This was a conversation between Young Singles Adults throughout the world and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, Carole M. Stephens from the Relief Society General Presidency , and Elder Donald Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy. The questions and answers throughout the evening were all just as applicable to singles of any age as they were to the YSA. I give it Five Stars. Give it a listen.
This “Conversation” between Sheri Dew and Elder and Sister Oaks on the Mormon Channel had so much good stuff for singles in it that I thought it a great idea to share it. I’ve had some extra down time while not feeling well this week, so I was also able to give a rough outline of what the broadcast contains. Content that is particularly applicable to singles is italicized and in bold. I highly recommend listening to the whole thing if you can.
If you weren’t already aware, Sister Kristen McMain Oaks is Elder Oaks’ second wife (his first wife passed away) and Kristen was single until she was in her 50’s, so she has a lot to say about being single. She also has her own blog called “My Home Can Be a Holy Place.”
4:30 Elder Oaks on his mother
8:50 Kristen on her early days: convert to the church, going to primary with her friends
11:15 Elder Oaks on “work first, play later” and his work ethic; what he does in his free time
Kristen on Elder Oaks’ “projects” and togetherness
Elder Oaks’ mother again, on what he learned from her about women and motherhood. “Women can do anything that men can do.”
14:35 Kristen Oaks on marrying Elder Oaks and becoming a part of his large family, and what she’s learned in the ten years of being married to an apostle.
15:35 Kristen on remaining single longer than “normal.” Also, advice to people who are in circumstances not of their choosing.
“The waiting is really sanctifying.”
Challenges are sanctifying (Sister Dew)
17:50 Elder Oaks on losing a spouse and healing
1. sure knowledge of resurrection
2. I had peace that I had done everything I could for my wife (in a medical way, Priesthood blessings etc.)
3. I had been true to my covenants
Also, he wrote a history of his wife’s life. Took him about a year. Helped him process his grief and helped him heal. Helped bring the family together more.
20:00 comments on Elder Oaks’ address on divorce and marriage
How to avoid marrying the wrong person, time in courtship, time seeing them in different situations
Kristen and Elder Oaks on marriage and their courtship
23:00 increasing challenges of getting married
Excerpt and comments on Classic CES fireside from Elder Oaks on hanging out
Simple, inexpensive, and frequent dates
Women: don’t encourage “freeloaders”
To go on a date is not implying a continuing commitment
Letters Elder Oaks has received since that address
27:25 more on dating
Men frightened of young women’s accomplishments
Shy young men
Advice to Jenny Oaks Baker from Marjorie Hinckley
32:15 Elder Oaks’ law school days and what drew him to the law
Foundation the law has given him
34:00 Sister Dew on Elder Oaks’ ability to speak with boldness
Kristen Oaks: he’s very exact in his speech but he’s also tender; she’s also grateful for how he follows the Savior. Elder Oaks: worried to do what is right and not to please other people, and to do it as well as it could be done by me.
39:00 on Elder Oaks becoming President of BYU at age 38, what he learned from the experience, learning from Belle Spafford and other church leaders at the time
42:10 address in 2009 at BYU Idaho on Religious Liberty
45:25 Kristen on some of the criticism received because of that address, and what she learned from it about the Lord wanting us to be truthful, how criticism is hard for her (she was very honest about this)
47:00 the global nature of communication and how it affects Elder Oaks’ remarks
48:50 pervasive nature of pornography, address in General Conference in April 2005;
Counsel for parents, “soft” pornography, counsel for everyone in general, comparison of viewing pornography to smashing a compass while on a ship, love your kids and talk with them, having family dinner together and other “simple” solutions
56:00 “Good, better, best” in terms of family relationships
Bear your testimony to your kids/grandkids. Give kids of yourself.
1:02:20 Marriage and counsel for couples when there are rough spots on the road
Same goals, totally united on where they want to go and what they want to accomplish. Able to tolerate each other on different styles of doing things. They have separate bank accounts and their own toothpaste tubes. Fought about how to rake the leaves, but never fought on the Word of Wisdom. Pray on their knees morning and night. Heavenly Father same foundation, same direction, be flexible about other things than aren’t important.
