One of the great emphases of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is a strong orientation towards marriage and family. Most church talks, videos, and articles emphasize the nuclear family of a husband, a wife, and children. Often, lots of children. This is shown as the ideal to strive for. Things like divorce, being widowed, or never marrying are only discussed as special topics of interest, and only occasionally. So logically, single members of the church often feel “less than”—like they are somehow of lower worth than married members. Because by definition, if you are not living the ideal, it is natural to feel “lesser”. And unfortunately, some married members can treat singles as if they are “less than”, which is very unfortunate and regrettable. So how can single members find worth, value, and happiness anyway without having the full family ideal (yet)?
Three Ideas for Finding Worth:
1) Remember your eternal, infinite worth in the sight of God. Our Father in Heaven is the literal father of our spirits. We are all his greatest creation and he has provided the plan of salvation just for us. Do you think God sees you as “lesser” for being single? No. All children are equally loved and valued, married or not. All literally have eternal worth and unlimited potential. That means that you should value yourself inherently as well, married or not. Remember this scripture: “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath arisen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.”--Doctrine & Covenants 18:10-12
Furthermore, we all have the potential to become Gods, and so all have eternal, infinite worth and potential. As quoted by Lorenzo Snow in 1843, “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be”. The Prophet Joseph Smith himself publicly taught the doctrine the following year, 1844, during a funeral sermon of Elder King Follett: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, pp. 345–46).
*Remember the promise for eventual marriage is for all worthy members, whether later in this life or the next. As you desire to be married and search for a person to be married and eventually sealed to, these blessings will be realized sooner or later as you remain valiant and worthy. Elder Dallin H. Oaks relates: “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.” (The Great Plan of Happiness, General Conference October 1993).
*Remember the old saying that “The Lord helps those who help themselves”. As you make regular, consistent, reasonable efforts towards finding and cultivating a relationship, your efforts will be blessed. We are taught in the New Testament that “faith without works is dead, being alone” (James 2:26). In other words, the Lord expects you to work at finding and nurturing a loving marriage relationship. He will then assist you and bless you from there.
The ideal approach to finding and nurturing an eternal relationship can be illustrated the time when Nephi broke his bow, making him unable to hunt. Remember that Nephi and his family were travelling in the wilderness and hunting for their food along the way. After Nephi broke his bow and his brother’s bows lost their spring, their families went hungry without food. Everyone including Lehi was complaining about these circumstances except Nephi. Instead, Nephi separated himself and prayed for guidance for where to hunt. After receiving inspiration where to hunt and making himself a new bow, he successfully went hunting and brought back food to the family. In short, instead of complaining, he exercised some faith in prayer and went to work. This story is a great role modeling for a winning formula for an approach to relationships as well. I would highly recommend that you read this story and consider its applicability to your life and relationship search. See: 1 Nephi 16:18-32.
You are valued by your Heavenly Father and have eternal worth and potential. Maintain your worth. Shake off cultural attitudes versus singles that you may sometimes encounter with less sensitive members. Value and appreciate yourself now as a single member. And follow Nephi’s example in your relationship search. You can meet and marry an eternal companion. And as you remain worthy and keep working at it, you eventually will have success. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
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|2019-12-16||Randy Gilchrist||Psychological health|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com).