Some children bore simple, powerful testimonies in church on Sunday. Their innocence caused me to pause and reflect. I left with some strong impressions.
Take, for example, this gem: “I know that Jesus loves us and that we can all have a good time in our lives here on earth.” Here’s another: “I know Jesus can make us happy and not sad.”
Reflecting upon those testimonies led to questions. Do we LDS singles really believe that? Do we really believe our Savior can save us from sadness and bring happiness into our lives? Do we really believe “we can all have a good time in our lives here on earth”?
I’m not certain many of us do.
Many LDS singles aren’t very happy. Yet the truth is just as these children spoke it in all its glorious simplicity. Christ really can bring happiness into our lives and make them worth living, whether or not we have the eternal companion He is trying to bring us. But we must first believe before we receive.
Liken the gospel to you
Christ can rescue any of us from anything, including the unintended negative effects of our family-centered LDS subculture. He does this by changing our hearts so that we then change our minds to think in new and different ways.
When we think joy and meaning come only after romance enters our lives, we deny ourselves the joy and meaning Christ offers to every one of us --- today!
Christ loves us so much He died for us. He bled from every pore for us. Of course, active Latter-day Saints, single or married, believe that. But do you believe it personally?
Do you believe Christ died for you? Do you believe He bled from every pore for you? He did, but you must first believe the Atonement applies to you personally before it can take full effect in your life.
Nephi personalized the scriptures to gain “profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23). In like manner, we should personalize the restored gospel to ourselves. That means truly believing its application to you personally.
Shift your focus
That’s more than just passive belief or intellectual comprehension. That’s active belief that fills your life with joy and an emotional comprehension that fills your soul with hope.
And that’s a far cry from where many LDS singles live. They see the need to be married with kids in order to belong, and all of us want to belong. But not seeing the companion that provides that cultural marker of belonging, many LDS singles feel trapped in hopelessness.
Because your focus becomes your reality, focusing on what you lack produces a reality of lack and all the feelings of emptiness that go with it. But that same principle can work in the opposite direction. Change your focus, and you change your reality.
That shift in focus comes through faith in Jesus Christ that He loves you and therefore will prepare the way for you to receive your blessings, which He wants to give you.
And when you really believe, you’ll know He’s provided that way for you today and not in some distant future eternity.
Deep down many of us don’t really believe eternal companionship will ever be ours, or we believe it’ll come only after we die. That doesn’t mesh with believing Christ loves us as He does.
You can’t really, truly, believe Christ loves you enough to wrought His Atonement for you without also believing the logical conclusion from that truth --- that He loves you so much He wants to bless you now. Love for you so strong that He would bleed from every pore and die an excruciating death hanging from a cross by nails through the wrists isn’t some half-hearted desire to bless you only after you die. That’s desire to bless you right here and now --- today!
When you start believing that, you can let go of the “evidences” for why you can’t have eternal companionship and all the false notions many have about timing and embrace the truth of God’s love for you. And you won’t need to see the end from the beginning. You can let your faith carry you forward.
Christ extolled the faith of children. When we believe implicitly in the truth as a child does, we can indeed experience true core-of-the-soul joy --- not because we have a subcultural mark of belonging but because we embrace the Lord as the ultimate partner for our journey through mortality Who will lead us to everything we need, including eternal companionship.
Believe as a child does. Start believing in the application of the gospel to you personally, and start experiencing personally the blessings of joy and meaning God wants you to have today.
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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