LDS Singles

Thriving and Growing as an LDS Single


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What do movies communicate about love?

The_Magic_of_a_Photogram_by_Floss_DefoeWhat parts of movies and other entertainment do you wish could be real? Just one of many for me would be the “food fight” scene from the movie Hook where the late Robin Williams’ character, a now middle-aged Peter Pan, finally finds his imagination again with the help of the Lost Boys. The food is the bright colors of Play Dough, but more appetizing, with the thickness and what looks to be the texture of just slightly melted ice cream, or pudding in rainbow colors. It shows up as if by magic when Williams, as Peter Pan, begins to remember what it’s really like to be a boy in a match of words/calling each other names with the Lost Boys’ current leader, Rufio. hook pie

So, of course I’m not expecting to wake up one day and find out that I suddenly have the ability to produce candy colored food out of nowhere, or find some Pixie Dust and be able to fly. Are there, though, themes in even the most innocuous love stories and romantic comedies in movies and television that might make me expect more out of relationships than is really there, or than I’d really want?

Which brings us to *this article from the Deseret News* (but I’m not going to bring up that one movie again, since we already went there.)

Which begs the question: What are adolescents and adults alike learning from the romance films of today? Research shows that such films can convey values and ideals that influence the way society views romantic relationships. And while those ideals may not be as extreme as what’s offered by “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily healthy.

“Media can provide models,” said Julia Lippman, lead researcher in a 2014 study titled “Isn’t It Romantic? Differential Associations Between Romantic Screen Media Genres and Romantic Beliefs.” “It’s not to say (media) has a determining influence — peers, family and school contribute as well. But we know from research that when (adolescents) don’t feel that they can talk to parents, or they don’t think they are getting information they want, they find ways of getting it on their own. If they are not learning about what healthy relationships look like from home, they’ll find it in the media.”

Love finds a waymulan_by_Mulan10

Lippman, a researcher at the University of Michigan, has identified different dimensions to romanticism: love finds a way, one and only, idealization and love at first sight. Her research indicates that the “endorsement of romantic ideals may have both positive and negative consequences.”

“One of the things movies communicate is that love finds a way,” Lippman said. “If it’s meant to be, you’ll find a way to be together.”

This ideal, Lippman said, is generally linked to positive outcomes. Take, for instance, Princess Buttercup from the 1987 cult classic “The Princess Bride,” who believes that true love endures. According to Lippman, people may hold similar views that allow their relationship to endure.

“People who watch more (romantic-themed films) are more likely to endorse (romantic ideals) such as love finds a way,” Lippman said. “People are seeing these ideals portrayed and are adopting romantic beliefs. People who endorse beliefs tend to have happier relationships.”

For example, Lippman said, if a woman finds an irritating quirk about her partner, she may decide she can live with it because “love finds a way.”

“The potential for good is absolutely there,” Lippman said.

Relationship destiny the_notebook_quote_by_dramaqueen56-d30slvy

Films such as the 2001 romantic comedy “Serendipity” and the 2004 blockbuster “The Notebook” encapsulate the idea of two protagonists caught in a sphere of relationship destiny: soul mates destined to find each other despite opposition.

Yet the idea of a “one and only” is a distorted view of love, according to psychologist Bjarne M. Holmes, associate professor and program director for psychology at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.

Holmes conducted a study in 2007 of romance-oriented media and how it correlated with beliefs in romantic relationship destiny.

According to the study, “The notion that one can find a romantic partner that fits perfectly with preconceived standards is an unrealistic view that fails to take into account the work required to develop and maintain a healthy and loving relationship.”

Holmes found in his research that there are implications to the concept of relationship destiny, including the notion that with the existence of a soul mate comes instantaneous satisfaction and happiness upon entering into a serendipitous relationship.

Additionally, Holmes found, there is the belief that a successful long-term relationship is not attainable with anyone but a person’s “one and only.”

And this belief is not necessarily helping the masses of audience members who pour into theaters to suspend reality for upward of two hours.

Say Anything“I would say there are not many pros from buying into relationship destiny,” Holmes said in an interview with the Deseret News. “We are shown consistently (through research) that if you hold and believe in the notion of predestined soul mates, you are less likely to be happy in relationships.”

