This is Cathy in Southern Utah as a mid-single. For many years, she was a single mother to two young boys. Can being a single parent feel heavy? Does it require superhero strength and stamina? It absolutely does at times. It can feel as daunting as holding up this gigantic rock.
Fortunately, we have a loving Father in Heaven and a Savior to rely on when faced with seemingly impossible tasks. We can ask God to consecrate our best efforts and accomplish far more with heavenly help than we can on our own. Sometimes we really need that divine support.
As challenging as it may be sometimes, divorce and single parenting can actually have a positive ripple effect, based on what we learn and how we grow from our personalized mortal experiences. The hard stuff is part of becoming who we are meant to be, while blessing those around us with the wisdom and skills we have acquired in the process.
For all the single moms and dads out there, doing your best to raise good children largely on your own, you have real strength only alluded to in this photo. We know, because we've been there. Keep up the good work – you are amazing. Your best efforts, combined with heaven's assistance, make you a superhero in our book!
At our recent General Conference, President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Gerrit W. Gong both highlighted the fact that a majority of adult members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are now unmarried, widowed, or divorced. Among other things, Elder Gong emphasized that, “Our standing before the Lord and in His Church is not a matter of our marital status but of our becoming faithful and valiant disciples of Jesus Chris” and that, “Adults want to be seen as adults and to be responsible and contribute as adults.” So often, mid-singles of our faith have been treated by other adults as if they had returned to a state of adolescence. Many of you have been lectured about the law of chastity the way we were in our teen years, as though we had not matured in our ability to make moral decisions or to create evolved relationships.
Often people assume that singles must have missed out on the secret possessed by married members of the Church. It is comforting to believe that divorce cannot happen to us. We were among those who sometimes judged divorced or unmarried members for not getting married or “not making their marriages work” – before we, ourselves, were divorced. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12.)
We are living in an era where a universe of possibilities is open to mid-singles of the Church. President Ballard made clear “that eternal life is not simply a question of current marital status but of discipleship and being ‘valiant in the testimony of Jesus.’” He quoted President Russell M. Nelson, “In the Lord’s own way and time, no blessing will be withheld from His faithful Saints. The Lord will judge and reward each individual according to heartfelt desire as well as deed.” If an eternal marriage is your heart’s desire, the Lord has promised that it will be yours, in this life or the next, if you are true and faithful and remain on the covenant path. As President Ballard reminded us, “The hope of all who are single is the same as for all members of the Lord’s restored Church - access to the grace of Christ through ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.’” Love in Later Years is here to help you achieve the spirituality, personal development, and relationships you desire.