I truly believe the global leaders of the Church care about singles. But somehow that doesn’t always translate down to the local level. Many LDS singles find themselves constantly ignored, or at best tolerated, in their wards and stakes.
Although ministering to singles can easily get lost in the bustle of everything vying for our leader’s time and attention, many local leaders simply don’t know how to minister effectively to singles. In an effort to help remedy that deficiency, lately I’ve been discussing how our leaders can minister more effectively to LDS singles, first at the stake level, and then at the ward level.
Last week I explored how singles can provide our local leaders with a great example by ministering to each other. After all, our local leaders will be more inclined to help us if we’re seen to be busy helping ourselves as much as possible.
While we LDS singles are about helping each other, what’s to say helping our leaders shouldn’t be a part of that effort? If our leaders will be more inclined to help us when they see us doing what we can to help ourselves, how much more inclined will they be to help us if they see us doing what we can to help them?
See what you need
I’ve discussed the great need of many singles to have someone to walk with them. I believe having someone to walk with us is the greatest unmet need we LDS singles as a collective community have.
Life is hard, but it’s even harder when you’re left to walk that journey alone. Our Heavenly Father instituted marriage in part to provide a measure of support. Spouses can help each other and ascend together towards their heavenly home. We singles have the same celestial destination but no spouse to support us. And when all effective ministering to us from all parties is lacking, that need for support is all the greater.
That’s why home teachers and visiting teachers play such a crucial role in ministering to singles. They’re best positioned to be that someone to walk with the singles under their charge. Visiting singles should never be to complete a perfunctory assignment. Rather the focus should point towards building a genuine supportive relationship with another human being. In essence, it’s being a real friend.
Give what you need
But the friendship street runs both ways. We singles can easily get absorbed in the focus of what we fail to have when the more important focus is often what we fail to give. Expecting a true friend to come into our lives when we ourselves aren’t being that true friend to others is an exercise in futility.
As with all human relationships, it’s the little things that often matter most. We should seek out the ways, small though they may be, that we can provide assistance to those around us. Others will more readily want to connect to someone who is helpful than someone who is insular.
As we singles do the little things that encourage others to build the relationships with us we need to support us in our journey through mortality, finding those who will be willing to do the heavy lifting when the time comes will be easier. That’s natural law — the Law of Restoration.
Alma explained very well this law:
If you want something to come into your life, then bring that same something into the lives of others. In life, you get what you give.
Get what you give
Obeying the Law of Restoration is very empowering. It places control for our lives into our hands. As we focus on doing what lies within our power, we open ourselves to the positive energy attending those who truly enjoy life.
Focusing on doing what lies within our power also encourages us to own our lives. You’ll never have the fullness of joy you can enjoy right now without taking responsibility for how your life has resulted. Only when you own your life do you open yourself to enjoying your present situation in life despite its myriad of imperfections. And it will always have imperfections.
If you’re one of many LDS singles who wish that those in your ward and stake would walk with you, then you need first to walk with them. Doing what lies in your power to send out what you want to receive will make receiving it more likely. It will help you to own your life. And it will bring you more joy in your 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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