    You pick.

  55. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

  56. Mark B. says:

    I had a pretty funny response to gst’s comment, but it was censored.

  57. Peter LLC says:

    I wear an armband with WWGSTD? emblazoned on it to keep me on the strait and narrow.

  58. Okay, fine. You can be B. Russ again. But only because I said so.

  59. B. Russ says:

    Our first child didn’t come until we had been married for 6 years. It was hard, but I’m glad I saved myself for the 6th year of marriage.

    After waiting six years, yeah, it probably was hard! *rimshot

  60. This M Men Gleaner is a veritable gold mine (or shall I say fool’s fold mine) of Mormon tradition! Where on earth did you find it? And can anyone explain the weird title?

    I can’t comment on this particular entry without going on a tirade about how irresponsible it is for Church leaders to push young couples toward becoming parents before they can afford to support children. So I won’t.

  61. Bruss, I will say to you what I said to Scott the first time I ever spoke to him: calling your own rimshots cancels them completely.

  62. The funny thing here is that so much focus has been on the “pushing couples to have children” aspect. While I was putting this up on the blog, I thought that there would be endless teeth gnashing over the a) fact that the lesson was to be taught separately to men and women and b) the bit about a homemade degree in “motherhood.”

  63. Kevin Barney says:

    Emily U. no. 60, on the weird name, see here:

    http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2009/08/20/master-m-men-and-golden-gleaners/

    Scott B., I noted the same interesting tidbits you mention. Also, the length of their courtship is definitely not the BYU stereotype, and they only had the one son by the time he had finished his advanced professional degree in medicine, which would maybe put him in his late 20s, pushing 30. This doesn’t appear to be the olden time no birth control babies a-go-go version of Mormonism that used to be held up as the ideal…

  64. MikeInWeHo says:

    I’m fascinated that “fell in love” was put in quotation marks. It seems to imply skepticism of the notion that being in a love is a prerequisite of marriage. Were there many arranged marriages still taking place in the mid-50s church?

  65. B. Russ says:

    64

    If they’d had 7 kids, then they would have qualified for a no-quotes love. The single child denotes obvious marital problems and a lack of Christ-like love in the two.

  66. or maybe that they accidently tripped in to love and had a child

    Maybe the real point of the lesson was not to have a love child until after grad school.

    Of course, now I want to know who wrote the lesson.

  67. There is a Church manual called “Eternal Marriage” that has a chapter about birth control. It starts by quoting early Church leaders, who were basically saying “no” to birth control, and that it was our duty to bring children into the world. But towards the end of the chapter it says that a lot of things need to be considered, including, for example, wife’s emotional wellbeing, because not all women can handle many kids. And there is a quote from the General Handbook of Instructions, that says that parents must consider mother’s health AND their financial situation.

  68. Emily U (60)

    Where on earth did you find it?

    You can actually thank J. Stapley for this one. He found it one day on Amazon.com and I scooped it up for about $6.

  69. Also, the gems in this book are not limited to the “Quickie Questions” but they are the most easily blogged portions, so that is what you get.

  70. At comment 15 I was wondering when someone would rewrite Jack & Diane.

    What bothered me about this bit of churchiness, besides everything else that was mentioned, was the completely unrealistic idea that she didn’t get knocked up until a year into their marriage. We know that she’s not likely on birth control because having kids was why they were concerned about getting married. Of course they wanted to MARRY. They’ve been dating 2.5 years. Could you find two hornier young people than Mormons who’ve been dating for 2.5 years without having sex? It was the kids they were concerned about and the kids that the Bishop encouraged them to let “come when they may”, to quote Kimball. I think. Or Packer. Or McKay. Does it matter? Anyway, so how many 21-year-old women aren’t going to get knocked up in the first three months? COME ON. Infertility is extremely uncommon at that age.

    So, I feel like this little story is manipulative for the additional reason that it’s trying to soothe young people into thinking, “Okay, well, a year without getting pregnant is not so bad. A year together without puking, exhaustion, weight gain, heart burn, gas, insatiable hunger, insomnia, constipation, general discomfort, sore boobs… That sounds like enough of a good foundation for a happy marriage! Especially since they dated so long. I’m going to do that too, poverty, stress, and high spouse abuse stats be damned!” Except, wait– didn’t the Brethren used to say to not put off getting married, to not have too long of a dating period because it would be too hard to not sin? Something like that? So, a year without being pregnant or having a baby really isn’t all that much, when you consider that most people won’t date that long. And except that a REAL Mormon wouldn’t say “boobs” and “be damned”, either.

