“The Measure of Our Creation,” Ensign, Jan. 2014, 22–23
One Sunday, in the process of preparing the sacrament, I noticed that some of the sacrament cups had tiny holes in the bottom corner where the machine that had produced them cut a little too deeply, leaving the cup unable to hold water for a long period of time. In some of the cups, the hole was so miniscule that it took 30 minutes or more for the water to drain. In others where the hole was much larger, the water drained immediately. Because of this defect, I knew I couldn’t use them. I thought to myself, “What good is a cup that won’t hold water?” Had the cups been the wrong color, size, or shape, it might not have been a problem, but the one thing the manufacturer needed to get right was each cup’s ability to hold water. After all, that is the purpose of a cup.
As a single male in my mid-30s, I sometimes feel that, like those sacrament cups, I am not fulfilling my purpose. Marriage continues to be a much-desired goal, but my efforts have not yet borne fruit, leaving me to wonder if I am filling the measure of my creation. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once said: “Our course as members of the Church should be compliance with the principles and ordinances of the gospel. Our goal should be to fill the measure of our creation as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father—that is, to reach exaltation and eternal life.”1 As I have given more thought to the subject, I have realized that filling the measure of our creation goes beyond marital status at a particular point in time. It goes beyond any personally perceived inadequacies we may have.
Many times we lose sight of our divine purpose and the Lord’s promises, and the world’s measuring stick can cause us to think we are less than adequate. As Elder Wirthlin pointed out, however, the measure of our creation is to reach the exaltation and eternal life promised to those who remain faithful and obedient. If we are continually progressing with faith in God’s promises, we are in a very real sense filling the measure of our creation. If we purge ourselves of unrighteousness so that we are moving along the strait and narrow way of sanctification, we are filling the measure of our creation. If we go forth doing good works, being an instrument in the Master’s hands, we are filling the measure of our creation.
Previously I saw the defective sacrament cups as a symbol of my single status. Now, however, I think of them as representing something different and more universal. Much like the punctured sacrament cups, in our lives we each have different-sized holes that have been made not by our Manufacturer but by such things as disobedience, a negative attitude, or pride. These holes allow small portions of the Spirit to be lost from our vessels. But through the infinite healing power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, we can be mended and healed, becoming like new.
I have learned that Heavenly Father wants me to be full of joy. He has given me the means to mend my spirit through the Atonement, thus allowing me to reach my potential as a child of God. Knowing that marriage is essential to exaltation, I trust in the Lord’s promises and continue my efforts to find an eternal companion. Meanwhile, my single status doesn’t define who I am or who I can become. By focusing on my eternal progression, seeking to be a vessel for the Holy Ghost, engaging in good works, and letting many of the other worries of life fade away, I feel that I am ever closer to filling the measure of my creation.