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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Being Single: A Series Begins

Photo by Chance Agrella
I was called as a single's rep a few months back, and serving in this calling has been very enlightening and educational for me . . .and for the married couples also involved in the program.

Our singles program started with all married couples running it. They are all age 50+. All, to my knowledge, have never been widowed or divorced. One confided in me that she 'married late' (I think she said age 28).

One of the women has been inviting a married sister to attend the singles activities because she feels this woman is 'lonely'. Her husband is away for work a lot. He expressed some discomfort with this idea.

Today, after the singles social there was a ton of extra food. We decided to run out plates to those who were unable to come, shut-ins, etc. One sister was asked if she needed us to make up some plates to take to anyone on her 'route'. She remarked that none of them were shut-ins and if they chose not to be here she was not going to take food to them.

I took food to those on my route. I felt really badly when I did so as one sister clean forgot about the social, and would have gone if she had remembered. I should have called and reminded everyone. I slacked off in my duty. I won't make that mistake again.

What I think a lot of people don't get is that 1/3 of this church is made up of the singles in it; and we have needs, concerns, and challenges which married people do not. We need help, encouragement, and compassion: not judgment and criticism. We need to feel cared about: not alienated.

I am going to start a series in this blog on the topic of being single and LDS, in an effort to help others understand what it is like; and maybe be better able to compassionately serve the singles in their wards, branches, and stakes.

In our little town, there are over 300 singles (ages 18+) just in my stake alone. Of those, exactly half (according to one of the counselors in the Stake Presidency whom I spoke with who performed the research) are completely inactive. We have to do something. We have to reach out more effectively. Can it be any more clear that the singles are in need, NOW?

Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

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