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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dealing with Sexting

Dear Bro Jo,

First of thank you so much for everything you do!

I check your blog and read every letter as soon as you post it and wait for more all the time!

I have wanted to write to you before but have decided not to a few times and tried to work things out and figure them out.

Well it works for a moment and then in the end doesn't work and makes more problems.

That's where I am now.

To make things more clear I will kinda explain my family situation.

First I'm 16, been a member my whole life.

My father wasn't a member and he left our family when I was 14.

My parents got a divorce and my mom, sister and I went through all that.

My sister and I never talk to him anymore.

So that's the father story.

Well that hurt me lots and still does all the time and I don't know when it will ever not hurt me this bad.

Well anyways there is a family at Church who our family became close with.

We can call them the S family.

Brother S is actually our home teacher, but he's not just the stop by once a month kinda home teacher. Their whole family is really close with ours. They have two little kids and they are like my sisters.

Our two families are always together doing something fun!

Brother S has pretty much became my dad role model and he treats me like his daughter.

Well now jumping to the W family. (they come together in the end).

The W family is a big family in a different ward then ours. There is like 11 kids.

Well I became good friends with DW who is like 7 months younger then me when we were 12.

He helped me through my dad leaving and uncle dying and lots of things.

He always had a scripture for me to read or something that made things OK.

Well just this year I became friends with his brother who's just a little younger than him (SW).   We became good friends and I help him through things.

I sometimes spend time at their house with their family because they know my home life and how my mom and sister are always gone at dance do I'm left home alone. So pretty much they just let me come along with their family.

Well here's where brother S and the W family join.

A while ago SW asked me for inappropriate pictures.

He made excuses like "oh it's for a girl who dresses immodest and I'm trying to show her what's wrong" and then he tried to make me feel bad because I said no and he said I was stopping her from understanding modestly.

Well I didn't fall for it.

I told him no and that I would be more then glad to send him a modest picture and good examples.

Well not like a week later his dad found out about him asking some other girl the same things.

I got really mad and everything at him.

Well he wrote me a long letter apologizing and everything. I talked to him and told him he better make things better with the Lord.

He talked to his bishop and got everything worked out.

Well when this happened it really hurt me because he was a friend I was supposed to be able to trust.

Well I needed someone to talk to about it so I talked to Brother S.

He helped me though it and everything. When I told him I was super worried he would hate SW. He said no and that everyone makes mistakes and its more how they take care of them that matters.

Well today Brother S was here at my house and we were talking about how I was babysitting the little girls on Friday and I asked him if we could go to the park or zoo because I didn't want to sit at home with them all day doing nothing.

He said yes of course, but who would be with you?

And I said well me and your girls and my sister.

And he said okay good because I don't like SW around my girls and don't want him there.

He said it in a very demanding rude way.

That really hurt me for many reasons.

First I don't understand why he would think I would bring someone with me without asking him.

And also SW is a great person and made one mistake and I trusted Brother S to help me with it and not treat SW different and he said he wouldn't.

Also I wasn't even planning for SW to come and if I was I would have asked. I respect the fact that he didn't want SW around his girls and he has that choice, but how he asked and how he made me feel horrible about myself hurt. I don't know what to do.

The dad in my life doesn't like my friends because of something they did and repented for.

I feel like Brother S is judging him and that he shouldn't because that's the Lords job.

This isn't the first time Brother S and I haven't gotten along.

A while ago he pretty much called me a liar and wouldn't talk to me.

He then later realized I wasn't lying and said sorry.

So now I don't really know what to do.

Or even ask you.

I kinda just want an outside view and help with everything that's happening.

I know that's a lot and I appreciate anything!

I kinda need help with my relationship with my real father and with brothers now and the W family!

Thank you so much!!

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

First of all, my apologies; I thought for certain I had answered your letter, but I can't find anywhere that I had.

I'm sorry for the delay.

I think I've been able to sort all of what you wrote out, so here goes.

I don't think any of this is your fault by any stretch of the imagination, but I think you're fueling the fire with all of your own drama.

You act like you want everyone to just forget everything at then it will all go away, but at the same time you're all worked up about how everyone feels.

I've got to tell you, if I found out that some kid had the audacity to ask my daughter for inappropriate pictures I'd be pretty upset, too, and I don't think that would go away very quickly.

Sure, vengeance and judgment belong to the Lord, but we're also supposed to discern between right and wrong, good and bad, and that's kind of like judgment, too. The good kind.

Plus I think it's a little unfair, if you will, that you expect your father figure to not let someone's bad behavior impact his thoughts and feelings, but you're still worked up about when he incorrectly labeled you a liar.

Look, we all make mistakes, and we all need repentance, and we all too often let our emotions get the better of us.

Right now I think what everyone needs to do, including you, is just give things some time; let the dust settle.

I'm not excusing his behavior, I think your surrogate father may regret his outbursts of emotion; but I understand them.

We old people can very easily jump to hyper-freaked-out-panic mode when we're confronted with the moral dangers our young people.

That's not to excuse what we say and do, or how we react; just to explain.

We pray that we'll get it right and that you'll be understanding; we hope that you'll know that our freak outs come from our own fears, and fears of failure, and out of (albeit imperfect) love for you. 

Give all of this some time.

Things will settle down soon.

In the interim, let me say how proud I am of how you handled the situation.

I'm glad you didn't do anything you'd regret, and I'm glad you told an adult about this boy's request.

(I can’t believe he used the “send me some immodest pictures of you so I can show some other girl what not to do” line; what a jerk.)

Hang in there,

- Bro Jo

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