Comments about ‘Ask Angela: I'm aging out of my Mormon singles ward and I feel like a failure’

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Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12 2013 8:45 a.m. MST

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From the words of a song, "Don't give up. You are loved." Finding love and marriage after 31+ does happen. In the meantime, continue to work on your relationship with the Lord. He is always there. In the words of another song, "He will not fail you."

South Jordan, UT

Great advice from Angela: "Focusing on the reality of a Savior and making Sunday worship about strengthening your relationship with him can begin to soothe whatever ails you. I would start there, I know this isn’t a perfect answer but I hope it helps."

I'm not sure why I'm even posting since Angela provided the answer. Your current martial status is not the issue. Your relationship with Christ is the issue. I don't mean that to sound judgmental. What I'm trying to say is that you have followed the straight and narrow path and clung to the iron rod until you were able to partake of the tree. Now that you are there, NEVER LEAVE THE TREE. And the tree is Christ.

Joseph Smith taught that, in order to have faith sufficient for salvation, we must have faith in the justice of God (among other characteristics). Believing in the justice of God means we believe he will ultimately make all things right. It may take a lifetime or more but I believe that applies to each of us as individuals.

Be faithful and cast your burden on Him. That will give you peace.

Elsmere, DE

I married at 31 myself. I fled a student singles ward masquerading as a YSA ward when I was 26. That was partly because it was essentially a holding pen to keep us "lesser members" from infecting the regular wards, and a meet market (or was it a "meat market")? Part of that was because I changed apartments and I didn't see the point of driving past one building to go to another one. Another part was that I really didn't fit in with the majority of the group who had lived in the area their whole lives, and/or were undergraduate students.

And in the next three years I lived in two other wards in that stake. I was membership clerk in both of them, so clearly I wasn't considered a "lesser member" there. But I heard plenty of biting comments along the way - some members even implied I was gay, or wasn't "doing my duty". The time between mission and marriage for me seemed like ten years in the proverbial wilderness.


It IS difficult to feel at home and welcome in a church that seems full of smiling married folks... but you need to remember: Of the adult membership of the Church, a MAJORITY are single. Often few of them come to Church regularly, for obvious reasons. I encourage you to be actively involved in both your family ward where you live AND with the Single Adult groups in your area. If they are not well organized, YOU can become a 'spark plug' to shake things up and make them more fun and interesting. If YOU attend all available Single Adult activities, and you are not a control freak, as a single male you will help others to participate.
Every ward and branch have adult singles both visible and invisible. YOU are not the only one, and if you do your best you will obtain the best, both in your love life and otherwise.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Forget about dit. Let go let God.

San Diego, CA

The moment that I decided to stop looking for a partner, is when I found my husband, we married at the age of 33. I would look for activities for singles in your community with things you like to do, examples are hiking groups, biking groups, walking groups, reading groups, etc. I am not sure what you like to do, so you just have to google that. Leave it in Gods hands, He has a plan for you and sometimes His plans take longer than what we would like.

Bountiful, UT

We have heard so very many times over the pulpit during General Conference that those who are single, who have not had the opportunity to marry in this life*, will not have the blessings of marriage and family withheld in the next life. *Now for the asterisk, living a Christ-centered life, making and KEEPING covenants, and striving to become your best self is required.
Those of us who have married but are not living as we should, unless we repent, will not have the ultimate blessings of the Gospel for eternity. We are all in the same boat for our personal salvation although the size, shape, and speed of the boat is unique to our circumstances. But ALL of us can journey with the Lord if we choose to.

Washington, DC

Coming from similar experiences, with what felt like hundreds of talks saying that the only thing I needed to focus on was getting married (really bad advice), I sympathize with "Aged out guy".

When I transitioned out of a singles ward, I was ready to be in a ward where my marital status wasn't the focus. I moved out of Utah, found a small family ward I felt was a good fit and have been happy ever since. Side note, quite a few marriages happened among singles in my ward.

Not everyone finds their true love in a singles ward. Many do, but the reality today is that a majority of LDS singles will "age out" of singles wards, and join family or single adult focused wards. It's happening more and more, and the church recognizes it.

From one single to another, try to cut yourself some slack. Remember, some things happen on the Lord's timeline. It doesn't mean you're a failure, just that it hasn't happened yet. Please try to get involved with your ward and stake activities single or not. Live your life, choose happiness, and you will attract someone like minded.

Happy Valley, UT

I agree with Agedoutguy. Ten years is a long time.

Angela, to imply that anyone is suggesting you put your relationship with Christ behind marriage is just silly.

Henderson, NV

"The Church is designed to nourish the imperfect, the struggling, and the exhausted. It is filled with people who desire with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven't mastered them yet. Some might say, "I know a member of your Church who is a hypocrite. I could never join a church that had someone like him as a member." If you define hypocrite as someone who fails to live up perfectly to what he or she believes, then we are all hypocrites. None of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be. But we earnestly desire to overcome our faults and the tendency to sin. With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If these are your desires, then regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church. Come, join with us!" - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It is all about our Savior. I encourage you to move forward with these thoughts in mind. Much love to you, my brother.

