Follow God’s example
Take God’s approach to the Creation, for example. He knew what He wanted, and He took action to make it happen. He didn’t sit around believing everything would somehow work out just because He was righteous. He took action that brought about what He wanted.
Likewise, you can sit around and pretend the blessings you want will come simply because you’re righteous. Or you can follow God’s example and take action to create your best life.
Own your life
I love how the Creation starts the scriptural record. That placement reinforces the metaphor that story is for creating your best life. And anyone can follow God’s example to do just that.
God didn’t simply start creating. He worked from a plan requiring action. In so doing, God took responsibility for producing desired results. And He remained resolute in executing that plan. How is simply staying on the covenant path hoping your blessings come “when the time is right” working from an action plan? That choice places responsibility for how your life results in God’s hands. That’s not the example God set.
To follow God’s example, own your life. Don’t push responsibility for the results in your life to anyone else. You take responsibility for your results in your life. Every result you want in life comes by obedience to its respective principle (D&C 130:20-21). Only action produces results. So get your action plan together and start taking action.
Include the right people
Many LDS singles stop here. They just don’t know the specific actions they need to take in order to produce the result they desire. It’s hard to have a plan when you don’t know what to put in the plan.
Again, let’s “look to God and live” (Alma 37:47). God had helpers during the Creation. He gave them His vision of what He wanted, and then He worked with them as they together performed the Creation. God didn’t work alone and didn’t force anyone to do what He wanted. Instead, He exercised His influence and respected agency.
You shouldn’t go it alone, either. Make sure you include the right people in your action plan who’ll help you achieve your results. Of course, the most important helper in your plan should be the Lord. When you partner with Him, He can help you make more out of your life than you can without Him.
And there’s others you should consider. Family, friends, and Church leaders can provide valuable support along your journey. Especially helpful is an advocate, someone who provides counsel, support, and accountability for specific actions. Some will trust their bishop or a ministering brother or sister with that role. Others might look to a sibling or special friend. Still others might find that help in Joy in the Journey Radio, and we’re here for you if that’s your choice.
Do you see how just going through the motions of being righteous and waiting for the “right time” doesn’t match how God acts? Following His example of taking ownership, developing a plan, and then securing a team to work towards a common result will more likely produce the best life we all seek.
And yes, not everyone will be on board. Some people will disappoint you, but let’s again look to God’s example. He always respected agency. He never forced anyone to help Him achieve His plan. Instead, He chose to act in ways that would influence others positively in their choices. You can do likewise. As you achieve your potential by making needed changes in you, you can radiate an energy that will influence others positively in their choices.
So quit sitting on the sidelines and get in the game of life! You’ll never score any points unless you’re on the field. Don’t sit around pretending the blessings you want will come simply because you’re righteous. Follow God’s example, own your life, get your plan together, and take action to create your best life. When you take responsibility for your results and then take the right actions, you’ll get the right results. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
More church is not the answer
Early in the broadcast I got the feeling there was an elephant in the room no one was talking about. As time progressed, it seemed participants danced around the edge of that elephant while never wanting to go so much as near it with a 50-foot pole. And here’s all the answers they gave in just two words: more church. For LDS singles in pain, more church is not the answer.
Service should heal, not cover
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not against church. I’m just recognizing for anything in life there’s less effective thinking and more effective thinking. Often broadcast participants approached the more effective perspectives LDS singles need but then refused to go all in, opting instead to dance around the edges.
Here I am watching them approach a more effective perspective, cheering them on, shouting, “Yes! Yes! Now dive on in!” only to watch them sit on the dock, smile, and say, “Just stay on the covenant path. It’ll all work out!” It left me with the amplified mixed feelings cited earlier.
Take service, for example. Service is great, but service alone is not the answer. Yes, it’s true far too many singles are far too self absorbed. Your focus determines your reality, so if you’re super focused on your problem, you’re reality will be super problematic. When you focus on the obstacle, you create a reality of obstruction, limitation, and frustration.
Service can and should be part of the solution. But just going through the motions doesn’t flip your focus, and that’s what’s needed to flip your reality. The way many push service in counseling singles turns it into a bandage, and singles feeling pain want healing, not a bandage. It’s more effective to show how service can help solve the problem. But how do you do that when you won’t even go near the elephant in the room with a 50-foot pole?
Community should be felt, not just mentioned
The idea of community is another example of broadcast participants approaching a great idea and then just dancing on the edges. I love Sister Eubank in this broadcast because she speaks from a place of experience; she’s actually living LDS singles life. But even she seemed to stop short.
I was all giddy when early in the event Sister Eubank started talking about how she loves belonging to a community. “Yes!” I screamed. “Now dive in! Talk about how we need to create and grow that sense of community! Talk about personal ministries!”
But she didn’t dive in. She backed off, leaving me to wonder what if any sense of community I and many other LDS singles can expect with the other LDS singles who live where we do. Very often, that answer is none, further feeding my mixed feelings about the broadcast.
We need more effective thinking
I’m not trying to tear down. I extremely appreciate and celebrate the Church, which hasn’t done much for this specific demographic, for finally doing something more. I just wish they’d do something more effective and not just something more.
Certainly the broadcast touched multiples times on how singles can find more joy in their journey. But many singles won’t be helped by platitudes that simply dance around the edges of more effective thinking. By itself, more church is not the answer. We’ll dive deeper in the program today into all that.
The solutions we seek won’t come at the same level of thinking that produced our problems. We need higher, more effective thinking. Service and staying on the covenant path are certainly parts of that, but they won’t get singles far who don’t live with intention and take actions designed to encourage the results they want.
Happiness is giving your all to all the right things for you. When you partner with the Lord, He can show you all that’s right for you and support you in giving your all to that all. Doing that will bless your life and the lives of those you touch. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast 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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