Category Archives: Personal experiences

Personal experiences that help showcase how active Mormon single adults live their lives.

Being Single ≠ Something’s Wrong With Me

In an era where there are more single adults now than any time in history, there’s a surprisingly large amount of misperceptions and stereotypes about single adults that still persist. One of the most common myths about single adults is the general belief that because someone is single, there must be something wrong with that person. In this article, I’ll address how this perception is emphasized among single adult members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) and explain why this attitude is misplaced, inaccurate, and damaging.

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There are few other religions in which marriage and family life are as highly prized as the LDS church. Consequently, the church is supportive of its single adults and wants them to reach their full potential. There are many church programs that are designed to help single adults make progress in their lives, which naturally includes finding a spouse and starting a family. These programs are to be commended, however, because of the heavy focus on marriage, it’s easy for unhealthy stereotypes of single adults to grow within the church culture. 

For instance, I once had a friend tell me that when she was attending college, one of the church leaders in her congregation said over the pulpit, “If you’re still single when you graduate, ask someone you trust what’s wrong with you.” This tactless statement doesn’t represent church doctrine and certainly doesn’t represent the general attitude from church leaders to single adults. However, because it came from one of my friend’s local leaders, she took those words to heart and when she graduated from school as a singleton, she slipped into depression for a time.

Thankfully, her story has a happy ending: She stayed faithful in the gospel, married one of my best friends, and I was one of the groomsmen at her wedding. Nonetheless, her story is hardly an isolated experience. Through my role as a blogger and administrator of the Facebook Page LDS Single Friends, I’ve spoken with many other LDS single adults who have similar stories to tell about how single adults are perceived in the church culture. 

(Originally published as a guest post on I Go by Ari, read the remainder of article here)

Marc Meeker

Each Life That Touches Ours For Good: Lessons Learned From Marc

As Latter-day Saints, we have high expectations of ourselves. But because we’re human, we stumble and make mistakes, often making us doubt ourselves or feel inadequate.  Sometimes, we might wonder if our efforts are “good enough” or acceptable to the Lord. However, despite our challenges, through us, the Lord can work miracles. I know this first-hand through my experience working with my friend and blog photographer, Marc. 

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When I first met Marc, he was just returning to the church after four years of inactivity. I reached out to him and a friendship developed during the summer. After I met Marc, I received the impression that I should look for fellow LDS single adults to lend their God-given talents to my blog. Marc quickly accepted my invitation to join my team and in the next two months that followed, he became a valuable team member. Marc moved away to Washington, but I learned some life-changing lessons through working with him, which I felt inspired to share with you:

Lesson #1: It doesn’t matter where we’ve been; it matters where we’re going

Elder Dube quote

Picture courtesy of the Ensign

As we got to know each other during the summer, Marc opened up to me and shared with me his background and some of his past burdens. What I found remarkable about Marc was that despite his life challenges, he was remarkably consistent in his spiritual journey.

Marc reactivated himself without knowing anyone in our ward and without having a support system. When he returned to church, Marc also became the only active member in his immediate family. Marc faithfully attended church every Sunday and although his challenges didn’t go away, I sensed that they became easier to bear because he decided to hold fast to his faith. 

Before Marc moved away, I asked him what inspired him to return to church and what gave him the strength to be consistent. Marc’s answer was simple: He told me that he came back to see if he would find joy from being in the church again. He stayed active because he saw that it made him happier and he didn’t want to miss out on these blessings.

Like Marc, we may have challenges in our life that cause us to doubt if we have a place in the church. But the Lord is more concerned about where we’re going than where we’ve been. If we want to be happy, we can’t allow the past to burden us. As long as we learn from it and move on, like Marc, we can find happiness. 

Lesson #2: If you treat people as they currently are, they will remain that way. If you treat people as they could become, they will often rise up to the challenge

Creative LDS quotes - See others as they could become

Picture courtesy of Creative LDS Quotes

A week after Marc accepted my invitation to join the blog team, he seemed uncomfortable and asked to meet with me. We met and to my surprise, Marc confided to me about aspects of the gospel he struggled with. Although he didn’t explicitly state it, I sensed he was questioning his ability to serve on the blog team. For a moment, I felt uncertainty and doubted my prompting to invite Marc to join my team. But immediately, I heard the quiet voice of the Holy Ghost that said, “If you treat people as they currently are, they will remain that way.”