    And what the hell are “M Men and Gleaners”??

  71. And I meant “heck”, of course.

  72. “fell in love” is in quotes because the Church generally looks down on the idea that people “fall in love.” It’s supposed to be much more thought out and purposeful. In other words, Mormons don’t “fall in love.” They are told that they are in love by either the spirit or, in the case of the less obedient, a bishop or other church authority.

  73. It should have been “‘fell’ in love”, to accomplish that aim.

  74. MikeInWeHo says:

  75. Natasha (70),

    And what the hell are “M Men and Gleaners”??

    Observant children don’t ask such questions.

  76. Oh, Scott, I don’t READ the comments, silly. I just graze enough to make sure my own deeply important comments were not already hinted at. Of course, they never are.

    No, I do read the comments but I’ve been 57% asleep all day today because I’ve been forgetting to take my thyroid meds. Blah.

    Thanks for the link. I can’t believe it’s the first time in 14 years that I’ve ever come across that terminology.

  77. (sobbing quietly)

    It also shows that you never read my posts, since that question has come up almost every week on the TMQ.

  78. laurenlou says:

    Wait a minute—he says “let the bible belt come down and save my soul”?!?! I need to reevaluate everything I believe in. I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life thinking he wanted the Taco Bell to save his soul.

  79. Ha, that would make a great post: “The real lyrics to pop songs that you have ben singing wrong all your life.”

  80. I like to think that the teaching that parents shouldn’t wait to have kids is a remnant from the days before birth control was safe and effective. Because in that era, waiting to have kids meant going without sex–and let’s be honest, a sexless marriage is even worse than dealing with a baby in grad school.

  81. Stephanie says:

    In fact, when he received his advanced professional degree in medicine, an informal dinner was held in his honor and on this occasion his wife was presented with a home-made diploma for “achievement in motherhood.”

    And that made it all better.

    WHAT?????? #)$(T&#)__)#&%*(#&#)@&@!*^&#%@&

    Beyond that, I am speechless.

  82. Stephanie says:

    Oh, I get it, Scott B. You picked this one to get us in the mood for Mother’s Day.

  83. Stephanie,
    Send me $8.95 and I’ll mail you an homemade diploma for Excellence In Commenting.

  84. What bothered me about this bit of churchiness, besides everything else that was mentioned, was the completely unrealistic idea that she didn’t get knocked up until a year into their marriage. We know that she’s not likely on birth control because having kids was why they were concerned about getting married. Of course they wanted to MARRY. They’ve been dating 2.5 years. Could you find two hornier young people than Mormons who’ve been dating for 2.5 years without having sex? It was the kids they were concerned about and the kids that the Bishop encouraged them to let “come when they may”, to quote Kimball. I think. Or Packer. Or McKay. Does it matter? Anyway, so how many 21-year-old women aren’t going to get knocked up in the first three months? COME ON. Infertility is extremely uncommon at that age.

    For such a light-hearted posting, I think this may be the most insensitive comment ever. I know several dozen women in the early 20s who got married and, with their husbands, are still waiting for that pregnancy two years later. And I know several other couples that were not able to conceive their first child until the fourth or fifth year or marriage.

  85. …. of marriage, even.

  86. Naismith says:

    “Wait–she didn’t tell him she was pregnant for two and a half months?? Maybe they really weren’t in love!”

    Back in the day, pregnancy tests weren’t accurate until after the second missed menstrual period.

    I know, it seems scary considering how important nutrition and avoiding medication is during those early weeks. But that was the reality.

  87. Do children usually add or detract from happiness in a family?

    It depends on the age of the children, and the hour of the night they insist on being awake.

  88. #84. Alex, it’s not insensitive. It’s statistically accurate. I didn’t say it doesn’t happen. I said it’s uncommon. It’s a fake scenario, not a real one. If this was real, you think I’d be saying, “Oh, as if it took you that long! Something the matter with you, chica? Not prayin’ enough?” Of course not. *facepalm* If it’s a fake scenario, at least present the most likely outcomes so it’s not manipulative. <– Fine point right there.

