Tag Archives: Mormon

Introducing Paul Green, Advice Columnist for LDS Single Friends

We’re pleased to introduce Paul Green, our new advice columnist for LDS Single Friends. Paul has been well prepared by the Lord to take on this role and we hope that the LDS single adult community will take advantage of his insights and expertise. Here’s his bio below:

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Paul Green

Paul Green

Paul Green is a renaissance man in every sense of the word, he is an entrepreneur, actor, comedian, musician, athlete, humanitarian, writer and much more. He served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Cleveland Ohio and upon returning noticed a cultural shift in the church regarding marriage, divorce, dating, relationships, and parenting. Through his experience serving in the LDS church, he had the opportunity to meet and associate with many single adults from a variety of circumstances. Many of these singles would confide and open up to him, helping Paul gain a greater and deeper sympathy for the tremendous and heart wrenching challenges associated with being single parents and divorcees and the struggles of trying to date again after having extremely traumatizing experiences in their first marriages.    

As he learned how to listen with his whole heart to the challenges of others, Paul was also facing his own challenges as a single man in the LDS church. At the age of 33, Paul has never been married and has faced his own set of challenges as a single man, striving to live the gospel and serve in the kingdom of God while lacking one of the most significant pieces of a truly gospel centered life, a spouse and children. After struggling with dating and relationships after returning from his mission, he spent several years in intense study of relationships, communication, and human interaction to better understand why dating is such a challenge for so many, while it seems so natural for others. After many personal discoveries he began blogging some of his discoveries in a blog entitled, “dating difficulties.” This was his first attempt at writing for the benefit of others. Many expressed positive appreciation for his insights and comments, and one reader even offered to help him write and publish a book!

At about the same time that Paul began his quest to understand dating, he also discovered he had a natural gift and talent for improvisational comedy and performance. He started performing with a local improv troupe that performed regularly. As an improviser, he began to learn and utilize principles of leadership, communication, team building and creative thinking in his personal and professional relationships. He was also given the opportunity to teach workshops to help others find greater success in their own personal and professional lives. These opportunities, coupled with his life experiences, helped him discover his great passion for helping others find more creative and effective solutions to overcome the many challenges and trials that all of us face in mortality. 

Paul was put on this world to serve and love others with his whole heart, full of compassion, sympathy and understanding of any challenge that anyone can face in life. Whatever you are struggling with at this point in your life, whether it be illness, loneliness, depression, trials of faith, doubt, fear, apprehension, family concerns, divorce, singleness, financial, spiritual, emotional, struggles with same-gender attraction etc., his only desire is to help! Feel free to write in and see if Paul has any advice that will help you push through your current trial to receive the blessing that awaits all after the trial of faith!

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. 

Highlights of the 2013 Boise Institute Luau and Shaun Canon Concert

The Boise Institute kicked off the 2013 fall semester by organizing a luau and a concert with Mormon artist Shaun Canon. As a native Hawaiian, I had high expectations for the luau and I’m happy to report that the Institute activity was a fun evening that represented the island traditions.

2013 Boise Institute Luau

I picked up my photographer, Marc, and lent him one of my Hawaiian shirts.  We arrived at Ann Morrison park and it was already packed full of excited single adults. There were about 400 people and I was pleased to see many dressed appropriately for a luau, including President Phillips and President Vail from the Stake Presidency.

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Feasting and Friendship  at the Luau

True to form, the dinner was a roasted pig that was carved up for the feast. The dinner tables around the park shelter were completely packed with happy and excited single adults. One of the greatest strengths about the Institute program is that it provides opportunities to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Nik and Donovan

Nik and Donovan

During dinner, I had the chance to meet up with two of my friends, Donovan and Nik. My buddy Nik had just finished his vendor business at the Western Idaho Fair, “Bacon on a Stick,” and was still in the process of readjusting to a normal schedule after working an insane 150+ hour week at the fair.

