Welcome, welcome, Sabbath morning ... or, rather, Sabbath evening.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS church, delivered an amazing speech at the most recent CES Fireside on Sunday, 1 November 2009. While Uchtdorf's plea was to help Young Single Adults view themselves as the Lord does, the longest and most-attentive section involved Dating and Courtship (no surprise there, right? I mean, it was a CES Fireside for Young Single Adults).
While much of his counsel has been spoken by many local and General Authorities in the past, President Uchtdorf's witty insight, fervent testimony and real-life application was a breathe of fresh air for a 24-year-old recent college graduate with no long-term possibilities. In fact, this fireside rejuvenated me in my desire for a meaningful relationship and the necessary leg-work to find such a relationship.
But why take my word for it; check out the replay of the Fireside for yourself.
President Uchtdorf address three questions that he said had been commonly sent to him in letters and e-mails from YSA throughout the church in the past year. I'll go through them one-by-one, as I thoroughly enjoyed each point:
1. "Knowing that I am a child of God, what need I do or be to live up to my potential?"
Depression and self-doubt are not in the Lord's plan. As one of His children, you are entitled to be happy, although such happiness will not happy every day of your life. Even the happiest individual has occasional days of sadness and pain. But there is a key to overcoming such days:
Things that fill your soul with hope are always connected with serving God and serving your fellow man.
"If your heart has been heavy for a while," Uchtdorf said, "perhaps it is time to let the light of the Son of God into your life."
The Gospel is based on the Plan of Happiness, not plan of depression or somberness. Allowing gospel principles to permeate your life, through study, prayer, service and good friends can have a dramatic influence on your life.
2. "Will I ever find my soulmate?"
This is likely the question with which most YSA in the church struggle on a near-daily basis. It's even a thought that plagues me, the great Single Vegas Mormon, fairly often.
There is not one single person out there who is meant to marry another person; no one wife for each man, nor one husband for each woman. But worry not — you still have a soulmate.
"Once you commit to be married, your spouse becomes your soulmate," Uchtdorf said.
That doesn't mean any relationship you are in will be perfect. Perfection in a marriage or courtship relationship requires work from both parties.
"The only perfect people you might know are those you don't know very well."
So if there isn't one particular soulmate out there, start dating. The secret to finding the girl of your dreams, according to Uchtdorf, is to meet many of them. And then, when you fall in love, ask her to marry you.
Of you are rejected, be prepared to move on if the answer is 'no.'
In the meantime, don't wait for marriage to make your life complete. Immerse yourself in your education, your career, and your ward and calling.
3. "Can I remain faithful?"
Satan will always try to get us to deviate from the path we have chosen. His temptations are often intriguing, beautiful and appear lavish, much like the most beautiful thunderstorms and hurricanes. But don't be fooled.
"Temptation wouldn't be temptation if it didn't appear attractive, fascinating or even fun," Uchtdorf continued.
It is not a sin to ask questions; indeed, we are a question-asking people. The church was restored because a 14-year-old boy asked a question in the woods outside Palmyra, N.Y.
"Asking questions is not a sign of weakness, but a precursor of growth ... Always hold fast to the faith and light you have received. Everything won't make sense to you at first," because if it did, this gospel wouldn't be from God. Remember, His thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and His ways higher than your ways.
But if we don't ask, we'll never receive.
A quick note on journalism and the church: you'll notice this blog post appears to be in chronological order. But it is not. I have simply summarized the most-appealing insights and applications into my life at this time. When recounting an event such as this CES Fireside, don't feel like you need to go through each item one-by-one in the order President Uchtdorf delivered them. Be sporadic; talk about each issue as you were influenced. In other words, don't be like this guy.