This past Conference was no exception. Multiple addresses fit that bill. But in considering which one to adopt for the subject of my post today, I find myself drawn to Elder Larry R. Lawrence’s address entitled “What Lack I Yet?”
Why this one more than others? I don’t know everything, but I’m sure part of the reason lies in how well it matches what’s in my upcoming book and already on this blog.
A personal ministry provides vision
So many LDS singles are looking for “the answer” — that one solution that will solve all their problems and lead them blissfully to marriage. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve wished for that myself. That is, until I learned how things really are.
Mortal life is part of a more eternal journey. Part of navigating that journey correctly means confronting and overcoming challenges. Many Latter-day Saints have the huge challenge of being single in a family-oriented culture.
It’s natural to want “the answer” that can quickly resolve our difficulties. But when we make looking for that “answer” a habit, we very easily find ourselves distracted from the higher vision that can guide us safely to our heavenly home.
That’s why I’ve been encouraging singles everywhere to adopt a personal ministry. A personal ministry can help us keep that vision we need in our mortal journey, especially when the trials and pains of LDS singles life become especially difficult to bear.
Partnering with the Lord reveals the next step
Part of successfully maintaining a personal ministry is partnering with the Lord, seeking His guidance and counsel for the steps in our journey. And that’s why I love Elder Lawrence’s address so much! He showed direct application of that principle in daily life.
I love this gem that appeared early in Elder Lawrence’s address:
The journey of discipleship is not an easy one. It has been called a "course of steady improvement." As we travel along that strait and narrow path, the Spirit continually challenges us to be better and to climb higher. The Holy Ghost makes an ideal traveling companion. If we are humble and teachable, He will take us by the hand and lead us home.
This is the essence of partnering with the Lord. Practicing that improves the quality of life exponentially. And when you couple that practice with fulfilling a personal ministry, the result is simply amazing!
Elder Lawrence then references the interchange the Savior had with the rich man who asked “What lack I yet?” After that, he immediately provides examples of applying the act of partnering with the Lord to real life situations.
I knew a faithful mother who humbled herself and asked, "What is keeping me from progressing?" In her case, the response from the Spirit came immediately: "Stop complaining." This answer surprised her; she had never thought of herself as a complainer. However, the message from the Holy Ghost was very clear. In the days that followed, she became conscious of her habit of complaining. Grateful for the prompting to improve, she determined to count her blessings instead of her challenges. Within days, she felt the warm approval of the Spirit.
Am I the only one who noticed that of the five situations he shared four of them are about singles? That’s 80%, peeps. And not just singles struggling with life, but with marriage! Partnering with the Lord helps you progress towards eternal marriage.
Yes! Exactly what I say in my book and in posts all throughout this blog! Marriage and family are a part of God’s plan for all His children. You’re not single and stymied in your progression because God wants you to be. You’re single and stymied because you’re not making the right choices.
When you still yourself and sensitize your heart and mind to the voice of the Spirit, God will let you know what next step you need to take to progress in your eternal journey. By continually partnering with the Lord in your life, you will truly be able to sing the hymnal chorus:
The Lord is my light;
Let the Lord in
Elder Lawrence’s address was short — only 10 minutes long. But oh, how sweet! I don’t believe in one “answer” that can help singles everywhere confront the challenges of LDS singles life. But this is probably as close as any of us are going to get.
If we successfully discover and take the next step, we’re ready to do the same with the next step. By repeating that process for each step in our journey, we’ll one day arrive home. And then it won’t matter what trials we suffered to get there. In fact, I think many of us will look back at our afflictions and exclaim incredulously, “Was that really all I had to do to get here?”
If you’re not on this train by now, then quit hanging around the station. You’re not alone, so why do it alone? Let into your life He Who loves you so much He bleed from every pore and died for you. Partner with the Lord for your life. Adopt a personal ministry. Reach out to Him for your next step. He’ll take your hand and with the gentle promptings of the Spirit lead you along.
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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