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.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Are They "Just Friends"?

Dear Bro Jo,

I don’t know how relatable this letter will be to your normal audience, but I need some advice on the predicament I am currently in.

In sophomore year, my interest was sparked by a boy who was quite different to the others at my school, he was kind, courteous and had respect for people, like I had never seen.

We became close friends, and ended up being partners for a math assignment, after extended periods of time working on the assignment together, he invited me to a Church dance.

I was overwhelmed when there, but wanted to find out more (he was the only member at my school).

I ended up going to Church with him, and he dumped his current LDS ‘girlfriend’ in preparation for asking me out. I met his family and they took me in instantly (I have become like an older sister to his nieces whom he lives with).

I continually went to Church, and Church activities and started meeting with the missionaries.

Much to their dismay, being a 15 year old, I wasn't looking to commit to a religion, however through learning the truthfulness of the gospel, my heart softened. However, the missionaries’ jobs did not become easier, I was determined to know of the truthfulness for myself, and did not want to be known as the girl who converted because of her boyfriend, considering my family were not interested in the gospel.

As I learnt of the Church I realized that my relationship was contrary to the teachings of the prophets and as my testimony was strengthened concerning the need to follow their counsel, I broke it off with my friend, using the excuse that school was too much (we were seniors at the time).

So after nearly two years of attending Church and being taught by missionaries, I was baptized and was fortunate enough to be baptized by my friend.

Our friendship was as strong as ever, most people didn't even realize our status had changed.

We even referred to each other as bestest friends (this I am extremely confused about after reading your articles on Men and Women Can’t be Friends).

He continued to date other people, and outwardly I said that I didn't mind and was in fact happy for him, however I did wish we could rekindle what we had previously had, only after he had returned from an honourable mission.

Whilst preparing to serve a mission, my friend became serious with one girl. His family was (and still is) angry about the situation, and up until now they had not been openly adverse to his relationships until this particular this girl.

However they have stayed a couple and she is waiting for him.

Meanwhile, we still call each other best friends, and at first I didn't realize that was code word for “we’re not dating but I’m waiting for him” until his girlfriend pulled me up whilst saying it.

I was there at his call opening, farewell, setting apart and at the airport, when his girlfriend wasn’t.

He includes me in his family emails as well as sending me a personalized email each week.

I have tried to say to him save the time to email more important people, but I continue to get the personalized emails.

He is now 10 months through his mission.

I don’t know what his intentions are… Does he have a sense of obligation because he was the one that introduced me to the Church?

Have I become like a family member to him?

Does he want something more?

Or am I the fall back option if everything doesn’t go to plan?

I never thought I would be the person to email into an advice blog, but your truthful, sincere advice is definitely what I need right now.

Whatever your take on the situation, any advice on my future actions would be appreciated.


- Confused

Dear Confused,

I'm with you!

I have no idea what he wants.

Are you a backup?

A safety net?

Is he just being nice?

Does he feel guilty?

Is he "in love"?

Is he afraid that you don't feel the same way?

Here's the thing: since we don't know, and it shouldn't be asked, brought up or considered until he comes home . . . we have to focus on you. And now is a great time for you to grow personally. 

Perhaps that means school . . .

Certainly you'll want to continue your path as a disciple of Christ . . .

And I think you need to be going on dates with other guys.

You've got 14 months.

That's a long time.

Be Free!

If, when he comes back, you're single and you're both interested in each other, then you can ask for answers to all of those questions.

Until then, I say write about it in your journal, and let it go.

- Bro Jo

Monday, October 17, 2016

She's Uncomfortable Talking to Her Bishop

Dear Bro Jo,

I am in great need of your help.

When people think porn they think boys, but reality is that not just boys struggle with it, girls can too, and that’s my case.

Although I went to the Bishop and spoke to him about it there was more I wanted to say, but I couldn't because my Bishop is a very serious man and I often feel very uncomfortable talking to him.

I was unable to tell my bishop the whole truth including the fact that I have masturbated, is there a way that I can recover from this although it’s been a long time that I've done it?

I also don’t want to talk to my Bishop again because I just can’t speak to him; he is someone that makes uncomfortable.

Also because my Aunt is the only other member of the Church in my family it isn't enforced on me and I often become inactive and then fall into a pattern of bad behavior, which is what has lead me to commit these sins multiple times and “repent” for them, but it wasn't until recently that I truly repented.

I didn't love the gospel before but then I turned 17 and everything changed and I want to belong but because of my sins I often want to quit church and forget. I don’t know how to move on from my past?

I don’t want to be a quitter and hide from something I love so much.

Please help me.

- Name Withheld

Dear Sister,

It isn't his seriousness that is making you uncomfortable when talking to your Bishop, nor is your Aunt being the only member the reason why you've occasionally fallen into bad behavior.

The "uncomfortable" feelings you have are the influence of Satan trying to keep you from feeling the love of the Savior.

The "pattern of bad behavior" is because you made some choices you shouldn't have.

To move on from your past you need to leave that bad behavior behind.

No one lives life mistake free, but as our love for the Gospel grows and our choices reflect that love then we'll more regularly know the joy that Heavenly Father has for us, more often know the blessings that are in store.

Be Strong!

Never give up. Never surrender!

- Bro Jo

Friday, October 14, 2016

How Do You Know You're In Love?

Dear Bro Jo,

How do you know you're in love?

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

When the other person's needs and happiness are more important than your own and you know that they feel the same way about you.

When you don't care about their imperfections enough to keep you from being with them and caring about them.

When you realize that they love you despite your imperfections.

Find that, and don't ever let it go!

- Bro Jo