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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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Mission or the Boyfriend?

Dear Bro Jo,

First of all - your blog & your wisdom is amazing!

Thank you for making your insight available online - it has been really helpful!

Now I'm not sure if this has been addressed on your blog before, but I feel like I'm in a bit of a pickle and need some extra guidance!

I just submitted my mission papers, and over the last 6 months I've been getting really close to this guy in my ward who was inactive/on the verge of inactivity and has because I pretty much "called him unto repentance" of the way I saw his life was going and I had been at that same place before, and I knew it would end badly!

He really appreciated that I had done that, and said no one had ever cared enough tell him to get back on track before, not even his parents.

Since then, we text every day and we go out for casual lunches once a week & we have been on a few dates. I'm 90% sure he likes me & is attracted to me and I definitely like him.

He hasn't served a mission, but now had a desire too - but some of the things he does show that he still isn't really, deeply committed to the gospel. I have tried to back off, and "lock my heart" because my papers are in - but every time I see him at institute or Church or firesides, he comes and talks to me and I seem to fall for him all over again! I'm not sure what to do - because I feel for him so deeply and just want him to actually feel the saviors love because it'll make him happy!

But I know it's dangerous territory as he has broken the law of chastity with his previous girlfriend and he's not fully back living the gospel even though he comes to church.

How can I support him in coming back to Church but still bridling my feelings & keeping a friendly relationship before on I go on my mission?

Sorry for the long spiel, but thank you!

- Confused Soon to be Missionary




Dear Soon to Be,

First let me say thank you for the kind words.  Not sure I deserve them, but thank you none-the-less.

Unless you're both willing to give up on the missions and stay and become Eternal Companions, I think you need to seriously cool things off.

That means no more dates, no more acting like a potential girlfriend . . . you know what I mean.

Don't just cut him off cold turkey. Have the talk.

Tell him that the time has come for you to focus on your upcoming mission.

Be honest, tell him you like him, but that you know the timing is not right for you and he as far as anything Eternal is concerned.

Tell him that you are excited about the progress that he's making, that you support him and want to be his friend.

And, by all means, share your testimony.

Share your testimony of the Savior, of the Atonement, and of the Love and Joy that we can all feel when we commit ourselves to being Disciples of Christ.

- Bro Jo

Monday, April 25, 2016

She Wants to Dance!

Dear Bro Jo, So,

I've read a bunch of your inputs on dancing . . . I love Church dances!

I go to all the regular ones that the Church puts on, and then I have a friend who puts on monthly Church dances.

Its really great, lots of slow dances, line dances, themed dances etc.

My first three dances I went without getting asked to dance by a guy.. ever.

Then I went to EFY and got asked twice only. And it made me super super sad.

So I decided to just go and have fun and ask people at dances from then on or I wouldn't be able to have fun.

Are you saying that its better to go there and just NOT be asked?

Because to me..it seems like its more worth it to get rid of my pride and just ask boys. Because any dance that I don't just ask people is really terrible and sad.

What do you think?

Thanks!

- Wants to Dance!




Dear Wants to Dance,

Dances prepare us for dating. If you don't teach the boys at these dances that they need to ask you to dance, then they won't learn that they need to ask you out on dates.

And you won't learn why getting boys to ask you out, or ask you to dance, is a good thing.

And it IS a good thing.

Why?

Because, right or wrong, guys see girls that expect to be pursued as more valuable.

Now I know that you're valuable . . .and you should know that, too.

I understand that it can be very hard to know that when boys aren't giving you the attention you deserve, when they're not asking you like they should.

What can I say?

Boys are dumb.

And you DO have value!

And you DESERVE to be asked!

So let's start by making a subtle change.

Rather than asking the boys to dance, go up to them and say "which one of you boys is (smart, sweet, cute...) enough to ask me to dance? "

Smile. Touch an arm. During the dance laugh and smile; ask him about him and listen with interest while he's speaking. And when the song is over, say thank you and "I hope you'll ask me to dance again".

And then Never Ask That Boy Again.

If his friends don't clue in, sit out a couple songs, and then try it on another group of guys.

In fact, take a girlfriend or two with you and approach these guys as a group.

I think you'll see a wonderful difference.

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you so much for replying to this email so very quickly.

I see where you are coming from and I am going to try your advice on the next dance that comes up.

I believe that the ones who actually eventually ask me are probably the ones I want to dance with anyway. I'll let you know how the results come after my next dance.

Thanks!

- Wants to Dance

Friday, April 22, 2016

What If He Doesn't Want to Serve a Mission?- Part 3 of 3

Dear Bro Jo,

Some of my expectations might not be fully realistic.

I don't think I really expect to be on fire all the time, but the scriptures do make it sound like I'm supposed to.

I know some people who act like they are.

I think the issue that I'm having is that I was on fire to share the gospel once, and I haven't been since. I'm not disregarding that experience.

I know that it's important.

I don't really know how to explain it.

I don't think I really understand what's going on myself.

There's just some brick wall, and I don't know how to get over, around, or under it.

I want to say that I've served a mission, but I don't think I want to say that I want to serve one.

So I want the results, but I don't want to do the work to get there.

The whole issue just feels rather complicated, and I don't really know how to move forward.

- NW




Dear NW,

I totally disagree with your characterization of the scriptures.

No one, not one person, including Christ, is "on fire" all the time.

Consider this: when we're trying to do something good, really good, Satan works quite hard to make it difficult for us to do that good thing.

True story.

Most couples I speak to fight on their way to the Temple.

It takes many of them years before they figure out why.

Heck, for years Sister Jo and I resolved to not speak at all as we drove to the nearest Temple (three hours away) so that we wouldn't get into petty arguments during the trip.

Even now there are times when we're quite for the first 80 miles . . . just to be safe.

Frankly I don't think the issue is complicated at all.

I think you're making it out to be.

- Bro Jo