As a single adult and a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I am always astonished at the number of activities and things to help us be involved. Yesterday for example, we had church from 9-12, A dinner at 5:30, a fireside at 7:00, ward choir at 8:15, and ward prayer at 9 pm. That’s just one day! The rest of the week looks something like this: Monday Family Home Evening, Tuesday meeting, Wednesday institute, Thursday Temple Night. These are wonderful and I am thankful for the chance to make new friends and try new things. However, sometimes I think we forget that it is ok to say no and not feel completely guilty.
Part of this guilt is unknowingly placed on us by others who mean well and are trying to help. Just yesterday my friend said, “I have been to several of your ward activities in the past month and you haven’t been there” Another friend said, “you haven’t been as involved recently; where have you been?” Admittedly, at first I was a little taken by surprise at this supposed problem I was having. But as I thought about it some a Mormon ad came to my mind. It reads, “If you have too many things to do and you find yourself in a jam try a smaller slice of life”- At the bottom a reference to Mosiah 4:27 is listed. The scripture states: “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” As members of the church, I would postulate that one can be active and not be able to attend every meeting offered. There are a variety of activities designed to reach a wide spread audience.
In Hymn 220, from our hymn book, we learn that we can’t judge another, because we ourselves walk imperfectly. In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see. My sister was at her first ward activity in quite some time because she has been fighting an illness. One of the people there was frustrated because she wasn’t participating in the athletic part of the activity. They didn’t understand why she wouldn’t just get up and involved. They didn’t know that she is still in recovery mode. They didn’t know that it would make her uncomfortable to say, “Actually, I’ve been sick; I don’t think I better get involved” After persisting to encourage her she finally had to tell them that so that they would leave her alone. We don’t know people or their reasons, but they may way have a very good excuse. We ought to give people the benefit of the doubt! There are times when people do just
need a bit of encouragement to know that we want them to feel included and involved. However, we need to careful not to cross the line. Charity is key in this endeavor.
Finally, I would submit that the most important thing you need to ask yourself is why you are attending these activities. Are you attending just so you say you’ve been there? Are you trying to look good, or feel like you are more righteous than other people around you? Or, are you attending to help other people? Are you attending to gain knowledge and become better? Or perhaps, just to make friends and have a good time? Whatever the reason, make sure is right!
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.