LDS Singles

Thriving and Growing as an LDS Single


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A Shout Out to Single Men (from the series: Single and Married in the LDS Church)

Re-posted by permission from Exponent II. Suzette:

single-man.jpgFour years ago, I published this post on single Mormon men. I think this series on singles is a good time to bring it back (with a few edits and updates) for a re-post. This article does not address divorced men in specific, but the same principles apply. Divorced men in the church are often viewed with more suspicion and judgment than never-been-married men. I hope this post will help us to re-evaluate how we view and treat our single men.

Throughout my single adult life, I’ve heard a lot criticism about Single Mormon Men (SMM). People say that they are selfish, lazy, irresponsible, and just plain weird. Everyone seems to have an opinion about SMM, including Nicole Hardy who calls them “left overs: awkward, uncompromising, and unlucky” (“Single, Female, Mormon, Alone”, NYTimes, 1/2011). I’ve read many unflattering theories for their singleness on Mormon blogs across the internet.

These men rarely get a break: the prophet is on their case about being unmarried, bishops keep the pressure on about dating, parents are ever inquiring, and ward members eye them suspiciously. Even single women (I am very sorry to say) seem to have free reign in their verbal flogging. There is a constant call for them to grow up, man up, career up, and get married already.

 

The SMM response to this censure? To walk away.

 

Jared Whitley writes “most single LDS males are probably not willing to complain … so they do the only thing they can do: suffer in quiet desperation [or] seek refuge elsewhere. [This] means leaving the Mormon Church, which compounds the imbalanced gender ratios among LDS singles.” (How Targeting LDS Males for Declining Marriage Rates Misses the Mark )

 

This needs to change.

 

These men are kind, genuine, engaging people – who are largely undeserving of the criticism they receive.

My experience with SMM is different from the opinions above. I have many positive experiences with SMM.

  • Last spring, for example, I put together an Easter event and rounded up dozens of people to help and to sing. Half of those who said “yes” were SMM.
  • Yesterday, I called three friends for a favor; the one who came through was a SMM.
  • In my daily life, SMM are interesting parts to my email strings, intelligent contributors to my conversations, and fun companions on a variety dinners, outings, and road trips.
  • They have given me blessings when I’ve been ill, brought me food when I’ve been recovering, reviewed my resumes, proofed my Exponent articles, and, along with my girl friends and married friends, have supported me in difficult times.
  • In their wards, I have watched them camp with the Young Men, visit the needy, lead missionary efforts, teach lessons, and sing in choirs.

To be realistic, they do have problems. But these problems are no more remarkable than yours or mine. Yes, they have disappointed me. And so have my single girl friends, my married friends, and my family.

I’d like to have more SMM around. I believe if they feel valued and loved in their friendships and wards – they’ll stay around. And we’ll be better for it.

 How to keep SMM around?

  • Appreciate them for all the ways they serve.
  • Give them callings at church that will allow them to use their skills and talents.
  • Call them for blessings.
  • Invite them to dinner, parties, and fun events.
  • Talk to them (for heaven sake). Ask them about their jobs and their interests.
  • Support them when they are in need.
  • Don’t make assumptions – any assumptions.
  • Be short on advise and long on love.

In short, treat them like you treat your friends. I believe if we engage our SMM, we will find our Mormon community stronger, more vibrant, and more supported. We need all the members in the Body of Christ.


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Top 10 List for Single Men

Today’s post comes from a former bishop of the Huntington Beach 1st Ward, Huntington Beach CA Stake (combined family/Mid-Single’s ward), Steve Lang.  He was known by some at single’s conferences as “The Surfing Bishop,” (which, truth be told, could be said of many bishopric members in Huntington Beach.)  Bishop Lang has been a bishop three times, and two of the three were single’s wards.  At one point the Young Single Adult Ward over which he presided had over 1,000 members.  He gave this list as part of a talk at the Huntington Beach Mid-Single’s Conference a few years ago, and graciously gave me permission to share it with you.*

And no, there isn’t as of yet a list for the women! I’ve started one, but please share with me your ideas for it either as a comment here or in an e-mail.  Ideas from both men and women much appreciated! Thanks! 

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Top 10 Reasons I’m not married yet

For the Men

Number 10 – I haven’t met a Spiritual Angelina Jolie lookalike with a trust fund…YET

Advice: when you get home tonight take your shirt off, sit on the bed, and look in the mirror. Show me your bank statement.

Number 9 – Married life will most likely cut into my World of Warcraft time…

Advice: GO outside, GO to the Temple, Do your Home teaching, and GO out on Dates, Serve others.

Number 8 – I can hardly support myself; plus I’m still not sure what I’m going to be when I grow up….