1:04:58 Advice for those who have busy spouses; on looking past busyness and finding the joy
1:07:00 Advice on studying the Gospel
1:08:45 Moments, experiences, patterns that helped them in the development of their testimony
Testimony and tithing
1:10:50 Elder Oaks: what does it mean to speak for the Lord? (and immense responsibility, the single greatest worry he has, heavy burden, very intense process)
1:14:30 On the time the Oaks spent in the Philippines; how it changed their thinking on the Church in the developing world, which is half the world
1:23:00 The role that women play in the Church
1:26:15 What it means to be an Apostle to the Lord Jesus Christ
1:27:46 On members of the LDS Church being Christian, and how to respond when someone thinks we’re not
1:29:30 What is the one thing you would like to be sure everyone knows about your husband (Elder Oaks), and for Elder Oaks, about your wife Kristen
1:31:00 Parting feelings about the Lord and His Gospel
Part 4 of the “live Mormonads” that some of our ward members cam up with at a Home Evening activity. We were given a list of possible phrases to use and told that we could only use photos from our phones, and that we couldn’t use photos from online. We had less than an hour to see how many we could come up with and to e-mail them to our home evening leader.
Click on the photos for links to the talks or articles that they came from, or that pertain to the phrase.
This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
My young brothers, (and sisters) if you are not proactive in educating your desires, the world will do it for you. Every day the world seeks to influence your desires, enticing you to buy something, click on something, play something, read or watch something. Ultimately, the choice is yours. You have agency. It is the power to not only act on your desires but also to refine, purify, and elevate your desires. Agency is your power to become. Each choice takes you closer to or further from what you are meant to become; each click has meaning. Always ask yourself, “Where will this choice lead?” Develop the ability to see beyond the moment. …Elder Randall L. Ridd
I recently received a letter from a woman who reported having endured great suffering in her life. A terrible wrong, which she did not identify but alluded to, had been committed against her. She admitted that she struggled with feelings of great bitterness. In her anger, she mentally cried out, “Someone must pay for this terrible wrong.” In this extreme moment of sorrow and questioning, she wrote that there came into her heart an immediate reply: “Someone already has paid.” …President Boyd K. Packer
One day I had the opportunity to drive President James E. Faust to a stake conference. During the hours we spent in the car, President Faust took the time to teach me some important principles about my assignment. He explained also how gracious the members of the Church are, especially to General Authorities. He said, “They will treat you very kindly. They will say nice things about you.” He laughed a little and then said, “Dieter, be thankful for this. But don’t you ever inhale it.”
That is a good lesson for us all, brethren, in any calling or life situation. We can be grateful for our health, wealth, possessions, or positions, but when we begin to inhale it—when we become obsessed with our status; when we focus on our own importance, power, or reputation; when we dwell upon our public image and believe our own press clippings—that’s when the trouble begins; that’s when pride begins to corrupt.
…President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Reblogged from Single-Minded Determination
In the Disney movie Tangled, Rapunzel sings about being isolated in her tower and wondering when she’ll be able to truly start living her life. Rapunzel fits the profile of a faithful Mormon single adult: She’s a hard worker, she’s morally pure, and she displays a zest for life that is absolutely contagious. In her opening musical number, she sings:
I’ll reread the books
If I have time to spare
I’ll paint the walls some more,
I’m sure there’s room somewhere.
And then I’ll brush and brush,
and brush and brush my hair
Stuck in the same place I’ve always been.
And I’ll keep wonderin’ and wonderin’
And wonderin’ and wonderin’
When will my life begin?
There are many Mormon single adults who can empathize with Rapunzel’s situation. One of my friends once told me that he feels life doesn’t truly begin until you’re married. Given the strong emphasis on marriage and family in the Mormon Church, I wasn’t surprised he felt this way. There are many single adults that long for marriage, feel “stuck in the same place I’ve always been,” and wonder, just like Rapunzel, “When will my life begin?” However, the attitude that life doesn’t really start until you’re married isn’t just wrong – it’s harmful to your personal growth and search for an eternal companion.