Querida familia y otros amigos,
I've had a few thoughts in recent weeks that have led me to a testimony of this phrase from the scriptures: "And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that man should be alone" (Moses 3:18). I think this applies to both men and women, but especially to men!
My Dad has mentioned that right before meeting my Mom, he was freaking out about not ever getting married. He turned 24 a few days before the wedding. To me, that seems like a decent age to get married. Most of the guys I associate with or date are around that age. (Actually, most of them are older, haha. I haven't been on a date with someone my age since my freshman year of college!) The General Authorities have real concerns about the RMs of the Church delaying marriage because it's a real thing!
My thought was as follow: Do these guys ever get tired of going home to a bunch of roommates? A lot of them are graduates and have careers. Do they ever feel like they should be going home to a wife and kid(s) instead of other, single 20-somethings? Because sometimes I go home from work and make myself dinner and feel lonely--as if I should be making dinner for two. (Sorry if that was cheesy.)
Anyway, I know that some of them are earnestly striving to get married. Others, however, have become too comfortable with the bachelor lifestyle and/or are too picky. Even Elder Holland was a work-in-progress when he got married! (Though he's nearly perfect now...just sayin.)
I went to a Padres baseball game while in San Diego with my parents. Throughout the game, they kept showing people on the jumbo-tron. And of course, once the people on the screen saw themselves, they would freak out or kiss or whatever. I started to notice a trend with the men who showed up on the screen. They were typically in one of two categories: Some of the men were there with "the guys." They were almost always drinking and would hold up their budlight to show it off to the jumbo-tron. To be honest, they looked like real idiots. The other men were at the game with a wife/girlfriend and kids. These men looked sober and happy! They were truly enjoying the game and the people they were with!
Of course this isn't exhaustive research...just some observations I made. I came to the conclusion that men need families to ground them. Not because they're wild animals and they can't control themselves, but something about patriarchal service makes them better. And like I said, they looked much happier. The kind of happy that alcohol can't offer!
This thought is for both men and women. I heard a great quote about Adam and Eve from Elder Pace: "Adam's ability to obtain the purification necessary to get back into the presence of God was dependent upon his continuous association with Eve." I have come to the understanding that developing Christlike attributes requires spending time with other people. Patience, love and charity, humility, virtue, etc. are all formed as we have meaningful experiences with the Lord, family members, friends, and other acquaintances.
I think back to my mission. I had a few hours every morning to study the Gospel. Though I cherished that time, I recognize that most of my growth came from leaving the apartment and truly living the Gospel. Of course God wants us to read His word! But I don't believe that he expects us to spend all day every day just reading. The scriptures are full of verbs! Part of living the Gospel joyfully is actually living. It is not good that man (or woman) should be alone because we need each other to refine those Christlike attributes that are necessary for a Celestial life.