Many people complain about our focus on the nuclear family and different gender roles, because so many Latter-day Saints find themselves in situations where that ideal seems unreachable. Single parents, death of loved ones, same-sex attraction, divorce, never finding someone to marry, loss of a job, health problems, financial problems, etc. etc.

I found this quote today by Carl Schurz (in a talk by Spencer W. Kimball) that gives an interesting take on the issue: ‎”Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny.”

I like this quote because it speaks the virtues of idealism—idealism is not the presumption that all pragmatic and practical constraints should be ignored, or even that we ourselves will be able to tangible reach the ideals we set for ourselves, but that the ideal should nonetheless always and ever be the template for which we strive. In other words, we should have ideals—and hold them as ideals—even though many, if not even most, of us are unable to personally attain it.

Food for thought.