Stake and ward leaders as well the singles themselves all play a part in ministering more effectively to LDS singles. However, some local leaders are unwilling to change their thinking about how best to minister to LDS singles. Exercising patience with reluctant leaders follows the path the Savior marked.
While it may take years to realize, positive change inevitably awaits all who pursue it with diligence and patience. That may not appear apparent while traversing the path. Not able to see the end from the beginning, we can easily lose heart.
Other realities of LDS singles life can provide a similar view. Unable to see the end we desire after years of trying, we can feel to give up on ourselves and our righteous desires.
In such moments, we would do well to remember the Psalmist’s words: “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalms 37:4).
The eternal plan
Our Heavenly Father sent each of us to mortality so we could have growth experiences we couldn’t otherwise have. He never accepted this plan grudgingly. He embraces it because He wants to bless us more than we could possibly imagine.
Not seeing the end from the beginning, we can easily forget that truth. But we wouldn’t need to walk by faith if we could see everything. Exercising trust in the Lord is part of the necessary process we need to grow according to His plan.
We can more easily trust in the Lord when we delight in Him. If a righteous activity feels more like drudgery than delight, that’s a sign we need to change ourselves. To receive the glorious end, we must stay on the right path.
But we also need to maintain the right perspective. We must believe in order to receive. That means acting in faith, nothing doubting, that our righteous desires for this life are possible, irrespective of our past experiences. That belief comes easier when we delight in the Lord.
The parable of the strawberry jam
The greatest blessings always come according to (1) the Lord’s timetable and (2) our diligence in doing the right things for us.
As a boy, I spent some summers on my grandmother’s farm. Her homemade strawberry jam on homemade bread was delightful. But to get that delight, the strawberries first had to grow in the garden. Then I had to do the right things with the berries — pick them, clean them, and combine them with the right ingredients in the right amounts. Any deviation diminished the joy I experienced when that slather of strawberry jam entered my mouth.
Our road to eternal blessings is very much like that road to homemade strawberry jam. We must allow natural processes to take their course. Sometimes we need to grow before we’re ready to receive what we want. Sometimes others need to grow. Other times, we need to wait for the right person to cross our path. In any event, we need patience while the Lord works to bring us the opportunities for our blessings.
Once the time is right, we must do the right things. You don’t get jam in the garden; you get jam in the jar after doing the right things with the berries. Likewise, righteous blessings will never be ours unless we do the right things with the timely opportunities the Lord provides for us. That means more than just keeping the standards. It means doing what’s needful to get what we want.
Nearness to Him
We can know what those right things are for us when we partner with the Lord. He can reveal to us what we need to do to move ourselves closer to righteous blessings. That relationship can also provide the strength needed to walk by faith. It all comes more easily when we delight ourselves in Him.
Nephi understood what it meant to delight in the Lord. He wanted to be not just in the Lord’s presence but so close he’d be encircled “in the robe of [His] righteousness” (2 Nephi 4:33). Could Nephi have gained the strength to set the example he did because he delighted in the Lord?
We have many opportunities to near ourselves to the Lord and delight more in Him. General Conference is just around the corner. Prayer, fasting, scripture study, and temple attendance all provide opportunities to near ourselves to the Lord and delight in Him when we approach the activity with the proper attitude.
In any event, the Spirit can help us understand what right actions are best for us today. When we heed that still, small voice, we’re bound to have 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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