It was also great to see Donovan. Because he’s had family in town for the last month, I hadn’t been able to meet up with him for a while. Donovan has been a good friend to me over the last few years and I was glad we got to hang out.

Kachina at the 2013 Boise Institute Luau


I also had the pleasure of meeting a new friend during dinner, Kachina, who has just moved to Boise to take on a new job. I learned that before coming to Boise, she was studying anthropology at the University of Utah. She needed to take a break from school to save money before transferring to another university, so when a job opened up in Boise, she was quick to take advantage of the opportunity.   

Brother Thompson Has Sweet Skills

After dinner, Boise Institute faculty member Brother Thompson entertained the crowd with his epic juggling skills. If you’ve ever watched the movie Napoleon Dynamite, I’m sure you remember the scene where Napoleon talks to his friend Pedro about the importance of having useful skills. I don’t know if Brother Thompson has nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, or computer hacking skills, but when it comes to juggling, Brother Thompson has some flipping sweet skills. Check out the embedded video below:

2013 Boise Institute Luau

Brother Thompson teaches juggling

After his performance, Brother Thompson was kind enough to teach juggling to a few Institute students who were amazed by his performance. Thankfully, Brother Thompson started them off with balls, rather than with sharp knives or flaming torches.


Volleyball, Slacking Off, and Dance Off

Trent slacklining at the 2013 Boise Institute Luau

Trent demonstrates slacklining

There were several games of volleyball going on and we also had a slackline set up. Slacklining is similar to tightrope walking, only the line’s tension allows it to bounce like a trampoline. This allows different stunts to be performed. At my request, Trent, one of the members in my ward, jumped on the slack line and demonstrated a few cool tricks.

Laura, one of the students that helps run the Boise Institute, was the MC for the event and organized a limbo contest and a hula dance off! The initial pool of dancers was narrowed down to the top four people. Laura then had the crowd choose the final winner.

Rusty wins the dance off at the 2013 Boise Institute Luau

Rusty wins the dance off!

Rusty, a former member of the Boise Institute leadership team, won the dance off. Acen, last year’s President of the Boise Institute, and Earl, one of the members in my ward, celebrated by putting Rusty on their shoulders as the crowd went wild! After the luau ended around 8 pm, we left the park to meet up at Boise State’s amphitheater on campus for the Shaun Canon concert.

A Round of Bad Jokes

I was extremely grateful for Marc coming with me and taking pictures during the event. Marc recently took on another part-time job and he had been awake since 4:30 am that morning, without having time to rest before coming to the Institute activity. I could tell that Marc was getting tired, so to keep him awake, I tried to make him laugh while we were waiting for Shaun to finish setting up for the concert. I asked Marc if he had heard any good jokes lately, and when he couldn’t think of any, I resorted to a few tried and true bar jokes.

I started off by saying, “A horse walks into the bar, and the bartender says, why the long face?

Marc chuckled politely, but as it turned out, he had heard that joke before. So I told him another bar joke: “A termite walks into a bar, and says, is the bar tender here?” Marc hadn’t heard that before and got a good laugh from that one.

Donovan followed that up saying, “A man walks into a bar, and says, ouch!” Immediately afterwards, Donovan seemed chagrined and said, “I guess that was a bad joke.”

I dryly responded, “Well Donovan, I think that for these jokes, we need to set the bar higher.” Thankfully, Laura from the Boise Institute got up to make opening announcements before we could go for another round of bar jokes. (Yeah, we’re hilarious.) 

 Laura tosses out candy at the 2013 Boise Institute Luau

Laura tosses out candy to the crowd

Laura started off by choosing names for a random drawing of prizes sponsored by the Boise Institute. There were some great prizes given away, including restaurant gift certificates and movie tickets. Following the drawing, Laura tossed out candy to the crowd of excited single adults before turning the time over to Shaun Canon.


