200 - The Eternal Family
"The family is ordained of God.
Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. ...
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
|1 Corinthians 12:12-20, 25-27||1 Timothy 4:12-16|
|Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley - A Conversation with Single Adults (1996)|
|Dr. Marcus Martins - Waiting for Marriage and Deciding Who's 'the One' (PDF) HTML (2014)|
President Ezra Taft Benson
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley
Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith
|Questions for Review|
... [Never] lose sight of this sacred goal. Prayerfully prepare for it and live for it. ... Therefore, don't trifle away your happiness by involvement with someone who cannot take you worthily to the temple. Make a decision now that this is the place where you will marry. To leave that decision until a romantic involvement develops is to take a risk the importance of which you cannot now fully calculate.
And remember, you are not required to lower your standards in order to get a mate. Keep yourselves attractive, maintain high standards, maintain your self-respect. Do not engage in intimacies that bring heartache and sorrow. Place yourselves in a position to meet worthy men and be engaged in constructive activities.
But also, do not expect perfection in your choice of a mate. Do not be so concerned about his physical appearance and his bank account that you overlook his more important qualities. Of course, he should be attractive to you, and he should be able to financially provide for you. But, does he have a strong testimony? Does he live the principles of the gospel and magnify his priesthood? Is he active in his ward and stake? Does he love home and family, and will he be a faithful husband and a good father? These are qualities that really matter.
And I would also caution you single sisters not to become so independent and self-reliant that you decide marriage isn't worth it and you can do just as well on your own. Some of our sisters indicate that they do not want to consider marriage until after they have completed their degrees or pursued a career. This is not right. Certainly we want our single sisters to maximize their individual potential, to be well educated, and to do well at their present employment. You have much to contribute to society, to your community, and to your neighborhood. But we earnestly pray that our single sisters will desire honorable marriage in the temple to a worthy man and rear a righteous family, even though this may mean the sacrificing of degrees and careers. Our priorities are right when we realize there is no higher calling than to be an honorable wife and mother.
I also recognize that not all women in the Church will have an opportunity for marriage and motherhood in mortality. But if those of you in this situation are worthy and endure faithfully, you can be assured of all blessings from a kind and loving Heavenly Father--and I emphasize all blessings.
I assure you that if you have to wait even until the next life to be blessed with a choice companion, God will surely compensate you. Time is numbered only to man. God has your eternal perspective in mind. ...
Now, to all ... regardless of your present situations:
Be faithful. Keep the commandments. Establish a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Know that He is there--always there. Reach out to Him. He does answer prayers. He does bring peace. He does give hope. In the words of the Psalmist: "He is my refuge and my fortress: . . . in him will I trust." (Psalms 91:2) Study carefully the life of the Savior. He is our great exemplar.
Make the scriptures your constant companion. Read daily from the Book of Mormon and receive of its strength and spiritual power.
Realize your personal self-worth. Never demean yourself. Realize the strength of your inner self and that, with God's help, you "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [you]." (Philippians 4:1) Life does not begin only upon marriage. There are important things for you to do right now.
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley
Counsel to Single Sisters
Conference Report, October 1983
Now, a word to you who have not married. It would be a beautiful world if every girl had the privilege of marriage to a good man whom she could look upon with pride and gladness as her companion in time and eternity, hers alone to love and cherish, to respect and help.
But it does not always work out that way. There are some who, for reasons unexplainable, do not have the opportunity of marriage. To you I should like to say, don’t spend your time and wear out your lives wandering about in the wasteland of self-pity. God has given you talents of one kind or another. He has given you the capacity to serve the needs of others and bless their lives with your kindness and concern. Reach out to someone in need. There are so very many out there.
Add knowledge to knowledge. Refine your mind and skills in a chosen field of discipline. There are tremendous opportunities for you if you are prepared to take advantage of them. Nearly all of the honorable vocations of life are now open to women. Do not feel that because you are single God has forsaken you. The world needs you. The Church needs you. So very many people and causes need your strength and wisdom and talents.
Be prayerful, and do not lose hope. But do not become obsessed with ambition to find a companion. Your obsession likely will only make you less attractive, or it may cause a weakening of your standards. Live the very best life of which you are capable, and the Lord in his greater wisdom and in his eternal season will give you answer to your prayers.
You good sisters, who are single and alone, do not fear, do not feel that blessings are going to be withheld from you. You are not under any obligation or necessity of accepting some proposal that comes to you which is distasteful for fear you will come under condemnation. If in your hearts you feel that the gospel is true, and would under proper conditions receive these ordinances and sealing blessings in the temple of the Lord; and that is your faith and your hope and your desire, and that does not come to you now; the Lord will make it up, and you shall be blessed--for no blessing shall be withheld.
No woman will be condemned by the Lord for refusing to accept a proposal which she feels she could not properly accept. In my judgment it is far better for our good girls to refuse an offer of marriage when they think that the companionship of the man would be disagreeable, or if he is one they do not and believe they cannot learn to love.
My advice is to our girls, if you cannot find a husband who would be true to his religion and have faith in the gospel of our Lord, it is better to abide in "single blessedness." It is better to suffer some denial in mortal life and receive life everlasting than to lose your salvation in the kingdom of God. Remember the Lord will make up to you in joy and eternal union more than you have temporarily lost if you will be true and faithful. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men [and women] most miserable."