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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Aftermath of Having Violated the Honor Code at BYU

Dear Bro Jo,

My boyfriend and I just had sex.

One time.

We both went in and confessed.

He is endowed and an RM.

We have both never messed up before.

My Bishop said we could keep dating and that things will be okay after we repent.

His Bishop said to break up and cut off all contact.

He had a disciplinary council and his Bishop's requirement is that he not have any contact with me for at least nine months. He is on formal probation and his Bishop told him that he could be kicked out of BYU for not following his Bishop's council.

I think this is overstepping the line of a Bishop to not allow someone to speak to another person for NINE months.

My boyfriend is one of the greatest men I have ever dated.

I know that people make mistakes.

We were very stupid.

I am going through absolute hell because of my stupid one time decision. I know it is important for us to never do this again. I truly care about him and I want him to do the right thing. I just have never heard of such a strict request from a bishop.

What do you think?

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

I think Bishops are called with keys designed to help each member under their stewardship be worthy to enter the Temple.

Your boyfriend has made Temple covenants regarding chastity that you may have not made yet. 

While he holds no keys respective to you, perhaps it would help you understand his thinking if you spoke to your boyfriend's Bishop.

He can't (or at least shouldn't) share with you the specific details of his conversation with your boyfriend, but maybe you'll at least see that he's a good guy that is doing what he feels the Lord would have him do to help the boy.

I would like you to consider some other things as well:

     1. There's a possibility, no matter how remote, that your boyfriend's Bishop knows more about your boyfriend and his situation than you do, those details may not be your business at this exact moment, and they may include information that explain the promptings the Bishop received.

     2. Nine months is a long time, but not too long to wait for a wonderful and worthy eternal companion.

     3. If you "just had sex" (not sure how recent you mean), your boyfriend (and likely you as well) should not expect to be allowed to be Sealed for Time and All Eternity in the Temple for a year, not to each other or anyone else for that matter.

     4. Before you freak out about how long "a year" feels like, I invite you to consider how quickly this last year has gone by.

     5. While there's no need for you to be completely forthcoming with me, I want you to know that this Old Guy doesn't believe that anyone wakes up one day and accidentally commits a big transgression. This was not just a random "one time decision". I think it's much more likely that the two of you have been doing much more than "simple kisses goodnight". The only point in bringing this up is the hope that you'll be more aware in the future of what the result is when we do what you two were doing in the weeks, days and moments that lead to sex.

(By the way, that's also good when you're married. When you want to have sex with your spouse knowing what buttons to push, and being aware of when they're pushing your buttons on purpose, can be very good things.)

     6. It's only important that you not do this again Until After You're Married. (See #5 above.)

     7. You're not a bad person, and there's no reason why you can't mend things so that you can enjoy the blessings of both the Temple and Eternal Marriage. You just have to be patient and do the things required.

Lastly, and I realize that you may not hear this from anyone else, but if the two of you really are in love, if you're really committed to making an Eternal Marriage work (and, believe me, it IS work), and if you can't abide by the nine months . . . if you have no hope of keeping your hands off each other . . . then as much as I'd much rather see you fix things and get married in the Temple . . . MUCH RATHER . . . maybe you two should just get married now and plan for a Sealing in a year. 

While it's not my first choice, and shouldn't be yours, I'd rather see you guys do that than to keep pushing the Temple Marriage back because you keep "messing up". HOWEVER (and this is a big "however"), before you agree to marry anyone you'd better be able to answer the "Bro Jo's Stuff You Need to Know Before You Get Engaged"

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Camille said...

A perfect answer, Bro Jo. I think it's hard to understand just how serious it is for an endowed member to break the law of chastity, until they've made and understand those covenants. A disciplinary council and a temporary ban on the relationship seems totally normal for an RM that abandoned his covenants for a night (or, as you pointed out, probably several times to a lesser degree.) But Jesus turned dirty water into the most perfect wine and these two can each be okay as they go through the repentance process.