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Elder Holland and Other Church Leaders Answer Members' Deeply Personal Questions on Facebook


Sister Carole M. Stephens

Angela Michelle Bailey:

What advice and counsel do you have for YSA’s who are transitioning to family wards? I have had many friends struggle with this change. There is a stigma associated with “aging out” and often feelings of failure, disappointment, displacement, and hopelessness. I will be turning 31 later this year and want to know what I can do to feel less anxious and more prepared for this next stage. What suggestions do you have for helping us acclimate and find our place and purpose in the family ward?

Carole M. Stephens:

Look outside yourself and observe, and then serve others. Just engage with the people in your ward, get to know people. You never know what you can learn from other members. I'd like to see all of the walls come down, no more stigmas. We're all daughters of God. We all have a work and a purpose in the Church. We are all needed. Don't overlook the positive ways you can be an instrument in building the kingdom.

Jessica Parcell:

Here is my question: The Church is so heavily focused, as it should be, on the family and creating families. I've prayed so hard and God knows I earn and thirst with the desire to marry in the temple, but it's just not happening for me. With my twin already married and happy, I struggle each day to not feel like my life is being compared to hers and that i'm simply a failure. What else with my regular study, church and temple attendance can I do to be content with where I seem to be stuck?

Carole M. Stephens:

Great work, and thank you for all you are doing to serve others. God loves you and knows what you are going through. Pray to your Father and focus on your heart. He will help you to feel loved, and to understand that He has a plan for you. Open your heart to feel His love for you. Rely on your knowledge of His plan to comfort you through hard days. It will all work out.

Julia McLaws:

I loved this. I came home from my mission after only 3 weeks due to mental health issues. I never even got to my mission, just the MTC. Often times it's very hard for me to think that I made any impact at all since I wasn't yet in the "mission field". As a missionary I LOVED all the time we spent studying the scriptures, but at home the motivation isn't there at all. How can I be motivated to delve more deeply in the scriptures, and learn from them what Heavenly Father wants me to learn?

Carole M. Stephens:

We don't become a missionary when we put on our badge, and we don't end our mission when we take it off. That means that we need to be spiritually prepared at all times to share the gospel. Scripture study will increase your ability to be able to receive personal revelation to help you through the discouragement you may be feeling at this time. Just open the Book of Mormon and start feasting!

Amy Jo Gull:

How can I prepare to serve my mission if I have so many distractions at home?

Carole M. Stephens:

You have to find a place that you can feel the Spirit. Anywhere can be a "holy place", if you make it so. The best way to prepare to be a missionary is to be a missionary NOW.

Lindsey Glauser:

How do I spiritually progress when not marrying? I'm an older single and have not had the opportunity to marry yet. I've felt often that I was in a rut and couldn't get out. I want to build up the kingdom but find it difficult when I feel marriage is the next step for that.

Carole M. Stephens:

Lindsey, thank you for your sincere question. I want you to know that you are not defined by your marital status. You are a beloved daughter of God, and He loves you and knows you. Continue in faith. Hope on. His promises are sure. Your gifts and talents are unique to you, and He will help you find ways to use those gifts to help build the kingdom.

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom


Alvin Christensen:

I've been struggling with issues from my past for almost over a year now. I've been through the temple and received my endowments and I do my best to be a worthy priesthood holder every day. My question is can I feel forgiven and yet guilty at the same time? I feel the Spirit tell me that I've been forgiven many times, and when I get those feelings I also feel that I still haven't done enough to be forgiven. It makes it hard for me to see into the future. I struggle with trying to find a worthy young woman that I may one day have a temple marriage with because I don't feel like I've done enough to be worthy to do that. I've felt both voices in my heart tonight and I'm not sure which one is the right one. #LDSface2face

Donald L. Hallstrom:

Alvin, if you have truly repented, and have not forgiven yourself, you are denying the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Allow the Atonement to bless your life fully and forgive yourself.

Kaylie Robinson:

I am a young woman who is very passionate about her education and pursuing a career. While I do want to be a mother, and understand the sacred and divine nature of motherhood, I often receive discouragement when I tell other church members of my career plans. How can I be at peace with my desire for both work and home?

Donald L. Hallstrom:

Kaylie, we believe in and teach the importance of education for men and for women. Continue to pursue that without limiting your opportunities to marry and have children. As you stay grounded on what is most important, you will be spiritually directed.

Bethany Lambson:

I would love your insights you've gained throughout life on submitting your will to Heavenly Father, especially when the desires of your heart were righteous and good but not happening?

Donald L. Hallstrom:

Thanks for the wonderful question Bethany. The focus of your question is exactly right. When we make a determination to submit our will to the Father, we are laying the correct foundation. Consider what you heard and what you felt tonight in our meeting and you will be on safe ground.
Lead image a screenshot from the LDS Face to Face.