Ministering to the One

I’m really not a fan of having General Conference on Easter weekend. The date of Easter is known years in advance, and if we really want to show the world that we’re Christian, we would treat Easter as the worshipful holy day that it is by holding sacrament meeting. It would be a simple matter to move General Conference one week earlier or later when Easter falls on the first weekend in April.

That said, there was one message from this weekend that I hadn’t dared hope I would ever hear over the pulpit, even though it desperately needed to be said. Elder Gong, in his talk on Saturday morning, instructed the married members of the church to stop judging, pitying, and infantilizing single people. He reminded the members that single adults are adults, not adolescents, and that being single isn’t a marker of divine disfavor. Marital status and righteousness are not correlated.

The Good Shepherd by Waiting for the World

He also said that more than half the adults in the church are unmarried, and that this demographic reality prompted his message. I’m glad he said it, but I do find it troubling that it took singles becoming a majority before Salt Lake decided to stop shaming us. Jesus taught in the parable of the Good Shepherd that if even one member of the flock needs care, the shepherd is to go after the one and leave the 99.

I think of all the other marginalized groups in the church who will never make up half the membership. We should care for them as well, even, or especially, when their numbers are few. We need to do better and be better.

Ministering to the One