After I recognized that prompting, I expressed confidence that Marc could overcome these challenges he faced and make a difference in helping others through the blog. I expressed my commitment to our friendship and offered to support him in any way I could. Consequently, Marc and I had many gospel discussions over the summer. Because of my zeal for the gospel, there were a few times when I came across more strongly than I intended and when I inadvertently went too far, Marc let me know.

I remember one evening when I felt that I was being unsuccessful at getting through to Marc and I expressed my frustration in prayer. The promptings I received came to me as feelings, rather than words. But if Heavenly Father had responded to me in words, it would have been, “Marc’s my son. Help him to remember that.” After that, I changed the way I approached Marc. Instead of trying to help him gain a testimony of specific gospel principles, I tried to help him understand his divine heritage and how our personal relationship with God impacts our lives. Throughout this process, I noticed positive changes in Marc as he rose to meet his challenges and fulfill his responsibilities with the blog.  

In hindsight, I can see how it would have been damaging and counter-productive if I treated Marc differently. No one wants to be treated as a “project.” No one wants to feel inadequate or that they’re not good enough. Regardless of someone’s background, we have a sacred duty to help others realize who they really are as children of God and what they can accomplish through tapping into their divine potential.

Lesson #3: Each person has unique value and differences should be embraced, not feared

In this church there are no outcasts

Picture courtesy of LDS Creative Quotes

Sometimes, we have a hard time accepting others who don’t fit into the stereotypical “Mormon mold.” We’re often quick to cast judgment – perhaps we might feel uncomfortable, or even threatened by those who are different. However, these feelings of discomfort are often the result of our own uncertainties and should not be projected on others. Because we are all brothers and sisters, everyone has a place in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Joseph Wirthlin said, “Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don’t belong…Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.”

If you know someone who has strayed away from the church because he or she feels out of place, or if you are distant from the church because you feel different from the mythical “ideal Mormon” – please know that every member of the church has unique value. We need you to add your personal testimony, life experiences, and perspective to our congregations, which strengthens other members and the church as a whole. For example, Marc’s differences allowed him to become a great resource to me in working on this blog.

As a former less active member, Marc’s insights were invaluable in helping me understand the concerns and needs of my brothers and sisters who are disengaged with the church. Working with Marc helped me become more sensitive to how I could support other members who lacked a support system or came from a difficult personal background. Finally, our friendship helped me better understand how to connect with someone whose personality and interests were very different from mine.

Making a difference

Marc and I were able to work together successfully because I accepted his differences and focused on what we had in common – our shared belief that living a Christ-like life would bring happiness to the lives of our fellow LDS single adults. This acceptance empowered Marc and allowed him to make a significant impact on the blog team.

Marc’s pictures of Boise Institute activities were viewed by more than 1,300 people on Facebook, promoting the LDS lifestyle and Institute activities to a wide audience. His gift for photography helped guide me in using visuals on my blog to effectively tell a story and testify of gospel principles. On a personal level, I benefited from Marc’s friendship and it helped me become more accepting, compassionate, and understanding of people.

The Lord knows who we are and sees our potential

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf - Never Give Up On Anyone

Picture courtesy of LDS Creative Quotes. Quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue In Patience” conference address

Working with Marc reaffirmed the importance of extending friendship to others and trusting in the Lord’s timing. Although there were people who reached out to Marc when he was less-active, it was four years before he decided to return to church. We need to be patient and remember that the seeds of faith we plant now may bear fruit in the future. Before Marc left Boise, he bore his testimony in our ward. I was touched by seeing his personal growth in the space of a relatively short time.

Although we all have challenges in our lives, the Lord knows who we are and what we’re capable of. Don’t forget who you are truly are – you are a son or daughter of God with unlimited potential. As demonstrated through Marc’s story, if we allow Him to, the Lord can work miracles through us. 

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Mormon missionary vs zombies

Why Mormons Are Prepared For The Zombie Apocalypse

Featured image courtesy of Kathyrn Lowry Illustration. You can order your own print here!  

Mormons and the Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies have become iconic in our society and for many people, zombies represent the end of modern civilization as we know it. It’s speculated that people are fascinated with zombies because it helps them cope with anxiety about the end of the world. This fascination has established zombies in popular culture through media like The Walking Dead, World War Z, and Zombieland. It’s also triggered a resurgence of interest in how people would survive if a zombie invasion actually occurred.    

