Neil L. Anderson begins this talk by saying, "Children today find themselves in many different and complex family configurations."
I grew up mostly in Northern Utah in a family with six children, led by a Single Mom. During my grade school years I was the only 3rd grader in my school with divorced parents. I felt this difference keenly. I wished to be more included so badly. I would sing "Families Can Be Together Forever" in church and feel like I was lying, because my family would not be together forever. My heart felt sad when our Primary would sing "I'm So Glad when daddy Comes Home". I felt alone and different.
And yet, as a married mom with kids now I feel slightly awkward to invite single friends and their kids to dinners or get-togethers we throw. It's so easy to invite over other young couples and divide game teams into husbands vs. wives. I needed this talk to remind me of how I felt as a child and how to make others in that situation feel included and "normal".
"...my plea today is for the hundreds of thousands of children, youth, and young adults who do not come from...“picture-perfect” families. I speak not only of the youth who have experienced the death, divorce, or diminishing faith of their parents but also of the tens of thousands of young men and young women from all around the world who embrace the gospel without a mother or father to come into the Church with them."
I am sharing 10 things we can do to support Individuals and Families who aren't in a traditional LDS family. Some are mentioned in Elder Andersen's talk, some are my own ideas, and some were passed on to me by friends in non-traditional family units.