Lilies are our symbol for Love In Later Years. They have three true petals and three sepals, which are the same color, shape and size of the petals they are there to protect. We relate the three petals to Peace, Progress, and Pairing and the three sepals to Resilience, Intention, and Faith!
Resilience protects peace, and it is the first step in becoming whole as a mid-single. Healing from adversity, heartbreak, and disappointment rather than remaining stuck, is essential to obtaining and protecting inner peace.
Intention protects progress, by getting purposeful about efforts and actions. This moves mid-singles in the direction of their desires and deliberately cultivates what is in their highest good. Intention and progress also means investing in loving relationships so that in the latest years, we will have the assurance of eternal love and the blessing of warm memories. Consider the famous line from An Affair to Remember, “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. We’ve already missed the spring.”
Faith protects pairing, opening doors to the love of God -- which ultimately leads to love of self and love of others, our two greatest commandments and the source of our greatest joy! Having faith that our loving Father in Heaven knows our deepest desires can provide peaceful reassurance that a power greater than our own is at work in our lives. This is what our Savior said about lilies:
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin... if God so clothe the grass of the field...shall he not much more clothe you?... your Heavenly Father knoweth what ye have need of... seek ye first the kingdom of God... and all these things shall be added unto you."
St. Matthew 6:28-33
To us, the LILY represents the glorious blessings of a loving Father who knows what we need and has the power to provide it. May the LILY of resilience, intention, and faith bloom in every season of your life!
Elder Gerrit W. Gong spoke about single adult members of the Church in April Conference:
"During this life, we sometimes wait upon the Lord. We may not yet be where we hope and wish to be in the future. A devout sister says, 'Waiting faithfully upon the Lord for His blessings is a holy position. It must not be met with pity, patronizing, or judgment but instead with sacred honor.' In the meantime, we live now, not waiting for life to begin.
Isaiah promises, 'They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint' (Isaiah 40:31)."
President M. Russell Ballard expanded on this theme of waiting on the Lord as follows:
"[T]he precise time and manner in which the blessings of exaltation are bestowed have not all been revealed, but they are nonetheless assured. President Dallin H. Oaks explained that some of the circumstances 'of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children.' That doesn’t mean that every blessing is deferred until the Millennium; some have already been received, and others will continue to be received until that day.
[W]aiting upon the Lord implies continued obedience and spiritual progress toward Him. Waiting upon the Lord does not imply biding one’s time. You should never feel like you are in a waiting room. Waiting upon the Lord implies action. I have learned over the years that our hope in Christ increases when we serve others. Serving as Jesus served, we naturally increase our hope in Him.
The personal growth one can achieve now while waiting upon the Lord and His promises is an invaluable, sacred element of His plan for each one of us. The contributions one can make now to help build up the Church on earth and to gather Israel are much needed. Marital status has nothing to do with one’s capacity to serve. The Lord honors those who serve and wait upon Him in patience and faith."
These are reassuring promises that the blessings of marriage and exaltation are assured, notwithstanding any pity, patronizing, or judgment you may receive because of your single status. Yet waiting is not simply biding our time in a “waiting room.” It implies action. Our mid-single years were a time of tremendous growth. We testify that your personal growth combined with acts of service will prepare you to be a better dating partner and a better spouse. Treasure this time for the gift that it is; focus on building yourself and the kingdom of God.
Learning and Growth
“Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know.”
Most mid-singles are familiar with learning through pain. A deep sense of compassion, skillful self-reliance, and the ability to turn wounds into wisdom can develop, perhaps in no other way than through the loss of a significant relationship.
Yet learning can also come through experience with success rather than painful loss. We can look forward to this kind of learning too. Building a foundation of mutual trust, healthy interdependence, and the ability to turn wisdom into a loving partnership can develop, perhaps in no other way than through the gain of a forever companionship. 💕
Life provides a variety of opportunities to learn, not just from loss but also from accomplishment and victory. It is all for our growth as divine sons and daughters of a loving God.