How can the Church utilize the skills of single members? Or how can single members share their skills with the Church?
In the nearly three and a half years that I’ve served with young single adults, I’ve learned many things — not the least of which is that the members of our YSA ward are as compassionate, diligent and faithful as any members anywhere.
In fact, they are “any members anywhere.”
“Neither were there … any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ” (See 4 Nephi 1:17).
Young single adults are grouped into wards because of their ability to minister to members their own age, so they may receive greater leadership opportunities, and to provide an opportunity to fellowship with others their age.
They — and all single members of the Church — bring to their wards the same talents and skills that “any members anywhere” bring to their wards.
Every member anywhere has his/her own set of gifts and talents, struggles and trials, situations and statuses. Rather than identifying anyone by those things, we — all of us — will do well to remember that we — all of us — are “the children of Christ.”
— Rick Hall, bishop of the Midvale YSA Ward, Murray Utah YSA Stake
The biggest way I have found to share my abilities is a willingness to serve where needed. I’m 40 years old and have served in all the auxiliaries. I’ve also found ways to be of use and serve in little ways. I keep books and a few toys in my church bag. I have a few of my friends’ kids — I call them “my little buddies” — that come see me during sacrament meeting when they need a different or new toy to play with. Additionally, because of my career and education I have found ways to help beyond bringing a casserole. I have edited a masters thesis and helped with college essays. I joke that if you want me to bring a meal, I’m really good at take out. I’ll end with this: I am grateful to be in a small ward that looked at me not as a single sister, but as another member who was willing to serve.
— Mariann Foster, Berryessa Ward, San Jose California Stake
As a single adult, I can serve. I hope leaders will take the time necessary to understand the needs that singles have and try to address them. Loneliness and isolation are very real things and it can be hard when so much of the discussion is on family and many of the activities are family centered. That said, I also think that some single adults sometimes play the victim card. Some may say that Church leaders don’t care about the singles and yet, simultaneously, they sit in the back and don’t raise their hands to volunteer or offer to contribute. Some may just not come to church at all. We can all minister, we can all contribute. We just need to raise our hands and go to work. Our position in the Church is not based on our marital status. It is based on our desire to contribute to the Kingdom of God.
— Aaron Aisen, Lancaster Ward, Buffalo New York Stake