Sunday, August 9, 2009

the single mormon girl and the priesthood

this can be a tricky one. when i was married, mr soldier of fortune was a non member, so the priesthood was somewhat of a non issue. we lived close enough to my parents that on the rare occasions i was sick or otherwise needed a blessing i could go to my dad. i was young, invincible and though the absence of priesthood creeped into my consciousness every once in a while, i didnt think about it much. then came my nightmare of a divorce(serious jerry springer material, i will have to write a post about it all eventually)and i was in so much emotional pain, i could hardly move. my family, seeing what i had been through, were sympathetic with me(they love me), but they were relieved to see my marriage over. i didnt feel like i could go to my dad for a blessing of comfort when i knew that deep inside himself he was jumping for joy that mr soldier of fortune was out of my life. i had been inactive for the majority of my marriage, but the last year or so i had started going back. no one really knew me. i usually just stayed for sacrament, but a few had introduced themselves and i had home and visiting teachers. all that have been through an ugly divorce know that the pain can come in waves. some you can stand against as the water rushes over you, others are like a tsunami that sucks you in and spits you out in hostile and unfamiliar terrain. it was a tsunami day when i called my bishop and asked if he could come to my house and give me a blessing. i had caught him at a bad time;he was walking out the door to go somewhere with his wife. i apologized over and over and told him not to worry about it, but he came over anyway(it might have been the my unsuccessful attempts to hide the tears in my voice). i felt so embarrassed, but he gave me a lovely blessing that truly got me through a particularly dark period. for several years after i divorced, i had no desire to date. the legal proceedings drug out(thanks to him)and i was determined not to get involved with anyone until my divorce was final. i had kind of settled into being single and i actually liked it. i worked hard, had fun with my friends, traveled, and pretty much did whatever i wanted to do. i was pretty active in a family ward that didnt treat me as some freak of nature because i wasnt married. life was good. then i read an article in the ensign about how people in the church are choosing not to marry and that it was a troublesome trend in our culture. it pointed out the commandments regarding marriage and encouraged all to not just disregard marriage as a worthy goal in our life. for the first time in 7 years i thought those words were being spoken to me-a revelation of sorts. most of the men i met didnt seem to take their priesthood too seriously. some had arrogantly lived beneath their privilege, unashamed of the covenants they broke, not sure if they even wanted to be in good standing with the church again. there were parts of me that held the priesthood in some disregard, sometimes mild contempt. Heavenly Father had not blessed me with a faithful husband who honored his priesthood, maybe this was just one of the many blessings that would not be mine in this life. in more recent years, my heart has really softened on this subject. the first time i felt truly moved was about 3 years ago when i witnessed a baby blessing. it was a young father, a recent convert to the church, blessing his baby. he had invited quite a few men to stand in the circle and bless this tiny spirit so new to this world. as they gathered and comfortably formed the circle, placing one hand under the baby and the other on the shoulder of the elder next to him. it moved me that these men were joined in such a tender act and when the blessing ended and the baby was shown to the congregation, there were warm embraces and slaps on the shoulder. for the first time i yearned to have an eternal companion i loved to be standing in on of those circles. late last year all the priesthood holders in my ward sang as a choir. i dont remember the song, but to see all of those men standing behind the pulpit singing literally moved me to tears. then today, the youth speaker canceled and the bishop(last minute) asked the three priests in our ward to share their favorite scripture and explain what it meant to them. these young men did fantastic. you could tell they were a little nervous, but they had scriptures ready and spoke in such a way that i was impressed with their conviction. i cried a little seeing these young men, future missionaries, husbands, and fathers grow in their faith before my eyes. i want my own priesthood holder.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting.
    I have experienced the same feelings but my way to feel at peace is to understand that although I don't have the priesthood, my life is probably a lot more spiritual alone than if I were married. I am not talking about those guys you mentionned who live "below" what they should be. I am talking about "the good guys" who think that a woman should be happy to have them because they follow the commandments and this is good enough.
    No this is not enough to me and I won't settle for anything else and if I am too picky or too demanding for some then I am sorry for them because I live so has to be a good match for the kind of guy I have on my mind. And I am extremly demanding with myself.
    So when I see the kind of situation you described, I too feel this is a wonderful thing because there are some men out there who have decided to live up to what they are expected to be.
    But it does no make me yearn for anything. I have come to the point where I feel complete and I can progress without having "the luxury" of having the priesthood in my home and I feel extremly sorry for those who pass me by.
    Yep, I think higly of myself :)
    I found out (for me at least) that to think the highest possible of who I am an what I am is the best way to make the best choices and the best way to feel the best about everything in my life.
    Yes... a lot of "best" occurence in this last sentence but I was just trying to make a point there :P