S1E3: Find Your Lighthouse
Updated: Mar 21, 2021
Get Your Cashmere Sweater
In reference to our pilot episode, we are talking about what it means to find your lighthouse.
In Case You Forgot
It started with Tracy’s bright future of living in a lighthouse on the New England coast, the rockiest one she can find, where she can be the bog witch she wants to be in peace. Victorian dresses and singing is her goal. Who else wants to be the town’s crazy person?
Our Different Purposes
We all have something that makes “us” us. Your life’s mission, purpose, whatever you want to call it.
Having been homeschooled for years, Kaylee’s education was focused on becoming “statesmen” to be our best versions for the world. Intermingled with religion and politics, this was her life and it affected her view of what it means to have a mission. It’s inside and outside of us. It’s about finding our purpose and finding our way to get there.
Do what you’re meant to do.
The Singles Ward
Not only does the church have a lot of concepts of our purpose and goal in this life, but so does the Singles Ward. It’s unique to the family ward because there is a purpose put on us when we get there: getting married.
Marriage: the forbidden word in a singles ward.
Is it great? Sure. Is it everything? No. While it’s something we should be striving toward, that’s not supposed to be our only goal or our main purpose during those years of 18-30.
“Everything won’t suddenly fall into place. It’s just another milestone that some people are able to accomplish during this life.”
There is a lot more to life for us to focus on, especially as single adults within the church. We want to consider our options and where we can take ourselves in this life, to be the children of God that we are meant to be.
“Marriage isn’t this final step… You’re (not) done after that. It’s just one step. Sometimes it does happen and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Some of us will be married during this lifetime. Some will stay married, lose each other, or divorce. That doesn’t mean you’ve succeeded or failed either way. It just means that your life is taking a different path than the one you expected. And that’s alright.
The most important thing we can be doing is working in tandem with our Heavenly Parents.
There is a focus on the family in the church. A monumental one. The concept of a family can be a little different than the one denoted in The Family Proclamation. Sometimes we won’t have all of our family or any of our family with us on this earth. They may come and go and change.
Family is not limited, however. You build your family as you go. Sometimes this means holding onto childhood friends and letting go of toxic people in your life. It can mean finding new people everywhere you go- it’s your family.
Anxiously Engaged Missionaries
We’re saying it: you don’t have to get married right after your mission. Is it encouraged? Sure. It always is. But you don’t pressure yourself to move at a pace where you’re not really ready.
Can you be ready to marry someone within a mission transfer? Do you know a person inside and out within six weeks? For us, we’re not totally sold.
Our Eternal Families
Does our Heavenly Father (and Mother) have a purpose? Certainly.
“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” - Moses 1:39
It’s not about bringing together the eternal life of marriage and families, but of man and anything that is inclusive. We think it’s important for us to remember (on our good days and our bad) that we already have a family- an eternal family.
“You need to recognize that you are still going to have immortality and eternal life as a single person just as much as you’re going to have that as a married person.”
Your individuality matters. A lot. And we tend to bury that within our focus on unity and the family. It is possible for both of these ideas to matter and we don’t need to put one on top of the other. We should be able to lose ourselves in God’s work, certainly, but He still has a plan for each of us that we need to do to the best of our abilities. No one else can do what you can do. We use our individuality to help others and our Heavenly Parents.
Wise words from Tracy’s childhood Young Women’s leader: “Heavenly Father has a specific plan for you, and the more you pray to know what that plan is, the more information he is going to give you.”
This can be more than just asking about the big milestones of college, marriage, and jobs. It can also include:
Should I stay in this relationship?
Am I supposed to remain friends with this person?
Is this the right activity for me to attend?
The more we ask of our Heavenly Parents, the more we will learn and thus draw closer to Them. If we are willing to follow those answers, then we will know the plan as the time comes.
“He knows what we are doing. He is always here for us. We just need to keep our minds and hearts open to him.”
Man can devise the most complex machines but cannot give them life or bestow upon them the powers of reason and judgment. These are divine gifts, bestowed only by God. Like the vital rudder of a ship, brethren (and sisters), we have been provided a way to determine the direction we travel. The lighthouse of the Lord beckons to all as we sail the seas of life. Our purpose is to steer an undeviating course toward our desired goal—even the celestial kingdom of God. A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder, never likely to reach homeport. To us comes the signal: chart your course, set your sail, position your rudder, and proceed. - Thomas S Monson
If we can’t think about our purpose or what our goals are in our lives, then we can’t move in any direction. Where are we going if we don’t have a purpose? The only way to have a sure path is to have something at the end for us to work toward.
