Some of you reading this have always been single, others have been divorced, still others, widowed. Whatever you circumstance, you are most likely a single member of the church if you are reading this. How should you feel about being single? If you have a history of being in unhealthy, unhappy relationships in the past, you might understandably feel relieved, peaceful, even content. And truly, being single and alone can truly be a much better position to be in then being in an unhealthy, unhappy relationship—married or otherwise. But are these the only 2 options: unhappily in a marriage or alone? No. The superior, often elusive 3rd option is to be in a healthy, happy relationship that ideally leads to a happy marriage. So, the main message of this brief article in that even if you are relived, comfortable, and content being single, please get uncomfortable again. Keep searching for better and for more. Keep searching for a happy, healthy, committed celestial marriage for as long as it takes.
Reminders to be Married:
We learn at church and in church doctrine that the ideal is marriage, especially a celestial marriage, also called a temple marriage. If you at least search for a celestial marriage in this life and keep yourself worthy, it will either happen in this life or in the next life. One of my favorite quotes on the subject to remind us of this fact--
“Many of the most important deprivations of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children. We know that will be true of temple ordinances. I believe it will also be true of family relationships and experiences.”
--Dallin H Oaks, The Great Plan of Happiness, Ensign, Nov. 1993
Why Celestial Marriage is Desirable:
What we know about celestial marriage is that this kind of marriage represents that absolute top and best of our potential in our eternal progression, as is possible to all when we remain worthy and faithful in keeping the covenants made. In Doctrine & Covenants 132 we read:
“And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.”
-- Doctrine & Covenants 132:19-21
Final Ideas and Suggestions:
Whether we marry in the temple in this life or in the next, being both worthy for it and striving for it are the 2 requirements. The successful outcome of celestial marriage in this life varies across people, often very unevenly. If you are more process oriented and as patient and persistent as possible, the ultimate outcome is assured, even if the timing is not. Faith, efforts, persistence, patience, and adjustments are what combine to represent your best effort. Do your best, and always strive to make your best better. Be proactive, assertive, and get out of your comfort zone. Break out of the temptation to settle on singlehood. Strive for connection, companionship, commitment. And remember that being in a happy, healthy marriage is the ultimate ideal. The pinnacle of what we strive for. Because, “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).