I’m a big fan of “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen – I’d have to say it’s one of my favorite little pieces of brilliance! I feel like Elder Oaks talk “Desire” was sort of on the same wavelength as that tiny book I love.
When I think of things that I wish I desired in my life, exercise comes first to my mind. I would love if I woke up every morning with a burning desire to go run a 5K…but that miracle hasn’t happened for me yet. However, I have learned that desire can increase and even in some cases be created out of thin air! Perhaps the greater lesson for me is the importance of desire…and in some cases how I need to desire to desire. After all Elder Oaks instructed us that desires can really shape who we are and who we plan on becoming!
“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.”
Desire has been an interesting concept to me for the past couple of years in regards to matchmaking. There are plenty of YSA’s that are totally content being single and just doing their thing. They have no desire to change their ways, sacrifice, and move towards marriage. Some would say this attitude is overwhelming in the church. I will admit that it’s prevalent – but not overwhelming. One of the reasons I have chosen to take a more active role in helping my peers find their eternal companions is because I have seen many who posses a great desire to progress and marry. I know countless exceptional men who are indeed searching high and low looking for their potential companions. They come to me saying, “Tristen, I haven’t had luck in finding her – maybe you could look for her too?!” They are the reason I’m out to trying to match people up helping to fulfill their greatest desires…those of a Temple Marriage!
Elder Oaks asks and then answers,
How do we develop desires? …When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously.
I love that he relates our desires – to understanding who we are, and what we can become. If only we could see what great potential we have and where we could be 10 years from now, I think we’d all be slightly motivated to move towards that greatness. I think in matchmaking I have discovered the biggest difference between those that have the desire to find a wifey to marry and those who do not. The men I work with that have this desire recognize that to reach their greatest potential they are in need of a help meet and companion to join them on the journey. They have admitted to themselves that it will be more enjoyable, profitable, and satisfying to stop trying to reach their highest heights alone. These are the men that I get extra excited about working with. In fact…it is only these type of men, men with an obvious desire to marry, that I will even consider spending my time and efforts on. What a waste to use my time humoring someone that lacks the needed desire!
Elder Oaks closes his wonderful and inspired talk reiterating the priority this desire should be for us!
“I close with a final example of a desire that should be paramount for all men and women—those who are currently married and those who are single. All should desire and seriously work to secure a marriage for eternity. Those who already have a temple marriage should do all they can to preserve it. Those who are single should desire a temple marriage and exert priority efforts to obtain it. Youth and young singles should resist the politically correct but eternally false concept that discredits the importance of marrying and having children.
Single men, please consider the challenge in this letter written by a single sister. She pleaded for “the righteous daughters of God that are sincerely searching for a worthy helpmeet, yet the men seem to be blinded and confused as to whether or not it is their responsibility to seek out these wonderful, choice daughters of our Heavenly Father and court them and be willing to make and keep sacred covenants in the Lord’s house.” She concluded, “There are many single LDS men here that are happy to go out and have fun, and date and hang out, but have absolutely no desire to ever make any kind of commitment to a woman.” “
Oh yes…this Apostle of the Lord says it well! I’m glad to report that his words were listened to and many I know are repenting of their ways and trying to heed his counsel. I’m a lucky girl with a really fun hobby to get to be surrounded by people that want and desire to get married!