Thursday Morning Quickie #14

[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 7

What Is Love?

DURING World War II a young man-we shall call him John was stationed at one of the army centers in the South. In his native Utah he had gone with several different girls and with one in particular. They had talked some of getting married in about a year. One Saturday evening he was chatting with a couple of buddies on a street corner and two girls came up and started talking to one of the boys whom they knew. The girls were introduced to the others and they chatted and joked with each other for awhile. Then they all decided to go to a show. After the show the young man from Utah accompanied one of the girls to her home. They spent about an hour at her doorstep talking before he left. When he returned to his barracks he woke up his closest friend and said, “Gee, Jim, I’m in love.” Jim was half asleep, and replied, “Oh, you’re only kidding; go back to sleep.” John said, “Quit joking; I know I’m in love,” and he spent most of the night thinking about “this wonderful girl he had met.” Within the next three or four weeks, whenever he was free from duty, they spent the time together and within five weeks they were married. Both had told their friends that they were positive they were deeply in love with each other. But were they? Three months later the girl sued for divorce and both of them admitted that their attachment had been strictly a physical infatuation. They had practically nothing in common and no basis for a real love relationship.

Quickie Questions

1. How might the above couple have found out whether they were really in love?
2. What do you think love is?
3. What are some indications that people are in love?


Thursday Morning Quickie #14


  1. I had nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with this incident.

    1. They could have both transferred to BYU and compared their courtship to what goes on there.

    2. Love is warm puppies.

    3. Joint bank accounts.

  2. Finally! A M-Gleaner lesson with some reality/value!

  3. esodhiambo says:

    Clearly, the young man could not actually be in love with a girl from the South. Utahns should stick to Utahns.

  4. John Mansfield says:

    It would pep this story up if it included some conflict with the captain and maybe a knife fight to avenge Jim’s death.

  5. It’s true. We Southern folk are too full of life to be appropriate mates for Utahns. Sorry Mrs. John C.

  6. living in zion says:

    They could have taken the moral of this story so, so much further! I am disappointed, actually. Two obvious endings would be ” The girl discovered she was pregnant with his child the day the divorce papers were filed, and poor stupid John was on the hook for the rest of his life.” OR “To his horror, John was informed he had contracted a sexually transmitted disease from his beloved infatuation. It had no cure, and for the rest of his life he was required by law to inform every sexual partner of his disease. He became the town leper, everyone knew he was ‘unclean’.

    Either way, a young man would think twice about running off with the first girl he dated.

  7. Jennifer in GA says:

    Huh. This could almost be the story of me and my husband’s courtship, except he was from Arizona and we’ve been married for almost 14 years.

  8. oudenos says:

    “In his native Utah he had gone with several different girls and with one in particular. ”

    Where? Where did he go?

  9. Love Is is a comic strip about two naked 8 year-olds that are married.

  10. 1. Ask their bishop
    2. A teddy bear holding a heart
    3. Giving one another a teddy bear holding a heart. Also, general randiness.

  11. 1. Moe’s Love Tester, or some other love testing machine commonly found in a bar or amusement park.

    2. Never having to say you’re sorry.

    3. A resultant pregnancy.

  12. This is the story that inspired the Howard Jones song.

  13. jimbob,

    #2 made me spit my breakfast
    and #3 made me aspirate the rest.

    Thank you

  14. 1. How might the above couple have found out whether they were really in love?

    They found out by getting married.

    2. What do you think love is?

    1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of love

    3. What are some indications that people are in love?

    Their brains will consistently release a certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin, which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain’s pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement.

  15. The Other Brother Jones says:

    It’s all the Army’s fault! After all that time with the guys in the barracks, the first girl that comes along looks great!
    The girls in turn fall for any guy in uniform that so much as looks at them.
    Never get married while in boot camp!

  16. Haddaway says:

    Baby, don’t hurt me,
    don’t hurt me
    no more.

