mormonYou know, looking at the focus on the family in the LDS Church can seem difficult to those who are single. I didn’t marry until I was almost 32 years old, and it’s only been 12 years. So I was single a lot longer than I’ve been married.

As I grew older and marriage seemed to fade from my future I had a choice to make. I looked at it two ways:

One: I could become bitter, hide away in my apartment and rail at the world for my single status. Which was not on purpose, by the way.

-or-

Two: I could look at all that I enjoyed, immerse myself in the gospel, become a good friend, sister and daughter, enjoy the families around me and live my life in such a way that there was something good about it every day. I decided to really focus on furthering and honing my skill as a writer. I decided to travel to places I’d always wanted to go. I began doing genealogy and family history. Which, by the way, with my family was pretty interesting.

I chose option two, although I know plenty who chose option one. Not a fun way to go, I promise.

Mormon life is one centered around family. My neighbor, who is single, has a circle of friends (all women) and for twenty years they have met every Monday for Family Home Evening. They plan activities and trips together. They function entirely as a family. Ideal, maybe not. But does it work, oh yeah.

So what do the prophet and apostles have to say about those who are single in the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):

“Somehow we have put a badge on a very important group in the Church. It reads “Singles.” I wish we would not do that. You are individuals, men and women, sons and daughters of God, not a mass of “look-alikes” or “do-alikes.” Because you do not happen to be married does not make you essentially different from others. All of us are very much alike in appearance and emotional responses, in our capacity to think, to reason, to be miserable, to be happy, to love and be loved.

“You are just as important as any others in the scheme of our Father in Heaven, and under His mercy no blessing to which you otherwise might be entitled will forever be withheld from you.

“You are precious and important to Him. You are precious and important to the Church. You are precious and important to all of us.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “To Single Adults,” Ensign, Jun 1989, 72)

Single Mormons are just as critical to the Church as are its married members. We need your thoughts, experiences, spirituality, maturity and your personalities to enrich the lives of all Just like any Mormon who is married.

There is a place for all in the Lord’s kingdom, and as President Hinckley said, you are precious and important to Him, and to us. Never forget. Never leave us. Never lose hope. The Lord watches over you and knows the desires of your heart. This is a time to turn everything over to the Lord and offer to simply be the servant of God He needs you to be. This is where the greatest joy will be found.

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