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Elder ballard on singles


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I was particularly interested in the meaning of the bolded portion. It seems we may know less about exaltation than we think we do.  For instance, if we don't know the time of exaltation, it would seem open to eternal progression rather than a traditional judgment scene. 

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-general-conference-leadership-meeting

The Apostle also shared five doctrinal assurances that Church leaders can use to help single adults in their midst.

  1. “The scriptures and declarations of latter-day prophets confirm that every person who is faithful in the gospel covenant will have the opportunity for exaltation.”
  2. “The precise times and manner in which the blessings of exaltation are bestowed upon every faithful person have not all been revealed, but they are nonetheless assured.”
  3. “Waiting upon the Lord implies continued obedience and spiritual progress.”
  4. “God offers eternal life to all of His children. All those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ’s gracious gift of repentance and strive to be obedient to His commandments will qualify for eternal life.”
  5. “Our confidence in these assurances is rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ by whose grace all things pertaining to mortality are set right.”
Edited by juliann
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27 minutes ago, juliann said:

I was particularly interested in the meaning of the bolded portion. It seems we may know less about exaltation than we think we do.  For instance, if we don't know the time of exaltation, it would seem open to eternal progression rather than a traditional judgment scene. 

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-general-conference-leadership-meeting

The Apostle also shared five doctrinal assurances that Church leaders can use to help single adults in their midst.

  1. “The scriptures and declarations of latter-day prophets confirm that every person who is faithful in the gospel covenant will have the opportunity for exaltation.”
  2. “The precise times and manner in which the blessings of exaltation are bestowed upon every faithful person have not all been revealed, but they are nonetheless assured.”
  3. “Waiting upon the Lord implies continued obedience and spiritual progress.”
  4. “God offers eternal life to all of His children. All those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ’s gracious gift of repentance and strive to be obedient to His commandments will qualify for eternal life.”
  5. “Our confidence in these assurances is rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ by whose grace all things pertaining to mortality are set right.”

I don't know if I ever thought of exaltation as the result of a final judgement scene.
The prophet Joseph did teach that:

  • When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.

I definitely think that exaltation is an issue of progression.
As in D&C 130:18-19

  • “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”

I think full exaltation will be a process, but still one that is granted to those who were willing here to fulfill their obligations.

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34 minutes ago, juliann said:

I was particularly interested in the meaning of the bolded portion. It seems we may know less about exaltation than we think we do.

I think this is a wonderful message.  I've known more than a few really good LDS dudes in their 30s or 40s still "waiting" for life to start with marriage.  Refusing job, educational, and other opportunities that would take them out of Utah etc.

We are merely human.  We can't control everything.  The best thing is to live a meaningful productive life and whatever comes to us will come. 

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29 minutes ago, Ipod Touch said:

I think this is a wonderful message.  I've known more than a few really good LDS dudes in their 30s or 40s still "waiting" for life to start with marriage.  Refusing job, educational, and other opportunities that would take them out of Utah etc.

We are merely human.  We can't control everything.  The best thing is to live a meaningful productive life and whatever comes to us will come. 

I don't want to sit in judgment of anybody.  The Acme Judgment Company offered me a terrific position with great benefits, but I turned it down because I wasn't qualified. ;)  That said, I really, really can't understand the attitude, Well, if I want to have any shot at all of getting married, I can't leave Utah.  I haven't "sought" to stay here, and I haven't "sought" to leave; it has simply worked out the way it has worked out.  (And I'm still not married!  Go figure! :unknw:  Maybe I should simply go travel the world! :huh:   I have been working on my "Bucket List" lately: It does have some interesting (but hopefully still accessible, both geography-wise and finance-wise) places on it.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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1 minute ago, Kenngo1969 said:

That said, I really, really can't understand the attitude, Well, if I want to have any shot at all of getting married, I can't leave Utah. 

I don't know.  I understand the logic.  There's a large dating pool in Utah.  

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2 hours ago, juliann said:

I was particularly interested in the meaning of the bolded portion. It seems we may know less about exaltation than we think we do.  For instance, if we don't know the time of exaltation, it would seem open to eternal progression rather than a traditional judgment scene. 

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-general-conference-leadership-meeting

The Apostle also shared five doctrinal assurances that Church leaders can use to help sin

  1. “The scriptures and declarations of latter-day prophets confirm that every person who is faithful in the gospel covenant will have the opportunity for exaltation.”
  2. “The precise times and manner in which the blessings of exaltation are bestowed upon every faithful person have not all been revealed, but they are nonetheless assured.”
  3. “Waiting upon the Lord implies continued obedience and spiritual progress.”
  4. “God offers eternal life to all of His children. All those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ’s gracious gift of repentance and strive to be obedient to His commandments will qualify for eternal life.”
  5. “Our confidence in these assurances is rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ by whose grace all things pertaining to mortality are set right.”

