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For the strength of single adults

By Valerie Steimle

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 29 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Related: How single adults can be happy again

We teach our children from the “For The Strength of Youth” pamphlet to make wise choices in their lives.

But when the parents of these same teens become single themselves, what happens to those standards?

What we teach our own children should be the standard of what we live in our own lives.

One of the first things our youths learn from their church leaders and teachers is that they are accountable for their own actions. They learn that they have their free agency and the choices they make are their own.

As the youth of the church are accountable and have free agency, so are we as single adults. We are free to choose for ourselves but also know that we are accountable for our choices. This might seem like too simple a concept for our “old” adult minds, but it is surprising how many adults forget about this great principal of the gospel when they become single.

Those who are unhappy in their life and want a change so badly sometimes make choices that are unfortunate, and sometimes the consequences are eternal.

There is nothing more peaceful than a clear conscience in choosing what is right and living the gospel in all its aspects. Our Father in heaven knows what good choices are needed in our lives. As single adults, we need to follow the Spirit.

From personal experience in the LDS single world, there are many stories of terrible heartaches when single members bring upon themselves heartbreaking actions.

All members of the church, whether single or married, have made covenants to follow our Savior’s example. Yet many singles take a nose dive in moral integrity. The temptation is great after living in a married relationship for years, then finding yourself single. The law of chastity becomes a great struggle and many members lose sight of their temple covenants.

Some members let their guard down so as to let sin into their lives even though they were worthy temple attendees when they were married.

Marriage decisions need spiritual confirmation. We must stick to what the Lord has taught us about finding companions. It is the only way to have peace of mind and know the will of our Father in heaven.

As unhappy as we might be now, we must listen to the Spirit for instruction in life, then we will be blessed. We are not above what is required of our youths and we are expected by a loving Heavenly Father to keep ourselves virtuous.

The time of single adulthood might be the hardest time of life, but with prayer, ward and friend support, and fortitude to do what’s right, we will be successful. We have been given the Holy Ghost for a reason. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us in our darkest hour.

Valerie Steimle is the mother of nine children living in Alabama and is the author of four books including "Of One Heart: Being Single in the LDS World."

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