In fact, Holmes said, individuals deeply invested in relationship destiny are more likely to break up. The reasoning is simple, he explained: Couples who enter into a relationship where one or both parties believe in the soul mate concept are more likely to end the relationship when challenges arise.

“When things don’t go so well, they think, ‘Wait, why are we having problems? Maybe this isn’t my soul mate,'” Holmes said.

As referenced in Holmes’ research, in a 2003 study by psychologists Litsa Renee Tanner, Shelley A. Haddock, Toni Schindler Zimmerman and Lori K. Lund, researchers analyzed themes surrounding love in 26 classic animated Disney films. The results showed an emphasis on “love at first sight.” In fact, in 18 of the 26 analyzed films, couples met, fell in love almost instantaneously and lived idyllic lives.

According to Holmes’ research, “when notions are in place about some easily achieved state of romantic bliss, satisfaction with one’s own relationship may decrease.”

“I find a lot of people in our culture put so much emphasis — reinforced in popular culture and film — on finding the right person, not an emphasis on what you do over time if you want happiness and longevity,” Holmes said.

 

paisley

The ‘attunement’ effect 

ronald-colman-403399_640When soul mates find each other in romantic films, a deep, personal connection is often portrayed.

A 2005 study by Tracy Sutton and Gregory Fouts from the University of Calgary illustrated what has been referred to in the field of psychology as “affect attunement.” Attunement is “a dynamic process of emotional exchange in which two individuals experience a sense of ‘oneness’ and intersubjective relatedness,” according to Sutton and Fouts’ research.

Additional research collected by Sutton and Fouts shows that this attunement has been described as the idea of soul mates.

Sutton and Fouts’ research also included how attunement is depicted in films through industry techniques: music, pace, number of cuts, camera shots and lighting levels.

Music, they found, establishes the tone or feeling of the film.

“More lyrical and slower-tempo music may reflect being in the ‘flow’ with another and ‘in the moment’ in which time ‘slows down’ or ‘stands still,’ common perceptions associated with ‘chemistry,'” according to the study.chemistry

Other techniques, such as close-up camera angles, portray intimacy on screen. According to the research, these camera shots “may be used to indicate an intimate connection or the unspoken, internal dialogue of the characters.”

Additionally, low lighting can communicate privacy or intimacy.

Of the films examined in Sutton and Fouts’ research, 79 percent used music to portray chemistry.

The sellout

Ultimately, Holmes said, the status of soul mate takes years to developafrican-couple-438586-gallery

Yet audiences today are paying upward of $10 a ticket to see love that bends time and reality to come to fruition. And it is wrapped up in two hours or less.

“People are selling themselves short if they are front-loading all these characteristics they expect the person to be their ideal mate to have,” Holmes said.

Holmes said that when it comes to romance, it’s a process.

“In reality, you don’t meet your soul mate,” he said. “You develop that over time. You create your own culture over time between two people.”

Films today skip the work and immediately arrive at relationship bliss, Holmes said.

And, what’s more, after analyzing the content of popular romantic movies, Holmes said researchers identified a media trend that portrays couples who have experienced a long-term relationship in a negative light.

“The relationship is often bickering,” Holmes said. “The irony of that is (in reality there are) a lot of people who are very happy together and have figured out what works for them. That’s who these younger people should be looking to.”

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Elder Holland on Delaying/Fearing Marriage

from

An Evening with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe”

Address to CES Religious Educators • February 6, 2015 • Salt Lake Tabernacle

christmas-lights-929217-wallpaperLet me list some specific things that I think you should teach your students to be glad about and over which they should cease being fearful. I note, for example, getting married, having families, and welcoming children into the world. We in the presiding councils of the Church hear far too often—and perhaps you do as well—that many of our youth and young adults are terrified to get married. In extreme cases they are fearful that the world is about to end in blood and disaster—something they don’t want to take a spouse or child into. In less severe, more common cases, they are fearful that the world will just get more difficult, that jobs will be too hard to find, and that one should be out of school, out of debt, have a career, and own a home before considering marriage.

