Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (with occasional additional posts, too).

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Bro Jo is not a spokesman or authority for the LDS Church. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

What Do You Do When You Know Someone's Not Temple Worthy?

Dear Bro Jo,

So this may be a bit much but it has been driving me crazy because I'm at a lost as to what I should do.

So I know a girl, we grew up together, have known her sense kindergarten and we have maintained a off and on friendship sense then.

We all know how teenage girls can be and that turned out to be what "ruined" our friendship, back during our senior year in high school. Anyways, after recently coming to school here at BYU-I I found out that she was attending school as well, after awkwardly running into each other.

I said hello and because of whatever had happened back in high school she didn't say anything back.

Totally fine whatever.

Well at the end of last semester she actually friend-ed me on the good ol' Facebook, and then shared with me that she had found her eternal companion and expressed to me her excitement about taking him home to California for Christmas and that he would be proposing and then they intend to be married in January.

I was shocked... totally taken by surprise, and this is where the problem lies.

In high school the reason our friendship came to an end was because of the choices she was making.

I felt very uncomfortable supporting her in her decisions and then decided to move on.

Though I'm sure you have figured out the situation already, but to say the least she is NOT temple worthy.

Now the question may be "What if she had repented sense then?"

And I cant say I know for sure but I have prayed about it because it bothers me immensely and I feel strongly that there is a huge problem.

Another thing,

We have a mutual friend who happens to be in the same ward and she actually went to her Bishop about it because of her uneasiness, then after he spoke to her he pursued to tell "Mutual Friend" that she denied it all and says there is not problem.

So therefore she hasn't taken care of it as far as I am concerned.

As much as I want to support her in this exciting period of her life I do not feel comfortable supporting a temple marriage that's not so temple worthy.

So here is the question, as a friend that is strongly worried about the situation what should I do...?

Should I talk to her personally?

Should I speak to someone?

Should I not worry cause its not my place?

Or should I just hope that her conscience gets the best of her and she will make the right decision? 

Thank you, for the help.

Sincerely,

- Worried "Friend"




Dear Worried,

You do nothing.

A Facebook add does not a friendship make.

And you two are Not friends.

She hasn't confided in you, hasn't spoken to you about personal things, you don't hang out, and she certainly hasn't asked for your help.

Whether or not she's worthy isn't your business, isn't your place to judge, and frankly isn't even something you'd know.

Remember, she had to have an ecclesiastical endorsement to even apply to the Y of I, and she'll have another two worthiness interviews in order to gain a temple recommend.

If she's lying about her past, that's between her, her Bishop, and her God.

Plus, and please consider this, you may not know what you think you know.

Even if you do, and I mean KNOW like eyewitness testimony in front of a judge, not "well someone told me this ", if no one asks, and no one has, this is more a situation of you needing to get over it than you standing for truth and righteousness.

Trust in God that it will all work out.

He knows the truth, whatever that may be.

The lies we tell ourselves and others do not fool the Lord.

Be polite.

Congratulate her.

And focus on your own life.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Afraid of Dating Someone in the Military?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hello, I attend a YSA and I saw that you had some advice on dating someone with a kid, "Her parents hate the RM she loves because he fathered a child," but I was hoping you could advise me because my situation is different.

See my problem is, I attend BYU-Idaho so I go back and forth between school a lot.

I am graduating next spring and some young men here in the singles ward have been showing me attention.

Recently one guy has stood out.

He is in the army and has a son that will be 2 soon.

He got divorced soon after his child was born due to the mother cheating on him and leaving him.

That happened when he was inactive and now he is a strong member of the Church.

It's not being in the army doesn't bother me, nor does having a kid . . . or so I thought.

The more I get to know him, the more I liked him and it scared me because for the first time I could see myself marrying someone I just met.

It scares me that he is in the army, he leaves for (location withheld) in September.  I'll finish school around the same time he comes home, but I'm terrified to become attached to someone that could possibly die.

I know anyone could die, but I really care about him and do not want to see him get hurt.

My mom was a little skeptical because he has a kid, but then I brought him over to the house and my parents liked him.

I thought all was well but people kept saying I would throw my life away because if we did end up together I would automatically become a step mom.

I thought about it and I had always had the opinion on how the first time I experience all that marriage has to offer it would be the first time for both of us, is that selfish to think that way?

After all this going on in my head I told him I could not go on any more dates with him.

