Thursday Morning Quickie #21

[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 17

Young Marrieds and Recreation

MARTHA and Joe were different-at least in many ways. They had been married for three years and were still going to dances every two or three weeks. Some of their young married friends criticized them for they had two young children. Shouldn’t they stay at home all the time with their little family? What was their explanation? This couple, before marriage, had agreed they would continue to play together and have fun after marriage, not stop recreational activities as they had seen so many couples do. They believed that young married couples need recreation and fun just as much or more than sweethearts who are courting.

Quickie Questions

1. What do you think about Martha and Joe going to dances every two or three weeks?
2. Is recreation an essential part of well-balanced living? Discuss briefly.

Comments

  1. Given that only #2 is labeled “discuss briefly,” ought we to spend the majority of our time discussing what we think about Martha and Joe going to dances?

    I think it’s shameful. They’re probably round-dancing, and maybe even trading partners for a dance or two. Everyone knows what round dancing leads to- it’s almost as bad as roller skating. Martha and Joe already have two young children and if they want to space out their family in the Lord’s way, they need to avoid temptation.

  2. Yes, Ariel, but if they stayed at home all the time with their little family, it likely wouldn’t stay little for long.

  3. I’m appalled! Next time, Martha & Joe, at least get a baby sitter, or I’m calling CPS! And get some seat belts for the 55 Bel Air coupe, while you’re at it. Kids, these days….

  4. The other Brother Jones says:

    I sure hope it is not single adult dances! But really, where are these young married dances? Clearly they are not sponsored by the church. Are they gentile dances at local drinking estabishments? This is a complex issue that goes far beyond dancing and recreatioal activities!

  5. I don’t really get the whole story here. It says they were different “in many ways,” but doesn’t give us any indication of what the differences–other than dancing–were.

  6. “Is recreation an essential part of well-balanced living? Discuss briefly.”

    A leading question like that is sure to lead to a very brief discussion.

  7. Michael says:

    Harold B. Lee played the trombone in dance bands when growing up in Utah. We have to remember that public dances used to be good, wholesome entertainment, and not something so vile and disgusting that Mormons outside the Wasatch Front would need to shun by having regional Mormon Prom events.

    If a future President of the Church played in dance bands, it therefore follows that dance bands are an appropriate activity, and therefore dancing is virtuous, lovely, and of good report as well. Any big hotel (Hotel Utah, for example) would have a ballroom with regular bands/orchestras. So, while it might not be a “Church” dance, there would have been dances to attend.

  8. John Mansfield says:

    Howard W. Hunter played clarinet in a band, and when he married he put it away and became a lawyer. If a future President of the Church didn’t think such an activity appropriate for a married man, it therefore follows that dance bands are a juvenile activity.

  9. The other Brother Jones says:

    Michael,
    Thanks for your expert clarification. BUT… my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek. :)

  10. I think it would be more fun to take this sentence out of context:

    Some of their young married friends criticized them for they had two young children.

    Were they criticizing them for only having 2? I say, judge not, lest ye be judged!

    I had spent 2 years going to dances almost every week with friends from the ward. I met my wife at one. After we got married, we went a few times. (BYU has a few free-for-all dance events a year.) Now, we watch police/legal procedurals together. Dancing was more exercise, at least. =)

  11. Jacob M says:

    If they changed “Shouldn’t they stay home” to “Shouldn’t she stay home”, then I could agree that the family should be criticized.

  12. As long as Martha isn’t getting paid for her dancing, I think it is ok. But if she is getting paid for doing something while her kids are being babysat, then she is TEH EVIL.

  13. Is this before or after the church suggested couples should go on a date once a week?

    If it’s before then by golly their children should be getting the essence of child development gained from having mommy and daddy around 24/7 to ensure their every thought is entertained.

    If it’s after, I bet all that money they save from going to a dance instead of a restaurant really paid off when the guy went to dental/law/business school. Maybe the friends were more jealous of the fact Martha and Joe could eat than anything else.

  14. Scott, “different in many ways” is one of those biblical euphemisms that Barney is always bringing up.

  15. WVS,
    I gotcha. So this couple was into that stuff…

  16. Michael says:

    #9

    My tongue was pretty firmly planted in my cheek as well. It stems from knowing idiot missionaries who figured they could justify anything if they thought a General Authority had ever done it. And since it is incumbent upon us to live General Authority-like lives, we should strive to become lawyers, play in dance bands, marry multiple wives, and run to Mexico to escape prosecution.

  17. Being one of the few members of a young married couple that has been married for not-quite-three years, I feel uniquely qualified to chime in on this. I think it is absolutely shameful that Martha and Joe’s OTHER friends are not going to dances with them! That way, when they have to trade partners, they can trade them with people they know and trust!

    Regarding question two, I think the Family Proclamation makes this quite clear, and Joe and Martha’s friends need to stop counseling them in ways that are contrary to the word of the Lord.

  18. I think it is absolutely shameful that Martha and Joe’s OTHER friends are not going to dances with them! That way, when they have to trade partners, they can trade them with people they know and trust!

    -Alex T. Valencic,
    President – Bloggernacle Swingers Club

  19. StillConfused says:

    The question is How did Martha convince Joe to keep taking her dancing? She clearly has some skills.

  20. #19 – Martha is good at wholesome recreational activities.

  21. The other Brother Jones says:

    I went to a few dances before I got married. But no more!

  22. I thought the “Bloggernacle Swingers Club” was a whole other thing. If all they do is dance, then why were they banned from posting their ads on BCC?

    Also, if partner switching is going on at these dances, the men need to hold the girls with a hanky over their hands. Otherwise, they’re in danger of wiping the butter off someone else’s bread.

  23. 1957 was a time when another activity engaged in by young marrieds was for procreation only, and not considered recreational.

  24. Oh how I’ve missed the Thursday morning quickie!

  25. For young married couples, recreation is for the purpose of encouraging procreation.

  26. 23

    I think that was true until about 1982 or so, but I don’t know if it was officially renounced. I think it kind of faded away. And we were prohibited from certain activities on fast Sundays, so I heard in a talk in the early ’70’s.

  27. Greg J,
    That’s some serious fasting!

  28. 17 “Being one of the few members of a young married couple”

    Is this a grammatical error, or an admission of a polyamorous lifestyle??

    Alex, your comment is a big bucket of win!

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