Face to Face with Elder Holland (and feeling forgotten)

I watched the live face-to-face event with Elder Holland, Sister Stephens, and Elder Hallstrom this evening. Predictably, the first questions that came up were about marriage, and the possibility of a happy marriage. I appreciate Elder Hollands response in regards to this (I transcribed these myself, so they are likely not perfect…).

“First of all, let me declare unequivocally, absolutely, adamantly, that, not only is there such a thing as a happy marriage, happy marriages are the rule. Happy marriages are the rule — they are not the exception. It’s easy to find a grievance here, and a difficulty there, and see a problem as we come and go, but we are surrounded in our lives, in and out of the church, I might say, and certainly in the church, we’re surrounded by people with happy marriages… I want everybody to dismiss the idea that somehow this is a mountain that can’t be climbed; it’s a river that can’t be crossed; that there are too many difficulties to address marriage in this day or any day. That simply is not true!”

elder holland face2face

Later, the three guests went on to share their own experiences with dating and marriage… Included in their comments were things such as “Two weeks after my mission…,” “The day after my husband’s mission…,” and “We only had $300 dollars between us.” They added advice like: “don’t wait for money, graduation, a job, a car, a house… etc.” At this point, I thought to myself, “I don’t feel like I’m their audience anymore.” I have a car, job, two degrees, savings, I’m pre-approved for a mortgage, and “two weeks after my mission” was seven and a half years ago :/ I also haven’t been “waiting” this whole time — I’m dating and trying to progress towards marriage.

Anyways, it was in some of Elder Holland’s final words that I felt Heavenly Father speaking to me specifically (my HWN today). I felt heard and understood, like it really was a “face to face” conversation. He responded to a question specifically about people with same-sex attraction feeling like they don’t have hope for happiness, and generally about people feeling stuck or hopeless.

“In my professional life, I’ve only had two married secretaries, in my life, and all the others have been single. And those women can just as justifiably ask the same question as somebody who’s struggling with same-gender attraction, or whatever and say, “What is there for me? What is the hope for me?” I say there is hope for all of us. There are promises. I don’t know why some blessings come now; some blessings come later; some blessings don’t come until heaven. But they come. Every word that God has ever uttered will be honored and fulfilled. Every word! That includes patriarchal blessings. That includes baby blessings. That includes confirmations at baptism. That includes temple promises. All of those promises will be kept. All of those words will be fulfilled.

So, we’re back to section 4 — patience, long-suffering, virtue, faith, charity. Those are the lessons for all of us, and there will be different stages and different lives to which they apply, in different seasons, but probably by the time we’re all through, we’re all going to ask those questions about ‘Where is hope for me? Where is happiness for me? What can I count on? Married, single, new convert, long-time member… We’re probably going to have a chance to ask that, and the answer is secure — the promises will be fulfilled.”

Even though it’s impossible for me to follow some of the advice they shared tonight (reminds me of my post last night as well…on missed opportunities, and I also quoted Elder Holland there), here was something I can hold onto and place my hope and trust in :)

Also, this evening I went with some friends to IHOP. Between 6 of us, we only ended up buying one thing (which the waitress seemed bummed/frustrated about), but one of my good friends ended up leaving a $50 bill as the tip (which I’m sure made her day!) after only getting water!



2 thoughts on “Face to Face with Elder Holland (and feeling forgotten)

  1. Hey Zach, just came across your blog thanks to a post shared by a friend on FB. Just wanted to concur with your faithful and nuanced perspective. I’ve DEFINITELY felt like I’ve done everything but waiting in the 7 years since my mission, and words from people who had marriage opportunities earlier in life can seem like such a chilling form of comfort. I’m glad that you had the courage and faith to keep listening past the hard parts to hear the reiterated truth that the Lord’s promises are surer than sure. Best of luck in life and love!

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