Five Tips for Singles

Being single in a family-oriented church may seem awkward at times. Yet I have learned that the following principles can help singles like me keep their lives running smoothly while feeling happy and fulfilled in the process.

  1. 1.

    Take care of your health. Your health is a primary source of your strength and independence. Take preventive measures: eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise. When you get sick, quickly take the steps needed to recover.

  2. 2.

    Know that you have purpose. We prepared to come to earth at this time and at this place. If God believes there is reason to have me here, I can believe that too. There must be good work that I can do, work that might not get done if I don’t do it.

  3. 3.

    Keep your home clean. Without a spouse, you may not always feel motivated to clean up after yourself. When I keep my home tidy, I feel a warm and welcoming spirit there, and I am always ready for visitors.

  4. 4.

    Be thankful. When you count your blessings, you recognize how much the Lord is involved in your life. Once I offered a prayer about all my “don’t have” worries: “All my children have grown up and moved away,” “I have to watch every penny,” “I don’t have a companion.” I received an impression that my children are where they are supposed to be and that they love me. I also realized that I have what I need materially and that God can help me find joy in this life regardless of my marital status. Keep the goodness of your life before you always by keeping memories in your photo album, in your journal, and on your walls.

  5. 5.

    Communicate daily with Heavenly Father. I can always pray to Heavenly Father and feel the peace of the Holy Ghost. I have also found that the more I connect with Heavenly Father, the better I am able to connect with those around me.

Kayleen Silver, Tabiona Ward, Duchesne Utah Stake

Gratitude Chart

“Gratitude is a memory of the heart,” a French proverb reminds me whenever I look at my gratitude poster. One day when I was feeling sad, my sister gave me this poster, then blank except for the proverb, and instructed me to take time each day to list at least one thing for which I was grateful. At first there seemed to be a lot of empty space staring back at me, but each day I was able to list something. Now that the chart is full, I can look at it whenever I feel bad and realize all the blessings I have, both temporally and spiritually. Interestingly, this reminder of my blessings helps me to better live within my means. When I’m tempted to buy that new stereo, for instance, I just look at my poster and remember all the temporal things I already have and am grateful for, as well as all the blessings that money can’t buy.

Jennifer Lucas, Irvine Third Ward, Irvine California Stake

Conference Calendar Gifts

A general conference quote a day—that’s what we needed to internalize the Brethren’s important messages. Also, since Christmas was coming, we decided to fill both spiritual and temporal needs by preparing inexpensive conference calendar gifts. After reviewing the most recent conference talks, we selected several inspiring quotations—enough for a daily dose from January 1 to early April, when the next conference would occur. My husband then created a simple template on the computer, dividing a page into fourths. Using online transcripts from the Church’s Web site, we copied and pasted each chosen quotation onto a template section. (Of course, we could have also handwritten the quotations.) After adding a date above each one and adjusting the fonts as needed, we simply printed the pages, copied them, cut them into quarters, and punched two holes in the top of each. After collating the calendar pages, we used large brads or twine for binding. With a magnet attached to the back of the stack, each calendar can hang on a refrigerator, where the quotations are easy to see every day.

The calendars have been such a success that we continue to make them after many conferences. The best part is that my husband and I learn the talks better than we ever did before, and our gift recipients say they love waking up to a new conference quote and thinking about it all day.

Heidi Macdonald, O’Fallon Ward, O’Fallon Illinois Stake

Family Home Evening Helps: A Buffet of Words

One of our favorite family night traditions involves a potluck—not the food variety but a buffet of words. We take turns sharing stories and activities from Church magazines. To keep the discussion interesting, we try to avoid reading word for word. Instead, each family member chooses and reviews a favorite article in advance, then shares selected paragraphs or key ideas in turn. When a recent issue featured a song, one daughter chose to play it on the piano. Another daughter opted to have us play a game she found in the Friend. We’re excited to use the Church magazines in a variety of ways, and we’ve enjoyed inviting friends to join in our family fun.

Ramona Dutton, Alamosa First Ward, Alamosa Colorado Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker

[illustrations] Illustrated by Joe Flores