In a church that focuses so much on dating, marriage, and family, how can you avoid feeling discouraged when you are single?
Being single is often difficult for members of the Church, no matter their age. Even as a young adult, you may feel unwanted and doubt that you will ever find love.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Kristen M. Oaks, speak directly to the singles of the Church in their address “Trust in Heaven’s Timing.” “We have much empathy and love for those of you who may be single or alone,” says Sister Oaks. “We speak to you from our hearts and experience.”
Sister Oaks, indeed, speaks from experience; she was not married until the age of 53. While single, she often wondered if she was doing something to keep herself from the blessings of eternal marriage. She soon learned, however, that the question she needed to ask was not, “Am I doing something wrong?” but rather, “What more can I do that is right?”
Sister Oaks decided to change her focus and her life. Instead of waiting for blessings to come while dwelling on her unhappiness, she spent her time bettering herself. She maintained an eternal perspective by doing the following:
- 1. involving herself more in social activities
- 2. increasing her study of the scriptures
- 3. praying for opportunities to serve
- 4. helping others overcome their trials
Sister Oaks teaches us to live our lives on the Lord’s timetable—not on our own. We must learn to be patient and have faith in God’s plan for us. Like Sister Oaks, we can choose to build the Lord’s kingdom as we pursue spiritual perfection. This proactive approach to being single will help us in this life and in the future.
Read Elder and Sister Oaks’s talk in the Ensign.
—Maryssa Dennis, Mormon Insights
feature image by michael ramey
Find more insights
Read this Gospel Topics article about single members of the Church.
Read Karen Lynn Davidson’s “The Waiting Syndrome” (directed mainly to young women) to hear more about why we should not put our lives on hold while waiting for marriage.
Read “Having Faith in God’s Timeline,” about the experience of a single woman, Catherine Edwards, who put her trust in the Lord’s timing.
Read this Ensign article by Christine S. Packard and Wendy Ulrich: “Single and Steadfast: Lessons in Hope.”
Read “To My Single Friends” by Elder John K. Carmack.