Good grief! On that formula Sister Holland and I still wouldn’t be married! Seriously, when we got married we were both still undergraduates at BYU, with neither set of parents able to help us at all financially, no way to imagine all the graduate education we had yet ahead of us, and this with $300 dollars between us on our wedding day! Now that may not be the ideal way to start a marriage, but what a marriage it has been and what we would have missed if we had waited even one day longer than we did once we knew that that marriage was right. Sure, there was sacrifice; certainly there were restless days and weeks and months; certainly there was some burning of the midnight oil. But I tremble to think what we would have lost if we had taken “counsel from our fears,” 15 as President James E. Faust would later tell me over and over and over that I and no one else should ever do. What if we had delayed inordinately? What would we have missed?meme-holland-future-1245993-gallery

I still think the best definition of marital love is James Thurber’s, who said simply that love is what you go through together. 16 I will be eternally grateful for what Pat was willing to go through with me—that she did not feel I had to have my degree and a car and a home and a career all in hand before we could marry.

And we wanted children as soon as we could get them, which in our case did not turn out to be as easy as we thought. In fact, if we hadn’t determined to have our family as promptly as we could, we might well have been a childless couple, as some of our friends and some of you, through no fault of your own, have found it your lot in life to be. It took us three years to have our first child, another three to get a second, and four to get a third. And then that was it. A full-term miscarriage for a fourth closed that door to us forever, so we have rejoiced in the three children we have been able to raise. But what would our lives have been like if we had waited or delayed or worried unduly about the economics of it all? Which of our children would we give back? With what memories or love or lessons with each of them would we ever part? I shudder to think of it.

holding-hands-411428_640Brethren and sisters, I think we have to start earlier to teach our students the place of marriage and family in the great plan of happiness. Waiting until they are of marriageable age puts us way behind the curve. And I don’t have to tell you that social trends, declining moral standards, and the “vain imagination” 17 of popular entertainment will regularly be in opposition to that teaching.

For example, it is alarming to us that in the last 50 years the natural median age for men to marry has risen from age 22 to age 28! That is the world’s figure, not the Church’s, but we eventually follow the world in some way in much of its social trending. Add to this such diverse influences on the young as the increased availability of birth control, the morally destructive rise of pornography, an increased disaffiliation with institutional religion, the pervasive quest for material goods generally, the rise of postmodern thought with its skepticism and subjectivity and you see the context for anxiety and fear that a rising generation can feel. With these kinds of winds blowing in their lives, they can be damaged almost before mature, married life has begun.what if you fly

Furthermore, so many young people I talk to fear that if they do marry they will be just another divorce statistic; they will be another individual who dove foolishly into marriage only to find there was no water in that pool. Couple that leeriness about the success of marriage with the tawdry, foul, often devilish mocking of chastity and fidelity and family life so regularly portrayed in movies and on television and you see the problem.

engaged-couple-1249058-galleryWe have our work cut out for us to preserve and perpetuate both the holiness and the happiness of marriage. You can begin by showing the blessing, the reward, and the reality of a happy marriage in your own lives. That doesn’t mean you should be Pollyannaish about marriage; every marriage takes work, and yours will too. But, as always, your first and most penetrating lessons to your students will be the lessons of your own life. You show them in word and deed that your marriage and your family mean everything to you because they should—they must. Help your students “be not afraid, only believe” 18 in marriage and family in these last days. Lucifer will make that harder and harder to do even as it becomes more and more important to do.

15. James E. Faust, “Be Not Afraid,” Ensign, Oct. 2002, 6.
16. See James Thurber, in “Thurber,” Life, Mar. 14, 1960, 108.
17. 1 Nephi 12:18.
18. Mark 5:36.


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The 2 best blog entries for LDS singles, ever…

love-letter-241695_640Al Fox Carraway is often called “The Tattooed Mormon” because she does firesides, and has tattoos. Her husband, Ben Carraway, would like you to know why it is that he just doesn’t see her as “the tattooed Mormon” or “that famous girl.”

1) from Ben (full text at this link):

Let pasts go. Allow people to show you that they can change, grow, and become better. My wife was called out for how she looked on her first day in Utah because she was tattooed and holding a church book. That guy told her how foolish she looked. That’s messed up. When my wife and I meet people, a lot of the time I will notice their eyes just starring at her tattoos. To me she is not the ‘Tattood Mormon’ nor will she ever be in my eyes.

