I’m not sure, but as much as Sister Eubank hit the nail on the head, I got a few more items of response in my own “letter” to a single sister.
Focus on what you have
Let’s start by deconstructing the question posed. Read the whole excerpt, and then read the second sentence. It’s pretty clear this sister thinks part of her purpose here in mortality is to have a family and raise a righteous posterity.
There’s nothing wrong per se with adopting that purpose, but there is a potential problem. Being single, this good sister doesn’t have that family or posterity. And when you focus on what you lack, you create a reality of lack, because your focus determines your reality. To create a reality of plenty, focus on your plenty. Focus on what you have.
Sister Eubank does an excellent job of pointing out some of what this sister has. Worthy of everyone’s consideration, here are some ideas:
Keep in mind that all of us have these and other opportunities all around us to bring goodness into the world and make a difference in someone else’s life. It all comes down to two words: personal ministry.
Adopt a personal ministry
Long time audience members should have expected those two words to appear sooner or later. How do you feel more purpose in life? You get a purpose, that’s how! A personal ministry provides that.
So many LDS singles have experiences mirroring that of our single sister friend. They feel empty and stunted in their growth because they’ve adopted the life plan our LDS culture gives them — get married when you’re young and raise a family. When that doesn’t happen, we live with the pain of unfulfilled expectations — that is, until we gain a new expectation.
That’s where a personal ministry comes into play. When you commit to bringing your unique contribution of goodness to the world, you adopt with it a new identity you can act on more fully. Working on your personal ministry can give you a sense of fulfillment and progression when you find discouragement in your dating journey.
Sister Eubank offered much of the same counsel using different words:
Partner with the Lord
There’s one more item I’d like to address. Our single sister friend said, “Family is such a big focus in the Church (as it should be), but when that blessing isn’t given to you, it can be challenging to know where you fit in.” I want to examine seven key words further — “when that blessing isn’t given to you.”
There’s a false assumption behind those words. Marriage is not a lottery in which some are blessed and others aren’t. Results come from action. Those who receive the blessing of marriage and family do so because they obeyed the law upon which that blessing is predicated (D&C 130:21).
Hard as it may be to accept, no matter where you are in your dating journey, you don’t progress without the requisite agreement. So if you’re still single, it’s because you don’t have the agreement you need to progress further.
How do you get the agreement you need? How do you get any agreement? You become more agreeable. You offer more value. That means looking inside yourself for the changes you need to make. Unfortunately, too many of us are looking outside of ourselves for the changes we need.
That can change when we partner with the Lord. He wants us to succeed and will help us when we turn to Him. Sister Eubank testified of the love the Lord has for all of us.
Indeed, the Lord is mindful of you and me. When we come to Him, give Him our pains and struggles, and take upon us our own personal ministry, we can be free of the negative emotional burden which so many LDS singles needlessly carry. And that will bring us more joy in our journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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