Lately I’ve been discussing our need to understand the fundamentals of dating because clearly we don’t understand them. If we did, we’d spend less time complaining how hard it is and more time having fun.
That can be challenging, though. A task can loom so large we wonder how we’ll ever accomplish it. But often once we start taking action, we find what once intimidated us easily under our thumb.
One of my former stake presidents often said, “The hardest part of home teaching is getting off the couch. But once you get in the car, home teaching becomes very easy.” Most tasks are like that — easier to do once we start doing.
Nephi exemplified that attitude. He faced every challenge confident the Lord would help him do what was needed. And some of his finest hours demonstrating that example occurred while he was single.
Be inspirational while single
Many LDS singles wonder how they could ever do what looms large before them. They know full well the Lord’s plan involves marriage and family. What they don’t know so well is how that plan will unfold for them.
“Who would ever go out with me?” some wonder. Others wonder how to navigate the terrain pain-free. The longer questions linger, the more needed the answers to those questions can feel.
Enter Nephi stage right. For the first 15 chapters of 1 Nephi, he was single. Think of the examples we find there.
Look at all Nephi accomplished while single. That example has inspired literally millions of people. Your faithful example can likewise inspire.
Step forward with faith
Although Nephi’s record portrays him as perfect, I have to believe Nephi was as human as the rest of us. We see him bemoaning his weaknesses in 2 Nephi 4. But we never see those weaknesses play out.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not losing sleep because I can’t see Nephi choosing wrong. I just sometimes feel he’d be easier to relate to if I could see him as the walking construction zone I know I am everyday.
Notwithstanding, we should still emulate Nephi. He always looked to the Lord. He always believed the Lord would help him do what needed doing. He also never questioned the tasks he received from the Lord. He stepped forward with faith.
Many LDS singles can follow that example to do what the Lord has given them. They know the Lord expects them to find an eternal companion and have a family. And awed by the awesomeness and apparent impossibility of the task before them, they need not refrain from taking action.
Just take action
In such moments, Nephi’s example is sustaining. The tasks he needed to accomplish seemed so impossible his brothers routinely provided more hindrance than help. But Nephi walked by faith. He didn’t always understand how he’d do what needed to be done. But he trusted the Lord would show Him the way. And he demonstrated that trust by taking action.
Case in point: Nephi confesses he crept back into Jerusalem for the plates “not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). It wasn’t until the drunken Laban lay before him that Nephi realized the path the Lord prepared for him required Laban’s severed head.
We all know how the story ends; Nephi did what seemed impossible in securing the plates. But he didn’t know the end from the beginning before he started. He simply took action. It was in the act of doing that the next steps became clear.
Likewise, many LDS singles face seemingly impossible tasks. They wonder how they could ever secure the eternal companion they seek. As impossible as dating might seem, we should all take a lesson from Nephi and simply start doing.
We don’t need to know the end from the beginning before we take those first steps. That’s what walking by faith is all about. If we trust the Lord and always look to Him the way Nephi did, the Lord will help us. Once we start doing, we’ll find doing becomes easier. What once seemed impossible can actually have a happy ending. 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 since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet 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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