Marriage for us, I can firmly say, has not been hard one bit. Sure there have been life difficulties, but we get over them. I love her more and more everyday. I love her more than the day I married her. I find her even more attractive then when we first met. I fall in love with her everyday. Even to this day when I look in her deep blue eyes, I know why I married her. I married her not for her looks, sure that’s a bonus, but I married her for WHO she is.

2) And from Al (full text at the link):

It was a long and incredibly lonely time before I would even be considered for a date, mostly because guys couldn’t get past my appearance. And that was really hard, just barely moving to Utah against my will (but following God’s), being in a new place, not knowing what I was supposed to do there and feeling absolutely and completely alone. (No, not just because of the lack of boys, but in general and in every way you could probably think of). Guys my age were looking for temple worthy girls, however, I didn’t exactly look temple worthy, that they didn’t even speak to me. After my move across the country, it was the first time that it ever occurred to me that, appearance aside, my life before the church could stop guys from wanting to not alone date, but be friends. I would notice the kind of girls that were getting asked out and I began to be afraid that because I didn’t look “perfect,” grow up in a strong gospel centered family, or know how to cook or make my own skirts, I was forever going to be over looked.

A lesson I learned shortly after baptism— when I felt the weight of the world of problems come flooding into my life— I learned that if I continued to put God first, everything else would fall in to place.

You will be blessed with a companion that will help you in the ways you need, even if sometimes you feel like they don’t exist, or that you’re asking for too much or you’re too picky. Don’t let passing time allow doubts and settling to take over. Don’t lose patience and miss out on what He has in store for you. Don’t hold yourself back from learning and growing and experiencing other things. Just hold on and don’t lose confidence.  Heavenly Father knows what’s important to us and what we need.

Those who are single, don’t waste your thoughts comparing yourself and defining yourself by what you aren’tand what others are. Don’t allow yourself to question what is “wrong with you.”  Heavenly Father did not shortchange or screw up on you. Don’t stress. You just worry about you and worry about God.  Because the thing about Heavenly Father is that if we are trying and are patient, we will never be short-changed from the best blessings He has to offer.

Yeah, sure our future can be uncertain at times, but how exciting that is! How exciting it is to know it’s guided by God!

no-mistakes


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True Story: Supposed detours and new blessings

This was a Facebook post from an amazing friend, who also happens to be an amazing writer. Her posts frequently inspire me, but I thought this one in particular needed to be shared with all of you. She graciously gave her assent.

Today would have been my 20th wedding anniversary. Sometimes it still punches me in the gut, the way the worst of life–despite all I wanted and lived for–came in and snatched away all those firsts, those layers of experience and the person I experienced them with. How I lived through those weird but empowering years as a middle-aged single when I came to know and love myself as an individual. And now, a nearly 40 year old newlywed starting from the beginning again–empty bank accounts, rental home, one car, new kids, new family, new last name, new quirks to embrace. It’s not what I expected and I am happy, at peace, in a different way than I expected at this point in my life. But, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would I counsel my children to plan their lives to divorce somewhere in the middle so they could find someone more “compatible” for the next half? Heck no! But would I counsel them that there can be second chances at happily ever after? Yes. And I can show them. And am.

…Jennifer Sanders Peterson

 

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Envy and Jealousy Among Singles

441px-Olmec_mask_802Everyone struggles with envy and jealousy, but I think that LDS Single Women, especially past a certain age, may struggle with it more. As the ratio of women to men increases as one gets older, it is more frequently a subject of jokes among Church members and also understandably a frustration for the women who are still single who long to get married. Of course, problems arise when anyone (men or women) succumb to the temptation to see this stage of life as more of a “competition” and less a matter of patience and serving one another. Understandable? Yes. But does it mean that we all end up hurting feelings from time to time, on top of dealing with our own hurt feelings, and making things more complicated for ourselves as well as others? Most definitely.

Something I learned today, from Vocabulary.com:

Envy/Jealousy

It’s no fun to feel envy or jealousy because both make you feel inadequate. Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbor’s new convertible, you feel envy. If she takes your husband for a ride, you feel jealousy.

 Envy requires two parties, like you and that neighbor, when you want her new car and you wish you were the one riding around with the top down. You feel envy when you want something someone else has.