    If my comment is not as lighthearted as you think it should be it might give some perspective to know that I was one of those women married at 18 and pregnant 3 months in because I wanted to listen to the prophet's counsel. I wonder if my plans to continue my education would have carried forth if I felt like I had more choices available to me. As a new convert I believed everything I was told, including all those talks presented at the institute class Teachings of the Living Prophets that said to 1. Have short dating periods; 2. Not put off getting married; 3. Not put off having kids, to "let the children come when they will"; 4. To not limit the number of children. And back when those talks were given, there wasn't as much consideration given to the well-being of the mom and her ability to raise the kids. That disclaimer was harder to find then than it is now.

    It made me angry then, at 18, but I resolved it by convincing myself that it was the right way and only way to go about things if one wants to follow the prophet. Now, of course, I see things differently but I was very new in the church and my testimony was delicate.

    You could say this "lighthearted" post touched a raw nerve.

  89. Also, Alex, I’ve read in the past that infertility is becoming more common. Back when this scenario was written, it was less common than it is now.

  90. Natasha, I’d be interested in seeing the statistics that most Mormon women in their early 20s are pregnant within three months if they are not using birth control. I realise that I am working with a limited set of those I personally know, but of the dozens I referenced earlier, there have been a grand total of three pregnancies in three years. That’s not a majority to me.

    I don’t think it is possible to come up with a non-manipulative scenario. These scenarios from the 50s definitely seem to be excessively so, but then, that may be just by my modern-day viewpoint. 75 years from now, we’ll be seeing Scott’s children grandchildren doing the same thing with our manuals that he is doing now with this one!

  91. Stephanie says:

    Hmmm, Scott #83, that might make it all better, too. If I had a nifty certificate to show how important my commenting is, DH might not mind that I stay up past midnight to do it.

  92. Stephanie,
    Better make that a homemade diploma for Excellence in Presiderer Ignoring!

  93. Alex, I was hoping you’d ask. ;-)

    (Okay, so this blog allows HTML in comments, right? I’ve never tried.)

    Here’s one article found that shows fertility in the early 20’s being such that sex around ovulation yielded 50/50 results, each month. So, how likely is it that for 11 months a woman aged 21 didn’t get pregnant with those odds?

  94. Also, Alex, I believe in equal opportunity eye rolling. The modern manuals are also manipulative. Especially primary and youth manuals.

  95. Stephanie says:

    Now you’re just making it personal, Scott. :) (Poor, DH, I just don’t think I attended church enough as a teen to know all the things a good little wife is supposed to do)

  96. Stephanie says:

    Oops. Too many commas in that last comment. I need to stick to FMH and my handy edit button.

  97. B. Russ says:

    74 – Mike, that is honestly the first time I’ve ever seen that crap-fest of a video (granted, I kinda like the song, but that video . . . wow)

    The Air-Punches were definitely the crown-jewel of what sucks in that video.

    The Air-Drumming was spectacular in its way as well.

  98. B.Russ says:

    re 78:
    My sister used to do a charming rendition of Pearl Jam’s “You’re my version of a pelican” (Glorified version of a pellet gun). She never understood why Eddie Vedder was singing about pelicans, but she loved the song.

  99. Alright B.Russ, let’s put this sucker over 100.

  100. B.Russ says:

    Done and Done

  101. 99- Shameless self-promotion. You oughta be ashamed.

  102. Things I am not ashamed of:

    1. The Gospel of Christ
    2. My ridiculous good looks
    3. Shameless self-promotion

  103. Things you should be ashamed of:

    1. Utah State’s athletics program
    2. Your signed copy of “The Christmas Sweater”
    3. Failing to present your wife with a homemade diploma for “Achievement in Motherhood”. (Mother’s Day is just a day away, folks. It’s not too late!)

  104. Ouch! Why you gotta swing low, bro?

  105. Mai Li says:

    Wait a minute! Utah State has a great basketball team and, one of these days (we’ve been saying this for 40 years, but oh well) we’ll have a good football team. Back in the day I remember wives receiving certificates for a phT, which was supposed to mean put hubby through, but was more commonly known as pushed hubby through.

  106. 104- You’re right. I shouldn’t make fun of “The Christmas Sweater” nor your affinity for all things Glenn Beck. Apologies.

