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.)

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Afraid to Hug?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hey there.  I was reading your post from today, about kissing/touching and it reminded me of something that's been on my mind.

I'm a 16 year old teenage girl.

See, I've never really been a hugger.

Well, maybe just with girlfriends, but I hardly ever initiate a hug or physical touch.

The thing I can't figure out, is why it's so hard for me.

I don't hate it just to be different in this touchy world. I really do want to be able to show appropriate physical affection to those who I love. It's just not comfortable to me.

I always dread the after date hug and any sort of greeting hug with guys because I feel so awkward at it.

I've noticed it with nearly all guys, even brothers, cousins and other family. I don't come from a huggy family at all, although we are close knit.

When my older brother asked me for a hug out of nowhere, it just gave me a rush of anxiety and I said no.

Anyways, could it just because of my family culture, and is the only fix to make myself hug guys?

I know it seems silly, maybe it is that simple but I just feel like maybe there's something more to it than that.

I thought maybe you've heard lots more about this problem than I have.

- The Awkward Hugger Girl

Dear Awkward,

You're 16 . . . just how many "awkward after date hugs" have you had???

I'm a "touchy" person, but that doesn't mean that I think everyone should be hugging everyone.

Nor do I think it's a good idea for you to go around hugging guys to try to get over it.

BTW - I also think lots of young people are too "huggy". 

People show affection in different ways . . .  and that's okay.

But if we could set that aside for a moment . . .

You used the phrase "rush of anxiety" when your brother asked to give you a hug . . . I find that to be an interesting choice of words.

I mean, he's family, so I'm struggling to see what you mean when you say that hugging is not part of your "family culture" . . . Can you dig a little deeper?

Why is it that you think you feel the way you do?

And, have you ever talked to anyone, like an adult, close trusted friend or relative, or counselor, about all of this?

Just in case this is a little deeper than you and I can discuss here, having that conversation may be a really good idea.


- Bro Jo

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.


- 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? 


- 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