Meetings: Necessary evils or means of resourceful empowerment? We’ve all had to sit through a meeting of some kind, and I don’t think I’ve met anyone genuinely excited for a meeting. They usually involves long hours of people talking at you or talking in circles with others. Luckily for me, each Sunday I have the opportunity to go to Church for a 3 hour block of meetings in which different speakers or teachers are assigned to give talks or lessons. I wish I coud say every Sunday had amazing motivational speakers that held my attention better than my phone or daydreams, but I’d be lying to you, and lying on Sunday is worse than lying on any other day right? 😉 Well, today I had the incredible opportunity to attend a meeting that made me think if all meetings had speakers as engaging and incredible as this man was, I would go stoked out of my mind every week! Yes, it was that good.
The speaker was a past bishop (the world knows them as priests) over a congregation of middle-aged singles (31-45ish) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He shared incredible experiences that had you in tears one moment and holding your sides the next. I was literally enraptured by his every word and was uplifted and moved to gratitude by this humble man’s trials by fire. I would butcher his stories and experiences, so I’ll just share the latter of his talk.
It was refreshing to hear a man sharing his point of view about men, especially as a leader who had spent countless hours counseling young people in dating, motivating young man to date, and helping those who came to him seeking spiritual help or comfort. Since I’m being extra honest today, I perked up and was on the edge of my seat mostly because I was excited to hear the answer to the mysterious question so many girls, myself included, have wondered at times: “Why am I still single and why are none of these guys interested in me?” Here are the top ten reasons he heard the most during his time as a Bishop, including the advice I can remember:
10. You want a spiritual Angelina Jolie look-a-like with her own trust fund.
His advice: “Gentleman: Take your shirt off, sit down on your bed, and look in the mirror.” His point was to make sure your dreams are realistic to who you are as well.
9. You play too much Call of Duty or WOW or something with technology .
His advice: “Get up, go outside, and ask a girl out. Don’t HANG out with her, take her out on a date, take her to dinner, open her doors, pull out her chair, DATE.”
8. “I can barely support myself, how can I support a wife and family?”
HIs advice: You’ll never have enough money and never have a happy life if you wait for what you think is enough money. Don’t wait because of money!
7. “The girl I loved and hold up as a standard to every other girl I meet is either dating/in love with someone else/married with three kids and I can’t get over her.”
His advice: Look for someone who has the same goals and desires as you and work to make it work. You will still find happiness and love, mostly because you’re not living in the past.
6. “None of the women I’m interested in want to date me.”
His advice: Same as #10, followed by a story about a young man who came to him asking for a set up. He mentioned one girl, who he held in highest regard, and the young man’s response was, “Her?! Oh (imagine a whiny voice here) Bishop her hips are too wide.” He exclaimed that the young man had a pot belly out to here and was NOT attractive in the slightest. (He assured us women he had lectured and scolded him plenty.) Don’t be shallow.
5. “I’m divorced and scared.”
His advice: He was very sympathetic to the men and talked about how he knew the struggle and slaughter to self-esteem of those men who had women who went a-wall and changed their mind soon after the wedding reception. He counseled to avoid rebounds and remember that you can only keep your end of the bargain with the three-way promise made between you, your spouse, and the Lord when you’re married.
4. “I have too much baggage, am unworthy, and have developed a lot of bad habits.”
His advice: He related the story about the woman found in adultery and her accusers all leaving when the Savior said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”. The Savior gave his life so that all of those things could be washed away, we just have to chose it! He encouraged us girls to help the men past those things and remind them of their Savior.
3. “My parents are divorced, and I’m scared that will happen to me, too.”
2. All of my siblings are unhappy/have bad marriages.”
His advice: You’re not them, and just because you’re related doesn’t mean your fate is to be theirs.
1. “I don’t want to make a mistake. I’m scared and I wonder if it’s my lot to be single.”
His advice: Don’t take too much counsel from your fears. Remember that Satan seeks for everyone to be miserable as he is and is seeking to destroy families. He and his wife, who also spoke, reminded us that Lord always keeps his promises, and that’s it not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN. To the men he gently reminded: The ship is always safe in the harbor, but that’s not what they’re built for.
His last counsel? Remember men, you are in the driver’s seat: Choice, accountability, and responsibility.
Listening as a I girl, my first impulse was to stand up and say, “Amen brotha!”, but I also thought how true and applicable this was not only to many guys I know, but to girls as well. There are plenty of scared, shallow, divorced, family influenced, hermit girls out there. We need each other to get through those things and find happiness, because after all, “happiness is the object and design of our existence.” =D