  107. #77 Scott, You’re right. I don’t read your posts. Until recently, I had only read BCC when my friend Vince linked to a post or I stumbled upon one being mentioned on Twitter or in Stumble Upon. Which explains why the comments were always shut down by the time I got around to finding a post I loved. I don’t read blogs much at all, or haven’t in this past year while my brain was clearly being experimented upon by aliens or Satan or Satanic aliens because there’s no other sensible reason for the bad decisions I’ve made this year, the worst of which was failing to read BCC and your posts in particular. :-)

    I will now make it a priority, before thirst, hunger, or sleep.

    Looking forward to being taught.

  108. You know what will be awesome? When I banninate Sunny while she is a guest poster because she picked on USU.

  109. Wait…people actually care about USU?

  110. John C.,
    One more comment like that and I swear I’ll exercise unrighteous dominion.

  111. Please, Scott. We all know that USU doesn’t dominate anything.

  112. (searches in vain for comeback…accepts defeat…begins crying)

  113. I don’t understand the claims of manipulation from the 1950s, I found the questions to be refreshingly open ended, they at least leave the possibility for discussion of alternatives to the church status quo. After spending most of my adult life slogging through modern church lesson manuals I’m certain that if this were rewritten for today the questions at the end would be:

    1. Why did this couple make the right decision to not postpone their family?
    2. How do children add to happiness in the family?

  114. KLC, That’s a good observation and I think it’s true. However, it’s the scenario that’s manipulative. Even with open-ended questions, would they matter if the story read, “And then they lived happily ever after and then happily ever after after THAT. In short, it was perfection and if you don’t agree, you’re a nutjob or just rebellious.”?

    If they had mentioned something about some struggles, it would be so much more meaningful a lesson. There actually would BE a lesson.

  115. Natasha, even the low bar set by the current Gospel Principles manual is shattered by the brief paragraph that apparently constitutes most of this lesson. Which is why I think the lesson is mostly contained in the questions and not in the setup that leads to them. And since those questions create an opportunity for different views instead of the current lesson manual style that contains questions that really are only an excuse for reinforcing the status quo I’ve still got to claim less manipulation here than has been seen in lesson manuals for many years.

  116. KLC, Oooh, good point. I like it. :-)

  117. Newly Housewife says:

    The main reason why the church has changed standards on child rearing is that before, when my own parents got married, not having health insurance wasn’t a big deal. Now a days if you have a child, and you’re not insured–you’re facing at least $20,000 in labor costs. Seeing how the church emphasizes the importance of being debt-free…doesn’t take much to connect the dots.

  118. The MAIN reason is that some people might not have health insurance and then they’ll have debt?

    I thought it might have more to do with the welfare of women and the encouragements for them to be educated and to develop their talents and to not run faster than they are able. I thought it might have more to do with schools and the church asking more of us than what was asked of our mothers. I thought it had to do with making sure that children’s needs are met and ideally by their parents and not by their older siblings. And stuff.

    Debt is certainly a worry but remember, that the US is the only country with such a messed up health care system. (Okay, so that’s just my opinion.) The counsel to families applies to all the families all around the world, including those of us who are blessed to live in countries with “free” health care.

  119. Children! Children! Stop fighting! We’ll get to “Enough Money for Marriage” about two Thursdays from now…

  120. Scott, seriously, why do you always think that everyone is fighting??

  121. Sigh.

  122. Scott, Natasha doesn’t like it when you do not adequately answer her questions. You better answer he question in

  123. …in #120. Also, please explain all terms used with citation.

  124. Chris! My favourite person EVER! Gosh, I’ve missed you! P.S. I loved your review of The Mormon Proposition.

    Scott: Ohhhh. Is the “stop fighting”, “be nice”, “I’ll ban you” thing a comedy schtick? No, really, it’s very funny.

  125. That review was not by me, but was by my colleague TT. BTW, I think mutual dislike is a wonderful thing. While I think you and I might actually agree on a number of things, I like to keep both my friends and enemies ideologically diverse.

  126. HA HA HA! It wasn’t even by you? Wow, that explains it. So, I get points for reaching out and being lovely and I don’t even have to follow through? I can go back to disliking you? That’s so cool.

    I’m teasing. You can dislike me all you want. Wouldn’t be the first thing you’ve been wrong about. ;-P

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