In a previous article, I mentioned that the activity rate for singles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is approximately 20% for the men and 30% for the women (see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/why-the-high-inactivity-rate-for-men-193/). These numbers are much lower than the approximately 50% activity rate for members in general. Being considered “active” according to my ward clerk is defined as attending sacrament meeting at least once a month. So why is it so much more difficult to stay active as a single member? There are many possible reasons: the cultural stigma given to singles as somehow “lesser”, law of chastity issues, substance abuse problems, emotional/psychological difficulties, rude fellow members, and/or the challenge of getting oneself to go to church when no one else is promoting it. These and other challenges can make it especially difficult for single members to stay active. The purpose of this article is to offer some ideas to stay active, in spite of _____.
Tips to Stay Active:
*Keep an eternal perspective: remember why you are going to church. Ideally, the main reason to attend church is to take the sacrament and renew one’s baptismal covenants. This renewal will bring the Spirit and help prepare you to tackle the upcoming week. Along with taking the sacrament, feeling the Spirit and hearing some inspiring words are also good purposes of church attendance. Socially you may or may not find friends and others to converse with. When that happens, it is a positive bonus. However, if you have an absent or even a negative social experience some weeks, that is unfortunate, but secondary to why you are really there. Remember, you are going for you, not them.
*Keep a regular flow of the Spirit coming into your life. Along with regularly reading your scriptures and saying your prayers each day, there are other things you can do to enjoy regular nourishment from the Spirit. You can read/watch/listen to general conference talks or other church materials often. You can attend the temple if you have a recommend (or at least work to live worthy of a recommend). Playing church music in the background and having pictures of Christ at home can also help. Basically, when you actively and regularly do things to invite and possess the Spirit, this greatly boosts your ability to stay active in spite of ____.
*Get involved at church: If you have a calling, please do it. This service will help connect you to the ward and others, thus helping you feel like an important part of the ward. Also, callings create a good opportunity to get to know others in the ward socially in ways that regular church attendance usually won’t allow. Also, when you are in gospel doctrine and priesthood/relief society, make comments. Ask questions. Get involved. As you speak, you connect with the ward. Others listening will get a better feel for your personality and warm them up to getting to know you. Finally, go to church activities. This is one more way to get involved, get to know others, and get others to know you.
*Take complete personal responsibility: Remember the old saying, “if it is to be, it’s up to me”. It is no one else’s responsibility to get you to church and keep you active. It has to be up to you, 100%. When you own the complete responsibility to stay active and “endure to the end”, then any encouragement to go to church coming from others is a nice bonus when it occurs. However, when you no longer rely on such help, you will be an active member, regardless of whatever others do or do not do. It is like the classic church quote goes: “there will come a time when you can longer live off of borrowed light”. You need your own light within to stay active.
Ultimately, to be active or not in church is up to you. I would encourage you to have your own true, personal reasons to stay active. Nourish your testimony and enjoy the Spirit regularly. This way, you will have a strong foundation that will weather all social storms and any other challenge that threaten your activity. I leave you with this parable from Christ that supports the ideas of this article: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”—Matthew 7:24-27.
And remember that ultimately in this life or the next, “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).