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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dating and Race in The Church

Dear Bro Jo,

Yo Bro Jo!

I'm so frustrated with my nonexistent love life right now and I apologize that I am writing to you about it, but I've been reading your blog and you seem to know more about it than I do...

So I'm in college and have been able to date for a while and just don't understand why no man is attracted to me.

I've been a convert for a while, baptized when I was twelve, and I live in a place where I can be spotted from a mile away.

Why?

Well, I immigrated to America from Africa when I was a toddler.

I'm from Sudan, and those are some of the very dark people in Africa.

Ever since I was baptized, I've felt uncomfortable because of the attention this gave me.

I am proud of where I'm from and the culture I've been born into, but it seems like that's the reason why no one is interested in me.

This is what I've heard from the guys and girls in my YSA:

     "Oh, she's black, I can't take her out."

     "No one likes black girls."

     "I mean, you're pretty for a black girl."

     "I just don't think black girls are good girls to date if I want a real relationship."

So I'm asking you, is this the mindset of every male in the Church?

I have the same desires of every young woman; I want to be married in the Temple, I want to be able to raise my children in a home that has the priesthood.

This becomes more and more of a fairytale every passing day and with the feedback I'm getting from fellow members confirms it.

I'm really active in the Church. I'm a Relief Society teacher, I go out on team-ups with the missionaries every chance I get, go to the Temple when I am able, read my scriptures, go to institute, and so on.

I do all the things I need to and I love doing them, but I guess keeping the commandments and standards only get you so far.

You have to "look Mormon", too.

Tell me that isn't true...

Signed,

- Miss Africa




Dear M.A.,

Absolutely not!

I know many, many men of various backgrounds that care not at all what ethnicity a person is.


[Tangent story.  

This goes both ways, you know.  

When I was in High School I tried very hard to get a very pretty girl to go out with me.  I suspect you and she have similar coloring.  

We'd flirt and all, but she'd never agree to go out with me.  

Finally, when I pressed her for a reason one day, she said "I just can't go out with a guy who's that white!  My parents would freak out and my friends would all give me a tough time."

True story.
]


If it means anything, and I think it should, the emails I get from women in your age group who are upset about their lack of dates and romance are from all nationalities, colors, and cultures.

So, in that, you're not alone at all.

Further, I say shame on anyone who has said the things you've heard!

Hang in there.

Continue to be of service to the Lord and others.

All things happen in the Lord's timetable instead of ours, but as we seek to widen our circle of friends (and it sounds like you could use some good ones) and lose ourselves in service the worries we have (like yours) seem to somehow resolve themselves.

Be Open.

Be Positive.

And remember:  this is a Global Church.  There's no such thing any longer as "looking Mormon".

God bless,

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

You don't know how much that helps.

Really, thank you so much!

I'll open the New Year with an open heart, positive mindset, and remember that the Lord has it all handled.

Your reply reminded me of a scripture; 3 Nephi 13: 30-34

Thank you for bringing that to mind; it's calmed my heart.

You are the bomb, Bro Jo, I hope you know that!

- M.A.




Dear M.A.,

That is very kind.

Thank you,

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Jacinda Thomsen said...

Ignore the haters they are self sorting themselves out of your life. My son has all kinds of friends. If he likes a girl I'm pretty sure he is going to be color blind. Look for young men who come from more diverse areas. It's always the heart of a person that should matters most.