To be entrusted with the power to create life carries with it the greatest of joys and dangerous temptations. The gift of mortal life and the capacity to kindle other lives is a supernal blessing. Through the righteous exercise of this power, as in nothing else, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy. This power is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It is the key—the very key.
Whether we use this power as the eternal laws require or reject its divine purpose will forever determine what we will become. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
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When we obey, we can enjoy these powers in the covenant of marriage. From our fountains of life will spring our children, our family. Love between husband and wife can be constant and bring fulfillment and contentment all the days of our lives.
If one is denied these blessings in mortality, the promise is that they will be provided for in the world to come.
Ouch. Marriage and sex are THE KEY to human happiness. It brings us closer to God than anything else does. And some of us will be denied that. But, we will be provided for after we die. Even though we were created in order to feel joy, it's not going to happen for us until we are dead. Great.
I wish I found that comforting. But I do not. Do you know what it says to me? And probably to most singles -- Some of you won't experience real human happiness, or participate in the true purpose of human life or get that much closer to God. We know that you are sacrificing your mortal happiness. But, don't feel bad because some day in the future, you will get your body back and will get to experience these things.
According to church doctrine that will be after the end of days and the second coming and the resurrections. Then, after all of that, I will get assigned to some man to be his 50th wife. Pardon me for not being overjoyed. First of all, it could take thousands of years! And I can only imagine how much worse that sounds to homosexuals in the church. Waiting thousands of years for love is not appealing. That alone kind of makes me want to quit and look for love elsewhere.
It seems that what we always suspected is now confirmed true. No matter how hard they try, the singles won't obtain the same level of happiness. And yet, when you look around you can see the happy people outside the church. Many of them do just fine. Many of them live better lives than we do. They get married and have families and have happy productive lives. While there are plenty of unhappy married people at church. None of us is guaranteed a happy life. That's fair enough. But being single feels like we don't even get the chance for that kind of happiness. We never entered the race, winning was never a possibility. So a lot of us, at least 90%, decide to chase a happy life outside the church, giving up their eternal reward to do it. (I'm not referring to interfaith marriage, but apostatizing for the sake of a relationship.)
While the years tick by, that promise of a future happiness becomes more meaningless to me. Maybe that's a sign of my own weakness. The wavering of my faith. I think this happens to all the many, many singles who leave the church. They spend years watching their lives slip away. They obey, but time keeps passing joylessly. Happiness seems to get further beyond their reach. The temptation to find happiness NOW grows ever stronger with each year. It chips away at our faith and our testimonies.
"He who loses his life for my sake shall take it up again." I know the scripture. But, it's not like I'm one of the 12 disciples giving up my life to spread Christianity. For what cause am I doing this? For exaltation? That doesn't matter to me. Whatever I get in the end will be fine. I obey because I promised to. I obey because I love my God and I owe Him. If my motivation were for a reward, then my obedience would be self-serving and of little worth.
I'm trying to figure out how I feel. I'm trying to clarify my own confused thoughts. I am struggling with my faith. I know I can't be the only one. The other singles have spoken with their feet as they walked out the door. The dilemma: Live for now, or live for later. We can't have it both ways.
What's my conclusion? Let's be honest. Promises for the afterlife are cold comfort and a difficult motivator. I wish the GAs and bishops and everyone else would stop flinging that promise around as if it were a panacea. Like that's all we need to make it through this life alone. I don't think it helps. It doesn't help me feel better. And I think it is used as an excuse. They don't have to do anything about the singles because God will provide, eventually. Maybe in the next world?
It all comes down to faith. It always does. Give your life to the Lord, and trust Him. Worry not about your future. Obey, because He said so. Know that He is a just god and be still. It's a hard road. It can be a lot to ask. Some of us are asked to sacrifice our happiness here and now. Look at poor Joseph Smith, what a miserable life he had! He did what was asked anyway. Like all the other prophets who suffered miserably. Although their suffering served a purpose. Maybe ours does too? Does that help any? It would help me, I think. Be still. Be still.
We may not have a fullness of joy, but it won't be a bad life. We will do good things in our obedience. We will grow and become better. We will have true friends and know love because of our charity. We can accomplish much. We can do more good works because we aren't tied to a family. We contribute to other people's lives and lift their burdens. Maybe this is the purpose of our solitude? Maybe our burden is to make other people happier. In that, we can find contentment. That may be enough for a good life, here and now. I hope so. I don't know how much longer I can hold my breath for the next world.