So, in the Latter-Day Saint (LDS, Mormon) church, family is the center of everything. Well, obviously Jesus Christ is our Savior and we try to live our lives like Him and seek guidance from our Heavenly Father...BUT - a family is what we all strive to have. My mind has been on this topic lately.
First of all I want to point out one important goal in life - the Savior and Heavenly Father's goal is the same - "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." - Pearl of Great Price; Moses 1:39. So how is this accomplished? It is accomplished through having a family that is eternal and returns to live with our Heavenly parents/family and friends again.
We all seek for a higher power, heaven, nirvana, to be reincarnated as something or someone beautiful and strong...whatever you seek this is where my beliefs lie.
In the gospel, the LDS church, we believe in having our own families here that are brought together with an eternal bond through the authority or Priesthood of God. This has been passed down through very short lines of authority that lead to Jesus Christ. Most Priesthood holders in the church can actually show you a paper with the names of those men in their line.
Anyway, let's just say I'm not typical in the church. Yet, my circumstance is becoming more typical. But I still run into those that I meet that say "You're not a typical Mormon girl." Why? Well....let me guess...
1) I don't have any children.
2) I am not married. (usually around 19)
3) I served a full-time mission. (usually you see boys with black name tags on, riding bikes...yeah...I did that bike-riding, door-knocking thing too ;)
4) Although I've been (kindof) close to marriage a few times, I've actually never had a relationship last longer than 4 months.
5) I don't attend a single's ward :) haha
OK...I added that last one in just for fun. That doesn't actually mean anything ;)
This hasn't always been easy for me, mainly because I know the gospel is centered around families, and I sincerely believe in all of its teachings and want to fulfill my role as a mother and wife in this life as well. Not because it has somehow been forced upon me but because I seriously have always had a natural desire for these things.
Once, I was working at a Community Center...hanging out with kids all day...fantastic. The girl that ran the front desk, the day before she was leaving to go back to school came up to me and said "You know, I think differently of LDS girls now because of you. I really respect the fact that you've just done what you've wanted. So many of my Mormon girl friends were married young and already have a bunch of kids and I just felt sorry for them that they didn't get to live more of a life than they did. You've really done alot of awesome things and give me a new respect for the gospel." All of the staff members, including this girl, were strong Christian/Baptist so I completely respected her opinion, and also always stood out. I was somewhat stunned that she told me these things, although glad she could see there are differences in every religion. Not everyone is a "textbook" Mormon. And...although I have definitely not purposefully tried....she was right about me.
But when these things are said, all I ever want to say is - "But all I've ever wanted to do is raise a family and be a mother." But this isn't completely true. We all have dreams and goals and definitely I have accomplished some of these things. But driving down a road thinking...wow this is great I could do anything I want ever because it's just me...isn't my idea of fun. It used to be. I'm over that now. I'd like to live in one place for years and get to know my neighbors...that would be nice...and comforting.
Off the subject, though. I definitely told this wonderful girl my true desires in life and that I hope none of those girls regret their decisions...and everyone has their own opinions. But if Heavenly Father has blessed me to be in this circumstance for my life for a reason...such as standing out...since there's no way I can't given my circumstance in life...then I guess I will.
We've all been given gifts and talents to share with others, and we're all required to strengthen our weaknesses to become better! Weakness number one for me - 1) Patience. I'm definitely working on this in many different ways ;)
Throughout life it's easy (eventually) to determine what strength/talents/gifts you are here to share with others. I definitely know that if we suppress those talents they will not remain with us. Also, it is selfish to keep your gifts to yourself. We do this when we're scared or pretending to act humble. Humility is NOT hiding what you've been given. Although it is scary to share the talents/abilities we have with others, there are people that desperately need to be blessed with those things that you have. Withholding the opportunity to bless others I think is one of the most selfish things of all. It definitely doesn't make anyone look good...but it does make us weak. And why would God continue to bless you with something you do not use? He will give the gift to someone who shares it.
For some reason I have been given the ability to work with children. I strayed from this ability for years thinking that if I worked with them I would not want my own. Haha...weird mindset, right? Well, eventually I had to fulfill my need for having my own children since that was not happening but surrounding myself with them. I started work at a Community Center and found that my need was fulfilled. Hanging out with them, teaching them and getting to know them somewhat fulfilled the natural need in me for my own. This has taught me definite patience...and that there is more that I can give. I work with the children in my ward, teaching them music. Absolutely...the best calling, ever!
Blessings come in all forms. No one...that I have ever met...fits a "mold". We all are different and have something to add to the picture. I need you. You need me. This is family. We function as a whole. We are here to create and teach and learn...this is what families are for. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and that it is centered on families...so that we may learn to be as our Father in Heaven...that created us and sent his son...Jesus Christ...to die for us. You parents, imagine having to do that. To give up your oldest, first born child...to die for your other children so that they could return to you. That is true sacrifice. Being a parent teaches ultimate sacrifice and ultimate love.
This is the Proclamation to the World. This is the LDS church's stance on family. I believe this with all of my heart. I love you all :)