The Encouragement of Marriage

by Howard Collett

The Lord has informed us that marriage is ordained of God unto man. The institution of marriage, in some communities of which we read, is falling almost into disrepute. It is alleged that there is a growing tendency in this direction among us. 

The cause is doubtless, traceable to the increase of wealth and the disinclination of young men to take upon them the burdens of a wife and family. As we depart from the simplicity of early days, we may naturally expect that this tendency will increase as young men may be restrained from offering marriage to young ladies unless they can give them something like as comfortable a home as they enjoy under their parents' roof. 

Extravagant or luxuriant habits or training on the part of the girls will also have the effect to deter young men from marrying. Care should be taken by every person of influence to counteract this tendency, and to set before the rising generation the advantages which follow well-arranged marriages. 

No community can prosper and maintain a high standard of morality where there is a large percentage of unmarried young men and young women. We should deplore the increase of such a class among us, and all honorable means should be used to prevent its existence. 

The young of both sexes should be taught that it is not necessary to happiness in marriage to be in the possession of wealth. In this country an industrious, economical married couple can soon surround themselves with all the conveniences and comforts essential to life and happiness. 

The satisfaction each will have in after years in the enjoyment of the fruits of their joint industry and thrift will amply repay them for any inconveniences or privations they may have been subjected to in the early days of their married life. The comforts thus accumulated will be doubly sweetened unto them by the recollection of their exertions in common to procure them. 

No rightly constituted and educated young woman will refuse an offer of marriage from a worthy, industrious young man for no other reason than that he is not able to surround her at first with the comforts which she may think she ought to have. Young men, who have a due share of the qualities which women esteem in a husband, need not be afraid that girls of that kind will refuse them, because they may not be well endowed with this world's goods. They will cheerfully bear their part of the burdens of life without repining when confident of the love and supporting and guiding hand of their husbands.

Excerpt from an epistle from President Wilford Woodruff to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 12 Oct 1887.