By President M. Russell Ballard
Brothers and sisters, more than half of adults in the Church today are widowed, divorced, or not yet married. Some wonder about their opportunities and place in God's plan and in the Church. We should understand that eternal life is not simply a question of current marital status but of discipleship and being “valiant in the testimony of Jesus.” 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.”
5 Principles We Need to Understand
Scriptures and latter-day prophets confirm that everyone who is faithful in keeping gospel covenants will have the opportunity for exaltation.
President Russell M. Nelson taught: “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.”
The 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.
Waiting 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.
God offers eternal life to all of His children.
All those who accept the Savior's gracious gift of repentance and live His commandments will receive eternal life, even though they do not attain to all its characteristics and perfections in mortality. Those who repent will experience the Lord's readiness to forgive, as He has assured: “Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.”
In the final analysis, a person's capacity, desires, and opportunities in matters of agency and choice, including qualification for eternal blessings, are matters only the Lord can judge.
Our confidence in these assurances is rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ, by whose grace all things pertaining to mortality are set right.
All promised blessings are made possible through Him, who, by His Atonement, “descended below all things” and has “overcome the world.” He “hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men … ; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men.” In the end, “the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance” as “joint-heirs with Christ.”
Never forget that you are a child of God, our Eternal Father, now and forever. He loves you, and the Church wants and needs you. Yes, we need you! We need your voices, talents, skills, goodness, and righteousness.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope.- Romans 5:1-4
With apologies to Elder Neal A. Maxwell for daring to modify and enlarge something he once said, I too suggest that “one's life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free.”
It simply will not work “to glide naively through life,” saying as we sip another glass of lemonade, “Lord, give me all thy choicest virtues, but be certain not to give me grief, nor sorrow, nor pain, nor opposition. Please do not let anyone dislike me or betray me, and above all, do not ever let me feel forsaken by Thee or those I love. In fact, Lord, be careful to keep me from all the experiences that made Thee divine. And then, when the rough sledding by everyone else is over, please let me come and dwell with Thee, where I can boast about how similar our strengths and our characters are as I float along on my cloud of comfortable Christianity.”
My beloved brothers and sisters, Christianity is comforting, but it is often not comfortable. The path to holiness and happiness here and hereafter is a long and sometimes rocky one. It takes time and tenacity to walk it. But, of course, the reward for doing so is monumental.- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Waiting on the Lord, Oct. 2020
by President Gordon B. Hinckley, 1996
Brothers and sisters, look above your trials. Try to forget your own pain as you work to alleviate the pain of others. Mingle together as opportunity affords. It is important that we do so. We need others to talk with and to share our feelings and faith with. Cultivate friends. Begin by being a good friend to others.
Share your burdens with the Lord. He has said to each of us: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30).
with Elder Andersen, Sister Bingham, and Sister Eubank, 2021
"We know that many single adults are facing difficult challenges or have questions or concerns," said Elder Andersen, adding that "the Savior's love can heal every sorrow. We hope to be able to share the incomparable love of the Savior with our friends around the world."
Single adults make up over 50 percent of the adult membership of the Church, noted Sister Bingham. "That is a significant audience!"" she said. "We look forward to having a conversation with them about their contributions to the kingdom, their capacity to serve others, and their love of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Sister Eubanks said that as a single adult herself, she is happy to have this open conversation with other single adults. "Every member, no matter their circumstances, has so much to contribute," she said, "and we hope to better recognize this of members of the Church."
Added Elder Andersen, "To those adults, whether you have never been married or are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, you are needed in God's kingdom. We are grateful for all you do to progress the work of the Lord."