Jealousy requires three parties, like you, your neighbor, and your husband, when not only do you wish you had that cool car, but you’re worried your husband is going to ride off into the sunset in it without you. Jealousy is exciting because it shows up in lovers’ triangles and Shakespeare’s plays.

You can feel envy about something you don’t have but want, but you feel jealousy over something you already have but are afraid of losing, like that husband who’s always hanging out next door.

When are you envious or jealous?

In a dating context, or as a single, this list from author Carol Tuttle gives us some possible scenarios. Beliefs that limit us:

“I need to be special to a man to be loved.”
“I need a man to love me in order to feel beautiful.”
“I need to be special to a man to be worthy of love.”
“If I’m not with a man, I am not lovable.”

Other issues (It only takes one!!)

Do you often compare yourself to others?
Do you base your value on your outward appearance?
When you are around other attractive women, do you feel inferior?
Do you perceive other women as a threat?
Do you often feel overlooked or that no one really “gets you”?
Do you feel you really deserve something but it seems like others steal your chance for success?
How do you respond when another woman you know gets something you want? (A raise, a promotion, gets engaged, has a baby, etc?)

I think Satan will always tempt us with these, but we don’t need to be discouraged. Instead, when we find that the answer to one of these is “yes,” we can turn to our Savior and our Heavenly Father and those who love us to strengthen our fears and learn to be happy for each other instead of believing that the blessings that others have mean that there is less for us. This excerpt from a 2012 talk from Elder Holland is a great reminder of that:

 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Avoid Envy. March 31, 2012

Full video and text here

Cornichons_Vlasic_Pickles_1

Want to drink some pickle juice?

 


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Sister Linda K. Burton on the Wait for an Eternal Companion

from her March 2, 2014 CES fireside address, “Tuning Our Hearts to the Voice of the Spirit.”

Author Corrie ten Boom’s observation seems applicable here: “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for a future that only He can see.”

Perhaps some of you have had a similar experience to that which our six children have had as they have searched for worthy eternal companions. Because hindsight is 20/20, they can now see that they each needed to have certain experiences in order to be able to recognize the Lord’s hand leading them to their eternal companions. Some of those experiences required years of patiently waiting and moving forward in faith. At times the heavens even seemed closed to them as they prayed. When the Lord’s timing conflicts with our own desires, trust that there might be some preparatory experiences the Lord needs us to have before our prayers are answered.

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President Uchtdorf on Soul Mates and Dating

Photojenni_-_baby_swan_(by) Will I Ever Find My Soul Mate?

From a CES fireside by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, November 1st, 2009. For the entire talk:
text here, video here
A second question we hear from you young people is “I’m so lonely. Will I ever find my soul mate?” I have a number of things I want to say on this subject, but let’s start with the concept of finding the one person you were meant to be with — the one person who is perfect for you.

There is an old story about a young woman on an archaeological excavation who discovers an ancient-looking lamp. When she rubs it, a genie appears, offering her one wish. She thinks for a moment and asks for world peace — that people would love each other and live in harmony forever.

The genie contemplates her request and finally says: “What you are asking for is impossible. The division among the peoples of the world is too deep and has existed for too long. Please ask for something else. Anything but that.”

The young lady thinks again and says: “Somewhere out there is the one person I was meant to be with. I want to find him — someone who is handsome, thoughtful, and has a sense of humor; someone who will help around the house, loves kids, doesn’t watch sports all the time, has a great job, and thinks first about my happiness; someone who will go shopping with me and who can get along with my family.”

The genie considers her request for a moment, sighs deeply, and then replies, “Let me see what I can do about world peace.”

from "Ashley" on flickr

from “Ashley” on flickr

 

Ap_16_view_of_Earth_during_TLC

I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers.

Another error you might easily make in dating is expecting to find perfection in the person you are with. The truth is, the only perfect people you might know are those you don’t know very well. Everyone has imperfections. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your standards and marry someone with whom you can’t be happy. But one of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in life is that if someone is willing to accept me — imperfect as I am — then I should be willing to be patient with others’ imperfections as well. Since you won’t find perfection in your partner, and your partner won’t find it in you, your only chance at perfection is in creating perfection together.

There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless — and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept — that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force.The_Magic_of_a_Photogram_by_Floss_Defoe

Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating.