  17. >After the show the young man from Utah accompanied one of the girls to her home. They spent about an hour at her doorstep talking before he left.<

    Perhaps they were "talking" at her doorstep.

  18. StillConfused says:

    1. How might the above couple have found out whether they were really in love?
    Check their astrological forecast; ask their best friends; take a neighborhood poll — you know, how it is done at BYU
    2. What do you think love is?
    The willingness to hold the other one’s head while he/she is vomiting in the toilet
    3. What are some indications that people are in love? Certainly NOT joint bank accounts — that is just crazy. Signs of in love are things like popping each other’s back zits and doing the infamous booger-check before going in to church

  19. Moniker Challenged says:

    Reading these and wanting to smash my head against any available surface makes me have a little more compassion for the people who distilled what they “learned” from them. And tried and are still trying to teach it to me. While I evaluate the pros and cons of smashing my head against any available surface. They were tainted as youngsters, I tell myself. They can’t help it.

  20. Haddaway: I appreciate the reference!

    I think I’ve had this exact relationship, except for the marriage part. She ended up leaving the church and becoming a Wiccan.

    My definition of love that works for me is that you care more for the other person’s happiness than your own.

    (Uh oh. Have my own bank account still after 14 years of marriage.)

  21. Moniker Challenged says:

    Oh, and

    1- If they wanted to have sex, they were both Mormon, and he was an RM. Also, upcoming wedding expo/bridal fair.

    2- Not getting bored. Or at least not often.

    3- The semester is about to end. Also, ridiculous phone bills (well, I guess that worked before unlimited everything plans).

  22. Norbert says:


    2. a battlefield

    3. if they eat spaghetti, and they end up with the same strand, well…

  23. (22)
    Pat Benatar reference takes the prize. I had almost given up hope after not seeing 21 responses without it.

  24. 23
    how did you not see the other 21 responses?

  25. What is it with kids from Utah who want to get married after knowing someone for five weeks (or a night of roller skating)?

  26. I believe marriage meant opting out of M-Men/Gleaners so, yeah, I see the pull.

  27. jjohnsen says:

    This happened to two of my companions on my mission. A few dinner dates was all it took for them to know they were in love and had found their eternal mate. One left his mission early to be with her. It really pissed me off with one family because we were no longer allowed to eat there and the mother cooked the best shrimp lo mein.

  28. 1. spent Christmas with each others’ extended families
    2. jimbob stole mine
    3. if you really don’t care if they’ve puked in your car

    *john c. – I think happiness is a warm puppy…

  29. Kathryn Lynard Soper says:

    Or, depending on the day, a warm gun.

  30. Kevin Barney says:

    They should substitute BYU or BYUI and teach this lesson to every youth in the Church.

  31. The Other Brother Jones says:

    Young people should live away from home for a while before getting married. Gives them time to mature so you don’t fall fall for the first chick/stud who bats her eyelashes / flexes his bicep. You need to date several people and have your heart broken a couple of times. more experience == more maturity.

    Older folks should also move away from home, but if they really need that advice, then…well….what can you do?

  32. 1) If the man is willing to bear the net average $21,400 loss marriage entails for men, then there’s a good chance it’s love.

    2) High expected utility.

    3) Significant sacrifice of resources, in the form of gifts, time, and other similar outlays.

  33. mellifera says:

    You know, it’s funny how the mythology of the 1950’s family-stability golden days just isn’t borne out by stats.

    Oddly enough, leave it to M-Men/Gleaners to tell the truth about this era of rapid wartime marriages breaking up left and right.

  34. If she didn’t change her name, she really didn’t love him.

  35. Love is . . . . . on the way, I can see it in your eyes, let’s give it one more try tonight.


  36. what the Morning Quickies don’t tell you . . .

    and then he died in the Bataan death march, and she had to raise their child cleaning rich people’s decaying Southern plantations, and their marriage became suffused with a Nora Ephronesque glow, after all . . .

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