by Terri Wagner
I had the dubious honor of giving the FHE lesson for our little singles group. We are small in number, and mostly older women. After a few years, we decided to actually study the scriptures instead of pick-your-own lessons. I got Genesis Chapter 6 which is the big build up to the Flood. In preparing for the lesson, I learned a lot more than I guess I really wanted to. According to the LDS Old Testament Institute Manual, the wickedness front and center was the "sons of God marrying the daughters of men" and "the daughters of sons of God marrying the sons of men" and visa versa. In a nutshell no one was marrying in the covenant, and the children born from these marriages were not being raised in the gospel. President Joseph Felding Smith and President Spencer W. Kimball were very straight forward about this being a problem in our time as well.
This relates to Jacob from the Book of Mormon because he says in effect I don't wanna have to say this, but I'm gonna have to say this, and you aren't gonna like it, but here I go.
The reason I felt that way is because well frankly here in our little corner of the LDS world, the ratio of single men to single women is about 8 to 1. And most of the women in this group would prefer to be married. There are a few exceptions. So do they accept a lonely life in exchange for not marrying out of the covenant or do they accept a son of man to at least have companionship with??? It's tougher to figure out than you might think. I know of three women who married outside the church and three who married men who were baptized. All six are currently in very difficult circumstances. The two of the three who married non members are now less active with children who either are not or were not raised in the church. And those children lead the world's way of life. One married a non member much later in life, and has to make choices regarding callings and church meetings based on his requests. The other three married men who were baptized but apparently not converted as all three have left the church and yes took their families with them so to speak. One comes faithfully to church but is not allowed to participate much nor can her children participate beyond coming now and again. The heartache is huge. And I lost two friends that were my pillars of support in my early church years.
The Lord saw the torment of His children making unwise choices in marriage and how deeply it affected generations to come. The wickedness increased until eventually of course there was only Noah and his family. It was a hard lesson to give, because I know many of these single sisters, their story, and their loneliness. And I myself can be terribly lonely at times. None of us really want to be alone at times. I only could end on a positive note that while these things are true, it is also true that the Spirit can guide us in our choices about companionship. And sometimes a son of man can become with a bit of support a son of God. I've seen that happen too!!!