Today, in lieu of the regular three hour block of church meetings, everyone in the area gathered in various meeting houses for a Regional Conference.
Over a hundred stakes (a group of wards.....for questions on the LDS lingo, please click "I do believe" tab) participated in this incredible event.
It was so powerful to walk into BYU's Marriott Center and see THIS:
There were several amazing talks, including those on the importance of family and temple work, but the talk that really hit home was that of Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his absolutley adorable wife.
Pretty much any given talk given by a General Authority at these sort of meetings ALWAYS gets on the topic of how badly the Young Single Adults in the church need to be working with all their energy towards marriage, and so often I feel chastised for not having found "the one." But not today.
Elder Oaks introduced his wife to share a brief message, and I cannot tell you the amount of comfort this provided me. This beautiful, adorable, spiritual giant of a woman did everything she was supposed to, and did not find her eternal companion until the age of 53. 53!! Can you imagine wanting to get married your entire life, and nothing working out till you're halfway to a hundred?! I think I would give up from discouragement. But Heavenly Father had a special plan for this lady, and even though she had to wait, look who she ended up with! A disciple of the Lord! One of the greatest spiritual leaders alive today! The Lord has a plan in store for us that we cannot even begin to comprehend.
In addition to Elder Oaks' adorable analogy comparing finding an eternal companion to finding "a jacket that fits," he said something else incredibly comforting as well.
I have had my share of breakups and unreciprocated (is that even a word? Yes. It is today) feelings, and it is always so discouraging to throw yourself full heart, mind, and body into the well being of another person, just to end up feeling like they don't care.
The take away message from Elder Oaks, though, is this: If we are living the way we should, we will be blessed with the faith to endure and trust in the Lord's timing.
We CANNOT control the agency of another person. So when you think you've found the one but they don't seem to feel the same way, we don't have the ability to truly change their mind. But we can have the faith to endure until we find something better. Something or someone that deserves our full heart. We will never lose blessings because someone else's agency doesn't align with our own. Just like for Sister Oaks, the Lord has a special person in store for each and every one of us. If I work my hardest to turn myself into the best possible person I can be, I will receive all the wonderful blessings in store for me.
What a comforting message! I didn't feel chastised, or that I wasn't living up to my end of the deal by still being single. I felt hope about the situation, a kind of rejuvenating hope I haven't felt in a long time.
Let us all be the best we can, married or single, to attain all the blessings we have in store.
All my love, B.