But what about those who despair of ever finding an eternal companion? First, don’t give up. Go to activities, meet people, and do all you can. I know that dating can be rough. Rejection is one of the most painful things we can experience. Trust me, I know how this feels. I fell in love with Harriet long before she fell in love with me.

But this didn’t stop me — not at all. I found ways to be in the same place she was. When I was administering the sacrament at church, I arranged to pass it to her family. I was doing the best I could to impress her, but I think she found me a little immature. The sparks simply weren’t there for her. I despaired of ever convincing her that I could be anything more than a friend.

I went away, joined the Air Force, and then traveled half a world away to attend pilot training in the United States. It wasn’t until I returned to Germany having completed my training as a fighter pilot — years after I had first met her — that this beautiful young woman looked at me and said those magical words I had been longing to hear: “You have matured since the last time I saw you.”

I moved quickly after that, and within a few months I married the woman I had loved for a long, long time.

So don’t give up, brothers and sisters. Just because you have been rejected a time or two — or three or four, or a couple hundred times — don’t despair. Brethren, the secret to finding the girl of your dreams is to get to know many of them and then, when you fall in love and it feels right, ask her to marry you. If she says no, you continue to search and to pray until finally you will arrive with that young woman at the altar of the temple. Just don’t give up.

Now, sisters, be gentle. It’s all right if you turn down requests for dates or proposals for marriage. But please do it gently. And brethren, please start asking! There are too many of our young women who never go on dates. Don’t suppose that certain girls would never go out with you. Sometimes they are wondering why no one asks them out. Just ask, and be prepared to move on if the answer is no.

One of the trends we see in some parts of the world is our young people only “hanging out” in large groups rather than dating. While there is nothing wrong with getting together often with others your own age, I don’t know if you can really get to know individuals when you’re always in a group. One of the things you need to learn is how to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A great way to learn this is by being alone with someone — talking without a net, so to speak.

Dates don’t have to be — and in most cases shouldn’t be — expensive and over-planned affairs. When my wife and I moved from Germany to Salt Lake City, one of the things that most surprised us was the elaborate and sometimes stressful process young people had developed of asking for and accepting dates.

Relax. Find simple ways to be together. One of my favorite things to do when I was young and looking for a date was to walk a young lady home after a Church meeting. Remember, your goal should not be to have a video of your date get a million views on YouTube. The goal is to get to know one individual person and learn how to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex.

Now, there are those among you fine young members of the Church who might never marry. Although they are worthy in every way, they may never find someone to whom they will be sealed in the temple of the Lord in this life. There is no way for those who have not experienced this despair to truly understand the loneliness and pain they might feel. I know of many women who want more than anything else to be a wife and a mother, and they cannot understand why their prayers have never been answered. There are many single men who, for whatever reason, also find themselves alone.

First, let me tell you that your prayers are heard. Your Father in Heaven knows the desires of your heart. I cannot tell you why one individual’s prayers are answered one way while someone else’s are answered differently. But this I can tell you: the righteous desires of your hearts will be fulfilled.

Sometimes it can be difficult to see anything beyond the path immediately before us. We are impatient and do not want to wait for a future fulfillment of our greatest desires. Nevertheless, the brief span of this life is nothing in comparison with eternity. And if only we can hope and exercise faith and joyfully endure to the end — and I say joyfully endure to the end — there, in that great heavenly future, we will have the fulfillment of the righteous desires of our hearts and so very much more that we can scarcely comprehend now.640px-SwansCygnus_olor

In the meantime, do not wait for someone else to make your life complete. Stop second-guessing yourself and wondering if you are defective. Instead, seek to reach your potential as a child of God. Seek learning. Become engaged in a meaningful career, and seek fulfillment in service to others. Use your time, your talents, and your resources to improve yourself and bless those around you. All of this is part of your preparation for having a family. Immerse yourself in your ward or branch and seek to magnify your callings, no matter what they may be.

The great purpose of this mortal existence is to learn to fully love our Heavenly Father and our neighbor as ourselves. If we do this with all our might, mind, and strength, our eternal destiny will be glorious and grand beyond our capacity to imagine. Be faithful, and things will work out for you. That is His eternal promise to all who love and honor Him.

Original address here and text here.