Thursday, October 28, 2010

Penelope Post

Penelope here again. I am deeply connected to all things mid-singles related. I love the idea of mid-singles and try to support it as much as I can. I was on facebook the other day and found this power point from a talk to mid-singles which speaks about aligning our desires with the Lord's. There was a slide about the scripture D&C 130:20-21 which states:

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

In the speakers notes, I found this:

"How we interpret the following scripture adds to the problem. We tend to interpret this as “each law has its attendant blessing.” Keeping the Law of Tithing, for instance, should bring forth the promised blessings. What happens, then, when that doesn’t happen? We keep the Word of Wisdom and get cancer. We keep the Law of Tithing and lose our job. Worse yet, we wonder if we’ve “earned” our blessings, why God withholds what we’ve earned. Does he love us less or are we unworthy? Does He really “owe” us?"

For me, that perspective was really impactful. Am I acting like God owes me a marriage because I've been faithful or done my duty? Am I getting bitter at God because I expect to have an immediate blessing from living a good life?

And it brought home another perspective, the perspective of those who are married. I guess I can see why some might think that a single person isn't worthy/isn't doing the right things to get married if you take this scripture literally. I wonder if it depends on how you define blessings.

What are your thoughts on this?


Jules said...

This exact issue was the catalyst for an emotional meltdown with my bishop. I don't have any answers, and as I said to my bishop--it's further complicated by trying to reconcile everything I was taught in YW and RS (wife and mother will be my only valid accomplishment in life) with my reality that while I *might* one day get married, I will not have children.

And I really do feel like I am paying for all the mistakes I have made in my life--because what other possible reason is there for me to be this old and single?

Does God "owe" me anything? Well, probably not. Does that make my situation any more tolerable? Not so much.

Fei said...

I look at blessings as opportunities. In my opinion, we can only make the best of them when we've done all that we can do. At the same time, because this is mortal life we are talking about, there is a screwball thing thrown into it. Nothing we do is ever a perfect equation so we can really be doing all we can, but we can't control the universe and make things go our way.

It is that way for marriage, having children, getting a job... the list goes on. Nobody is alone in their frustration at not being blessed the way they want, when they want: the specific issues are simply different.

The problem is our tendency to view having not yet received blessings as the equivalent of being punished. And of course, we don't deserve punishment! That's when we get bitter.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post and Jules' comment. It gave me a lot to ponder. I personally haven't struggled a lot with feeling like I've been punished or that blessings have been denied. I didn't get married until I was 38 and did find myself over the years asking God why not now? My patriarchal blessing mentioned I'd get married at the right time in my life and yet since I was 20 it felt like every time was the right time. I kept thinking as soon as I conquer this fear or as soon as I accomplish this goal. Still nothing. One time, though, after a failed relationship that I was SURE would have been perfect if the guy just would have realized it, I remembered some scripture about God having indescribable blessings in store for us. I had to tell myself that the "one" would be even better than I could imagine. I had to just trust that God knew what was better. I think the reason we feel we've been denied blessings is because we fail to recognize that God really does know how to bless us and that his plan really is better than we can imagine. We try to hold God to our earthly expectations. I think that scripture is true about laws and blessings - but we need to remember that we are eternal beings (not just earthly) and that God really will bless us accordingly - we just need to work on developing out eternal perspective and in the mean time exercise faith that His plan is right and we can follow it and be happy.

Penelope said...

Thanks Anonymous for posting the thought about us being eternal beings and that our blessings may in fact come at a different time than we may have imagined. It does put a different perspective on things.

I think things get hardest when we have those failed relationships that we think are "the one" but just end up driving us crazy with confusion. At least for me that has been the hardest and I have at times struggled with not feeling like I'm not good enough for the blessing. But more recently, as I'm realizing that it really is God's plan for me to be single right now, when the guy got away and my heart was starting to weep, I thought wow, if this isn't the best I can't wait to meet the next guy because honestly each guy I date seems to get better and better. Its kinda exciting sometimes. :)

Fei said...

My history of relationships was that (except for my first relationships where I made the difficult choice of ending something that wasn't good for me), I was broken up with time after time. 6 serious relationships, and a lot of unsuccessful starts in between. That's a lot of rejection.

I always thought at the time that it was because I wasn't good enough. And in some ways, it's true, I really wasn't the ideal person for them. But I've come to realize now that *they* weren't ideal for me either. Not with the combination of who they were and who I was at the time. I am so glad *now* that moving on from those relationships was forced upon me, because I might have settled for those relationships then and wouldn't have been able to enjoy what I have today.

So life, it does its thing to us, and sometimes, it realy sucks! But as long as we're doing what we can, the pattern is that the blessings will keep coming (in this life, and in the next).