Advice: “A rolling stone gathers no Moss” do what you know and know what you do… WORK

Number 7 – My “One True Love” is married to a dentist, living in Orem, and has 2.3 children…

Advice: Move on, get a life; realize she’s not coming back… forget yourself…

Number 6 – I have already been married, as soon as the reception was over she turned into the Wicked Witch of the West… Now I’m scared … it will take an Act of Congress before I get married again…

Advice: there are 3 parts of the sealing ceremony… If you didn’t break yours that’s the best you can do… 2nd Article of Faith: We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adams transgression…

Number 5 – None of the women I’m interested in will date with me…

Advice: when you get home tonight take your shirt off, sit on the bed, and look in the mirror…

Number 4 – I will never be able to have a successful marriage. I have accumulated some baggage… I’ve made mistakes that leave me feeling unworthy… I have developed a dark habit…

Advice: John 8…

Number 3 – My parents are divorced. It scared me. I’m stuck in between them. I don’t ever want my children to go thru what I have…

Advice: So what? If your dad jumps off a bridge does that mean you have to do it also??? 2nd Article of Faith.

Number 2 – My siblings are married and struggle… Their kids are brats… They have financial trouble… Every time they argue my sister calls me and gives me way too much information…

Advice: you’re not your sibling, there is absolutely no reason that you have to repeat anything your sibling does… or doesn’t do… watch and learn.

The Number One reason I’m not married yet is: I don’t want to make a mistake… I’m scared… I wonder if it’s my lot in life to be single…

Advice: Maybe it is your lot in life… WRONG. You can do it… who wants you to be happy? And who wants you to be single?… President James E. Faust – said “… don’t take too much counsel from your fears…”

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Top Ten Reasons I shouldn’t give up and /or what to do about it …

For the Men

Number 10 – I just haven’t met Mrs. Right yet… Maybe she’s here…. Will the real Mrs. Right please raise your hand…

Advice: Men, these women have non-member men asking them out constantly… but they WANT a righteous Priesthood holder; don’t underestimate yourselves… Don’t underestimate Mrs. Right here…

Number 9 – The longer I’m single the weirder I’m getting…

Advice: self explanatory… You guys are like beautiful Ferraris driving around stuck in 2nd gear… when you become a family it’s like sliding that puppy into 5th gear and fulfilling your potential… everything becomes a purpose in raising your family…

Number 8 – I don’t feel worthy… I’m discouraged…

Advice: Moses 1:39 for behold this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of YOU…

Number 7 – You need to propagate your seed…

Advice: Abrahamic covenant…see Addendum below

Number 6 – You hold the Priesthood of God… (Most of you) You have been ordained and for ordained to be a Husband and father and to become like our Heavenly Father…

Advice: D&C 84:34-41 Oath and Covenant of The Priesthood…

Number 5 – Nothing worthwhile is easy… This life is a test…

Advice: When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden they were commanded to earn their sustenance by working 6 days a week, by the sweat of their face shalt they eat their bread… Genesis 3:16-19

Number 4 – True Joy comes from giving… When we become a Family… We become like our Heavenly Father and his Son…

Advice: There are 3 phases to Mans life … Phase 1… we believe in Santa Claus… Phase 2 we don’t… Phase 3 ….You are Santa Claus… Phase 4 …you look like Santa Claus… (When you get home tonight take your shirt off, sit on the bed, and look in the mirror…)

Number 3 – Nothing you ever do will please your Heavenly Father, Savior, Earthly Parents, Future In laws, future spouse and most importantly yourself… than becoming a Family…

Advice: Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh…”

Number 2 – It’s not good for man to be alone… The first conversation God and the Savior had regarding us after they had created Adam was… “Is it good for man to be alone? NOPE.”

The Number One reason is… We are exalted as Families… Moses 1:39… D&C 132: 19 The new and everlasting covenant…

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Addendum – Abrahamic Covenant

Abraham received the gospel and was ordained a high priest (D&C 84:14; Abraham 1:2). He later entered into celestial marriage, which is the covenant of exaltation (D&C 131:1-4; 132:19, 29). In connection with the covenants he made, he received great promises from the Lord concerning his family. Among these promises were the following:

  • His posterity would be numerous
  • His seed or descendants would receive the gospel and bear the priesthood.
  • Through the ministry of his seed “all the families of the earth would be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.”

Together, all the covenants and promises that Abraham received from the Lord are called the Abrahamic covenant, even if he or she is not a literal descendant of Abraham.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are a child of the covenant. You have received the everlasting gospel and inherited the same promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You have the right to the blessings of the priesthood and to eternal life, according to your faithfulness in receiving the ordinances of salvation and keeping the associated covenants. Nations of the earth will be blessed by your efforts and the labors of your posterity.

*thanks also to Christian Ziebarth for the transcript of this Top 10 List