Jacob’s Temple Sermon

Last Sunday in Gospel Doctrine, we discussed Jacob chapters 1-3 in the Book of Mormon.  I noticed that Jacob says that his sermon in chapters 2-3 was given “in the temple” (1:17).  I looked through the sermon to see if perhaps that setting influenced the content of his message.  Jackpot.

Consider just the broadest outline of the address.  Jacob begins his sermon by telling the people that he was fulfilling his duty as a servant of the Lord (the “all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth,” he takes pains to note from the start, in 2:4) by bringing them an authorized message (2:2-11, especially verse 11).

The first major doctrinal topic that Jacob broaches, in 2:12-22, is the necessity of giving up our worldly gain and selfish desires for the good of others and the work of the Church.  Look at some of the Topical Guide subjects listed in those verses: almsgiving, generosity, welfare, worldliness, good works.  Jacob ties these themes of sacrifice in to a general command to obey the commandments (2:21), and, being the Book of Mormon, warns against pride.

Continue reading

The Real Reason the LDS Marriage Rate Is Going Down (Obviously)

It would be impossible not to notice how much LDS Church leadership has stepped up the message that young people should be getting married*.  Apparently, the rates of temple marriage and marriage in general have dropped off quite a bit for the 18-30 year-old young single adult set.  As marriage is a bedrock of LDS belief and lifestyle—highly correlated with church activity and with a host of positive social and financial gains—reemphasizing marriage as a goal makes sense for the Church. 

Some articles on the new trend (such as here and here) suggest that the marriage rate is falling because of a shift in priorities to focus on education, travel, and economic worries. 

But there must be a much larger underlying problem here which is undeniably obvious, but which it would be harder for us to admit and discuss publicly.  Continue reading