The past few days I have found that I, along with a large sum of my friends, have felt rather down. With trial after trial along with the new school year starting, trying to keep up while keeping a smile on our faces may have been more difficult than usual. Some time ago, maybe even just a month ago, I would have fallen to my side and strayed from any kind of contact with anyone–instead moping in my bed and letting myself be sad. However, recently I have realized that the only way to keep from being so down is to be actively engaged.
Due to the increasing amount of panic attacks that have been occurring lately, I did what I tend to do when having such problems–I attended a session at the temple. Even at the beginning of the session I found myself thinking and thinking instead of really taking in what I needed to when being in the temple. However, the moment I set foot in the celestial room and bowed my head in prayer, I found Heavenly Father guiding what I was asking Him. I then asked what I did not expect to be the issue, “Lord, help me learn how to not feel so lonely.” For the past week I had no idea what was going on, but after exiting a long relationship at the beginning of the year, being away from home, and preparing to leave for grad school after this semester and seeing some friends even stray away from me because I am leaving, I have been feeling very alone–I think that this is also where many of my friends have been struggling as well.
After my temple attendance I have received a variety of answers and felt that sharing might be beneficial.
Experience Number One
Every Sunday morning I prepare my scripture study for the entire week, and for the past month I have been doing my study in alphabetical order based off of gospel topics. Who would have thought that “Adversity” would be my topic this week? (Honestly, I am not surprised because “Addiction” ended up being my topic when I was trying to give up soda!) Then, when searching through the scriptures for this topic I fell upon Alma 36:3
…Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up in that day…
I think that it easy to think that really, there is nobody that understands what you are going through at the moment. It is easy to think that somehow we will always be alone and shall continually have this burden, but given you continue to have that attitude, that means that trust is not being put in the Lord. I have a full testimony that the Lord knows and understands of our needs, and by having faith in Him things will work out as they should. Maybe not as you want them, but as they should.
Experience Number Two
I was looking through my plenty of notebooks this morning, looking for a very specific thing, when I ended up running into my patriarchal blessing. In times of turmoil and loneliness, I think that this is the best thing to look to. Suddenly there was a wave of peace that came over me. As I was reading I was looking over the things that I have been told to do to receive blessings and saw that I am doing those things. Along with that, I saw the promises that would come from living righteous life. Maybe at this very moment, you are struggling, but if you continue to live righteously then know that the blessings that you have been promised, you will receive. So, I urge you to pull out that blessing of yours to look it over to feel comforted.
Experience Number Three
I was in church today when we were taught in Sunday school about charity. Being charitable and kind, for one, will lead to a variety of blessings. However, when reading in Moroni 7, verse 48 really stuck out to me:
…Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become Sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall see him as he is; that we ,may have this hope…
I try really hard. I go to the temple every week, I do my scripture study for an hour every day, and I try to bring up Christ centered conversations when I can. However, what I struggle most with is going down on bended knee, and by not doing so that is really something that can make someone feel like they are alone. No matter what, we are never alone because Heavenly Father is always listening and Jesus Christ has suffered the same pains that we have. There is always someone to talk to, but if you forget to talk to Him, then of course you will feel alone. So, praying with a broken heart can be a great asset to finding meaning and especially to feel the love that Heavenly Father feels for you.
Experience Number Four
Lastly, today was the general young adult devotional, and what did they talk about? Sister Cook got on the stand and the first thing that she mentioned was loneliness. However, her solution to loneliness was to engage with service. When treating someone with charity and serving them, it is hard not to love them and for them not to love you–you create great and meaningful relationships. And, along with that, it keeps you busy. Now, I always keep myself busy to keep myself from being sad, but in a dangerous way. I commit to too many things that do not really matter and I have my mind running at a million miles per second. Instead, she stated, it is important that you keep yourself busy with service. Help someone that is in need, go and see a family member, and do family history. Keeping yourself positively engaged in service can be an answer and cure to loneliness.
We will always find times in our lives when we will be lonely, no matter if we are married and have children, or are single in college. Being lonely is a part of life that continues to come back for us. However, if we live righteous lives and talk to our Father in Heaven, I am confident that we can make it through even the loneliness of adversity. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.