Thursday, November 17, 2011

Marriage Rights

[This post has nothing to do with the Same-sex marriage debate.]

On Wednesday evenings, I go to a Bible Study with my roommate and a few other friends. We all go to different churches, so I think our conversations are always really insightful.

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with girl there. I had made a joke about how my roommate had been dating his girlfriend long enough and that it was time for him to get married. Since my roommate is only 25, she said that he was way to young to get married, to which I replied that more than half of my friends were married by 25.

What then followed was a pretty standard conversation that I have sometimes about how Mormons tend to marry younger due to cultural factors that stem from theological roots. As I was explaining the idea that marriage is an important part of the purpose of our existence on Earth, she brought up the point that she didn't feel like marriage was for everyone; she thought that marriage was a gift that a person might be lucky enough to be granted in life.

She then asked the question: "So do you think that marriage is a right?"

The question made me double-take a little. On one hand, I feel a little funny calling it a right since there are two people involved. On the other hand, there are all those statements about how if we don't have the opportunity to marry in this life, then we will not have those blessing denied us in the next. If we are promised something, do we have a right to it? She even asked the question, "So if you don't get married, does the church just arrange a marriage for you?" to which the answer is no... sort of. I guess we don't know the mechanism by which we are miraculously assigned a spouse in the next life (if that is in fact what happens), but this conversation got me thinking about how I think about marriage and how it is viewed in the Church.