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Young People

We say to our young people, get married, and marry aright. Marry in the faith, and let the ceremony be performed in the place God has appointed. Live so that you may be worthy of this blessing. If, however, obstacles, not at present removable, prevent this most perfect form of marriage, have your bishop perform the ceremony, and then, at the earliest possible moment, go to the temple. But do not marry those out of the Church, as such unions almost invariably lead to unhappiness and quarrels and often finally to separation. Besides, they are not pleasing in the sight of heaven. The believer and unbeliever should not be yoked together, for sooner or later, in time or in eternity, they must be divided again.

Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 275.)

Some people feel that it does not make very much difference whether a girl marries a man in the Church, full of the faith of the Gospel, or an unbeliever. Some of our young people have married outside of the Church, but very few of those who have done it have failed to come to grief. I would like to see Latter-day Saint men marry Latter-day Saint women, and Methodists marry Methodists, Catholics marry Catholics, and Presbyterians marry Presbyterians, and so on to the limit. Let them keep within the pale of their own faith and church. There is nothing that I can think of, in a religious way, that would grieve me more intensely than to see one of my boys marry an unbelieving girl, or one of my girls marry an unbelieving man. While I live, and they will hearken to my voice, you can depend upon it, none of them will ever do it, and I would to God that every father in Israel saw it just as I do, and would carry it out just as I intend to do.

Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 279.)

Among the letters to the editor of the Church Section one came a short time ago which read in part as follows: "Recently you had a very good editorial against mixed marriages, but it did not click with our teen-age children insofar as going with nonmembers is concerned. Their answer is to the effect that they are not going to get married now or soon. Why shouldn't they have a good time going with anyone that happens to attract them? Besides these nonmembers are nice boys and girls and lots of fun. Surely they intend to marry Latter-day Saints, but why shouldn't they date with outsiders now? . . ." Think about it for a moment. Did you ever hear of anyone marrying a stranger? Do you know anyone who married someone not included in his circle of friends? How does courtship proceed? Do you "pop the question" to someone you hardly know, or do you "investigate" by a series of dates and parties? The people you go with form your circle of friends. Those friendships develop into the more serious associations. It is folly to say that you do not marry those with whom you are best acquainted. . . . Young people usually will take the verdict of statistics. The statistics published by our own Church, the Catholic Church, and some Protestant churches, to say nothing of the large number of divorce courts and other official records, argue against marrying a person of a different religious faith. If you want happiness in marriage, the statistics say, marry within your own faith, regardless of what that faith is. That is also the word of the Lord. He gave it anciently, and his servants in our day give similar instructions.

Mark E. Peterson (Your Faith and You, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1963, pp. 276-77.)

Marriage, to be successful, should be based upon a meeting of the minds, not only in love and romance, but in the practical, day-by-day things, in our attitudes, our reactions. Black must be black, and white must be white to both boy and girl if they would see eye to eye. "Can two walk together except they be agreed?"- asked the ancient prophet. When the Lord gave advice to ancient Israel, he counseled them to marry those who believed as they did themselves, not unbelievers, or confusion would result. When boy meets girl today, these same fundamentals must be reckoned with. The thrill of a date is not conclusive. Before a serious step is taken, each should know fully the background, home training, and innermost thought of the other. Can they hope for marital harmony "except they be agreed?"

Mark E. Peterson (Your Faith and You, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1963, pp. 3-4.)

Be careful, O ye mothers in Israel, and do not teach your daughters in the future, as many of them have been taught, to marry out of Israel. Woe to you who do it, you lose your crowns as sure as God lives. What was the cause of the first, or one of the first, curses that came upon Israel? I will tell you. One of the first transgressions of the family called Israel, was their going to other families or other nations to select partners. This was one of the great mistakes made by the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for they would go and marry with other families, although the Lord had forbidden them to do so, and had given them a very strict and stringent law on the subject. He commanded them not to marry among the Gentiles, but they did and would do it. Inasmuch as they would not do what he required of them, then he gave them what I call a portion of the law of carnal commandments. This law told them whom they might and whom they might not marry. It was referred to by the Savior and his Apostles, and it was a grievous yoke to place on the necks of any people, but as the children of this family would run after Babylon, and after the pride and the vanity and evils of the world, and seek to introduce them into Israel, the Lord saw fit to place this burden upon them. How is it with you, sisters? Do you distinguish between a man of God and a man of the world? It is one of the strangest things that happens in my existence, to think that any man or woman can love a being that will not receive the truth of heaven. The love this Gospel produces is far above the love of women, it is the love of God, the love of eternity, of eternal lives.

Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., Liverpool, England: Albert Carrington and others, 1853-1886, 16:111, 8:199.)