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Dear Gramps,
My problem is simple, yet complex. I am an American who met his Eternal Companion through the net. Now I am living in Spain, and my Spanish is poor at best. I came here because my wife has children from a previous marriage and I don´t feel it´s right to separate a mother from her children. Am I right in my belief? The Branch President has not allowed me to ordain a stepson saying “you are not the father”. If he is correct, then am I accountable for him in the eternities? I admit I attended, but couldn’t participate for the first two years, I have stopped going, because I can sit in the meetings, and not understand what is going on. My relationship with my wife is great (but not her children), however if my relationship with Heavenly Father is primary – and I am not getting “fed” would I be better off abandoning everyone, and everything and leaving this mess so I can participate in Church? My work here is great (as an English teacher) and I am talking about the Church and doing (what I hope is) missionary work.

Alan, from Pamplona, Spain

Dear Alan,
The fact that the Branch President will not authorize you to ordain your stepson to the priesthood could have something to do with the boy’s birth father, or perhaps with your inability to speak Spanish. However, the mere fact that you are not the boy’s birth father has nothing to do with whether or not you would be permitted to ordain him.
With respect to your other question about not speaking Spanish, there is a simple solution to that problem. If you are living in Spain, learn to speak the Spanish language!!! You’re teaching others to speak English, teach yourself to speak Spanish! You can do it, of course. If you study the language as diligently as you require your English language students to do, you should learn Spanish must faster than they learn English. They’re trying to learn English in a Spanish environment, which is not easy because of the lack of opportunity to hear the language spoken. But you would be learning Spanish in a Spanish environment. What could be better?

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