Quote of the Week

"I assure you that if you have to wait even until the next life to be blessed with a choice companion, God will surely compensate you."
President Ezra T. Benson, To the Single Adult Sisters of the Church, 1988.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How Can I Defend Marriage and Family When I'm Single?

We have just enjoyed another General Conference. Like many others, I was also a little shaken when five people stood during the sustaining of those we consider to be prophets, seers and revelators and shouted their dissent. I realize everyone has a right to their own opinions, but I think I speak for the majority of church members in my desire to stand up for our revered leaders declaring, “We Oppose your ‘Opposed!’”
Right back at-cha!
Noted and moving on.
The church is still true, our members are imperfect, but the gospel of Jesus Christ will always remain-steadfast and immovable.
It isn’t easy. Even for Old Maid Mormons like me who often feel like second-class citizens, listening to four separate and distinct talks delivered during the Saturday morning sessions, all focusing exclusively on the importance of heterosexual man-woman marriage, supporting our priesthood holders, the sacredness of human sexuality and family formation.
How can a forty-year old midsingle like me stand up and defend the Proclamation to the Family (given twenty years ago when I was just entering the young single adult scene) and follow the prophet’s call to increase our temple worship when I was never even asked to the temple, let alone my high school prom? Who would ever take me seriously? I’m a virgin who can’t drive.
How can I proclaim that marriage and family matters to me when I have no husband, home or family of my own?
How can I honor and sustain the priesthood when I have no worthy priesthood holder in my life?
I posted these very questions to my friends on a Facebook Group for LDS midsingles.
Their supportive and uplifting comments were wonderful. There are many singles who share my frustration, feeling like an “invisible saint” as we continue to wait patiently for our blessings. These faithful singles suggested a return to prayer, serving others and to not let myself feel inferior when the ideal is not my current reality.  
Frankly, I was told I needed to start looking at my situation in a different way.
  To begin with, there is hardly a shortage of worthy priesthood holders in my life: my bishop, brother-in-law, three younger brothers and my stepfather; all worthy and honorable priesthood holders that I can call, any time, for blessings of comfort and council.
Whatever humble structure you call home, even if you live by yourself, you can make it a place of safety, refuge and peace-like a temple.
Those people in your life you simply cannot live without: friends, nephews, siblings. They are your family and you are never alone.
Pray and study the scriptures. Find little ways to serve and make a difference.  
I struggle often with the question of continuing to live the law of chastity when isolation and loneliness are the only blessings I see.
A life free of guilt and shame are the real blessings that come from living this law. I have no reason to feel inferior. Continue to strive for the ideal and next time you feel like a second-class citizen for choosing celibacy, when the quick and easy path of cohabitation beckons, stop and say, “Opposed!”
 During his Sunday morning address, President Monson admonished us all to have a spirit of temple worship. My temple recommend expired years ago, due to my lack of motivation to attend, yet, as I listened to the voice of our beloved prophet, I discovered that spirit of temple worship continues to burn in my heart. The desire to believe and worship was there. Recalling the words of Alma, I would let this desire work in (me).
The best way to stand up and show our support for our beloved prophet is to encourage each other to study his latest words and follow his most recent council to seek the blessings of the temple.
Let’s keep our hearts open as to how we can be like that return missionary in President Monson’s talk who followed a quiet prompting and made a difference in someone’s life.
We can show our support for President Monson by increasing our spirit of temple worship and performing small acts of kindness.

For by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.


  1. My situation is a bit different from yours, so hopefully something in it might be helpful....it's interesting that you asked my perspective, because growing up, I had a hard time when the importance of families was brought up in church. My Mom passed away when I was little, then I was abused for ten years after. Having my own kids brought back my testimony of family, but I'd developed a serious case of PTSD. I loved my ex's family, but he was losing patience with my health issues and his temper got worse. We had to get a divorce, then after about two years of struggling to take care of my kids, I had to move in with roommates and my kids moved in with their dad and step mom. Despite that, I still felt strongly about families for several more years. This past two years, about, my PTSD symptoms have worsened as my doctor and therapist and I have been working through it (apparently that's normal). I have highs and lows and sometimes it seems like they'll never go away. I live far from my kids and my daughter is 13 now and struggles to want to talk on the phone, even if I can tell that she loves me.
    During the women's session a couple of weeks ago was the first time in years that I just didn't want to hear about family, and most of the talks centered on it. It was a horrible feeling, but on the other hand, I let myself cry and get angry and upset, and for over a week I let myself tell Heavenly Father that I didn't understand, yet again. He shows me my blessings and I feel His love frequently, but other time like this, it's hard. For me (personally) learning to be okay with my anger (when I don't take it out on others) has been a huge step in the right direction, ironically. There was a recent BYU Devotional that talked about this, actually. I'll send you a link if you'd like.
    My fears and anxieties when it comes to dating and marriage are sometimes different from those who have never been married, but my heart goes out to my single friends when they feel like there's something wrong with them. One of the things I feel jealous of (trying not to) is how often it seems like most of them get to visit with their families, spending weekends with them or evenings. I do have an amazing sister about half an hour away, but since I don't have a car, I don't get to see her often either. I know there are others with families who aren't close like these friends, but I guess I'm doing that thing where I compare the worst of my situation with the best of theirs.
    The temple is definitely helpful to me. Initiatories are particularly good for me right now because I need the quiet. I wish that I could work in the temple.
    I feel like I'm just rambling. I'm 43, if that helps. I'm in a ward full of singles in your situation! When my kids visit, they get a lot of adult attention lol. I have to focus on my blessings. When things get hard, I have to own up to my feelings instead of hoping they'll go away. I thought that I gave up on burying my feelings years ago, but I've found that it's not true. Also, Heavenly Father does want to hear from me, even/especially when I'm struggling.
    Hang in there!
    ((((hugs)))) ♥
    The devotional I mentioned was "Healing = Courage + Action + Grace" by Jonathan G. Sandberg
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C41bw3AyfE&list=PL4BF6F6BCFA62187E&index=27

  2. I realized that I missed the whole point of your post. :P lol

    I can defend the family, because I know what it's like when a family is broken. I know what it's like to have parents who are struggling and making huge mistakes, but are afraid to reach out for help and thus look bad to others. I also know what it's like to forgive them....to stand up to it, to have ups and downs. I know what it's like to wish that my family could have been one of those that worked out better. But I also don't want someone else's family. I love my own and I've learned from what I've been through. I know that Heavenly Father doesn't like to see us in pain from the problems that "dysfunctional families" (a term that's probably way overused, because no one really knows what it means anymore) cause. I also know what it's like to realize that it's okay to separate the good from the bad and be grateful for the good and not be afraid to say that what is bad is bad. I see how my kids have benefited from having a healthy, kind step mom, who is nevertheless imperfect like all of us.

    I mentioned this in my last post, but I see how my friends with loving (imperfect) families have been blessed, and I want that too. I hope and pray that my kids will have that. I hope that I'll get over my health problems. I feel optimistic, even if I get scared a lot of the time.