Sunday School answers lay the groundwork for starting it out. But they are just setting the sail without giving us the direction. Prayer, scripture study, and church is a maintenance plan that we use to get closer to our purpose but is not the end goal. Vague instructions you follow out of habit will not get you into heaven.
Set real goals. Build your purpose in this life and work toward it.
“The temple is like a lighthouse,” says Roberto Rubio, Bogota Colombia temple president. He, both counselors, and nearly all of the temple workers are native Colombians. “As members fix their gaze on the temple, they have hope. Of course, there are tribulations and challenges, but the Lord lightens their load. There can be war and iniquity all around us, but because of the temple, we can have peace and enjoy the love of our families and of the Lord. What more could we want?” - Marvin K. Gardner
We don’t stumble into heaven. We only go there when we want to. It’s about the way that you fulfill those habits, with goals and purpose. That will help you stay focused and find the strength you need to carry on.
Work With The Lord
Life is a mess. Trust us when we say WE KNOW.
“But as you focus on the reasons why you are following Christ, especially by going to the temple, you’re going to be able to find that purpose that He has for you.”
Sometimes you meet your goals and sometimes you don’t. That is okay. It’s important that we are working to better ourselves and to draw closer to our Heavenly Parents. That is always the end goal to be working toward. Along the way, you live and learn.
Yay, Nay, Maybe. There is no definite time in our lives when we will know our purpose and which goals we need to achieve our dreams. Everything can change in a heartbeat. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated, wanting to stop trying. We know the feeling.
You can survive this. You will survive this.
“If I hadn’t been choosing to keep the commandments this entire time, this time of my life would be so much worse if I didn’t have the savior in my life and the gospel.”
The Lord will give us more than what we can handle. Church leaders have said this and at least Kaylee believes this. When we are pushed that hard, we are forced to grow through failure and success. As long as you are willing to turn to Him during your trials, He will be there to help you through the pain and suffering.
Tracy will always remember a talk she heard as a younger YSA when the speaker shared the story of a woman. She had been in the family ward with him and went through the most physical trials than he’d ever seen. The pain and health problems kept going. She once shared how she asked the Lord, “How much longer do I have to be in the refiner’s fire? I understand I need to become better, but how much longer?” And the answer she received was: “Until you’re refined.”
“The Lord is not going to keep me in the refiner’s fire until I’m burned to a crisp and just dead. But He’s going to keep me in long enough until I am that refined piece of metal that He needs to sculpt and mold with to remove the impurities and imperfections that I have. The longer I’m in this fire, even though I hate it, there’s part of me thinking ‘The Lord really loves me. I need to work harder and do better so I can become refined.’”
This is what it means to endure to the end.
Sometimes it’s like trying to walk through a blizzard. There is snow everywhere, too thick to see through. You’re bundled up and trying to keep moving. But because of the storm, you have your eyes closed and have to trust that you know where to go. The Lord is with you in that storm and can tell you what to do. Move a little bit at a time.
Consider Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life. The Iron Rod leads straight to the tree and yet the people in the dream still held it to varying degrees. Some clung to it tightly with all their might, and others didn’t commit to it.
As you are trying to find the purpose in your life, how are you trying to get there? How tight are you holding onto the Iron Rod?
“The more we focus on the Savior and on our relationship with him and our standard answers of going to the temple, etc., those are the ways we’re really going to find our purpose. The end.”
We’ve had to reconsider what it means to hold to the rod and how well we are doing it. Are our goals really aligned in that manner?
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. - 2 Nephi 31: 20
We are all hoping for eternal life at the end of this. But how are you doing this? That verse just gave you the tips:
Press Forward with Steadfastness
Perfect Brightness of Hope
Have the Love of God and All Men
Feast on the Words of Christ
Those are the simple ways to get eternal life.
On the Path Together
Reminded Kaylee of a book she read a while ago called “The Zookeeper’s Secret.”
The Zookeeper's Secret: Finding Your Calling in Life
It’s called that because zookeepers are repeatedly found to be among the happiest workers and professionals even though their pay is basically horrendous. But they all love their work and the animals. So much so that most of them feel that they have been called to this work, that it’s their mission in life.
