The Sunday School discussion today began with a question - what gift do you want most in life? I began thinking about what I would ask God for, today, if He gave me the opportunity to ask for anything. Sort of deep stuff, if you ask me - not something that I can conjure on the spot. I mean, there are things that might be nice, but what would I really want? Greater faith? A greater ability to find people who need my help? Guidance in making decisions in my life or having an effect on the world? Then I realized that all the rest of the gifts desired by my classmates as they were singled out were physical objects. A pink car. A moped. A pet. My ward realizes that I'm... um... incredibly passionate about the gospel, but I didn't want to make people feel awkward... or make them think that I was holier-than-thou... Long story short, when I was suddenly called upon, I didn't have an answer ready that I thought would match the theme and was actually something I wanted, so the class decided that I wanted a wife. That's a single's ward for you - always focusing on marriage. The wish was actually accurate, and definitely in line with what the prophets and God want for me someday.

I've wanted to grow up and be a husband and a dad since I was a little kid. To be the epitome of romance to my wife, surround her with beautiful things, and spend late nights planning out our lives together and talking about the wonders of the universe. To wake up in the middle of the night and let my wife sleep while I hold a crying baby... and then hours later watching him sleep quietly in my arms. To be there for my children when they skin their knees, or fail a test, or when they triumph over the world and can tie their own shoes or walk home from school without getting lost. To be there, waiting, after their first date, and to see them gain a love of life and a passion for being in the world. To lift them from depression and teach them the gospel and walk with them late at night, just talking about God and His hand in all things.

When I got back from my mission, I wanted nothing more than to find a wife and get married. It didn't happen, and for a while I've felt a mixture of guilt, hot jealousy, frustration, despair, longing, optimism... my emotions shifted from one side to the other. 

But as the class went on, I realized that my burning desire to get married and have a family didn't have nearly so poignant a flame as it did in the past. Yeah, I still find myself jealous of the "you make me into a better person and I love being around you" monologues that come at the end of novels and film, but somewhere, deep inside me, I think I am finally becoming okay with following the Lord's timetable, instead of pleading with Him to consider mine. I've begun to honestly believe what the Lord promises - that the righteous will receive ALL blessings at His hand, in His due time. I used to be afraid of not getting married... afraid of being alone for the rest of my life... afraid of never being a father or a husband. But the Lord promises that every man who is righteous will fall in love, find a wife, be sealed in the temple, and have children - whether in this life or the next. And, as long as I am doing my best, God will take care of me and give me every blessing I need.

I'd love to find a girl tomorrow and fall madly in love with her. I want to have a family here and give everything to them. And I believe that it will happen. But whether or not it happens today or tomorrow or in a hundred years doesn't change the decisions I make in the meantime to keep the commandments and rely on the Lord. And it doesn't change the fact that I can be happy - no matter what does or doesn't happen in life... and that I can move forward from wherever I am to become better.
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