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Monday, June 25, 2012

Non-Member Conversion and Future Missionary Boy Questions

Dear Bro Jo,

I am a non-member, first of all, but I have been seriously considering conversion to the LDS faith. But I sometimes worry that I won't be worthy enough to convert, since all the members I know currently are amazing people and I sometimes worry that I won't be able to live up to their standards as members.

But I love all the church activities I go to and I have felt the Spirit before when I went to a Scriptures Day a couple of years ago. I have felt it since then but that is the time when I think I felt a real change.

So I’m just wondering, how do i know if i will be accepted in the Church?
I have always been so welcome to all the events I go to, but I’m scared I will be judged a lot if I convert. Could you offer any advice?

I do go to activities and such things, but I can't actually go to Church to much because A) I usually have to work on Sundays and B) my father is not fond of the LDS religion.
He is always telling me I need to try out different religions and stuff, but when I did go to another service it didn't feel, I guess . . . right.

Does that make sense?

I kept comparing it to what I had felt when I went to Church services and I couldn't help but compare the two and see how much more I liked the LDS Church.

So I’m not sure how I should look into joining the LDS Church without making my father angry.

Any advice?

Just some guidance because I’m so confused about what I should do.

That was the first question I have.

The second actually relates to dating and such.

As I have stated before, I hang out with LDS youth and a lot of my friends are members. But there is this one guy who is a member that I have known since we were in 7th grade. We are both seniors this year, and he will be leaving for his mission before the beginning of the next school year. And I will admit, I have had crushes on him on and off for the entire time I have known him.

I start to like him again but then I remember that he just isn't interested in dating. Like at all it seems. And I don't know what to do about it.

He has admitted to me before that he likes me, and then after that he won't talk to me for a couple of months. Now he is really busy, with sports and school and Church and his family, which is amazing. but here is my problem: it’s gotten to the point where every time I start to date a different guy, I start to wonder about him (the guy I’ve known for a long time) and then I start to doubt if i really like this new guy or not and it’s not fair to the guy I’m dating, because he likes me but I can't commit because I can't stop thinking about this other guy. . . and it’s a mess.

I’m just wondering . . . should I move on?

Completely forget this guy since he will be leaving soon and I will be going to college a couple hours away, or should I wait for him and see if anything might happen when he returns from his mission?

Not like not date anyone or anything, but not have a serious relationship with anyone. Because it’s likely that I will convert within the next couple years, and I want to know what to I should do . . .

Am I just holding on to a lost cause or being a silly romantic teen age girl?
I just don't know what to do. so any advice would be amazing.

Thank you for even reading this because I have been questioning this for so long, and you’re the only person I can think to ask.

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

First and foremost, choosing baptism into the LDS Church (or any faith, for that matter) needs to be for you; it needs to be about your relationship with Heavenly Father; and it should happen because you believe that your life will be better (understand that does not mean perfect) for making that choice.

Secondly, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect, but His followers are not. If they were, they wouldn't need repentance and His atoning sacrifice. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone struggles, everyone has doubts and trials of their faith, whether they're active Latter-day Saints, not members, or anything else. You are a chosen daughter of our Heavenly Father and just as entitled to His blessings as anyone (and everyone). The worries and doubts you feel are Satan's way of trying to keep you from that which you deserve.

If (I prefer "when") you join the Church is it possible that you'll meet some members that don't treat you the way Christians should?

Sadly, you might. But my experience has been that most will treat you with love.

Whether or not you live up to the Lord's standards is up to you. Just remember that through Christ we all can grow and work on being better people. (And I have a suspicion that you're a pretty good person already.)

I do think you need to attend Church a few times before you commit to anything. And if you haven't already you need to meet with some missionaries and have them formally teach you about the Church. I recommend doing that in the homes of some of your member friends.

As far as your dad goes, that's a tough one. Let him know that you love him and respect him and that you'd like to find out more about the LDS Church. Suggest that he sit in on the lessons with you so that he can ask the missionaries any questions he has. If he's more comfortable listening to the lessons on his own turf, suggest that the missionaries come to your home. If it helps, your friends can be there, too, perhaps with one of their families.

Now, regarding this young man . . .

I never recommend that a young woman should wait around idle for two years while a guy is off serving a mission. You should be Casual Group Dating with lots of guys for now. Once High School is over, Serious Single Dating is appropriate, but if this guy is mission focused (as he should be) he probably won't be interested in that.

Guys can be fickle and confused; don't let it bother you too much. If you're still available when he comes home . . . well . . . cross that bridge then.

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

I'm in a similar situation. Throughout high school I became close friends with the LDS group, and I attended the youth dances and activities. During that time, I never realized how much my beliefs fit with the LDS church, and how much that community appealed to me. I'm now a freshmen in college, and I'm realizing that being away from the LDS community I had inserted myself in back home is difficult. One of the things I've realized being here at college is how much my beliefs truly do line up with the LDS Church. I'm interested in converting, but I'm held back because I don't know anyone in the LDS community here, and I know that my family would disapprove.
On a second note, I dated an amazing young man this last summer before college, and we made the decision to break up before he leaves for his mission. Of course it's challenging, and I miss him like crazy, but I'm going to follow God's direction and support my friend throughout his mission. If in two years we're both single, and if we haven't changed too much, who knows, maybe we'll date.

Bro Jo said...

Dear Anon,

I can help. Please email me at:


- Bro Jo