I love my family so much. I love them soooooo soooooo much. I can’t explain to you how much I love my wife and four kids. They really are the joy of my life.
I often wish I had more close friends, but close friendships are hard for me to maintain. But despite my lack of friends, I live a happy life, because my wife is my best friend, and my kids are my friends, too. We talk together and we play together and we spend time together. My family keeps me from being lonely.
I love coming home from work and seeing my young daughters run up to me. They’re so happy to see me! On numerous occasions, I’ve gotten home from work and my daughters have literally sang this song to me:
“I’m so glad when Daddy comes home,
Glad as I can be.
Clap my hands and shout for joy,
Then climb upon his knee,
Put my arms around his neck,
Hug him tight like this,
Pat his cheeks, then give him what?
A great big kiss.”
And they hug me and kiss me! It’s the sweetest thing in the world. If I’ve had a stressful day at work, or if I’m feeling like a loser because I don’t make enough money or I haven’t achieved enough in my life, and then my daughters sing me that song, well, it makes me feel swell.
And I love my wife! She’s hardworking, beautiful, friendly, self-sacrificial, and Christlike! I’m so blessed to have her in my life. I don’t deserve her. I’m not entitled to her. I realize that our marriage takes effort. I’m going to do what I can to make sure that our marriage lasts for the rest of our lives. My wife and I got sealed in the temple, so maybe that means our marriage is eternal. I don’t know. (What happens in the afterlife is so out of my range of thinking. I believe that the next world will be better than this world… but maybe it won’t be. I guess the next world will be much worse for really really bad sinners, but… really have no idea… and I’m okay with that.)
So I often think to myself: where did my family come from? How did I get my family?
And the answer is: I got my family from religion.
I don’t think I’m naturally the type of guy to settle down. I’m not naturally inclined to be faithful to one woman. Pornography tempts me.
Men, and maybe women, are not naturally monogamous. There’s a book called Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships. Have you heard of it? I haven’t read it, but my agnostic sister read it and she recommended it to me. Basically the thesis of the book is that we evolved as a human species to have lots of sex with lots of different people. The book argues that monogamy is a relatively recent phenomenon, and that it usually doesn’t work out very well.
I don’t need a book to tell me that I want to have lots of sex with lots of different people. That’s something I’ve known since I was a sexually-frustrated teenager.
I wrote a poem about what happens sometimes when I see a pretty lady:
Don’t get me wrong, babe.
I don’t go looking for beautiful women
to look at. It’s not like
I bring binoculars to the beach.
But if I happen to see
a foxy woman, and she’s
weighing mushrooms or feeling cucumbers
when I’m shopping at the store,
well then, yes, I confess,
I want to look some more.
I’m not a sexual deviant. I’m normal. I’m natural. I’m acknowledging the truth that men have natural desires to spread their seed all over the planet.
But what does the Book of Mormon teach about being “natural”? Mosiah 3:19. “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putters off the natural man, and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord…”
Sexual desires need to be curtailed, or civilization would collapse. Can you imagine what the world would be like if all the adults were having orgies all the time?
Close your eyes and imagine orgies. (OK, now stop imagining orgies! Now you’re sinning in your mind!)
But really, what would happen if everyone acted on their extra-marital lustful desires? First of all, we’d all have sexually transmitted diseases. Second of all, most traditional families wouldn’t survive. Kids would cry. Third of all, it would be hard to tell what kid belonged to who.
So, we need religion to discipline ourselves. Our sexual desires need to be conquered. It’s a tough fight, but it’s a fight that needs to be waged.
The Church taught me that I shouldn’t have sex until I was married. I really really wanted to have sex, so… I got married. After I got married, I had sex, which produced children. I’ve been married for 11 years now, and I have four kids, and let me tell you: it’s awesome. Families are awesome. Families are what life is all about.
So, even though Joseph Smith exaggerated a lot, I’m staying LDS for the sixty-ninth reason: The Church Gave Me My Family.
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