Some say returning from a mission is ending a fast of women. Indeed, the missionary has no romantic feelings, he is at war, and must focus lest he lose the battle. Some suggest that a man must not quickly marry like a man fasting thinks highly of simple bread & cheese, but should wait for the banquet. But has not the Lord counseled us to live simply? The fast is to be oft, and we are to live in humility. We should seek a partner who is humble and contrite toward the Lord, rather than a woman schooled in the ways of the world.
Some say wait a while after a mission before you make decisions since you’re up on a higher plane and not yet in the ‘reality’ of day in and day out life. I say this is the opposite of what we should do. Use the holy inertia to propel you forward. You’ve been counseled to have a ‘sense of urgency’ while on your mission, well, why stop when you get home? Why dabble around waiting for the adversary to beat you down before you make something out of your life? Instead, find someone who feels like you do about the gospel, marry that person, and work together quickly to build the kingdom of God. The D&C says that every idle word will need to be accounted for in the final judgement. Why are you wasting time? Why suffer yourself to enter temptation? Why not act on your zeal and make a righteous choice today while you have the strength of will to do it, rather than waiting around until the love of money or the lust of the flesh sneaks into your soul from the Babylonian society we live in? No, instead, act on promptings from the Lord to create your family. And remember, there’s no “one right person” for someone; President Spencer W Kimball and others have taught that any 2 people can be compatible if they are living the gospel. President Dieter F Uchtdorf taught that though his wife is the love of his life, she is not the only person with whom he could have been happy. This makes sense. To think that there’s one domino person you need to marry or the whole equation of the salvation of the human race gets foiled is such folly, the Lord wouldn’t leave our souls up to chance like that. The Lord will provide a spouse for you, act on that opportunity. If you keep rejecting opportunities from the Lord, he may give them less frequently. President Thomas S Monson spoke of how looking back on his life he wished he would have married his wife sooner. He waited a few years after meeting her to marry her, and this he lamented. Married life is happy life. Perhaps this is why we call it marriage: merry-age.
Then come the children. One institute teacher I admire introduced himself and his family by saying ‘my wife and I decided we were going to have 12 children and we weren’t going to wait around about it.’ Well he did have his 12 children, and they pulled it off before health issues robbed them of the ability to have more children. It’s odd that the suggested age for child bearing these days is quite near the age of infertility, as though it were a last ditch effort, left up to chance as to whether it would even happen at all. Those of us with a handful of children couldn’t possibly imagine life without some of them. President Russel M Nelson says that if he waited until he could afford it to have children, half of his 9 wouldn’t have ever been born. If you’re waiting around to become a better parent before you become a parent, any parent would tell you that a month of actually being a parent gives more training than a year of reading or studying the subject, or even of babysitting other people’s kids. For a great recent (2011) discourse on not letting school or money postpone your childbearing, see “Children” by Elder Neal L Anderson. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/children?lang=eng)
Have not the living prophets declared that the coming of the Lord is neigh? Why should we linger in the valley of sorrow? Why not be brave and seek and accept opportunities to continue in HOLINESS TO THE LORD! The family setting (including marriage and child bearing) is the ideal setting for everything, including finding yourself, perusing your hobbies, enjoying time with your friends, learning to manage finance, getting an education, learning charity, and every other good thing you can do with your life. There are other topics in which we should act in quick zeal such as formal education, career development, gospel scholarship, family history research, but I emphasize making family creation a priority because it is the foundation for everything else. Put creating a Christ centered family first, and everything else will fit perfectly in its place.