Young Single Adults
Listen to Young Single Adults

“Listen to Young Single Adults,” Strengthening Young Single Adults (2022)

group talking

Listen to Young Single Adults

To help others feel loved, you need to help them feel heard. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Be genuine. Reach out sincerely. Ask these friends what matters most to them. What do they cherish, and what do they hold dear? And then listen. … If we listen with love, we won’t need to wonder what to say. It will be given to us—by the Spirit and by our friends” (“Witnesses unto Me,” Ensign, May 2001, 15).

Many young adults are wrestling with their faith. Some have questions and doubts; some do not feel that they are wanted or belong in the Church. A first and vital step to helping young single adults is to reach out and listen. As Church members, we need the gifts, inspiration, and perspectives of everyone. We need each other.

Before you begin counseling as a committee about solutions to meet the needs of young single adults, first seek to understand them, including those who may be faltering in their faith and testimony. As you do, you will also come to love them. Listen without bias and without judgment. The young single adults you meet with should feel heard, respected, understood, and loved.

During your service on the YSA committee, you should listen to YSAs from as many backgrounds and circumstances as possible. In fact, this should be an ongoing practice.

Resources to help you listen to YSAs:

  • Principles for Listening

  • Make a Listening Plan

group sitting on steps

Principles for Listening

  • Create a setting that is comfortable and informal and encourages conversation that is natural and open. Consider things such as your tone, the way you dress, and where you have the conversation.

  • Get to know them—their faith, their hopes, their struggles. The better you know them, the more information you will have to guide your thinking and spiritual promptings.

  • Ask open-ended questions that invite YSAs to share their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and challenges (see “Make a Listening Plan”). Listen more than you speak.

  • Include YSAs of different genders, ages, backgrounds, and levels of Church activity. The more diverse the YSAs you meet with are, the better. See if they know others who could share different perspectives.

  • If struggles or frustrations are expressed, do not judge, correct, pressure, or try to “fix” the YSAs you talk with. Listen with respect, kindness, and empathy. Repeat back what you’ve heard to confirm that you’ve understood correctly, and ask if there is more. Thank them for their honesty and let them know you care.

  • Even when you start implementing solutions, take the time to reach out and listen to YSAs to understand how the solutions are affecting their experience.

  • Be careful about viewing one person’s experience as the way everyone feels. If you meet with a group, make sure all are heard and that one or two individuals do not dominate the conversation (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:122).

woman writing in journal

Make a Listening Plan

Who Do You Want to Speak With?

Reach out to young single adults with various backgrounds, experiences, religious views, levels of Church activity, and so on.

What Will You Discuss?

Topics to discuss may include the following:

  • When, where, and how we feel most connected to God

  • Challenges we might face with religion at this stage in our lives

  • The relevance of the gospel in our lives

  • Why friends or family have left the Church

  • How to help others know they are needed and their contributions are valued

  • The gospel of Jesus Christ and how keeping covenants will help us center our lives on Jesus Christ.

  • Behavior and talents that will help our community be more Christlike

  • Gospel topics and values that we feel might be most helpful to our generation

  • Activities and experiences that could help us all draw closer to Christ and to one another, both on Sunday and during the week

When Will You Listen?

Consider both short-term listening and long-term, ongoing listening. With permission from the person you are talking to, record or take notes on what you are learning so that you can share it in future committee meetings. Select a time when the conversation will not be rushed.

How Will You Listen?

Listening occurs best in a setting that allows for honest and open discussion. You can listen in groups or one-on-one. You can listen in a home, at church, or anywhere else that is comfortable and minimizes distractions.