Being ‘Single’ In A ‘Home Run’ Church

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TheDiscipleMD

I know it can’t be easy sitting in the pews alone, when everyone around you seems to be seated as a family. I know it takes courage to continue coming to church when the lessons and talks are a constant reminder of the wonders and blessings of being married and raising children unto God. Eternal families are the center of our doctrine. It is the great promise of eternal family relationships that provides so many of us with the strength to overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges. Even in the darkest hours couples have each other to lean on for love and support.

I have never really faced the problem of being alone, yet I have children, friends and extended family members that do. Over the years I have developed great admiration and love for them and others who continue to hold onto the Iron Rod and forge ahead, alone, in the mist of the darkness. I can’t think of anything more challenging than to keep on the path towards the tree of life envisioned by Lehi, when no visible eternal companion is waiting at the tree! So can someone really be happy being single in a home run church?

I don’t think there is anyway to gloss over the words recorded in the second chapter of Genesis when the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (vs. 18) To do so would be to minimize both the charge and the sacrifice that many who are single are forced to make in this earthly life. Often due to circumstances beyond their control! From ancient and modern prophets it is clear that the set pattern for all God’s children is to marry and raise “seed unto Him”. (Moses 5:11) Yet, even for some that marry, children are withheld due to heath issues. That too is a great burden to bear. All of us in some manner bear crosses unknown to others. But to me, for those who travel alone, the trial of loneliness seems a heavy load. I recall the words of then, President Gordon B. Hinckley, who in speaking to the women of the church said,

“To you single women who wish to be married,…“Do not give up hope. And do not give up trying. But do give up being obsessed with it. The chances are that if you forget about it and become anxiously engaged in other activities, the prospects will brighten immeasurably. …“I believe that for most of us the best medicine for loneliness is work, service in behalf of others.” (“Women of the Church”, GC, Oct. 1996)

Service does have a way of helping us heal as we travel with our trials. It provides more of a salve to our wounds then radical surgery but who of us, knowing of its medicinal power, wouldn’t want to apply it to lessen the pain!

The prophets have laid out the Lord’s patterns of eternal life, which include marriage and offspring. It is these patterns that we try to replicate. The promise of the Lord is that “…whoso is found a faithful, a just and a wise steward shall enter into…(his joy), and shall inherit eternal life.” (D&C 51:19) That promise applies to all of us. I have great confidence in the infinite wisdom, mercy, and justice of the Lord. He will make all right in the eternities. All those who are faithful to the Lord will inherit “worlds without end” and be privy to the pattern given of life eternal in the covenant of marriage.

Until that day, all of us must continue onward, holding onto the rod of iron while making our way to the tree of life. For some, the mists of darkness will continue to hide evidence of their mates, but trust in the promises given by the Lord to all the faithful. There will be someone waiting at the tree! Living single in a home run church is an earthly thing. In the eternities, all those who are faithful will end up circling the bases and have someone waiting to greet them at home plate!

 

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