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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mission or Marriage?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hello.

First, I want to say that I love your blog. Thank you for giving us great advice.

Now I'm the one who needs your help.

I don't want to write a huge story and take all your time, so I'll try to make it short: I always thought about going on a mission.

Ages changed. I started my papers.

I stopped it because I'm an international student and I figured that I should try to get accepted in a college before I went on a mission (I was at the English program).

I started dating.

I started college.

I went back to my mission papers.

So, now my mom says I should stay here and get married, and my sister says that I should go on a mission because I can find better guys in the future.

I don't know what to do.

My relationship is getting pretty serious. We are dating since July, which does not seem like a very long time, but we know each other since last year and we have been going on dates since March and the pressure is ON. (BYU kids, you know) I go back and forth with this.

I really want to go on a mission, but my boyfriend is such a great guy!

I feel like he doesn't deserve this.

I know he really likes me and I know I'll break his heart if I tell him that I'm going on a mission.

But on the other hand, I don't know if I love him.

I know I like spending time with him because he is my best friend, but do I want to spend the eternity with him?

I don't know if I do.

I could probably work on that, but I always imagined that it should not be like this.

I always heard that when I find the right guy, I will not need to work on "liking him more" so I can handle an eternity together.

I know that in marriage you need to work on accepting the other person's flaws to make things work out, but should I have to deal with this even before marriage?

I hope it makes sense because it does in my head.

When I picture myself getting married, my imaginary husband does not look or act like my boyfriend... but it does not mean that he's ugly and boring, because he's not.

I just never thought I would end up with someone like him.

Also, I'm 19. It seems kind of random to mention it now, but I'm afraid that I'm being immature and making a big mistake for thinking this way.

Should I not get married with the guy I have now because he doesn't fit my definition of prince charming?

What if I never find anyone who fits it?

Or what if people who fits my definition do not think I fit their definition of future wife?

I have SO many questions.

And I pray. I know you will say: You need to pray for the answer. And I do!

But I must be missing something.

I need someone to tell me to stop being a drama queen, or to say that it is normal to feel this way, or to just tell me what to do.

I don't want to break up with him and regret it because I realized that he was the one.

And I don't want to get married with him and regret it because I realized that now I'm stuck with the wrong one.

And I think I'm getting more and more worried about it because I know I need to make this decision now, before it is too late.

I'm sorry I'm bothering you with all this.

I hope you can forgive me for this extra long letter.

I tried to make it short and it didn't work.

I know it looks confusing, but I would appreciate your opinion on this.

You are married.

You already went through the "searching" process, so you know what is normal to think, and what is not a good sign.

Okay, that's it.

You can be straight up honest with me and I won't cry (out loud).

And thanks for reading this.

- Which to Choose?




Dear WTC,

You're 19, you've been steady dating the same guy for 4+ months and you've known him for over a year; you recognize that he's a great guy, but just can't picture spending Eternity with him.

Sounds to me, at least as far as your relationship goes, you have your answer.

Go on the mission because that's what you feel compelled by the Spirit to do.

OR

Get married because that's what you feel compelled by the Spirit to do.

When it comes to making big life grown-up decisions, don't just "check the box"; do it because you just can't imagine that life would be better if you didn't.

Often we take action simply because we're not sure what to do; but I think No Answer is often The Answer.

If you're asking Heavenly Father "should I marry him?" and you don't get anything, no sense of comfort, no reassurance, no strong feeling that you should, then the answer is no.

Get it?

When we pray, if we're not getting the answer we're expecting, we need to try asking a different question.



Now that said, I have begun to think that Satan has found a New Way to stop us from making Eternal Covenants.  If a Young Woman finds herself at Mission Age and not in a relationship that is Temple-bound, and if compelled by the Spirit, then I think a Mission is absolutely worth consideration.

BUT

If a woman is in a serious relationship and Eternal Marriage and Family with a Good Man is a strong possibility then, in my opinion (and I think you'll find that some Church leaders, if not all, agree) to put that aside for Sister Missionary Service is the wrong thing to do.

Maybe that's an indication that she's not mature enough, that she's not ready . . . but I suggest that be balanced with the fact that very rarely are we totally ready, and that the world in which we live has become so anti-family, so anti-marriage, that our doubts are frequently fed by people who, frankly, have no idea about how to make a marriage or family work.

I worry that, even within the Church, Young Women (and Young Men) are being . . . mislead . . . being given bad advice . . . from well meaning parents and other adults . . . advice that just doesn't follow Heavenly Father's plan or Prophetic Counsel, and the result is that training is not happening and Eternal Marriage is being . . . AVOIDED . . . postponed . . . because of a lack of faith, lack of Gospel readiness, or increased worldliness that is just not Spiritually Healthy or Statistically Accurate.

I think we're reaping the results of that, and they're not good.

For example, with all due respect to your sister, the idea that AFTER a woman serves a mission "better men" will be available and interested is just . . . well, misleading.

The one thing I can tell you is that, and this is only meant to inform not scare, the further into life you push marriage, for whatever reason (including school, career, AND mission) the harder it can be for a Young Woman to find a Good Eternal Companion.

- Bro Jo

PS:  Stop being a drama queen.  It's normal to feel this way.  No one will every live up to the unrealistic expectations we have and the picture in our heads.  It's not fair to expect them to.

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