Teachings on not Postponing Marriage or Children for Education

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"Marriage is Honorable" - Spencer W. Kimball - BYU Speech


Marriage is part of a normal life sequence.  Missionaries should begin to think marriage when they return from their missions, to begin to get acquainted with many young women so that they will have a better basis for selection of a life's companion, and when the times comes, they should marry in the holy temple and have their families, and complete their education, establish themselves in a profitable and rewarding occupation, and give themselves to their families, the gospel, and the Church.

Marriage should not defer to education.  For a young man to get his mission two years and then four to six to eight years of university training, the way must look long and forbidding.

When the times demand highly trained people; when keen competition requires extended education; when ambition and desire push one toward multiple degrees; when family and friends expect great accomplishment; when the wealth and renown of those who have become highly trained loom haughtily up before the beginner, it must indeed take a stout heart to let wisdom and propriety rule.

This often brings a rather natural, but not always justified, delay and postponement of marriage and there seems to be an increasing number who abandon the idea of marriage.

There will be many excuses, of course:  "I could not support a wife and go to college." "I could not have children and maintain myself in school." "I thought it would be proper to wait a few years for my marriage and my children."  What the Lord will say to these excuses we can only imagine.  We are sure he will at least say, "You have not placed first things first."

Book:  Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball  


God has a timetable—a sequence or season for good things.  A mission, when its time has arrived, takes priority over marriage and education.  And when one is mature enough and has found the right companion, marriage should not be delayed for education.  While all three—mission, marriage, and 
education—are essential, there is a proper order to follow.

("In His Steps" - Church Educational System Devotional, Anaheim, California, 8 February 1987) and BYU Dev. March 4, 1979

Also, the need for education or material things does not justify the postponing of children in order to keep the wife working as the breadwinner in the family. 

I remember the counsel of our beloved prophet Spencer W. Kimball to married students. 

He said:  "I have told tens of thousands of young folks that when they marry they should not wait for children until they have finished their schooling and financial desires . . . they should live together normally and let children come . . . I know of no scripture where an authorization is given to young wives to withhold their families and go to work to put their husbands through school. 

There are thousands of husbands who have worked their own way through school and have reared families at the same tame."

"Marriage Is Honorable" - Spencer W. Kimball - BYU Speech Sept. 30, 1973