Audience members may find the personal approach more interesting, but that may require revealing deeply personal information. That might be OK about myself, but other close family members? That could be disastrous. Focusing on the less obvious applications to LDS singles avoids those problems, but it may not be as interesting for many audience members.
Those who know me well won’t be surprised at my immediate response to find a way to have both. Let’s see how I do with that.
Results follow action
President Oakes begins his remarks by sharing what I call the Parable of the Squirrel and the Dog. College students watched a dog slowly inch his way towards an unsuspecting squirrel near a tree. When the unsurprising capture of the squirrel in the dog’s mouth appeared, it was too late to save the poor creature. Everyone knew what would happen, but no one did anything to prevent it.
Of course, the point of the parable is to look ahead and take appropriate action. As President Oakes remarked,
That may seem obvious, but it’s application is less ubiquitous. How many LDS singles are like those students watching the dog? They see the years go by, they see themselves no closer to the temple marriage they desire, and yet they do nothing. They think the blessings they desire will magically appear because they’ve been righteous.
Results come from one thing and one thing only, and that’s action. If you take one action, you get one result. If you take another action, you get another result. If you take no action, you get no result.
Examine your thinking
That realization undoubtedly frustrates many LDS singles who know nothing is happening for them but don’t know what to do to change that. And the change they’re looking for often resides outside themselves.
Of course, that pursuit usually augments rather than resolves the frustration. That’s because the place to begin to change your world and your life is not outside yourself. True positive change starts from within. You have to begin to think about yourself in new and different ways before you can live your life in new and different ways. And you must reinforce that thinking with appropriate self talk.
Unfortunately, the self talk of LDS singles reinforces thinking that produces undesired results. They place artificial limits upon their potential, resulting in a standard of living far below their possibilities.
That’s why I love President Oakes’s counsel:
If the messages that you give yourself say something different, then seeing different results in your life shouldn’t shock you.
Consider your sacrifice
To get different results, you need to take different actions. Often that means sacrifice. Consider the greatest achievements in any field of endeavor and find one that didn’t involve some sacrifice. You can’t do it because sacrifice is part of the price we must pay for high-quality results.
What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want? Many successful people will tell you they needed to sacrifice treasured relationships to achieve their success. When those relationships are with family, I wouldn’t call their achievements success. So I ask, What less important thing could you sacrifice to get the more important results you want?
I love President Oakes’s comments about a Columbian couple who traveled five days by bus to Peru so they could be married in the temple.
You get what you give. When you consider the habits you have in how you live your life and how your pursue your goals and dreams, what could you sacrifice to get what you want?
The answers to that question might just give you the breakthrough you need to change your approach to one that yields better results. When you get off the couch and start moving, you can find your way better. Then, when you partner with the Lord, His light will illuminate your path. And that 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 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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