Although Elder Pingree does not confine his remarks to singles, engaging a personal ministry can fill LDS singles with strength to face their challenges. God has given every one of us gifts to help us with the divine assignments that comprise our personal ministry. Great joy awaits those who embrace those gifts to assist God in His work.
Discover your gifts
It’s OK if you don’t know what your gifts are. Discovering them is part of the process of embracing them. Through the work discovery requires, you’ll become more endeared to your gifts and can more fully appreciate them.
I love Elder Pingree’s counsel to “approach decision points in our lives—like what to study, what to do for work, or where to live—in the context of helping others.” Such an outward focus aligns well with the support network LDS singles groups should be. More importantly, this approach follows the Savior’s example.
A priesthood holder giving a blessing never places his hands on his own head. Rather he places his hands only on the heads of others. That’s because the priesthood is all about serving others. This is how the Savior fulfilled His personal ministry. And it’s how we can fulfill ours as well.
Elder Pingree taught,
Partnering with the Lord can help us discover our gifts and then develop them.
We’ve all heard adversity has positive benefits. One such benefit is help in discovering our gifts. Experiencing our adversity gives us knowledge obtainable only through that experience. That knowledge gives us opportunity to help others who experience similar adversity in their lives.
Elder Pingree told the story of a human resources professional who was laid off. This man started his own company aimed at helping others find employment. In this way he used his experience to serve others. And in the process, he found a more meaningful career for himself.
That story reflects my own in developing this forum. A woman I asked out brushed me off without really getting to know me. After almost 20 years of that treatment, I decided to start a blog on 12/12/12 that could help others.
What started as a simple release valve has grown into so much more. Although the lack of comments to these blog posts suggests otherwise, hundreds of LDS singles have been helped to meet their challenges with faith in the Lord and hope for their future. One such single whom I called Lydia expressed special appreciation for that help.
Many more LDS singles will be helped. Next year, Joy in the Journey Radio goes live with a weekly Internet broadcast. Between that and the social media outlets to come, I’m hoping to bless the lives of many more LDS singles throughout the world. Can you see how using a focus on others amidst adversity has helped me to discover my gifts as well as pursue my personal ministry?
This is what happens when you partner with the Lord to pursue your own personal ministry. He can show you your gifts and how to develop them. And He can strengthen you as you use those gifts in advancing your own personal ministry, which is really just your individual threads in the great tapestry of His work.
Satan will of course attempt to dissuade us from contributing to that mighty cause. Sin may be his most frequently used tool, but other avenues at his disposal can be equally effective. He can distract us with a preoccupation on worldly things or discourage us with feelings of inadequacy or perceptions that our work is too great for us to accomplish.
However, as we walk in faith by keeping our focus on following the Savior, we need not allow Satan to prevent us from fulfilling our personal ministry. We can “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of [our] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27).
And it need not end there. I love the quote from President Russell M. Nelson that Elder Pingree shared in his address.
When we partner with the Lord, we can do anything He requires. Our personal ministries can further His work and bless the lives of countless others. And that will bring 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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