In response to my last post, 'Why No Single Bishops', my friend told me that you have to be a High Priest to be bishop. No one is a High Priest until he has taken all the temple covenants, including marriage. I suppose there is a doctrinal reason for this. Can someone explain it to me? It seems unnecessary. Because someone was not lucky enough to find a person to marry, and that excludes him from priesthood powers, is unjust. Unjust admittance requirements to the priesthood class have been changed before, so we know these rules are not necessarily eternal. Or, are they? Please tell me if I'm wrong, and why.
His second point was that most single men over 30 go inactive. So there is not a large pool from which to choose if they were allowed.
Maybe they wouldn't all go inactive if they didn't feel so excluded and marginalized. If the single men felt more significant, and were treated the same way the married men are, I'm guessing there would be more active single men. It's extremely difficult to be an adult in the real world, treated as an adult 6 days a week, and then go to church on Sunday to be treated as less than. When you're 35, and married 24-year-olds are shown more respect and given more power than you have, it can rub one raw. It makes church even more unpleasant and difficult for the singles.
Additionally, if more single men were active, there would be more men for the single women at church, and this could increase the rate of marriage. It's win-win for everyone to include single men in the high priesthood. I know church policies are supposed to be written by revelation and not reason. But, the church is also a cultural institution, out-dated practices like polygamy and institutional racism were eliminated. Marriage is no longer a given for all adults. Maybe some real changes are in order to recognize the current conditions of our society. A repair rather than a temporary band-aid.
Maybe it's sacrilegious of me to say this. But I think it needs saying out loud by someone. I'll take back my words if someone can explain the absolute doctrinal necessity of this exclusion. How does High Priesthood depend on the marriage covenant? And/or why is High Priesthood necessary for the bishop?