1. I can find scriptures that suggest damnation awaits me. It is only recently that prophets have made such a promise to me.

2. Great, so eons in the future. Le sigh.

3. I’m doomed.

4. Very doomed

5. Oh boy.

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I find the idea that mortal humans 'know' pre or post mortal conditions, progressions, groupings, sealings etc...   Are amongst the most presumptive speculations I have ever come across.

What God has in store for His children after this phase is over is a mystery and I am anxious to learn, work for, experience, and grow with.   I have NO idea what it means.  And neither does anyone else.

 

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11 hours ago, The Mean Farmer said:

I find the idea that mortal humans 'know' pre or post mortal conditions, progressions, groupings, sealings etc...   Are amongst the most presumptive speculations I have ever come across.

What God has in store for His children after this phase is over is a mystery and I am anxious to learn, work for, experience, and grow with.   I have NO idea what it means.  And neither does anyone else.

 

Well, yes, and the same goes for any claims to know anything about God/s.

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17 hours ago, The Mean Farmer said:

I find the idea that mortal humans 'know' pre or post mortal conditions, progressions, groupings, sealings etc...   Are amongst the most presumptive speculations I have ever come across.

What God has in store for His children after this phase is over is a mystery and I am anxious to learn, work for, experience, and grow with.   I have NO idea what it means.  And neither does anyone else.

 

I don't know that I agree with this idea, most especially because if it's true then Meadowchik is right, we can't even know if there is a God or not.

I agree that we can't understand things perfectly, and we can't know things that haven't be revealed, and that seeing through a glass darkly means somethings we will get wrong.  But I reject the idea that if you don't know something or I don't know something, then no one can know it.

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Let me be more clear. 

We have commandments from Jesus and from Prophets of God that tell us things about what to do in this existence.  Things like Baptism,Confirmation, prayer, and fasting are cut and dry for us.  We have structure of a higher and lower priesthood and ordination to them.  Covenants like the Sacrament,while we can bicker about the exact way to perform the ordinance, we have command and blessing to have it.

 

Contrast that to the person I have had in Gospel Doctrine class who was sure they could tell what kingdom any person would inhabit based upon knowing maybe 3 things about them.  No real need for Judgement or sanctification.  They knew and could offer Judgement themselves.

Others are sure that there never were any other Priesthood offices, callings, covenants, ordination, powers etc... In the premortal existence. There wasn't spiritually based eternal progression then, and there can't be more after this life.  

Still others seemed to know how missionary work would be organized in the Spirit World.

 

My point wasn't to say you can't know God or anything of faith. You can and are encouraged to share that from the pulpit once a month.   It is that God has a plan for us and power to accomplish His plan that we don't know or understand.  And I find when us mortals, who are by nature ignorant of our pre-earth life, and don't have good details about the future, think we know all of God's plan, power, priesthood, covenants, and decisions when it comes to Eternal Progression.

 

I THINK we have some basic structure.  But we're pretty fuzzy on the details.  By design 

 

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22 hours ago, Ipod Touch said:

I don't know.  I understand the logic.  There's a large dating pool in Utah.  

There is, but I think that, often, we (and yes, by "we," I include myself in this) get so caught up in attempting to find the right one that we neglect doing what we need to do to become the right one.

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On 4/2/2021 at 11:49 AM, juliann said:
  • “The precise times and manner in which thblessings of exaltation are bestowed upon every faithful person have not all been revealed, but they are nonetheless assured.”
  • “Waiting upon the Lord implies continued obedience and spiritual progress.”

First Presidency 1909....

“Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so that undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.”

Edited by Bernard Gui
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On 4/2/2021 at 3:14 PM, The Mean Farmer said:

What God has in store for His children after this phase is over is a mystery and I am anxious to learn, work for, experience, and grow with.   I have NO idea what it means.  And neither does anyone else.

See First Presidency proclamation just above this post. 

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When I heard President Ballard a short while ago reiterate in his general conference talk his points about single adults, I reflected that I would have benefitted from a talk like that in the years before my marriage. 
 

That said, I was blessed to have ward and stake leaders who recognized my potential and desire to serve and gave me meaningful responsibilities in the Church. (Although I could not have been considered for a calling as a bishopric counselor; apparently that policy has changed now.)

