Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Question

Gramps,

I like this boy and we date a lot and it is driving my parents insane because I am paired up with him on these ridiculous group dates. But I am crazy about him and want to just hang out with him, I hate sneaking behind my parents backs but they are rigid about rules.  They follow every suggestion as pure doctrine. We can’t even play gin rummy because one prophet said that playing cards in the hands of a priesthood holder is a satire upon religion. All these rules seem to be more about controlling me than teaching me to love the Lord. Most mothers have the talk with their daughter about sex. My mother and father had the talk jointly before my 1st date and all they said was, your 1st kiss must be at your wedding, Nothing about birth control, resisting temptation, just no physical contact with a boy, never be alone with the boy. My parents think that fun and free time are sins in and of themselves as they continually ask whenever they see me doing nothing or laughing, “is what you are doing going to get you back to the Celestial Kingdom” The way they describe the Celestial Kingdom it makes it sound like hell. One long unending church meeting. Not really inspiring me to behave with my boyfriend. I’d sure love to be able to talk to my mom about this.  I really need advice/info on this.. Maybe if my parents relaxed and let me be 16 and not expect me to be grown up church wouldn’t be such a pain. It shouldn’t be, should it?

Abbie

 

Answer

Abbie,

When I was a youth I too felt similarly with my parents rules as you do with yours. As a youth, these rules felt more restricting rather than providing or allowing myself the “freedoms” I felt I personally deserved. As my parents said (following the Church guidelines strictly), “No dating until you are 16.” I remember when I thought I would be able to pull a fast one on my parents, I was 14, and my fast one wasn’t so successful. They created an atomosphere where I knew I had to break up with her. When I broke up with her, she really disliked me and didn’t want anything to do with me afterwards because I told her I needed to break up with her because of my parents — although it was the truth. As a youth, I could only see what I wanted to see and didn’t allow the words of my parents to enter very deeply into my heart, in other words, I never tried to understand their point of view. As a parent myself, I have come to recognize they weren’t too far from the truth as I find myself saying at times (but swore in my youth I would surely handle it differently, “Oh my gosh, that is exactly what my father/mother would have said.”

I recognize, and your parents recognize that you care about this boy, which is part of their worry. They know the passion, because they have experienced this passion themselves, when they were young — and this begins the worry of any parent who truly love their children. As parents though, we don’t always have the best way to approach something, but we do our best according to our fears and our faith. Have you stopped your current mental process and actually meditated on the reason why your parents have the rigid rules they do, or do you simply ignore them without much thought because it disagrees with your desires, your personal passion for this young man?

The greatest objective for any faithful LDS member is to help our children recognize the value of being good by keeping the commandments of God. Every faithful LDS parent desires all of their children and their family to be received in the Celestial kingdom. Every faithful LDS parent knows that this is accomplished by keeping the commandments and if we break any commandment to repent quickly. With my own children, how my heart aches when they leave my side knowing that they may make a decision that will ultimately deny them access into the Celestial kingdom, if they don’t repent. Some children make a decision, and instead of repenting they forsake the gospel to justify their actions. Yes, this is one of the many reasons why we as parents seem to have “rigid” rules to our children. Even my children have thought that we had rigid rules in my house. Yet, I have rigid rules to protect, or try to protect my children from making decisions that will ultimately steer them away from our family being together forever in the Celestial kingdom.

It is apparent, your parents want you to keep the law of Chastity. Now, I won’t say a parent is ever wrong in their parenting unless they are abusing their children. Your parents are doing the best they can, according to their current knowledge, to keep you safe. For example, if you never kiss a boy before you are married then there will be no worries about you breaking the law of Chastity — understand?

To be frank, I must admit, I am at a disadvantage is answering your question since I do not know exactly how your parents have defined, or explained, the Celestial kingdom to you. The Celestial kingdom is where God dwells along with those who have reached their full measure of growth. These are they who will inherit all the Father hath, and will be the only individuals who will not experience any misery as a result of personal choices on this earth — in other words — they will have no reason to gnash their teeth. This sounds pretty pleasant to me (I need the scriptures which explain the joy of paradise).

The balance between rules, commandments, and our obedience to these commandments is very important to our growth as sons and daughters of God. Without obedience, without rules, we would never come to reach the full measure of our creation, because we would not know ourselves which path leads to glory and which path leads to captivity.

In my youth, I also thought my parents strict, over-bearing with rules, until I realized the importance of them and why they were there. The idea of not kissing any boy before you are married isn’t a bad rule. The best way to avoid temptation is by not indulging in temptation.

If you never kiss a boy, you don’t have to worry about birth control. The only people who need to worry about birth control are those who are sexually active, at 16, then a birth control lesson is moot. If you have no physical contact with a boy, then why would you need to worry about birth control? If you are becoming passionately involved with a boy, heavy kissing which ultimately leads to petting (touching private parts, in other words a boy touching a women’s breasts) then a talk about birth control might be advised.

Instead of fighting against your parents have you even considered the possible wisdom of what they are trying to teach you, or are you more concerned with what you want, and what you want is more important than wise counsel?

 

Gramps

 

Copyright © 2020 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit churchofjesuschrist.org or comeuntochrist.org.

Pin It on Pinterest