Last week, I had to give a presentation in my SFL 100 class (it's on The Family: A Proclamation to the World though it's official title is "Strengthening Marriage and Family." It's probably the best class I've ever taken.) Anyway, it was one being single in the church. Interestingly, the church considers you a single adult if you are
over the age of 18, and if you have never been married, are divorced, or if you are widowed. So that's a pretty large group first of all.
So aside from that definition, what does it mean to be single? When your single, you don't have that one person whom you can rely on. You have to turn to your family or friends when pressing issues emerge or emotions of any sort swell within you. Which is not a bad thing, but sometimes it's good to just have someone there that will listen to all of your problems/frustrations/good news/whatevers. Anyway, I'm starting to stray from what I intended for this post.
For my part of the presentation I was supposed to focus on divorce and how to cope with that. However, being who I am, I read the wrong part (at first) and instead got all prepared to talk about being single in the Church. So I'll just talk about both here! (Since I didn't get to talk about being single in the Church for the presentation).
President Gordon B. Hinckley made a wonderful point about being single. He said,
Let us face the fact that in this life some of you will marry, some of you may not…For those who do not marry, this fact of life must be faced squarely. But continuous single status is not without opportunity, challenge, or generous recompense.
I shutter at the thought of never getting married. That would be absolutely terrifying for me, just because of how much I value family and children and marriage. However, if our whole life depended on whether or not we got married - well that would just be ridiculous! I know of many wonderful, deserving people that have yet to be married, and may not get married in this life. I think life is a journey, and marriage is a step along the way. It certainly has a different path and changes your journey, but that doesn't mean that you won't reach your final destination if you never have the opportunity to get married in this life. President Hinckley also stated,
To you single [members] . . . who wish to be married, I say this, ‘Do not give up hope. And do not give up trying. But do give up being obsessed with it. The chances are that if you forget about it and become anxiously engaged in other activities, the prospect will brighten immeasurably.
I love that he's emphasizes what we can to do to attain happiness as a single adult. I love his bluntness - "But do give up being obsessed with it." What great advice is that? Become anxiously engaged in other activities. Give your heart to the Lord, let service fill your life.
Something the author of the essay I read pointed out that “Being single is not an excuse to limit . . . development in gospel knowledge, obedience to commandments, or efforts to do good works.” Nothing should limit our development of gospel knowledge, our obedience to the commandments, or our efforts to do good works. Not even being single. I know that the prophets recognize the pain that comes from being single. At this point in my life, I know I'm very inexperienced to be writing about this kind of stuff, but I firmly believe that turning to the Lord in times of need is the absolute best thing you can do. It may not make you forget that you're not married, but at least you can realize you're not alone.
As I said earlier, I actually presented on Moving Forward after Divorce, and I didn't include a whole lot from the book (because it was just a personal essay). But something I did show the class was this wonderful video on hope. I love how President Utchdorf speaks on the Infinite Power of Hope, and I'll just include the video. I hope all six of you that read this enjoyed it :)