“In the gospel view, all marriages should be eternal, and divorce should never enter the picture. But since all men—as a result of apostasy and iniquity—are not living (and in their present states cannot live) the full and perfect gospel law, the Lord permits divorce and allows the dissolution of the marriage union.” B.R. McConkie
I guess if we were all perfect, there would be no need for divorce. As long as we remain imperfect, we need divorce.
The divorce rate peaked in the late 70’s (according to a recent “Radio West” show on NPR…). The divorce rate has declined slowly since then, although it is still a prevalent and prominent family issue nationally. There is an erroneous statistic out there that half of all marriages end in divorce. (You can look that one up, because, again, I heard that myth busted on the Diane Rheim show.)
When I was really little, I didn’t know many people at church who got divorces. Little kids don’t often know what goes on in the adult world. Even when divorce was at its peak, there was still a stigma attached socially (not only in our Mormon culture). These days, while we still may hold certain prejudices against our least favorite member of the couple in question, there is less of a social stigma.
I don’t have much personal experience with divorce. My parents have been happily and successfully married for almost 35 years. I have been blessed with a marriage that is ridiculously easy and thoroughly enjoyable (almost to the point of guilt and sometimes embarrassment).
I think that divorce is sad, but sometimes, it’s necessary. Anyone who might have an experience being ostracized or excluded due to their own marital status or the status of their parents is a victim of personal prejudice and not official church policy, and that, too, is sad.
People change. Some people do complete 180’s. You never think it can happen to you, but it happens. You can never MAKE a person live the commandments or love you, but you can make sure that there are certain elements present in your marriage that would up your chances of staying together. If I weren’t so flu-ish I’d list them, but I’m no expert. I’m just lucky.