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The possibility of a real-life zombie invasion isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. Science has demonstrated a number of ways by which humans could turn into zombie-like creatures, such as through neurotoxins, viruses, or even nanobots. In fact, there’s an article that details five scientific reasons how the zombie apocalypse could actually happen.

But even in the worst case scenario of a zombie outbreak really taking place, I’m not too concerned. If I were a gambler placing bets on what organization would be most likely to survive the zombie apocalypse, my money would be on the Mormons.  

 Mormons are prepared for anything, including a zombie apocalypse

First Presidency and Zombies

Sadly, this will probably never happen during General Conference. (Image courtesy of Mormon Memes)

Emergency preparation is highly emphasized in the Mormon Church. The Mormons believe that careful preparation, both spiritual and temporal, helps us overcome fear and confidently react to any possible disaster. These principles of emergency preparation can easily apply to Mormons that need to fend off a zombie onslaught. Through following the teachings of modern-day Prophets, the LDS church and its members are well prepared to face the zombie horde. Let’s examine the following points:  

Mormons decisively respond to disasters

It’s well documented that the Mormon Church is exceptional at mobilizing its resources and quickly responding to disasters. Usually within hours of a catastrophe taking place, church officials are able to rally a volunteer and relief force in the local area. This same level of organization is represented in every single Mormon congregation.

Each Mormon congregation has a personalized emergency plan for natural and manmade disasters. Guidelines for this emergency plan include consideration of alternative means of communication, relationships with civil authorities, and awareness of which church members have equipment or skills that would be critical in a disaster. These emergency plans are periodically updated by local church leaders.  

Because of this level of preparation, the local Bishop (leader of a Mormon congregation), will likely know which church members are well armed and ready to push back against the zombies. As demonstrated in Idaho and Utah, there are plenty of church members who believe in exercising their right to the 2nd Amendment. Any zombie horde that tries to storm the local LDS meetinghouse will probably march into the path of a well-orchestrated firing squad.

Bishop Hendrix

Bishop Hendrix is ready for the zombie apocalypse. Michonne would approve. (Image courtesy of Mormon Memes, credit Ross Luzzader)

Alternatively, if the local church members are anything like Bishop Kent Hendrix, who used his trusty samurai sword to drive off a mugger, there’s going to be a lot of decapitated zombies. As demonstrated by Michonne, the warrior woman from The Walking Dead, a sword can be a lethal weapon against zombies in the right hands. Either way, through bullets or by the blade, the Mormon militia will make short work of any zombie incursion.

It’s clear that the Mormon Church has exceptional foresight in preparing for the worst case scenario. In fact, for all we know, the Mormon Church has an emergency plan specifically designed for a zombie outbreak. In any case, the ability of Mormons to quickly mobilize will give them a critical advantage in reacting to a zombie invasion.

Mormons are self-reliant

The concepts of self-reliance and personal preparation are extremely important to Mormons. On a regular basis, church leaders teach these concepts from the pulpit and during regular church meetings. Mormons are encouraged to build up financial reserves, store medication/first aid supplies, and stockpile other essential items that will be critical if a disaster occurs.

Through personal preparation, church members are able to provide for themselves and help others during an emergency. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, many Mormons won’t need to wait for the government or other relief organizations to provide emergency supplies. This places members of the church in a favorable position to assist in evacuation efforts or help civic authorities push back against the zombie hordes.

Mormons are the masters of food storage

Food storage will prepare us to outlast the zombie horde.

Food storage will prepare us to outlast the zombie horde.

Members of the church are encouraged to build up a year’s supply of food and water. More specifically, Mormons are counseled to gather a three month supply of food they normally eat and a longer-term supply of food with a longer shelf life, such as rice, wheat, and corn. Growing up, I would often question why we needed an entire year’s worth of food since we lived in a first-world country. Now that I’m older and wiser, I believe the only rational explanation must be zombies.  

Although it may take a little time to organize your food storage, if a zombie apocalypse takes place, you’ll be grateful you made the investment. Plus, in the very rare occasion that you run into a vegetarian zombie, you can feed them graaaiiiinnnns. (Bad joke. Or depending on what you feed the zombie, a corny joke. You saw what I did there). 

Mormons are incredibly resourceful

In a post-apocalyptic world, supplies will be limited and survivors will need to become self-sufficient with little resources. Mormons will rise to this challenge because they have a rich history of flourishing despite having scarce resources to work with. The early Mormon pioneers that migrated to Utah settled in a desert that had little to offer. Yet through ingenuity and resourcefulness, the pioneers found a way to make the desert “blossom as a rose.”