A week later I started to date an upstanding RM, that everyone loves, but he's boring, so I ended it because the whole time I kept thinking of my army man.

My dad for the first time in my life commented on my dating life saying he would rather have seen me date the army man, than the boring RM.

The army man has made it known to our mutual friends that he would still like to pursue me, but do I chance it?

I'm 20 and he's around 25.

I'm not asking if I should marry the guy, but allow him to pursue me and see where things go or should I just trudge on because I know he's not the only fish in the sea? 

Sincerely,

- Lost Sister




Dear Sister,

EVERYONE could possibly die.

It terrifies me sometimes that at any moment something tragic could happen to someone close to me, like Sister Jo, the Jo Kids, or my parents, or . . .

(Sister Jo, by the way, has a strong grasp of Our Eternal Nature, so death is much less of a fear or worry for her.  She rightly sees it as a "temporary and brief parting", sad yes, but not terrifying.  Like I've said before, she's quite brilliant.)

We can't live our lives in a shell.

You could miss out on a lot of joy spending all of your time avoiding pain.

I say, if he's the Good Man you say he is, give him a chance!

If you don't you may regret it . . . for Eternity.

- Bro Jo

Monday, March 23, 2015

Letting Go

Dear Bro Jo,

Well I haven't emailed in a while, so I thought I would email you now!!!

The thing is, I was dating a guy for about 3 months!

He was perfect, a returned missionary, had callings in the church and gaining himself an education at university!

Everything was going really well, maybe I didn't see him as much as I'd of liked to but with his calling and uni once a week was fine!!

We did spend a lot of time together over the summer before uni though!!

Well here's the problem, out of the blue this weekend he ended it by TEXT, can you believe it?

In text!

He's 23 and thought it was appropriate to do that to me!!

So here's the problem, I feel bad because even though he did that to me I still can't let it go and I miss what we had!

I probably would start dating him again if he wanted to!!

I'm just wondering what I should do?

Shall I just leave him and not speak to him at all, we were really friends before we started dating and getting to know each other so I doubt friends is on the cards!

But I'm not sure if it's right to just not talk anymore!

This all sounds so long winded, sorry!!

Do I just leave it with this guy and forget about him or do I try and rectify what we had?!

Thanks soo much for your help,

- M





Dear M,

Never tired of hearing from you.

What was the coward’s reason for ending the relationship?

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you!

Well he just said he doesn't think it is working and gave me all the usual rubbish about us still being friends and that he does like me but he just doesn't think it's the right time!

At first he suggested we go on a 'break' so he could think about it, but I said surely that it just like ending it and in the end he just went 'I can't do this'!

Thank you so much for replying!

- M




Dear M,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news . . . but it's over.

Sure, he may clue in one day that he's made a mistake, but there's no point in you waiting around for it or him.

I'm sorry.

I know it's painful.

I know you'll be replaying the whole relationship over and over again in your mind, trying to figure out if you did something wrong or what might have been had this all turned out differently.

There's a certain amount of healthiness to that, but not enough that you should let those thoughts consume you. 

The bottom line is, for whatever reason, he wasn't smart enough to hang on to you.

That means you'll have to go out and keep dating until you find a guy that is smart enough.

Write all of your feelings and thoughts in your journal; it's therapeutic.

Chin up!

It will get better.

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you so much!

I'm glad you said about the journal that's such a good idea I'm going to do that!

It's just learning from experience I guess.

Well there's just one last thing, it's Stake Conference on Sunday and he'll be there?

Shall I smile at him and be polite or avoid him?!

It sounds petty but I'm just going to make sure I look extra nice

haha!

Thanks Bro Jo!

- M




Dear Melody,

Looking "extra nice" is always a wise idea.

Go to conference.

Be social with your friends.

If you see him (and don't go out of your way) then be polite, but not overly friendly.

If he comes to you, fine, but don't go to him.

All of the Single Men in the room need to know that you're no longer attached.

If at the sight of you he's changed his mind and wants to get back together, don't be too quick to say yes.

Make him earn it.

That means at least an apology and an explanation and a present (like flowers).

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

I thought it would be a good idea too!

Thank you,

I'm going to be polite and that's it!

I'll just be reserved if he does want to be with me, although I highly doubt it!

I really appreciate advice.

- M




Dear M,

Good luck!

Keep us posted

 - Bro Jo