General Conference Countdown Day 15 of 37: Get your Study Schedule here.
Today’s reading comes from Elder David S. Baxter of the LDS Quorum of the Seventy, entitled Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment: a Message to Single Parents. Elder Baxter was born in Stirling, Scotland. He converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was 13 years old, and has served in many leadership callings ever since. He has also served in many diplomatic and humanitarian capacities for the UK. He and his wife Dianne are the parents of four children, and seven grandchildren.
I am grateful for Elder Baxter’s talk. Single parenting is an ever-growing reality of our world, whether due to separation, divorce, death or other circumstances. Being a single parent is a tremendous challenge and can often be overwhelming and discouraging.
In an earlier post, I talked about my own mother who was a single parent . Because of my personal life experience, I have a great love and empathy for those who are raising children alone.
Here are a few highlights from Elder Baxter’s talk that I thought were particularly poignant and inspirational:
NOT WHAT YOU HOPED
“This is not exactly what you hoped or planned, prayed for or expected, when you started out years ago. Your journey through life has had bumps, detours, twists, and turns, mostly as the result of life in a fallen world that is meant to be a place of proving and testing.”
A TRIBUTE TO YOU
“Please never feel that you are in some kind of second-tier subcategory of Church membership, somehow less entitled to the Lord’s blessings than others. In the kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens.”
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
A MESSAGE TO ALL
“Members and leaders, is there more that you could do to support single-parent families without passing judgment or casting aspersions? Might you mentor young people in these families, especially providing for young men examples of what good men do and how good men live? In the absence of fathers, are you providing role models worthy of emulation?”
HEAVEN WILL SMILE
“as do your very best in the most difficult of human challenges, heaven will smile upon you. Truly you are not alone. Let the redemptive, loving power of Jesus Christ brighten your life . . . and look to the future with confidence.”
Watch Elder Baxter’s Entire Talk