Even though it’s been nearly two hundred years since the Mormon pioneers, a culture of resourcefulness still permeates Mormon culture. Church members are taught to be thrifty and look for innovative ways to make do with less. The lessons learned from the early pioneers can be easily applied by Mormons trying to survive in a world overrun by zombies.

Find a way to cook a gourmet meal with only the ingredients from food storage?

Create zombie slaying weapons with only random and seemingly ordinary household items?

Find a way to entertain the group without TV, video games, and other traditional entertainment?  

Challenge accepted.

Mormons are spiritually and emotionally resilient

If you manage to survive the first few waves of zombies, you also need to be ready for the psychological challenges of living in a post-apocalyptic zombie world. It will be essential for you to keep your spirits up as you get through the dark days ahead. If you ever get trapped somewhere surrounded by zombies and need to hunker down, you’ll benefit from having a Mormon at your side.   

Mormons are generally stable and well-adjusted people. They are taught to be self-reliant, yet have a strong sense of community loyalty that will serve your group of survivors well. Plus, Mormons know how to get through tough times. In the early days of the church, Mormons were hunted and driven from place to place. Despite this, Mormons not only survived, but eventually thrived despite having the odds heavily stacked against them. One of the secrets to their success was having an incredible attitude of faith and perseverance.  

The quintessential Mormon will be able to slay zombies while singing traditional church hymns about hard work such as, “Put Your Shoulder To the Wheel” and “Let Us All Press On.” Mormons will overcome the challenges of living in a post zombie-apocalyptic world because they know that true happiness, peace, and purpose in life is based on internal, not external factors. Having a Mormon’s cheerful, tough-as-nails optimism and perspective on life will help you survive the zombie onslaught without losing your sanity. 

Worthy Mormon men can use the priesthood – the authority to act in God’s name 

The priesthood is the power and authority to act in God’s name. In biblical times, the priesthood was used to govern the church and perform miracles such as healing the sick. This power was temporarily lost after the original Apostles were martyred, but it was restored and is used in the LDS Church today.

Because the priesthood is the power of God, it can only be used by worthy LDS males. This is why the church heavily emphasizes the importance of personal worthiness. During a disaster where medical supplies and personnel are limited, the righteous use of priesthood power could mean the difference between life and death. In the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, worthy Mormon men will be able to work miracles through the power of their priesthood.  

Mormons are taught to further their education and develop practical vocational skills

The Mormon Church places a strong emphasis on the importance of education and vocational training. Consequently, because most Mormons have useful skills, this makes them valuable members of any group of survivors. After all, nearly anyone can learn how to bludgeon a zombie or shoot a rifle – in contrast, people with specific training and skill sets will be more difficult to find.  

Also important, when the zombies are eventually eradicated, the world needs well-trained and educated people to help put society back together. The survivors with an education and practical vocational skills will be valued and rewarded appropriately. Obtaining an education and gaining vocational skills is an investment that ultimately pays off – even in a world overrun by zombies.

So what now?

If you’re Mormon and you’ve prepared yourself, congratulations. You will likely be the first person your friends turn to when the inevitable zombie onslaught begins.

If you’re Mormon and you haven’t heeded the inspired counsel of the living Prophet, now would be a good time to prepare yourself. Remember what it says in Doctrine and Covenants 38:30 – “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

If you’re not Mormon, it’s a good idea to make friends with one. As demonstrated in this article, Mormons are among the most prepared people to survive the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

President Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson

It’s important to note that Mormons are well prepared because of the teachings of modern Prophets. Just like Prophets in the Bible warned people of impending calamities, we have the blessing of a modern Prophet today to guide us and help us prepare for the future. The living Prophet today is President Thomas S. Monson and I have a personal testimony that following his teachings will protect us from zombies and the many other dangers that surround us and our families.   

If you want to learn more about the role of a Prophet, click here.

If you want to learn more about how members of the Mormon Church prepare for zombies and other potential disasters, click here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to shamble back to working on my food storage.

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*A special thanks to Kathryn Lowry Illustration for the featured image! Be sure to follow her Facebook Page and check out the online art portfolio of her equally talented husband, Bryce Christian Lowry. If you liked her Mormons vs. Zombies picture, click here to place your order!   

*Thank you to Mormon Memes for allowing me to use their memes for this blog post! 

