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Monday, September 12, 2016

The Beauty of the Atonement

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi.

So I have recently just been through a breakup with my boyfriend of 3 years, he's a member and I'm not.

All throughout our relationship there has been struggles due to the fact I wasn't baptized but I knew I had to wait till I knew it was right.

He always said to me that the one thing holding him back was me being a nonmember therefore having differing views or opinions and I respected that!

I also knew I couldn't get baptized just for him.

When we met he was inactive.  We both drank and smoked and did things typical non-religious couples do however when he became active and extremely strong in the Church that all stopped and I was proud of him but I still had my moments where I would want to go out with my friends and I'd have a drink or a cigarette.

I eventually decided I didn't want this anymore and stopped and I thought that it would be plain sailing from there, especially when I finally decided I had a true desire to be baptized!

We spoke about marriage and our futures and it was perfect especially after the hard times we had been through.

I then messed up and thought to myself 'one more drink and one more cigarette' . . . and I did.

I immediately regretted it and prayed for forgiveness with the most intent I think I ever have.

However the very next day my boyfriend broke up with me and now a week later I am left heartbroken, guilty and feeling like God is punishing me.

I don't know how to fix this.

I really think we're meant to be together.

If it helps, I'm 22 and he's 25

Thanks.

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

Maybe you're meant to be together . . . and maybe you're not.

Fortunately the Lord is more forgiving than your ex-boyfriend seems to be.

When you are baptized you'll be starting with a clean slate, and that will feel wonderful!

Does that mean that you'll never be tempted, never make a mistake?

No. Of course not.

If we're being fair, from your ex-boyfriend's point of view it must seem like you have no intention of really quitting.  Let's be honest:  much of what you've done up to this point is procrastinate and make excuses.

Here's your chance to prove him wrong!

Addictions, in particular, aren't things that simply go away, they're battles that we constantly face. 

And every day there will be things that we can do better.

That's the beauty of repentance. It allows us to move on, to feel the Spirit again. And the Spirit allows us to avoid bad situations, to feel strengthened and sustained.

You'll make other mistakes, but hopefully not the same ones again.

God does not punish people who are trying to draw nearer to him.

Ever.

Keep improving.

Keep moving forward.

And someday some boy smarter than this one will be lucky to meet a great girl who has such a powerful testimony of the Savior and the Atonement.

God bless,

- Bro Jo

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