Single members of the Church — whether divorced, widowed or never married — make up more than half of the adult membership of the Church.
Several senior Church leaders noted that statistic in their April 2021 general conference addresses as they encouraged local leaders to find ways to better support and utilize this important Church demographic.
Heavenly Father loves single members of the Church, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said. “The Church wants and needs you. Yes, we need you! We need your voices, talents, skills, goodness and righteousness.”
Read more: Elder Andersen, President Bingham and Sister Eubank to host Face to Face event for single adults in June
On Thursday, April 22, the Church released a new infographic to assist leaders as they strive to better understand and involve single Latter-day Saints.
The infographic highlights what young single adults need, why they struggle and ideas from YSAs on how to help them.
As local leaders strive to implement solutions in their wards and stakes, the infographic reminds them to focus on those single members who struggle in their faith, who don’t fit in or those who lack social support, such as those who are new converts, identify as a minority because of race or sexual orientation, or are divorced or widowed.
Among other suggestions, the infographic includes the following ideas that were previously generated from YSAs throughout the United States: Plan more holistic weekly activities, create spaces at church to discuss hard topics, utilize YSAs in leadership positions and eliminate “fluffy or fake” callings.
Stake and ward leaders should call on single members “to serve, lift and teach,” President Ballard declared in his general conference address. “Disregard old notions and ideas that have sometimes unintentionally contributed to their feelings of loneliness and that they do not belong or cannot serve.”
On March 31, the update to the General Handbook included an expansion of callings that can be held by members in young single adult and single adult units.
Speaking of the changes to sections 37.2.2, 37.3.2 and 37.5.2 of the handbook, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told Newsroom: “In recent months, our minds have been drawn with particular focus to Latter-day Saints who are single adults. We want you to know that you are loved — and so very needed in building the kingdom of God. For this reason, we felt to search carefully for policies and misperceptions that might limit the Church service of single members. What we found was that Church policy already allows for broad service by single adults — and it could be even broader.”
In his remarks during the Saturday morning session of general conference, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that one’s “standing before the Lord and in His Church is not a matter of our marital status, but of our becoming faithful and valiant disciples of Jesus Christ. Adults want to be seen as adults and to be responsible and contribute as adults.”
On Friday, April 23, the Church also announced a Face to Face event for single Latter-day Saints 31 or older scheduled for Sunday, June 13. The event’s hosts will be Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham and Sister Sharon Eubank, who is single, of the Relief Society general presidency.
View the infographic here.