Malcolm Ravenclaw

Letter of introduction to the followers of LDS Single Friends

Blogger’s note: I recently became the administrator for the Facebook Page “LDS Single Friends.” Here’s the letter of introduction I wrote to this Page’s followers.

Aloha Brothers and Sisters, 

Daniel Bushman, the founder of LDS Single Friends, recently made me the administrator of this Facebook Page. I have a great deal of love for my fellow LDS singles and I’m honored by the trust Daniel’s placed in me. I’d like to share with you more about my background and what I hope to accomplish through managing LDS Single Friends.

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I love the Restored Gospel with all my heart. But even though the gospel is true, it isn’t easy being single in a family-oriented religion. That’s why I recently launched this blog, Single-Minded Determination, which is intended to provide inspiration, hope, and encouragement to single adults who are trying to live their lives in harmony with gospel teachings.

As I looked for ways to connect with other LDS singles online, I came across LDS Single Friends. I reached out to Daniel and explained what I hoped to accomplish. He made me the admin because I wanted to continue his mission to empower LDS single adults and help them progress socially and spiritually. To accomplish this, here are the top three areas LDS Single Friends will focus on:     

1)      Provide LDS singles with more ways to mingle and meet each other. Please continue to post events for LDS singles on the Facebook Page and they will be broadcasted out to our followers.

2)      Share relevant and uplifting content specifically focused on meeting the needs of LDS single adults. This Facebook Page will share content that address common single adult issues such as dating, overcoming emotional challenges, and strengthening our relationship with Heavenly Father.

3)      Advocate a gospel-centered lifestyle by sharing examples of single adults engaged in worthy causes. Through highlighting other valiant single adults, it will remind us that we’re not alone and will help inspire us to live the gospel courageously.  

Through focusing on these areas, we will build a stronger support system for LDS single adults worldwide. However, to be successful, I need your help in two ways:

1. Invite your friends to follow LDS Single Friends! There is strength in numbers and through building a vibrant community of LDS single adults, we can better support each other in living the gospel.

2. Please remember me in your prayers and ask the Lord to inspire me as I manage the Facebook Page. I want to provide value to our online community and I need divine guidance as I fulfill my stewardship.  

I recognize that the audience for this Facebook Page consists of single adults from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. However, despite our differences, the gospel unites us as brothers and sisters. Although it’s sometimes easy to feel alone or isolated as a single adult, being a member of the Lord’s church makes us part of a worldwide family.

To help create this sense of community, my dream is to use LDS Single Friends to create a dynamic and thriving network for LDS single adults across the entire world. Please support my efforts to make this dream a reality!

Your brother in the faith,

Malcolm Ravenclaw

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about me and the circumstances that compelled me to start reaching out to fellow LDS single adults, please read the “About Me” section on my blog. 

Dedicatory prayer with picture of Christ in our living room

Transforming our bachelor pad into an extension of the temple: Home dedication ceremony

When Elder Richard G. Scott spoke last April about building a Christ-centered home, I was touched by his remarks and resolved to do my part to create such an environment. After pondering Elder Scott’s talk, I prayerfully considered how I could improve the living environment in my home.  I felt impressed to dedicate my home, which meant giving it a special blessing to set it apart as a sacred place.  In the same way that our chapels and temples are dedicated to set these buildings apart as a sacred place, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as LDS or Mormon) have the opportunity to set apart their homes and invite the Lord’s blessings in their lives.

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As a single adult, I recognized that my situation was different from a traditional family.  I was renting a modest home with two other Mormon roommates, but I still felt it was important to bless our home to invite the Lord’s presence more fully into our lives. Around the time I felt prompted to dedicate my home, I was going through the transition of having my current two roommates move out.  One roommate was moving to China to teach English and the other roommate wanted to move to another part of town to be in the correct boundaries for the family ward he attended.

I felt impressed to wait until I found new roommates before I moved forward with the dedication ceremony.  I felt that if my new roommates and I had a common vision of what we wanted our home to be like, we could work together more effectively to build a gospel-centered home.  After finding two great roommates, Daniel and Erich, I suggested dedicating our home together and they were both supportive of the idea.  

Because we can request specific blessings when dedicating our homes, my roommates and I prayerfully discussed what values were important to us and the type of living environment we wanted to create.  As single adults, we wanted our home to be an uplifting place where we could prepare for eternal relationships with our future families. As part of this, we decided to specifically ask the Lord to help us to act unselfishly, show unconditional love, and strengthen each other in living the gospel.  After each person gave his input, we sat down together and wrote our final dedicatory prayer that detailed the specific blessings we would request from the Lord.

