Last week I assaulted the faulty assumption that eternal companions are found only at Church-sponsored singles activities. I also introduced how seeing singles groups as dating forums prevents us from following the Savior. It also creates second-class citizens within the Kingdom.
What’s more important? Extolling the LDS subcultural rite of passage of eternal marriage? Or serving the people around us to meet their needs?
Obviously serving others. And yet far too many of us singles habitually choose the alternative. We need to reformat and reboot ourselves with a more effective habit.
Constantly basing our participation in activities on dating prospects communicates that achieving acceptance for ourselves within LDS subculture is more important than meeting the needs of other people. Is that the path the Master calls us to travel?
Right there many singles feel a tension. They assume that meeting the needs of others will leave their own needs unmet. Can we simultaneously meet everyone’s needs, including our own?
People are more important than programs
The answer is a resounding YES! But we need to commit to being our best selves and then make conscious choices to act accordingly. Part of that means communicating with actions that people are more important than programs. When we reverse that, we create a group of second-class citizens.
Programs can reference our own personal agendas as well as a slate of Church-sponsored activities. Viewing singles activities as dating forums places our own personal agenda above the people around us. We’ll act in ways directed towards securing a date for ourselves. To the others we don’t talk to, don’t sit with, or don’t associate with, this inward focus communicates a very clear message: These others aren’t acceptable.
From there it’s not far for those others to think they really are worthless. After all, many of us, single or married, have poor habits of self-talk. Self-talk is incredibly powerful, determining much of how we think, which determines the results we get in life. When you think you’re worthless, you’ll feel worthless and act worthless.
Hence grows a crop of second-class citizens within the Kingdom. They feel the pressure that marriage determines acceptance within our LDS subculture, they want to be married so they can fill their needs which marriage is designed to fill, and yet they need acceptance from the very people whose actions communicate rejection.
We need to drop the personal agenda, however righteous that may appear to be, and surrender to the Savior’s call of love.
Embracing the truth makes you free
Do we really believe people are more important than programs? Then let’s act accordingly. I know the guilt that comes with the realization that we haven’t been true to our best selves can imprison us. But the best choice is always to embrace the truth. When we do, the Savior sets us free.
If you feel guilty because you’ve been attending singles activities with the primary purpose of finding a spouse, please stop feeling guilty and start moving forward. Acknowledge the past, yes, but look forward to the future. Be true to your best self. Make the conscious choice to support those around you.
To those who discern the truth but lack the courage to embrace it, I simply say this: Have a little faith. The Lord wants to bless you, and He is especially eager to bless those who assist Him with His work. When you make supporting those around you your primary purpose in participation, regardless of whether or not they satisfy any personal agenda you may have, the Lord will bless you with opportunities to achieve your righteous desires.
Consider the alternative route, the way most of us singles go about it. We either pursue others we want to date or stay where we feel “safe.” Because we seek our own interests first, we don’t feel supported when we need support. And most of the time we don’t get what we directly pursued anyway.
That’s one of the great secrets. The marriage process is correlative, not causal. You’re more likely to get married by focusing on being your best self than with a focused campaign to achieve it.
That’s why I say just have a little faith. Make your primary purpose supporting others. Reflect your best self. Then you’ll be your most attractive you. And that helps the Lord help you to attain every righteous desire of your heart.
Let’s stop creating second-class citizens within the Kingdom and start creating the community called Zion. Let’s drop our own personal agendas and lift those around us who need our love and support. Only by surrendering to love do we become our best selves. And when you realize how much freedom that life has, you’ll wonder why you didn’t surrender to love sooner.
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 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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