Concert with Shaun Canon: I knew he was treble when he walked in

If you’re not familiar with Shaun Canon, he was a top contestant on American Idol, Season 7. Since American Idol, Shaun has stayed active pursuing his dreams. A few of Shaun’s achievements include receiving a Platinum AVA award, opening for major acts such as Brian McKnight and Janelle Monae, and winning a UK Music Contest called “Slice the Pie.”

Shaun Canon at the 2013 Boise Institute Luau

Shaun Canon

Shaun Canon spoke briefly about his music career and how he wanted to use his talents to make a difference in the world. That’s why he started the ambitious “Live for Music,” tour which raises money for high school music programs around the country. At each fundraising event, Shaun donates 50% of what they make back to the school, and to date, Shaun has raised more than $100,000 for high school music programs.  

Shaun Canon proved to be quite talented and I felt his music was a refreshing change from the typical genre of bubblegum love songs. I enjoyed Shaun’s music and thought his songs had more depth than the catchy, but often hollow tunes often played over and over again on the radio. I particularly enjoyed his songs, “A More Meaningful Life” and “You’re All My Reasons,” a duet that he performed with local artist Christy Davis.

Shaun dedicated the last song, “When I Take Your Hand,” to his wife, Molly Canon. He said that they were just married in the Manti temple two months ago and the audience cheered when he made the announcement. I was happy for him, but I had to fight the urge to make an ill-advised joke about marrying a “Molly Mormon.” After the performance, we ended the activity with a closing prayer. If you’d like to hear Shaun Canon’s music, check out his Reverbnation profile.

Mahalo to the Boise Institute!

As always, the Boise Institute did a great job organizing and executing the kick-off activity. If you’re new in town or just need someone to go with to Institute activities, feel free to contact me and I’ll gladly meet up with you. For more pictures of the luau and concert, check out the gallery below. Thanks again to my buddy Marc for contributing his pictures!

Aloha Oi’ to my dear readers until next time.  

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Single, but not singled out

Single, but not singled out: Why a gospel-centered life is the best choice for a single adult

As an active Mormon, being single is not the lifestyle I would have chosen for myself. Having been taught about family relationships at an early age, I never doubted the importance of marriage. Yet despite choosing to follow the path laid out to me through the church – a mission, education, and career – I’ve found myself alone in a family-oriented religion.

My situation is hardly unique. Single adults are a growing demographic in the United States, and about half of American adults, or 100 million, are single. Even within the Mormon Church, it’s estimated that at least one-third of its adult members are single.

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Single adults have many challenges during these formative years as they prepare for careers, marriage, and family life. It’s easy to be distracted by the temptations of the world, to take the seemingly easy route through life that leads to instant gratification. Being a Mormon single adult also creates unique expectations and challenges to overcome.

Being Mormon and Single

Because of the culture of the Mormon Church, it’s sometimes easy to feel alone and isolated simply because of your marital status. In a church that highly values marriage and family, people are often critical of singles because they assume that something must be “wrong” with us. It’s tough to remain single while you see people around you marry and settle down, especially when you can’t figure out exactly what makes them better marriage material than you. It hurts to feel that despite doing everything you can to be eligible for the Lord’s blessings, you have not yet received the earnest desire of your heart.   

As a Mormon single adult, I also have fears I have to live with:

The fear of not being able to find an eternal companion and having to face life alone.

The fear of being ostracized by other church members and not fitting in because of the shallow judgments of others. 

Or worst of all, the fear that perhaps the problem is me and that I’m still single because there’s something wrong with me I haven’t yet recognized.

It’s easy to lose faith, to question if God really does have a plan for you, to wonder if you’ll fit in as an active single Mormon. Perhaps in part for these reasons, it’s estimated that half of the Mormon single adult population is not active in the church. But although I have these fears, they’ve become manageable through knowing and living gospel principles.

Despite the challenges that face Mormon single adults, I choose to remain active in the gospel for three specific reasons.

