As part of my personal scripture study, I have been studying faith in Hebrews 11. One of the examples of faith is that of Sarah.
Sarah was promised that she would be the mother of nations. She married Abraham. Based on the fact that he greatly mourned her death, they must have had a very close and loving relationship. However, they didn't have children. Eventually, she decided to give Hagar, her handmaid, to Abraham, in the hope that she would have children through Hagar. That child, Ishmael was not the promised posterity. However, it was over a decade before Sarah found that out and bore a child in her old age. Yet, the promise of being the mother of nations still wasn't fulfilled even at her death. In Heb 11:13, we read that she "died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and [was] persuaded of them, and embraced them....]
Many singles are like Sarah. They have been promised great blessings including a worthy, faithful spouse and many children. Yet, they are still single and wait for those promised blessings. It is easy for people who are married to dismiss this with a simple, "You'll get those blessings in the eternities." That response doesn't lessen an unmarried person's righteous desire for those blessings. Is this how Sarah felt? Did she wonder, "When will I receive the promised blessing of children? Will I have to wait for the hereafter?"
Sometimes, singles become resigned to their singleness, discouraged by the wait, or they try to figure out all kinds of alternative meanings. These thoughts could be compared to Sarah thinking, "Maybe I'm supposed to have children through Hagar." She didn't know that God had something better in store for her. We know that Ishmael was not the promised child, but Sarah couldn't see the future and know that greater blessings were to come.
We can't see what He has in store for us, either. We are looking through a glass darkly. (1 Cor 13:12) That's why faith is so vital for the Single Latter-day Saint. We need to have faith in His promises, the general counsel given by our leaders, and in the specific instructions He gives each of individually through His Spirit. Not all of our paths will follow the conventional one. We have to have faith that whatever path He takes us down will lead to the blessings He has promised.
I ask myself: Am I exercising faith in His promises? Am I following His council received through the scriptures and prophets? Can I actively "wait upon the Lord" serving Him and his children, while I patiently "wait" for those blessings? Can I find happiness in the journey, knowing that the end will be worth it?
Friday, January 4, 2013