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

When I heard President Ballard a short while ago reiterate in his general conference talk his points about single adults, I reflected that I would have benefitted from a talk like that in the years before my marriage. 
 

That said, I was blessed to have ward and stake leaders who recognized my potential and desire to serve and gave me meaningful responsibilities in the Church. (Although I could not have been considered for a calling as a bishopric counselor; apparently that policy has changed now.)

Well according to Elder Gong half the Church is now single.  So it's not an issue of supply and demand.

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49 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Well according to Elder Gong half the Church is now single.  So it's not an issue of supply and demand.

If we are over half the church......we can launch a coup and take over. Let's do it!

"Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."

*glances at membership list*  Oh right, we have the highest rate of inactivity and those that are active are disproportionately older.

I am going to have to cancel the coup due to lack of interest.

 

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Is the lack of singles in leadership callings in the US really that much of a problem that they needed a conference talk about it?

 

2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

(Although I could not have been considered for a calling as a bishopric counselor; apparently that policy has changed now.)

Based on playful threats given to me from ward leadership, singles have been able to be bishopric counsellors for a while.

A quick search finds a 1990 conference talk with only Bishops and Stake Presidents having the traditional requirement of being married https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1990/10/i-have-a-question/what-callings-are-open-to-single-members-of-the-church?lang=eng

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If we are over half the church......we can launch a coup and take over. Let's do it!

Yeah, no. That would just lead to more callings. 2020-hobo-head isn't the only reason I have a ponytail.

I also take comfort that my separation and upcoming divorce provides a shield.

To be fair, me having a calling isn't something that leadership would want either. I'm no longer willing to be stopped from doing the right thing.

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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Although I could not have been considered for a calling as a bishopric counselor; apparently that policy has changed now.

In addition to JustAnAustralian's post, I was in a singles ward in the 1990s in America that had unmarried counsellors in the bishopric. I assumed at the time that it was an exception for singles ward. The first time I was called to serve as a counsellor in a bishopric (nearly a decade ago), I asserted my understanding that I was ineligible. I was informed that that was not nor had it ever been the case. I honestly don't know about the 'never' part of that, but clearly single men have been eligible to serve in bishoprics for several decades at least.

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5 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Well according to Elder Gong half the Church is now single.

It's more than half, and it's been that way for some time. Elder Holland pointed out at a regional singles convention in Japan more than 10 years ago that nearly 2/3 of adult members globally are single. I wasn't surprised. Just take a quick look at your ward directory. And expect not to know most of these people because they're probably inactive and/or overlooked.

Quote

So it's not an issue of supply and demand.

Right. People like you should volunteer to just line all the single people up and assign them to each other. I'm sure that would help ...

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

In addition to JustAnAustralian's post, I was in a singles ward in the 1990s in America that had unmarried counsellors in the bishopric. I assumed at the time that it was an exception for singles ward. The first time I was called to serve as a counsellor in a bishopric (nearly a decade ago), I asserted my understanding that I was ineligible. I was informed that that was not nor had it ever been the case. I honestly don't know about the 'never' part of that, but clearly single men have been eligible to serve in bishoprics for several decades at least.

I was alluding to what I thought was in the link in the OP, but I went back and re-read it and looked at news reports from this weekend, and realize now that what President Ballard was saying is that single men can now serve as counselors in stake presidencies “as well as” in bishoprics. So I was reading it wrong. 
 

That said, looking back now, I don’t believe being called to be a bishopric counselor would have been a likely expectation for a single man in the wards to which I belonged. Maybe later, but not back then. 
 

I did serve in two separate wards as executive secretary, and once as a stake Sunday School president, but took it for granted I would never be in a bishopric so long as I remained single. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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4 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

That said, looking back now, I don’t believe being called to be a bishopric counselor would have been a likely expectation for a single man in the wards to which I belonged.

That is almost certainly the case. A few years ago, when I was serving as first counsellor in our ward's bishopric, an American man moved into our ward on a six-month work assignment. Each week in priesthood meeting, we would ask for men to come out on splits with us to visit less-active members, and he volunteered, so I took him as my companion. In the car, he let me know in no uncertain terms that I had no right to be serving in a bishopric and that I would never even be considered for such a calling back in Utah.

:blink:

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6 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Right. People like you should volunteer to just line all the single people up and assign them to each other. I'm sure that would help ...

Certainly not what I was suggesting.  I am curious what has changed among Church members to move us to a point where half the adult members are single yet not pairing up. 

What is it we aren't seeing in each other any longer?  What is preventing these relationships from forming among faithful saints?  What is making it so difficult that wasn't there 50 or 100 years prior when the majority of adult members were apparently married?

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