Okay, I’ll admit, I might have a bit of a crush.
On two elderly German men.
and this one…
Okay, not really. I’m not that weird. I think I just love their cute little accents and most of all their messages.
So, I thought I’d share their messages with all of you.
The first one is a little video clip that somebody made using part of a talk given by Enzio Busche at a BYU devotional all the way back in 1996. I just think he has so many good little words of wisdom. You can find it here. It is only about seven minutes long and is worth watching.
The second one is Elder Uchtdorf’s talk from the CES fireside just this month. I realize that (hopefully) most of you have already seen his talk but I just thought it was super excellent and wanted to post the link here.
And, just in case you don’t have time right now to watch the whole fireside (I promise though, it is worth it!) let me share with you all one of my favorite quotes from the talk. Elder Uchtdorf said…
“There those among you fine young members of the church who might never marry (pause here for a moment of sadness). 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’s no way for those who have not experienced this despair to truly understand the loneliness and pain you might feel…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 you. We are inpatient 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 than we can scarcely comprehend now. 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 out to 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, your resources, to improve yourself and bless those around you. All of this is part of your preparation for having a family…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.”
Anyway, let me be completely honest when I say that sometimes talks on singlehood, or about people never marrying in this life drive me nuts. I guess it just sort of depends what mood I’m in. I will even admit that several years ago, when I was going through a particularly hard time in my single life (I think I had just been dumped or something), I actually walked out during a Relief Society meeting in my family ward. (Don’t worry, I didn’t make a big scene or anything…I just walked out.) It was Christmastime and the lady giving the lesson was reading a book about a made-up story of a single, barren, spinster woman who lived at the time of Christ and was all sad because she couldn’t have kids, yadda, yadda, yadda, and then she got to see the Christ child and all the sadness in her life was gone and the cavities of grief in her heart were filled.
I think that first of all I didn’t like it because I don’t really go for cheesy Mormon made-up stuff. Sometimes it freaks me out. Like that painting of smiling Jesus or the one of Christ’s marked hands saying “I love you,” in sign language. Those scare me. I guess I just don’t feel like we need to Mormon culturatize everything. To me the gospel is wonderful just as it is…plain and simple (and normal).
And the second reason I think that I walked out of that meeting is because I just felt like, “Hey, every woman in this RS room is married with children BUT me. Please don’t downplay my personal grief at not being a wife and mother. Please don’t try to tell me that if Christ was a part of my life I wouldn’t feel sad about being a barren spinster. Because he is a part of my life, and being a spinster is still hard.”
And the third reason I probably walked out is just that I was in a bad mood and sick of being single that day. I know that the lady teaching the lesson didn’t mean to offend. She probably didn’t know there was a super overly sensitive spinster in the room that day.
Anyway, at times when I hear people in firesides, church, conference, etc. say something to the effect of, “don’t worry if you don’t marry in this life because if you stay faithful, God will give you all the blessings of marriage and family in the eternities…all will be well”, it just makes me cringe. And the majority of the time it is married people giving these “comforting” talks. And I just want to say to them, “okay, if not being married in this life is no biggie because at some point in the eternities God is going to bless us with the deepest desires of our hearts, then why don’t you and I just trade places and I’ll be married and have babies in this life and you can hang out and wonder what to do with yourself while you try to remain faithful and deserving to later receive what everybody else is receiving now, OKAY?” (And yes, I would say it in a big run-on sentence just like that and would probably be out of breath by the end.)
So, yeah, that just gives a little background of how I sometimes feel about these “stay faithful and happy now and get married later” talks. It isn’t how I always feel, but sometimes during more difficult times in my life I’m much more sensitive as to what is said over the pulpit regarding singlehood. Maybe some of you, at times, feel the same way. It isn’t to say that I’m bitter or that I don’t appreciate people trying to address the issue of being Mormon and single, but sometimes married people talking about singleness just bugs.
It would be like me sitting and eating a big piece of delicious chocolate cake in front of a hungry child and saying, “I know I’m eating this delicious cake now, that we have been commanded to eat, but you can’t have any just yet. Just wait for about 80 years, and if you stay wanting this cake, in the next great state of being (that you cannot even comprehend or imagine) you will get to eat cake too. Okay, so just stay happy and faithful.” And then I would give the child a sympathetic smile as I licked my fork.
BUT, regardless of how I sometimes feel about talks on being single, I just have to say that I LOVED Elder Uchtdorf’s talk and wasn’t rubbed wrong by it at all. Maybe it is just the state of life I’m in right now. Maybe it is because he is an apostle and I’m just glad to hear someone with a greater understanding of this life (and the next life) than I have, talk about singlehood. And maybe it was just the cute way he delivered the message or the way you can tell that he actually cares and feels for those of us who don’t yet have a mate in this life. Or maybe it is because he started the talk right off by saying that, “there’s no way for those who have not experienced this despair to truly understand the loneliness and pain you might feel.” But it probably just didn’t bother me because the talk was given with love, understanding, and with the spirit. So, do yourself a favor and find a time this week to watch the whole thing. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m going to “joyfully endure to the end” while secretly in my heart holding out in hope that I won’t have to. I hope the same for all of you. That you can faithfully and joyfully enjoy your time as a singleton but that we will all, through some miracle, find someone right for us and won’t have to be alone. BUT, if I do have to wait, fine. Maybe I need to learn patience. Maybe I, for some reason, need to wait for that “glorious and grand” eternal destiny. I’ll trust and hope that what is best for me will happen.
Good luck out there everyone!