One of the common complaints about any article or talk given about marriage or families is that those who are not in that category are ignored or pushed aside with the platitude “If you do not have this now, you will in the next life”. The feeling can be that those outside the ideal of having a temple marriage and children right now are ignored or reviled by those within the ideal.
Consider the following variations on the platitude:
Don’t worry if you don’t have children by the time you are 15, you will at some point afterward.
Don’t worry if you aren’t married by the time you are 20, you will at some point afterward.
Don’t worry if you don’t have children by the time you are 30, you will at some point afterward.
Don’t worry if you have not reached the ideal of your Heavenly Parents before you die, be it at 5, 50, or 100, you will at some point afterward.
How different is the platitudes’ request for patience in adulthood than when we tell children that they cannot have babies or get married until they are adults? The solution I see to this is the same, to place ourselves in submission to the timing given our lives by God, in the same way that children submit to adults.
Yes, waiting can be difficult. It can be full of heartaches from times where you thought you had reached the goal but found that it had moved to a seemingly impossible distance. However, because of the Plan of Salvation, because we know that life goes well beyond the limited number of years we have had so far, we can have hope that our attainment of the ideal, becoming like our Heavenly Mother and Father, will always be ahead of us and fully attainable, so long as we continue to pursue it.
On a related note, to reiterate what has been said many times, we should not judge the righteousness of others based on their progress in obtaining marriage, children, the Temple endowment, or any other point of their eternal progression. All of these points are commitments between that person and their Heavenly Parents, for the specific growth of that person in that manner. Your judgments, especially in these eternal issues, can injure others, but will also stunt your own growth, no matter what blessings you have previously attained.
Encourage, strengthen, weep with those who weep, mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and rejoice with those who have joy.
No matter what you do or do not have now, have patience with your own progress, and remember your Royal potential that lay ahead.