Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

When a Missionary is TOO Friendly

Dear Bro Jo,

I am a college student living very far from home and I attend Church on my own.

Oftentimes the missionaries would be teaching investigators that were young women and would ask for my assistance and the lessons would always go extremely well and the spirit was always present.

In fact, one young girl that we have been teaching is getting baptized next month.

Transfers are tomorrow however and one of the missionaries that I was working with gave me his name tag.

I'm not sure what this means and was wondering if you could enlighten me.


- Confused

Dear Confused,

I haven't heard of the name-tag give-away before . . . my guess is that he wants you to remember him.  If I'm right, then this "supposed-to-not-be-focusing-on-girls" missionary is bending, if not breaking, a few rules.

For one, Elders are not supposed to be meeting with women alone; neither are they supposed to be in any meeting where it's two Elders and two women - that's too much like a double date.

Two, they only get so many name tags (sometimes just one or two) and since they're always supposed to be wearing one, it doesn't seem right that they'd give it away.

I find the whole thing unsettling, and I wish you'd refused to take it.  Any chance I can talk you into giving it back?

Clearly the guy has a thing for you . . . and this whole name-tag thing . . . I find it more creepy than romantic.

Tell you what, I'll mention this on the Facebook page and see what the readers have to say (since it will likely be months before your email posts in the column).

- Bro Jo

Dear Confused,

You know, the more I think about this, the more I think this missionary was going out of his way to spend an inappropriate amount of time with you . . . whether the Spirit was present or not.

And that's more than just a little unsettling.

Give the name tag to your Bishop and let him deal with it and this missionary.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

That’s an interesting perspective - thanks!

I think its really a good thing he is being transferred then, I’d really like for him to be able to focus. He is done in four months though and if things do work out, I'd really want him to have served an honorable mission.

And I have heard of missionaries giving their name tags to families or individuals they have baptized, but I don't know if this was anything similar.

- Confused

Dear Confused,

We "hear" of lots of stuff in the Church.  That doesn't mean that it's A) true, or B) a good idea.

I hope you saw the comments on this topic that were on the "Dear Bro Jo" Facebook page.

- Bro Jo

[Dear Readers,

I originally received this email many years ago so finding the post on the Facebook page would take you a very long time.  To make life a little easier for those that are interested I'll post those comments (anonymously) here on the blog page tomorrow.


- Bro Jo]

Friday, January 12, 2018

Staying Worthy Once Engaged - Part 2 of 2

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for your quick answer. My problem is that I constantly feel over-guilty. On my mission, I regularly talked with my mission president telling him how worried I was about my worthiness. Every time he said I had to exercise more faith in the atonement and be more forgiving with myself.

I'm anxious because I was afraid it would jeopardize our Temple worthiness and we would have to delay our wedding. I gonna be out of town until the wedding so I won't get to talk to the bishop.

I think I'm just gonna relax and trust my fiancé, her mother and what you said.

Thank you for your help

- Stressed

Dear Stressed,

No problem.

Look, if you've got a worthiness issue you haven't confessed, get it done.  Simply being out of town is not enough of a reason not to.  Trips can be delayed.  Bishops can be spoken to before we leave.  Or if we're going to be gone a few weeks we can have our records transferred and talk to the new Bishop.

If leaving town is the best way to keep yourself Temple Worthy and your hands off your fiance, then I'm in total agreement with that!  (Plus writing to each other, especially REGULAR LETTERS, can be as romantic as heck.)

All of that said, one should certainly pay attention when those closest are giving similar counsel.

Happy wedding!

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Staying Temple Worthy Once Engaged - Part 1 of 2

Dear Bro Jo,

I am a RM and getting married in 3 weeks to a wonderful LDS girl. We just met with our stake president who signed our temple recommend. My problem is that as we get closer to our wedding date, I am feeling more and more unworthy to go to the Temple. I've always had this problem. Even when I don't do anything wrong, I feel guilty and unworthy for no good reason.

I've been thinking about what I've done with my fiancé. We practiced a few times horizontal make out. It always lasted 5-10 seconds before we would realize what we were doing and we would stop. But I felt guilty because though we kept our clothes on, our genital parts were touching (but we had no desire to stimulate them).

My fiancé didn't think we needed to go see a Bishop but she talked about it with her mom who said it was fine. We just had to be more careful. My fiancé told me we were worthy and that I should simply trust her.

My worry is that I saw online people stating that horizontal making out should be confessed to a bishop. That scared me a lot knowing that we already have our temple recommend and are getting sealed in 3 weeks. If I knew that what I did was breaking the LoC, I wouldn't have done it. I'm kind of stressed out with all that.

Do you think I'm fine or should I contact my Bishop or my stake president?

Thank you,

- Stressed Out

Dear Stressed,

My general rule of thumb is that if you're worried about your Temple worthiness, go talk to your Bishop.  Always better to clear the air than to feel guilty.

For the record, I agree with her mom; you're fine, just be more careful.

It's a good thing that you're both attracted to and excited by each other.  That temptation will increase as the wedding day approaches.  Some couples find it wise to make sure their chaperoned, or never alone in the dark . . . or near a bed . . . whatever they need to do to "stay focused".

I'd be more worried if you were a teenager . . . or if you weren't worried at all.


But Be Smart, too.

- Bro Jo