I have a friend in my medical school class. She is a Mormon. At the beginning of our 1st year she met a guy also a good Mormon and after a very short courtship, they got married. He, bless his heart, did not get into law school, and decided not to get a job that was not in his field. So he doesn’t have a job. My friend will be a doctor in a few years, so hopefully they will not live in poverty.
Does the Mormon Church think that it is ok for the man to take care of the home and family and the woman to bring home the bacon? I am by no means attacking the mormon church but from everything I have heard, the Mormons are very traditional so this would not be looked kindly upon by their elders.
From Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference talk “To the Fathers in Israel” Priesthood Session, October 4, 1987:
. . . First, you have a sacred responsibility to provide for the material needs of your family.*
The Lord clearly defined the roles of providing for and rearing a righteous posterity. In the beginning, Adam, not Eve, was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow.
The Apostle Paul counsels husbands and fathers, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim. 5:8).
. . . . .In a home where there is an able-bodied husband, he is expected to be the breadwinner. Sometimes we hear of husbands who, because of economic conditions, have lost their jobs and expect the wives to go out of the home and work, even though the husband is still capable of providing for his family. In these cases, we urge the husband to do all in his power to allow his wife to remain in the home caring for the children while he continues to provide for his family the best he can, even though the job he is able to secure may not be ideal and family budgeting may have to be tighter.
Also, the need for education or material things does not justify the postponing of children in order to keep the wife working as the breadwinner of the family.
. . . .“I know of no scriptures,” President Kimball continued, “where an authorization is given to young wives to withhold their families and go to work to put their husbands through school. There are thousands of husbands who have worked their own way through school and have reared families at the same time” (“Marriage Is Honorable,” in Speeches of the Year, 1973, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1974, p. 263).*
If there is any guidance which is more recent I can’t find it off the top of my head.
To be sure, the best of all situations is if both husband and wife agree that the mother stays at home to nurture their children. At one time a family could live one salary, but the reality is, it is hard to live on the $8-10/hr jobs of today, and may necessitate the mother working out of the home.
Yes we are traditional, and we are also practical. This kind of decision is up to individual couples to decide for them selves. Our leaders teach us sound principles, and leave us to govern ourselves in these kinds of matters
I can say that he is going to have a slight problem in preisthood interviews as, at least in our ward, the pressure is still on the man to be the bread-winner, but if it’s done out of necessity a simple explaination is usually enough.
Just advise him that he may have to have his answers handy when the Bishop calls him for an interview. (in every Bishops interview I’ve ever had one of the main questions is “Are you caring for your family?” )
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