As human beings it is in our nature to yearn for companionship. Most activities we would prefer to do with someone else. Eating a meal, watching a movie, a round of golf, road trip, and for girls even going to do the bathroom. We always want to be out and about on the weekend and we are constantly sending texts and talking to others. Why is this?
I believe God has built us with these tendencies so that we seek for companionship in this life. After all isn’t this the main purpose of coming to earth to find a companion, and start an eternal family? The synergy of two is better than one (1 Corinthians 11:11).
But we know that behind each union there are two individuals, and within each individual is his or her core. The fire of the gospel that burns within each core of each individual is therefore what will bring eternal life. We keep the fire burning as we add oil daily drop by drop to our individual lamps (see parable of the ten virgins Matthew 25). The lamps are small because the oil must be refilled daily. We will be held accountable for our own actions. NO ONE can light the gospel fire within the core of another individual. Agency reigns as a beautiful eternal truth.
The problems that arise in the world, in marriage, in family, in the workplace are but an outward expression of conflict within each individuals own core. President David O. McKay said, “The greatest battle of life is fought out within the silent chambers of the soul.” Being alone forces us to face ourselves, and most of us are not comfortable in our own skin. We avoid staring at the man or woman in the mirror. But these conflicts must be resolved if we are to find inner peace.
We all need to figure ourselves out before we can bring real strength into a union with others. It is when we are alone and no one is watching that we develop this strength within. When no one is watching the battle stage sets itself up as the lies and temptations of Satan vs our inner core of burning fire. We can either choose to believe Satan’s lies and give in to sin or we can exercise our agency for good. The more inner battles we win the more strength we receive and the brighter our inner core fire burns. The Lord wants us to win these battles and therefore he gives us time in this life to be alone. We should embrace these moments with courage as opportunities for inner core growth and not shy away in fear.
We need to all slow down and give ourselves more opportunities to win these inner battles by being alright with alone time. Instead of throwing a self pity party we can use the time to connect and communicate with our Heavenly Father and light our inner core. We pray alone. We read the scriptures alone. We write in our journals alone, about ourselves. Maybe that is why we all often fail to do these basic commandments because we are forced to be alone and face our core.
It is in the quiet moments alone where we can receive revelations to feed our needs. Maybe not always while praying or reading the scriptures or writing in our journal but maybe it is driving in our car alone, eating a meal alone or doing other activities alone.We should be actively seeking these quiet moments to connect with ourselves and our Heavenly father and to shut Satan down. We might need to escape from it all to our secret place (as the scriptures call it) wherever that may be. We may go on a hike to the top of a mountain, go on a walk in nature or ideally renew our personal covenants in the temple. We need to turn the music down, turn our favorite show off, stop texting and face ourselves and our Heavenly Father.
The Lord has been so good to me lately in giving me alone time to resolve my inner conflicts.I have caught on and now I am actively seeking these moments instead of running from them. Let me explain the big picture first. I am 26…and I am still single. I see this as a blessing in disguise because I have been able to have experiences to resolve inner conflict during this time in my life. The conflicts will not be brought into a dysfunctional union but are eliminated. I will now be able to go into a union with strength and power. Let me share the two biggest inner conflicts in my personal life and how I have overcome…
One of my greatest inner conflicts was my inner desire to play pro basketball vs a more family friendly stable career path. In this year prior to beginning dental school I was able to travel to Austria alone and see what the pro basketball world was all about. I played with the Utah Flash and toured a month through China. I have interacted with many NBA guys and other European pros to discuss the pros and cons. The life is not as glamorous as one might think. It may be right for all of them but it would not have brought me lasting happiness. I am so happy I was able to have those experiences though because now when I wake up at 45 years old I will not have regrets thinking to myself, I wish I would have tried it out or question that I chose the right career. This is an example of inner conflict resolved. When I turned down an agents offer to go try out for a team in Spain, and decided to go to dental school instead I was alone. I was outside the Provo temple in prayer. I called the agent right there and told him no and afterwards I felt an overwhelming amount of peace. Peace that will be with me my whole life.
Another inner conflict of mine is lust vs. love. This is a life long battle I believe for all of us. Growing up immersed in the world and in our generation Satan’s lies are widespread. He would have you see women as mere objects for personal gratification. For a very long time this conflict raged within my heart. I knew I wanted to fall in love but I don’t think it was fully possible because there was still traces of lust present. At times I would think I had eliminated lust completely but it always seemed to creep back in my life in one form or another. After my mission I truly sought true love only an eternal companion did not happen. I became discouraged and my inner conflict worsened. Should I believe Heavenly Father that if I was righteous I would find true love or believe Satan’s lies that it doesn’t exist and to simply go after the here and now. Being alone and exposed to the world I faced my struggle head on daily. Being an athlete brought worldly attention. I was able to go on numerous trips with volleyball and basketball where I was alone. Who should I believe? Surrounded by the world I was holding on for dear life in my inner core the hope of love.When I made the decision to go to Arizona to dental school my life slowed down considerably. I have had so much time to myself. I don’t date hardly at all. I sometimes spend Friday and Saturday nights alone. I have prayed for the Lord to help me eliminate all lust from my life and in quiet moments I have been able to receive revelation as to how I might do that. I am on track and I know that true love is possible. I have had experiences lately that have renewed my hope in genuine affection. I can’t wait to fall in love. Once in a marriage having had to face this conflict head on and beat it I will be that much stronger and vigilante to guard against any form of lust. Basically I know my marriage will rock because of this.
As I am writing this I am on vacation—ALONE. It has been so liberating. I decided to get in my car and drive to Southern California from Arizona. I spent an amazing week there. I did have people to see but I had lots of time alone as well. I went to the beach and read a book alone, went to a movie alone and ate sunflower seeds, lots of driving alone and even hiked to the top of a lookout over LA alone. I am comfortable in my own skin because I have resolved my inner conflicts. Now I am in Las Vegas the city of sin and lust. I have no desire to go out on the town or break commandments. I am staying basically alone with my friends parents and writing this blog alone.
We would all do well to identify our conflicts and face them head on and alone… it will bring peace to our souls, our marriages, our families, our workplaces, our societies and our world.
When we battle alone and choose to follow the commandments we literally receive light that is reflected in our countenances. I eluded to this earlier talking about our inner core and the fire that burns through putting oil in our lamps daily. Why did Joseph Smith describe Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, and that he saw a pillar of light brighter than the sun? Because they, through their righteousness have acquired an enormous amount of light. We will all resurrect with the amount of light we have acquired in this life through our daily battles. That is why it says in 1 Corinthians 15:40-42 that some BODIES are telestial, terrestrial and celestial. It is because we will have a certain amount of light when we die and will resurrect according to what we will be able to handle.
Let us all win the battles within the silent chambers of our soul so that we have this light and let it grow until the perfect day. We will have peace and look on the Lord with confidence. He will hold us in his arms and say well done. Then we will not ever again have to be alone. We will live with Christ, our Heavenly Father and our families and loved ones forever in their presence.
Some pics from my vacation ALONE…
sunset in San Clemente of highway 1
top of the Culver City lookout (LA)
Huntington Beach (alone)