Kaysville, UT

Sometimes the worry and stress from never achieving something is what prevents us from achieving it.


Just have a little faith. When I aged out of the YSA ward I went to the family ward and it was the best experience. I was called as RS President, I was always treated with the upmost respect and they loved me. My testimony was strengthened in the Savior and after the singles ward it was what I needed, a renewed focus on the Savior and an opportunity to forget myself. In the midst of this service (and not even looking) I met my husband-- in the family ward. When I left the singles ward I felt much of the same things but I knew that Heavenly Father had a plan for me and I needed to trust him..."aging out" was the best thing that ever happened to me.

BYU Fan in DC
Washington, DC

From someone who aged out, I suggest attending a family ward where you are needed and getting involved in your calling as much as you can. Singles ward callings are often superficial and do not require that much work. However, family wards need more heavy-lifting especially with programs for youth, young children, new members, etc.

If you attend a family ward and get a meaningful calling like I did, you may still attend singles events. The best part, people will not know who you all that well, but may remember you from when you attended there ward. And when they learn that you go to a family ward and have some cool calling with primary, youth, etc... they will be interested. Personally, being mysterious to the opposite sex can often lead to the right girl or guy being interested.

Provo, UT

As a 33-year-old single, I get it. I get the feeling of not fitting into a family ward, and the awkward pauses when you try to have a conversation about something other than raising children. While I can't speak for Aged Out Guy, I can speak for myself and some things I have learned from my own experience:
1. Understand that God has an individual plan for you, and this plan probably won't look like someone else's plan. It's okay if it doesn't look the same as others' plans. If you feel like you're doing what you can to further your own salvation, you're in the right place--even if it isn't what you or others see as the ideal situation.
2. Find a niche in your ward. I found my place in Primary to be a great blessing. Children are so loving and nonjudgmental.
3. Know that God loves you, and that His love is individual. If you seek God's guidance, He will lead you to where you can perform His work. Everything else will fall into place, regardless of marital status.

Susan in VA
Alexandria, VA

When we first joined the Church my daughter was in her early 20s and she hated the singles ward for just that reason. Rather than leave the Church, which she truly believed in, she joined our family ward.... and she did marry. She hated that the central theme in the singles ward was "match making" and she wanted to concentrate on the Gospel. Aged out Guy may actually be happier in a family ward and find the love of his life because of it.

Salt Lake City, UT

We love the singles in our ward. They make such a great contribution, and are absolutely vital to our ward family. I know that it's hard to be an older single (I was one, too), but the opportunities to serve and love are expanded in a non-YSA ward. Serving and loving bring us closer to God, and bring us happiness. BTW, most non-YSA wards are filled with beautiful, intelligent, and engaging single women. Ours is.

Bountiful, Utah

I have a son going trough this same thing and these single wards are mericiless. Many of these people are single for a reason. They are not kind for the most part and selfish many times. Some are great but all seem to be for themselves. Many are lacking compassion and not looking for a regular guy but want the general authority, bishop or money man. Values for the good person seem to go out the window. Good brethren and sisters are often used in these wards and cast aside. Its a shame that most of these girls and guys don't see the potential in anyone who isn't the GQ or model type.

Bountiful, UT

It's not often I find myself disagreeing with Joseph Smith but when he is wrong, he is wrong. The article quotes Joseph Smirh as saying. "All things in our religion are appendages to the atonement of Jesus Christ". .... The reason for our existence is so we can experience happiness (Joseph Smith). Take that away and everything else is meaningless including our religion. The good news of the Gospel is the happiness that we can have. All things are appendages to this potential happiness. This includes our religion ... AND ... The atonement of Jesus Christ. Take away the potential for happiness and the atonement of Jesus Christ would be pointless.

Poplar Grove, UT

If this guy lives in Utah he should find something he likes to do that isn't religion based and go do it. If you live in the suburbs of SLC most people are mormons anyway(good chance he meets a mormon or two if he joins an adult softball league or something of that nature), and he doesn't have to deal with the your still not married judgement, but can meet a nice mormon girl. And I know it's hard, but stop trying so hard, the two worst things a single guy can do is smell bad and be desperate.


To Aged Out Guy "being single in a church full of married people" isn't really accurate, there are many single people of every age in any church. My take is you are feeling like a failure mostly because of expectations you are imposing on yourself. Just enjoy being who you are and happiness will come.

My family history of two uncles on one side and one aunt on the other side never getting married tells me that you can be happy without marriage. My favorite aunt and uncle were both single. And, then there is me, who didn't get married until I was 37 and it is a good thing for me as I view myself as not being ready before then.

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