Did Brigham Young really make a comment about unmarried men?

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

Brigham Young

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Question

Gramps,

“Men above the age of 25 and aren’t married are a menace to society” is a quote I hear a lot of members of the Church use. A lot of people say that Brigham Young said it. I can’t find anything about Brigham Young or any leaders in the Church ever saying something like this?  Is this a real quote or is it some weird rumor that members continue to spread?

Eric

 

Answer

Dear Eric,

I’ve never actually seen this quote either. Like you, I’ve heard others quote it, but never with an actual citation. I have, however, heard a similar sentiment expressed by George Q. Cannon.

 

“Our boys, when they arrive at years of maturity and can take earn of a wife, should get married, and there should not be a lot of young men growing up in our midst who ought to be, but are not married. While I do not make the remark to apply to individual cases, I am firmly of the opinion that a large number of unmarried men, over the age of twenty-four years, is a dangerous element in any community, and an element upon which society should look with a jealous eye. For every man knowing himself, knows how his fellow-man is constituted; and if men do not marry, they are too apt to do something worse. Then, brethren, encourage our young men to marry, and see that they are furnished employment, so that they can marry.” – George Q. Cannon, Annual Conference at Salt Lake City, Sunday morning, April 7, 1878. Reported by George F. Gibbs, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, p. 7.

 

I must admit it amazes me to see the contributions of Latter-day Saint culture to popular culture at large. For instance, before the young people popularized sharing motivational pictures on the Internet, we were encouraging our youth to do just that in our publications. And here we see a prime example of a quote getting mangled and misattributed, years before “Abraham Lincoln” “tweeted” any sort of nonsense on a computer. If we’re hearing words Brigham Young didn’t say in this Information Age, I think it won’t be long before we see him facepalming over our foolishness.

 

Gramps

  • A happily married man

    Frankly, I don’t see what’s the problem with getting married young. I actually consider it rather wise. I wish I could have married earlier myself, but it takes a lot of work to convince a young woman to marry you in this day and age.

    Unfortunately, the world is blaring its horn and telling so many women today, even in our church, they need this, this, and THIS before they can even entertain the idea of a marriage proposal. The men can be just as bad and whom often make the mistake of postponing marriage until AFTER they have their “career established” and are financially stable… which is all one big lie Satan uses us to get men and women into bad situations where they often break the law of chastity.

    I would rather my children marry young and struggle through life with their spouse, so they know exactly what kind of person they are married to and that they need to rely on them rather than marry someone who didn’t and will walk out on their marriage at the first sign of trouble.

    Plus, those single adults who CHOOSE not to get married and have children will never know what they are missing. Holding YOUR OWN (not someone else’s) little infant in your arms and knowing you are their protector gives great meaning in the life of a man.

    Money, a nice house, a sweet ride, an Xbox/Playstation, and free time to hang with your friends whenever you feel like it are fine and dandy, but you can’t take any of those things with you when you die.

    In the scriptures it says this:

    1 Corinthians 13:11

    “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

    In The Family: A Proclamation to the World it also states this:

    “…we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the CALAMITIES foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”

    It’s time for ALL men, regardless of whether they are in our church or not to buck up and be the fathers they were meant to be unless we want to summon the wrath of the almighty God down upon us. I, for one, don’t.

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