Sometimes there are phrases in the scriptures that intrigue me. One of those is found in D&C 59:13. It states, "And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let they food be prepared with singleness of heart..." that is my phrase, "singleness of heart." Frequently people say this means simple but that particular meaning struck me as well, simple. There had to be something else the Lord meant. So I followed the scripture trail, supplementing it with words from our prophets and just to make sure I was on the right track, yes, even the dictionary. There are only seven references in the scriptures to this particular phrase, "singleness of heart". One says, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." (Acts 2:46) Another uses the word embrace in conjunction with this phrase.
This is what I've learned. Single hearted means that we are sincere, straightforward, or loyal. Single-minded means we have but one purpose or aim. It is being free from duplicity. It means being steadfast. It means being sincere. Sincere is honesty of purpose. It is being free from hypocrisy or being genuine. Just for good measure here is the definition of simple. It means not complex, or complicated, easy, without embellishment, plain, unadorned. "Simple" has nothing to do with having "singleness of heart".
Singleness of hearts meaning expands to something much more noble, more worshipful and with a purpose. It may include testimony, and if we read further down in section 59 it includes joy, thanksgiving, a glad heart, and a cheerful countenance. Often we get caught up in the word prepared in verse 13. It may draw our attention away from what is truly important and that is whatever we do in serving our Lord and Heavenly Father we can do it with "singleness of heart."
During this Christmas season may our hearts and minds be turned to our Savior with "singleness of heart."