by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist
www.LDSdimension.com (FREE LDS online dating site)
One of the tough truths as an active Latter Day Saint is that because marriage, and the family that follows marriage, is the main ideal unit and foundation of the church, where does that leave singles? Whether divorced or never married, many singles can often feel like second class members of the church. Perhaps not seeing themselves as important, relevant, or valued like those who are married with their intact family of husband, wife, and children. By the church promoting the nuclear, intact family so strongly in this way, how are those who are single supposed to feel? Often, the result can be taking oneself as being of lesser importance or value, perhaps feeling as if you are invisible. And even though I have promoted not settling for singlehood and continuing to pursue marriage to my fellow LDS singles I write for, I want to make it clear that I reject the notion that being single makes anyone less valuable of a member. Everyone is a child of God, and everyone has the utmost inherent personal and spiritual value. We all can contribute in different ways and we all inherently have infinite worth. We are all spiritual royalty, born spirit sons and daughters of celestial parents.
One of my favorite heroes in the Book of Mormon was single for 2+ decades. His names was Moroni. All of his family--his parents, wife, and children, were all killed in the culminating battles on the hill Cumorah. Moroni states:
Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father. And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not. Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not. Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.
Moroni was a widow and lost his entire family, friends, and people. He alone was the last remaining Nephite, having experienced hardship much more than the average member today. And yet he was able to keep his spirits decently high, as you may notice from his writings in the rest of the book of Mormon and his own book of Moroni. He later says:
And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope. And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity. And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.
Moroni, to the best of his ability, maintained his charity, hope, and faith until the end, in spite of crushing loneliness and traumatic stress. We too as church members need to do the same, even when we feel loneliness. Maintaining our charity, hope, and faith is essential to warding off feelings of depression and despair. Staying active, faithful, and strong in the gospel will give us support and comfort. The timetable when you will someday have a spouse and a companion is variable from person to person. Being single can be humbling and frustrating, but it can be an excellent time to get to know, strengthen, and refine yourself. Embracing your identity as a child of God and as an inherently valuable, worthwhile individual will help you during lonely moments, even times of despair. Remember that to faithful members, all of the promised blessings of the Lord will be yours, just on the Lord's timetable. Stay faithful and true, and in due course whether in this life or even the next, every faithful member desiring companionship will have their opportunity for marriage. Keep your patience and your faith. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).
**To readers: to submit a question to Dr. G for a future Q and A column, please send your questions to email@example.com. Also, please register for a free account at www.ldsdimension.com for access to previous and future Dr. G articles.
|2016-10-31||Randy Gilchrist||Communication, 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).