They didn’t fall into it. They moved forward with purpose and love to get to where they wanted to be.
The Lord knows exactly what he is doing with us. Even if we don’t see every step ahead, He can lead us on the path to get there. We just have to be ready to follow him and listen.
Wherever we may be, our Heavenly Father can hear and answer the prayer offered in faith…. When you, my dear young friends, choose your friends with caution, plan your future with purpose, and frame your life with faith, you will merit the companionship of the Holy Spirit. You will have “a perfect brightness of hope.” You will testify through your own experience to the truth of the Lord’s promise: “I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory. The lighthouse of the Lord provides the unfailing way. May we follow the guiding signals it sends to you and to me, that we may find our way safely home. ” - President Thomas S. Monson
We have guiding signals within our life. Whether from the church, our leaders, the scriptures, or somewhere else, they are there.
It’s Up To Us
Consider the story of the currant bush shared by D. Todd Christofferson shared in our General conference a few years ago.
It was about a bush that was happy, thriving and proud. It was ready to grow in the way it thought it was made and meant to be. Except then the gardener came and said otherwise by cutting it down. A lot.
The bush was mad, thinking, “Why? I grew so much. I became big, I was giving forth fruit, I was going to be the biggest tree ever.”
But the gardener said, “No. I don’t need you to be a tree. I need you to be a bush.”
It can hurt sometimes. The Lord has something in mind for us. He will refine us, trim us, and then put us back together the way we are meant to be. Those changes can be small, of course. We aren’t all meant to be famous and big names.
“When we are exactly who we are meant to be as (children of God), that is all we need.”
We can make changes in small ways. Small doesn’t mean bad. Small is good. And everything we do can change the world in one way or another.
Follow God’s Plan
My life is a gift; my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose; in heav’n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God’s light to direct me from birth.
As we seek for His light, He will tell me what I need to do. He will remind me what a gift my life is. Even during the crappy times, we can still be close to Him.
Of course, Tracy wasn’t just born to live in a lighthouse. There’s a lot more to it. We need to consider our own gifts when we consider others’ talents.
“I know ultimately and feel strongly that part of my life is to empower the people around me and help them recognize who they are as children of God. I have felt that way since I was in middle school. I have always felt that I need to be that person who just puts my hands on people’s faces to tell them they are AMAZING.”
Her callings are mainly teaching ones, and she has been able to do this in many ways, including through this podcast! Anything can happen next, but Tracy knows at least something she can be doing and IS doing now.
For Kaylee, it’s always been a little more sporadic. But one defining moment came recently when accusations were made and she knew without a doubt that she was not like that, and she never had been like that.
“Usually I get hurt when I’m insulted. But those words didn’t even stick. There is no reason for me to be called that because I am better than that… One of the things that I know I am meant to do in this life is to be kind to others. I can be snarky and sassy, but within my lifetime, ‘kind’ is always there. I am there to support people and be kind to others. I can hold their hand, listen to them, support them, inspire people to find their lighthouse and follow the Lord.”
Just trust us on this.
PSA For You Personally You are great. You are amazing. You are a Child of God. And we support you!
Our “Lady Liberties” are here. At least, a few of them. There are so many more, but we are always looking at more.
Do we get some of this wrong? We don’t know! Hopefully, the main points were right.
Steve Young. He is a descendant of Brigham Young and played football for the ‘49ers in the 1990’s. He was well known for being single and he was for a long time. But that didn’t stop him from thriving and he didn’t stop everything to go search for a wife. He made goals for his life and focused on what he could control. It was okay for him not to rush and now he has a family that was clearly meant to be. He stayed faithful and true to himself and the Lord, focusing on his purpose all the while.
Sheri Dew. Of course, we have to talk about her! She’s made the best of her singlehood and we basically can’t compete with her. She is a speaker, leader, and mentor. She has held high callings and has led Deseret Books. Anyone can read in her literature how spiritually-driven she is. She hasn’t let anything stand in her way from becoming the woman she is meant to be. If anyone can poke the devil in the eye with a stick in the next life, it’s her. Sheri Dew is driven, focused, and has used her purpose to help everyone in the church.
Barbara Thompson. Single all her life, in the RS presidency a few years back. She didn’t let anything hold her back. In 2008-9 she spoke to the women of the church, saying that she thought college was about finding her husband and she didn't find him. So she got a degree and then a job and then a mission. She kept thinking she would find a husband but didn’t. When he didn’t come along, she did the next thing and the next. She has been a company president, with degrees, and more. The definition of “kickass!”
