It is generally harder to stay active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a single than it is when you are married. It is also generally harder to stay active in the church if you do not have children than if you do. There are several theories for these challenges. However, the most common theory is because we have a church that greatly emphasizes marriage and family in our talks, our doctrine, our program, and our activities. Marriage and family is promoted as the ideal, singlehood less so. So when you are missing a spouse and/or children, you often feel…different. Less included…less similar…less than…more like an outsider. No wonder singles are more likely to go inactive in the church than those who are married. So, is it worth staying active in the church? In my opinion, and as a fellow active member of the church, yes. In this brief article I will state a case for why to stay active as a single member.
Reasons to Stay Active:
1) The Spirit: Having the Spirit will help offer you comfort, support, and direction as you navigate life. Staying active and partaking of the sacrament weekly will support you having and keeping the Spirit with you. Prayers are more easily answered, choices and more clearly and wisely made. Conversely, when inactive and missing the sacrament and other spiritual strengtheners from church attendance, you are left with less Spirit, and hence less comfort, support, and direction.
2) Opportunities to Meet a Spouse: When you stay active in church and church-related activities, you enjoy the privilege of greater access to other singles who are also active, as well as looking for a fellow active spouse. Meeting a future spouse at church or church activities starts you off on a better path as active members of the church, versus beginning a relationship as inactive members struggling to return.
3) Preparation for Eternal Life: In many places in the scriptures, a requirement for eternal life is “enduring to the end” as a “faithful”, “valiant” servant. Remaining acting active, fulfilling your callings, and keeping your worthiness until the end is the commandment. No, it is not easy, but worth it. The 8 or so decades of life on this earth will pass quickly. Because our eternal state hinges on this life, make the most of it. Whether you eventually meet your new future spouse in this life or the next, it doesn’t matter. And remember that as you remain active and worthy to the end, if you pass away from this life single and still desire eternal marriage, it will be yours. Remember:
“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
4) Happiness and Support in this Life: As an active member of the church, you will maintain the greatest access to all of the church resources offering support and assisting your psychological and emotional health. This includes better access to the bishopric, fellow members, callings, ministering members, etc.
5) Goals: When you have a history of active membership in the church—perhaps a lifelong activity, you most likely assumed and planned before that you would always stay active as a member. If you then drop your goal of activity, esteem often lowers as you drop a previously important goal and becoming a person you didn’t want to become. Self-esteem, self-value, and overall happiness tends to stay higher as we remain active.
Single members of the church going inactive often feel some temporary relief from the challenges of staying active, but other sad feelings and challenges tend to follow soon thereafter. For the five reasons stated in this article, maintaining activity in the church in spite of the challenges of doing so is well worth doing. Keeping the Spirit, having more opportunities to meet an active partner, preparing for eternal life, keeping church support, and keeping your goal of activity will be more than adequate reasons to stay active. And remember, the Lord wants you to stay active and knows you can do so. He wouldn’t have asked it if you couldn’t do it. You definitely can, but it requires commitment, determination, and effort. Believe in yourself, have faith in the Lord, and make it happen. You can. And remember “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11
P.S. If you can 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).