I’ve been thinking about the Church’s new videos regarding diversity. Although they spoke in more general terms, last week I praised the Brethren for highlighting an issue challenging many LDS singles. We should all be one in Christ.
Those musings have played in my mind. Just as the Brethren have generalized their message that applies to LDS singles fitting into the culture of the Church, so I have generalized my thinking to applications in my own life and that of the average LDS single.
I use that word average loosely. The LDS singles demographic is wildly diverse. Yet for all our differences, we’re considerably similar. We’re all children of a Heavenly Father Who loves us. We’ve all made covenants to keep His commandments. And most of us want to keep those covenants.
Most of us also want to make an additional covenant binding us eternally to a very special someone. Nevertheless, many of us decrease the likelihood of that event by not dedicating ourselves and our time appropriately.
A wake up call
We LDS singles often say we’ve prioritized making that next essential covenant. But have we really? What does what we do say? That’s the real determinant.
It’s so very easy for life to carry us along, but those who live their best life don’t just collide with the waves. They make waves of their own. A wave maker is far more attractive than a wave taker.
Yet too often we’re so absorbed in the moment we don’t see the forest from the trees. We need an occasional reminder to step back and re-calibrate. This is my wake up call. Let it be yours too.
Examining my life, I have to conclude marriage really isn’t my top priority. My top priority right now is my job. It has been since this summer. I completely understand how that happened, and I freely forgive myself for those choices. But now I need to choose differently to adopt my desired priorities.
The consumption problem
Work isn’t the only inordinate consumer of time. Many LDS singles fill their time with sports or games or media. These activities aren’t bad in and of themselves. In fact, in the proper context, these activities can be very good. The problem comes when we allow consumption to swallow too much of our time.
Modern society promotes consumption. Ours is a world of information overload delivered through a multitude of multimedia platforms. Social media and more traditional media outlets beckon us away from our normal worlds into a place promising ease and pleasure. And considering how hard we all work in that “normal world,” it’s hard to reject the siren song of consumption.
Yet how is the world better when everyone spends the bulk of their personal time consuming content? How much better are our lives because we’ve been absorbed with social media and playing games and watching movies and all the rest?
And for LDS singles, how much more attractive are you because you’ve spent all this time in consumption? Will that special someone really want to share your life filled with so many hours consuming content?
A personal ministry
No one’s really that attracted to someone doing little else than consume. Consumers spend their time taking, and constantly taking doesn’t build a strong foundation for any relationship, romantic or otherwise.
Conversely, producers spend their time making. They make the world a different place, if only in a small way. And if what they bring into the world adds to its goodness, that difference is a positive one. Someone actively bringing goodness into the world is far more attractive than someone actively bringing gratification to oneself. That first life appeals far more.
That’s what adopting a personal ministry can do for LDS singles. Find your own way to bring goodness into the world, an outlet through which you can release passionate creativity and make a positive difference in the lives of others. Consumers take, but producers make.
I could rationalize my job as an educator into my personal ministry. Education makes a positive difference in the lives of students. Yet I know my real personal ministry is developing this forum into a community where LDS singles can feel the support they need to journey on.
A personal ministry can do that for all of us. Consistently bringing goodness into the world will make us more attractive to the eternal companion we really need than anything else so oriented.
Like I said, this is my wake up call. Don’t be a consumer. Be a producer. Adopt a personal ministry today, or recommit yourself to yours if you already have one. We’ll have much more joy in our journey when we do.
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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