As I reflect on my life as a single adult, I recognize that although there is much that I can do to build relationships with fellow ward members, many kind gestures have strengthened my resolve to stay faithful and helped me feel that I belong to my ward family. Below are a few ideas that may help you to strengthen the single members in your ward.
Relationships with Ward Leaders
Occasionally, busy fathers and mothers who are also leaders in the Church forget what it is like to participate in Sunday services as a single adult. It means so much to me when a member of the bishopric, the Relief Society president, or elders quorum president confidently calls me by name and shakes my hand. I love when families invite me to sit with them at church. Those little acts tell me, “We know who you are. We want you here. You’re not alone.”
Faithful Home and Visiting Teachers
Church family is my family. As a single adult, I am particularly dependent on monthly visits and friendly phone calls from visiting and home teachers. I appreciate those who make it easy to ask for what I need, whether it’s a priesthood blessing, a shoulder to lean on, a compassionate ear, or a good laugh.
Appropriate Physical Touch
Growing up in a large family, I had ample opportunities to hug and cuddle babies, tousle the hair of young children, joke around with brothers and sisters, and sit close to parents. As a single adult, I don’t always know if or when I can interact this way with ward members. I appreciate when female ward members give me a hug and let me know that it’s OK to interact with and hug their young children. These small gestures help me feel the love and support of my Heavenly Father.
Social Opportunities outside Church
I am glad to socialize with ward families during the week, but sometimes I feel a little bashful inviting myself into their lives. I appreciate the moments I can spend in a family home evening, family prayer, family outing, or Sunday dinner. It is a true gift when I can experience the Spirit and blessings of the priesthood operating in a Latter-day Saint home.
I am taking advantage of my season as a single adult to continue my education and engage in worthwhile projects inside and outside of the Church. I thrill at the chance to share with ward members what I am doing with my time and talents. I love it when they are sincerely interested in my personal and professional pursuits.
Single adults of all ages are confronted daily with the fact that they are operating alone in the world. Most of us, given enough time, prayer, and trials, come to grips with this fact and come closer to the Savior as a result—a blessing I deeply treasure. It lifts my heart when ward members interact with me as openly as they do with other families and married couples.
As brothers and sisters in the gospel, we are all children of God trying to live faithful lives. Remembering this shared commitment can make it easier for all of us to share in the joys and sorrows of life and to greet, fellowship, and love one another.
Photo illustration by David Stoker