First, I choose to be active because the gospel is true for everyone, married or single. Because of the teachings of the gospel, I understand that being married or single doesn’t change your value in the eyes of the Lord. Being a single adult in the church does not make you a second class citizen; it simply means that you have not yet had the opportunity of finding a companion.

Everyone’s path in life is different and we all have unique challenges to overcome as we work towards becoming like our Heavenly Father. What really matters is how we choose to face these challenges. When I feel discouraged, I remind myself of a story told by Elder Anderson about a convert who sacrificed everything – his family relationships, his career, and other opportunities in life – just so he could be baptized. When questioned about why he made his decision, with tears in his eyes, he said, “It’s true, isn’t it? Then what else matters?”

My personal testimony has helped sustain me as a Mormon single adult. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “When [an individual] is motivated by great and powerful convictions of truth, he disciplines himself, not because of the demands made by the church but because of the knowledge within his heart.” Because I know the gospel is true, it helps me stay active in the church – no matter how difficult or lonely the path might be.

Second, I choose to be active in the gospel because it creates the best possible lifestyle for a single adult. The teachings of Jesus Christ allow me to anchor my life to something that stays constant in a world of change. It’s given me the guidance and support to make the best possible life decisions. It’s given me the ability to go through life and make choices that will bring lasting happiness, rather than be satisfied with short-term, temporary pleasure.

It’s true that living the gospel doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a life free of pain, loneliness, or trials. Being an active Mormon single adult can be difficult sometimes. But it’s worth it. Living the gospel has brought purpose to my life as a single adult and it’s brought me lasting happiness that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s allowed me to experience sacred moments of pure joy that only come through obeying gospel principles.  

It’s brought me joy from knowing about my divine potential and that I can become more like my Heavenly Father.

It’s allowed me to feel peace from knowing that although my life may not have turned out the way I envisioned, it’s still acceptable to God.

It’s helped me obtain serenity when my heartfelt prayers are answered, even when it’s not necessarily in the way and timeframe I would have liked.

When I have these sacred experiences, it gives me a brief taste of the eternal joy that awaits me if I’m faithful in this life. The gospel is called the plan of happiness for good reason and I wouldn’t trade these blessings for anything else.

Third, I choose to be active in the gospel because it gives me an eternal perspective. This means that I make choices in life that will bring me happiness for eternity, not just for the relatively short timeframe of mortality. Ten years, twenty years, even a hundred years is less than a blink of an eye compared to eternity.

Because whatever choices we make in this life will determine our destiny for eternity, we have so much to lose if we allow our focus to hang on our marital status. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen from single adults is losing sight of our place in God’s kingdom simply because we haven’t yet found an eternal companion. We are a chosen generation and we should act accordingly – single or not, married or not.

Having an eternal perspective means that we’re willing to accept the Lord’s timetable for our lives. If we recognize that the Lord wants to bless us in His own time, we earnestly strive to prepare ourselves for eternal marriage, keep a positive attitude, and make the most of our available opportunities.

The Lord's blessings will come

Image courtesy of www.creativeldsquotes.com/‎

It’s challenging to keep an eternal perspective when faced with disappointment, heartache, and a sense of loss. But we need to remind ourselves that this life is a test, an opportunity to prove ourselves. If we live faithfully, whatever blessings go unfulfilled in this life will be made up for in the next. Because of my perspective, each year that goes by isn’t viewed as another year being single – it’s viewed as another year in keeping myself worthy to receive the Lord’s blessings, regardless of whether these blessings happen in this life or the next.


I know that regardless of our marital status, the gospel is worth living. I truly believe that despite the challenges we face as single adults, we are on a path that leads to eternal joy. The gospel has given me a purpose in life, the strength to persevere, and the ability to stay optimistic about my future. As a great man once said, “the future is as bright as your faith.”

Image courtesy of www.creativeldsquotes.com

Image courtesy of www.creativeldsquotes.com

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