We wanted to have a special ceremony in our home that would help us capture the sacredness of the event.  We invited Jessica, Daniel’s friend who helped introduce him to the gospel more than a year ago.  We also invited my friend Marc, who generously agreed to take photos to remember this special day.  

"Hanging Out" scent

“Hanging Out” scent

As we prepared our home for our guests, Daniel set up his Scentsy candle burner and showed me the wide variety of candle scents we had to choose from.  One of the scents available was called “Hanging Out,” and had a picture that showed a group of young adults gathered close together.

 

I found this hilarious, since one of our church leaders, Elder Oaks, gave a talk several years ago that chastised single adults for “hanging out” when they should be paired off and dating.  I was tempted to use the “Hanging Out” scent, but we ended up going with another scent called, “Vanilla Twilight.”

Daniel teaches our lesson about the sacredness of the home

Daniel teaches our lesson about the sacredness of the home

Marc and Jessica arrived and after introductions and an opening prayer, I turned the time over to Daniel to share a short lesson about the sacredness of the home.  It was particularly meaningful to listen to Daniel share his thoughts and personal testimony about the sanctity of the home.

Before Daniel moved in, we were home teaching companions and he would often come over to visit.  Daniel would frequently comment on the peace he felt when coming over, which was one of the reasons he moved in when we had an opening.  Having Daniel share his thoughts and personal testimony of building a gospel-centered home meant a lot to me and he did a great job with his lesson.

Daniel read from the Bible Dictionary, which said, “Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.”  Because the hallowed ground of the temple is considered to be the most sacred place on earth, it’s a serious commitment to make our home a holy sanctuary comparable to the temple.  Making our home a sanctuary gives us a foundation to overcome the temptations and distractions of the outside world. 

Daniel explained that although we’re spiritually fortified each Sunday at church, it can become difficult when we experience situations during the week that can be stressful, tempting, and possibly degrading to the Spirit.  Making our home a sacred place helps us overcome these challenges.  Just like how the reverence and peaceful spirit we feel in the temple can uplift us throughout the week, creating a similar environment at home can also become a great source of strength.

Dedicating our home is important because it sets it apart as a sacred place, reaffirms our commitment to live gospel standards, and gives everyone who lives there motivation to work towards common goals.  Daniel said something I found particularly insightful:

“[Through our home dedication], we’re inviting another roommate into our home – we’re creating a place for the Lord to reside. He’s always been here, but we are now welcoming him completely.”

Daniel closed by sharing his personal testimony of how his life has been blessed through living in a gospel-centered home.  As a convert to the church, Daniel explained that he hasn’t always been in the best living environments and coming over to a place like our home was very different for him.  He bore sincere testimony of the peace he’s felt through coming home to a place where he can be fortified from the challenges of the outside world.

Malcolm, Jessica, Daniel, Erich around dedicatory prayer

Malcolm, Jessica, Daniel, Erich around dedicatory prayer

After Daniel’s lesson, we kneeled around our table and I had the privilege to give the dedicatory prayer.  After our ceremony, we had a closing prayer, blessed the refreshments, and placed our framed dedicatory prayer in our living room. Daniel said something particularly amusing after the lesson. He said: 

“Our home will now be a complete extension of the temple, BUT the only difference is you won’t hear Malcolm’s puns or Erich’s echoing laugh within the walls of the temple.”  

Given my fondness for puns and Erich’s distinctive laughter, I thought that was an excellent way of looking at it.  Even though the three of us have only been roommates for a relatively short time, we’ve already created many fond memories.  Having Daniel and Erich as roommates has been a blessing in my life and working together to dedicate our home was a sacred experience.   

Erich, Malcolm, and Daniel with dedicatory prayer

Erich, Malcolm, and Daniel with dedicatory prayer

I am grateful we had the opportunity to dedicate our home and invite the Lord’s blessings more fully into our lives. Dedicating our home doesn’t mean that our living environment will be perfect – that would be an unrealistic expectation, because we are imperfect human beings.  However, the dedication means we now have a common vision to work towards as we build a Christ-centered home.  

Whenever we look at our dedicatory prayer, we will be reminded that we’ve invited the Lord as our fourth roommate – and we will strive to act accordingly.