Wendy Nelson. Our favorite! (Just a few months ago, we were able to hear her with her husband, plus the Uchtdorfs when they visited Orlando, FL.) She is great in having her prominent place as the prophet's wife and was already an incredible speaker, writer, and teacher. During her talk, she invited the YSA’s specifically to pray with this intent: “Please help me to fulfill the mission for which I have been sent to earth for.” She talked about how when she was asking the Lord for guidance on a trial she was experiencing, she specifically asked Him to give her what she wanted, or something better. Then words from her husband to her and to us by extension, she shared how he said, “Wendy, the Lord is just as eager and willing to give you revelation as He is to give me revelation.” We are still obsessed with this talk and how wonderful she is as a daughter of God.
Will we ever be that cool? We don’t know. We’re actually not sure that’s even possible. But these are a few of the “human lighthouses” that we can look to when we are struggling to figure out our purpose in life.”
Our Heavenly Father
“He is our Father and He wants to drop these spiritual truths. He is just waiting for us to ask. Once we ask, He is like ‘HAVE IT ALL!’”
Think about the best qualities you have seen in fathers in your life, and that’s how Heavenly Father will be. He is excited for us to talk with Him, excited to have some fun, and wants us to be happy more than anything else.
More than anything, He wants to hear from us. When we turn to Him, we can learn our purpose and build our goals.
We talk a lot about Wendy Nelson’s talk because those notes opened our eyes to what we had been missing all this time. If you felt that you needed permission, now you have it. Turn to the Lord and ask Him for help and guidance. The Lord will deliver; He will not hold back.
No, we don’t have all the answers. But the Lord is more concerned about how we can be disciples of Christ more than anything. Prepare yourself and pray to Him.
Ask Him about your purpose, to help fulfill your mission: “Please help me to fulfil the mission for which I have been sent to earth for.”
It’s scary to ask such a heavy question to take on, and try to prepare yourself for what the answer could be. Make sure you are in the right place mentally and physically to receive that answer.
“We are not going to do all this spiritual stuff and then be left in a dump. The Lord is going to guide us in the right direction. He will lead us to the right roles, the right jobs, and the right people we need to be around to achieve our spiritual mission.”
This spiritual guidance will help us through our lives in every way. When you are spiritually fulfilled and at peace, you are ready to work hard and thrive in every aspect.
The Lord will guide us.
The temporal goals we make here can and should help us get to where we need to be spiritual. Just like our spiritual goals can help us get to where we need to be temporarily, it’s a circle.
“No matter the obstacles we face in life, we can trust that Jesus Christ will prepare a way forward as we walk with faith. God has promised that all who live according to the covenants they have made with Him will, in His time, receive all His promised blessings. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.” - Jorge M. Alvarado
As single adults in our church, we are constantly wondering if we are missing out on something that we should be experiencing. We are always wondering if this is enough for us. This is because we are taught to expect and strive for creating a family and marriage that we just don’t have at the moment.
But we don’t know when that will happen. We don’t know if it will happen. We have to live our lives and focus on where we are and want to go while trying to decide if this is enough for us.
Through the obstacles and blessings, we have to keep in mind that the Lord will help us in His time.
Do we know when that is? No. Will He tell us? Probably not. Should that stop us from living? Never! Trust in the Lord.
“For those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, those blessings will always come for us. They will not come in the timeframe when we expect them to come, but they are going to come. Period.”
The Lord has so much that he wants to give us. The blessings he gives us are like specifically wrapped gifts that he has prepared for each of us. All the gifts for eternity have been planned out, prepared, and are wrapped so they are ready to go with our names on them. He is just waiting for us to be ready for the blessing or to ask for that. Only He knows when we will get those gifts.
“As we’re trying to find our purposes in life, it’s there.”
It is all building up to a huge gift at the end that is the size of Texas. It’s waiting for each of us. While we are waiting and working toward them, we need to consider what we are doing to prepare ourselves for these blessings.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Concentrate on where you are, on your relationship with the Lord, and what you can continue doing in your roles to fulfill your purpose. Good things are coming for all of us.
Keep your eyes open for your lighthouse on the coast. It’s out there. You’ll find it. And while you’re looking, feel free to visit Tracy in hers.