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Friday, January 29, 2010

Of One Heart: Being Single In The LDS World By Valerie J. Steimle

I have been reading one of the most fantastic books! It is on being single and gets to the heart of what it is like. The author of this book is Valerie J. Steimle. She has lived the hard life of being a single Mom, after her husband died in his sleep, and left her to raise their nine children by herself. After reading that in the first chapter, it made my burden feel so light, in that I am only single parenting two children instead of nine.

Here is a good synopsis for the book found on the back of the book.

"In the LDS world (or the world of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) most adults are married with children. It has only been in the last ten years that bein
g single in the church has become much more common. Unfortunately, marriages are failing everywhere and there are now one third of the adults at church who are single.

Whether by divorce, death of a spouse or never married at all, there are challenges to being single in a predominately married wo
rld. Challenges I had never realized until I became single myself when my husband of 25 years suddenly passed away leaving me with nine children at my charge. A daunting task to say the least.

This book was written to help all those who are single, all those who have single friends and all those priesthood leaders with single members under their jurisdiction. I have written this book to help others understand what it is like to be single and included writings from other singles on how they feel about being single. "

From the beginning of this book I felt like...Valerie "gets it". Another thing I want to say, is that this book was not published by the big companies that normally publish LDS books. This is a good thing, because I feel that Valerie was able to be more open and honest than if this book had been published by one of them. For example, she writes one whole chapter on "A Note to the Priesthood". Basically, she outlines for Priesthood leaders things they should know and how they should learn to understand their role in helping the singles in their ward. This is done respectively, but bluntly. The number one things that most people don't understand is this point she brings out, "Understand that many worthy single adults feel uncomfortable at Sunday meetings because of their situation." I still feel this way at times. I was once a part of a couple and now I am alone sitting there with my children. The weekends they are with their Dad, I feel even more uncomfortable sitting there. I have appreciated those who have put forth the effort to make me feel wanted and sat by me or asked me to come sit with them and their family.

Another aspect that I needed to read and sink into my heart was this advice. It is about how to cope with being single.

-Make sure to pray and have scripture /reading study. We must keep the spirit with us always regardless of our circumstances.

-Attend your church meetings every Sunday. Valerie says,"Even if you just sit and feel the Spirit, that time helps you for the rest of the week and it will refill your emotional cup."

-Church Service: Ask your priesthood leader if you want a calling and do not have one yet. It does feel good to serve others and this takes your mind off or your own problems.

-Support the singles program: this is something that I should do more of. Truthfuly, I just haven't had much time to do many things besides parenting, teaching full-time and reading. ;)

-Keep a Song in Your Heart. I just love what Valerie said here,"When experiencing great tribulations and having to take one day at a time, it is so very difficult to have joy; in fact many times it is painful. Whenever you can: remember that Heavenly Father loves you. There are many looking down on you that love you and want you to keep a song in your heart."

I feel that every member of the church, male and female should read this book. This book was written for those church members, who are single and over thirty years old. It was also written for those wanting to know how to help their friends and family members who are single. She has included as much information as possible, to help others understand, life from the single perspective. I also liked how Valerie pointed out one more reason all members should read this book.

"As my stake president so wisely counseled: 'Everyone will eventually be single sometime in their life.' Whether you are taken and leave a spouse behind or your spouse is taken and you are left behind; whether you have never had the chance to marry, or find yourself divorced:Everyone will be single."

I wish that I could share more from this book because it has given me such strength to carry on in my single life. Valerie list many resources, helpful websites, articles and books about coping with single life and single parenting. This book was needed in my life. It speaks to the world in ways, we singles would like to but sometimes can't express, but gives us a voice to share our lives and struggles with others.

I am grateful for Valerie listening to promptings of the Spirit that she should write this book. This book needed to be out there. I appreciate her sending me a copy to review; but I am more grateful for her sending the book to lift me up and increase my faith and not lose hope.
This book is available at Amazon.com. I recommend that every Priesthood & Relief Society leader in the church read this book. If you know someone in your family who is single, buy this book for them. (Read it first though, so you understand how you can help them through this trial.) If you are single, especially raising children on your own, you must have this book in your life. I promise you, that it will bring amazing light and knowledge in your life and you will not feel so alone in your journey.

I also highly recommend you visit Valerie's website here. It is called, "Strengthen Your Home" and you can read about another wonderful book she has written called, "Home is Where The Heart Is". This book gives you 60 articles about the strength of the family. There are many aspects of life that affect the family and Valerie J. Steimle touches on the strengths and distractions of what is so great about your family.

Have you ever asked yourself what is missing in your life? There is much commotion in the world and people are looking for fulfillment. Families are so important. They are what stabilizes us. We become so distracted with finances, work, entertainment and government that we don't pay attention to what is really important: our families.


  1. What a great resource! Thanks for the review.

  2. What a great resource. I wish I would have had a book like this when I was single. It often feels like there isn't a place for single people in the Church.