How should I proceed with my book club?

How should I proceed with my book club?

Question

Gramps,

I hold a Relief Society Book Club in San Diego, CA. I feel terrible because I recommended our group read Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman. I just finished reading it and I think it is likely to weaken testimonies of the prophet. The book is interesting and educational, and it could be viewed as objective, but I think the potential to damage faith makes it a dangerous book. How should I proceed with my book club next week?

Kimberley (more…)

Why do I feel like I have to set my expectations so high?

Why do I feel like I have to set my expectations so high?

Question

Hey Gramps,

I love reading your answers to questions and I’ve got one of my own. I’m a junior right now in high school and this year I’m pretty sure I’m overloaded beyond what I can handle when it comes to school. (I’m taking pre-calculus, physics and AP U.S. history) Now thats bad enough but the kicker is I’ve realized that I set far too high expectations for myself. I set these academic goals in my head that are way too impractical, but I work my butt off and get nowhere near where I want to be. This makes me depressed and feel like giving up on my dreams of having a sucessful career in the future or getting into a good university because I feel like I’m not smart enough to be sucessful. Worst of all I cannot get the notion out of my head that if I’m not successful I’m not going to be happy. Which makes me even more discouraged and feel like a failure. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions??

Tyler

 

Answer

Dear Tyler,

It’s great that you’re realizing your limitations now in your teen years. You are facing an Ether 12:27 opportunity where your weakness has made you humble and granted you the honor finding the Lord’s grace. Your parents and teachers know you far better than I. Meet with them and discuss your course load, but be sure to also counsel with them on ways to rise to the occasion. You may need to change your study habits. You may want to get a tutor or find a study group. These are all excellent skills to hone before you start college. Few people learn well alone, just reading a text book. Studies have shown that students master a subject better if they explain it to others. Learn these skills now, and you will find them serving you throughout your career.

Good luck Tyler. I wish you the best.

Gramps

 

Should I go into debt to continue my education?

Should I go into debt to continue my education?

Question

Gramps,

I have been contemplating getting a PhD from a national university so I can become a professor but I have some apprehensions. First, the Lord has mandated that we get all the education that we can, but does that mean I should get a PhD if I am in a position to do so?

Also, currently I have a wife and three children and we live frugally. I have already accumulated student loan debt and becoming a PhD student would grow that debt more. I will have to take out loans for housing, food, my children’s education, and clothing for my family.

Our parents cannot provide any assistance, I cannot provide much assistance because of the very small stipend I would get as a PhD student. Our government may be able to help but I was wondering about asking the church?

The church does not want me to go into unnecessary debt. However food and shelter is necessary. Should I look more to student loans for assistance or do you think I could ask the church for assistance for those 4 years?

Paul (more…)

Why are there subjects in school we have to study if we will never use them?

Why are there subjects in school we have to study if we will never use them?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

I am 16 with many artistic talents that I have developed over the years. I love the social life of school but greatly dislike most of my classes. I agree with my parents that I am capable of getting A grades in all my classes, but see no purpose in math, science, history, etc. anymore. Why do we need to learn those hard subjects tha we will never use?

Rissa

 

Answer

 

Hello Rissa,

Life presents us with so many wonderful opportunities to progress, grow, and find happiness and success.

One of the ways we do find happiness is through our social lives as we meet new people and earn new friends. The ability we have to develop existing and new talents is another way we have opportunity to enjoy life.

If you are capable of earning an “A” then you should earn an “A” in your classes whether or not you like them. This is personal integrity and your willingness to do your best in everything that you choose to do.

I understand your thoughts pertaining to math and science, and even history. Here is a thought regarding history, “If we fail to learn from history, then we are doomed to repeat it.” We learn history so that we understand how history has affected our nation, our civilization, and other nations.

President Gordon B. Hinckley had this to say regarding education:

“It is so important that you young men and you young women get all of the education that you can. The Lord has said very plainly that His people are to gain knowledge of countries and kingdoms and of things of the world through the process of education, even by study and by faith. Education is the key which will unlock the door of opportunity for you. It is worth sacrificing for. It is worth working at, and if you educate your mind and your hands, you will be able to make a great contribution to the society of which you are a part, and you will be able to reflect honorable on the Church of which you are a member. My dear young brothers and sisters, take advantage of every educational opportunity that you can possibly afford, and you fathers and mothers, encourage your sons and daughters to gain an education which will bless their lives”.

My thoughts, do your best and accept nothing less. Learn to enjoy them, if not enjoy them, learn to tolerate them while doing your best.

Sincerely,

 

Gramps

Internal struggle

Internal struggle

Hi Gramps,

I have been reading your page for the last few months and have found it really useful in my learning, thanks so much. I was raised Roman Catholic but became an avowed atheist at the age of 13. I am now about to turn 21, and for the last few months I have been drawn to the LDS. Logically, I have no idea why. I have a lot of logical concerns when it comes to Mormonism, specifically the lack of archaeological and genealogical evidence to the past civilizations and race of the peoples mentioned in the Book of Mormon. I am studying to be a psychologist and, as a scientist, I strive to be a rational and logical person. Yet, in spite of this, day after day I find myself obsessed with learning more about the church and its teachings. This internal conflict exists and I don’t really know what to do. Have you ever spoken with anyone who had this conflict, and if you have what did you say? Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Kindly,

– Truthseeker (more…)

Do you think that I should require our 15-year-old son to go to seminary, or give him some space?

Do you think that I should require our 15-year-old son to go to seminary, or give him some space?

Hi Gramps,
My 15 year old son announced today that he does not want to go to seminary tomorrow. He is struggling with some doctrinal issues regarding plural marriage and one other one that I was able to help him resolve in his mind. If you were his dad, would you require him to attend seminary? What if he emotionally and loudly objected, saying he wanted to skip until he was ready to return. I know he is upset with his seminary teacher, thinks she doesn’t want to talk to him and can’t answer his questions. This is a very good young man, very active in his quorum, great student, and very intelligent and beyond his years in most areas. My inclination is to just give him some space – a day or two to see if this will blow over rather than make a big issue of it. What do you think?
Mom (more…)

Although we’re deeply in debt and have two small children, should I finish my schooling and get a university degree?

Although we’re deeply in debt and have two small children, should I finish my schooling and get a university degree?

Dear Gramps,
My husband is a junior professor and we are moving to a new state and a new job next year. I did not finish my studies beyond 2 years at Ricks (sorry, BYU Idaho) and he is anxious that I go to school. We are currently mired in debt and struggle to make ends meet, even with me working. We have 2 young children and are planning on a 3rd after the move, as we feel it’s what the Lord would have us do. With his new job is a great opportunity for me to go to school full time for about 1/3 the tuition it would be normally. My kind husband thinks we should “go for it” and take out student loans, to take over some of our bills, and have me go to school full time and still have little one #3. I actually like the idea, and am not afraid of hard work and sacrifice for the betterment of our family. I don’t have a dad or a granddad to ask for sage advice, so I’m asking you. Is this fool hearty?,
Jennifer, from New Mexico (more…)

How can I get my stubborn 16 year-old teen ager to listen to reason?

Dear Gramps,

I have a teenager who won’t drop an AP class that he is struggling in. He is overwhelmed and getting depressed. He is getting a B in the class, but it will affect his GPA such that he may not be able to get into BYU, which is his goal. He doesn’t feel like he has time to finish his eagle project or to go YM during the week. He is turning 16 next month. He is taking this AP class as a sophomore. I think he is not dropping the class because I am telling him he should. How do you deal with stubborn teenagers????

Kim, from Montgomery Village, Maryland (more…)

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