These last two posts in this series are more conversational. They have been edited and colors added to make them easier to read.
- Bro Jo]
Dear Bro Jo,
There's just so many things going on in my family, with friends and with myself that's its very discouraging and I'm to the point where I almost don't care anymore. I don't know that things would be better without the church, but I do know that people wouldn't be so judgmental and I wouldn't be worrying about every little thing I do. Life used to be so much easier when I was inactive and didn't care. Obviously that wasn't the best part of my life though.
I had a discussion with a very good friend once. I said "man, it's hard to be a member of the Church; all of the rules and commandments and everyone expects so much from you". He rebuked me. Said I was dead wrong. What do you think was his reason?
- Bro Jo
That's a tough one. I know I'm wrong on his reasons, but I guess because the commandments aren't here to make our life harder and the church isn't trying to make it harder, they're trying to bring us closer to heavenly father and in the end the commandments give us more freedom. I have no idea though.
Well . . . you're essentially saying what he said. So, let me ask you: how can living the commandments make my life easier? What about the Word of Wisdom?
That's the part I have no idea about. I only knew the last part because my seminary teacher just taught us that. Didn't think it would be right.
Is my life easier because I don't kill people?
That's probably a pretty obvious answer of yes?
For some people it's not obvious. But it is for you and I.
Be specific with this one: how would committing adultery make my life more difficult?
Well. . . since you're married then it will probably screw up your marriage.
It not only causes problems for you, but also for the person you did it with and the ones you were committed to before you did it.
Including any children that may exist.
Divorce is very difficult on the entire family. And have you ever noticed how young people with divorced parents seem to have extra struggles? Especially in relationships?
I have noticed that. My parents themselves are not divorced, but it has been brought up many times.
With my parents it's either my dad attempting suicide or threatening divorce and walking out. I know it's not the same as them actually being divorced, but many times it has been similar with them not speaking for weeks on end and sleeping in separate places. Anyways. . . that's not what you were asking for, so back to your questions.
Sorry to hear that about your parents. That makes life hard.
Wouldn't your life be easier if they were always nice to each other? Wouldn't there lives be easier?
Yeah, all of our lives would be, but no one said life would be easy. I'm really making myself into an idiot aren't I?
I don't think you're an idiot. And I wish you'd stop saying it.
Life is not easy.
But there are two kinds of things that make our lives difficult:
1. the things that just happen over which we have no control
2. the things which we have control over, but choose to make our lives more difficult
Like cancer. Some people just get cancer. It sucks.
Some people get cancer because they smoke.
That sucks, too.
And yet, even though I could get cancer just because, isn't my life better because I don't smoke and give myself cancer?
Sorry. . . I'll stop calling myself that around you.
Yeah, you are making your life better because you don't smoke and give yourself cancer
If someone were to ask me to define the word "commandments" I would say: They are the rules and guidelines that God gives us to help us lead better lives and be good people so that we can return to live with Him again.
We don't have to follow them, but we're better off if we do.
What do you think of that definition?
PS: Not just stop saying it to me, but stop saying it. I don't like it when people say negative things about people I care about.
I have problems with making negative comments about myself. . sorry.
I would agree with your definition.
Do you believe in God?
I do believe in God, yes.
Me too! Who is God? To you?
I feel like if I answer this, I'm going to do it in the wrong way and sound like I have no idea what I'm talking about.
I think he's our creator and gave up his son for us to be able to have this life. (not exactly sure what to say. . )