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thrawn_84109

My friend told me he's petting, help!

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So my best friend told me a couple of days ago that him and his girlfriend are regularly petting in his car. I would have never imagined that he would go this far! He says they're in love. He hasn't been to church for a few years but he always essentially lived a mormon lifestyle.

What can I do to help him? Him and I are super close, we know everything about each other and do just about everything together, or at least that was true until all of this started happening. Now I feel like I don't know him anymore. I've heard him say things in support of chastity before, but now he says there's no doubt in his mind that this stuff he's been doing is the best thing that's ever happened to him. He won't talk about his beliefs about sex, and I don't think he knows what he thinks. He just likes this girl and is excited about what he's doing.

I'm not married and can't relate with his experiences in this way. It was just last year that we were talking about our expectations for our first kisses. I feel alienated because of this.

He's 21 and living on his own, and so I don't think it would make sense to tell his parents and betray his trust, and telling the bishop wouldn't help since he doesn't go to church (or should I anyway?).

It's nice to at least get this off my chest. Any advice or similar stories would be much appreciated. The world outside of religion just wouldn't see this as a problem and hasn't been very helpful.

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Your friend, right now, is on a high. Good relationships start off with the development of this euphoric feeling that leaves you craving more and more. It's that "head-over-heels-in-love" feeling that drives people to do crazy things. Without something to balance it out, without a strong desire and reason to keep it under control, it is going to lead to moving very quickly into making some quick and probably bad decisions. If your friend does not take some time to step back and engage the rational part of his brain, he is going to end up acting without thinking.

This could lead to a whole slew of problems depending on where he and his girlfriend decide to draw the lines. They may break the law of chastity, or they may decide to go ahead and get married without really thinking it through to see if that is what they really want. You are right to be worried about him, but... what can you really do about it?

Your profile says you are 24 and you said your friend is 21. That means you are both adults now. As adults, you are now free to be making your own decisions without having to check in with your parents or follow their rules. It is up to each of you as individuals to decide what rules and limitations you are going to hold upon yourselves. It sounds like your friend is leaning toward not restricting himself, since he's slipping out of church activity and is now toeing the line with the law of chastity. So, if you attempt to place a restriction on him, he is going to reject it.

From what you wrote, it sounds like he was raised in the church? So, he knows what is expected of him, but is probably struggling with his testimony. He needs to figure all that out on his own so that he will be able to stand on his own two feet. He needs to be able to hold himself accountable instead of relying on others to do it for him. So arguing with him about the morality of his decisions, at this point, isn't really going to get you anywhere. He knows where the church stands, where his parents stand, where you stand... and he needs to figure out for himself if he stands in the same place or somewhere else.

A better approach, I think, would be to focus on his relationship with this girl. Ask him if he really loves her, and if so- what is he willing to do about it? Is he ready to provide for her? Is he ready to commit himself to her? Is he ready to start a family with her? How does she feel about him? Is she ready to make the same commitments? Then, let him know that you wish him the best, and that you hope he makes the responsible, adult choice with the future in mind- for himself, for this girl, and for any children they could potentially create together.

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Thank you for your thoughtful reply. What you say makes sense. I'll talk to him again, go from this direction. Maybe he'll decide to think a little more long term.

It's hard for me to let go but I guess I just need to not care as much. Because of our age difference I've watched out for him for a long time, but I guess when people become independent adults there's not much you can do to affect them anymore. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be. At some point you stop looking to others for your decisions and look inside yourself.

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Thank you for your thoughtful reply. What you say makes sense. I'll talk to him again, go from this direction. Maybe he'll decide to think a little more long term.

It's hard for me to let go but I guess I just need to not care as much. Because of our age difference I've watched out for him for a long time, but I guess when people become independent adults there's not much you can do to affect them anymore. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be. At some point you stop looking to others for your decisions and look inside yourself.

Caring is fine, it's just at some point we have to let go of other people's problems and realize it's their life to live and we can't make them live it differently.

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Thank you for your thoughtful reply. What you say makes sense. I'll talk to him again, go from this direction. Maybe he'll decide to think a little more long term.

It's hard for me to let go but I guess I just need to not care as much. Because of our age difference I've watched out for him for a long time, but I guess when people become independent adults there's not much you can do to affect them anymore. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be. At some point you stop looking to others for your decisions and look inside yourself.

I think you're on the right track with this thought process but just want to address what I bolded. It's not about caring less. If anything, you need to care more. However, there needs to be a recognition that caring about someone includes letting them make their own decisions, exercise their own agency, and make their own mistakes.

Does God care any less about us because He allows us to exercise our agency and make our own decisions, even when those decisions are wrong? Certainly, not. He cares about us so much that He gave us the opportunity to have that freedom to act for ourselves and to use our own judgement, even knowing that we might make decisions that would lead us away from Him. It was Satan's plan to control our actions, to make everyone choose right. Sometimes, when we really care about someone and want them to do what is best for themselves, we get a little Satan-esque in our thought processes and wish we could force them to do the right thing. But that wasn't God's plan. Because God knew that we wouldn't learn and grow and progress without the ability to make mistakes and learn from them, without the ability to steer our own courses.

Continue to be a good example to your friend. Continue to love him and care about him. But allow him the space and freedom to make his own decisions. Trust him with his agency, and hope and pray that he exercises it responsibly. Be a good role model. Offer him advice when he asks for it. Don't push or coerce- exercise patience and longsuffering. And even if he makes the wrong decision, be there for him to see him through it.

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Oxytocin(sp?) is a powerful hormone. It can make a person feel like they're ready to a commitment that they're really not ready to make. It can even make a person feel like they've already made that commitment! Sex is dangerous stuff in a relationship, no matter what the world says. But there is little you can do for your friend beyond letting him know that you believe it is wrong and dangerous.

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Why not talk to your bishop? Tell him that you have a friend who is engaging in the behaviors you state above who is inactive.

Why not ask him if talking to your friends bishop would be right/good?

Why not ask him what you can do to help your friend?

Rest assured your Bishop has experience in dealing with individuals in such situations and will have good council to give.

Please continue to pray and ask the Lord for guidance on what he would have you do in regards to this situation thrawn. Remember that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). Make sure you're that man and continue to keep him in your prayers.

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I did that when I was young and inactive......looking back, not only do I totally totally regret

those times, but the awful feelings when I faced it all and repented was NOT worth any of what

I thought was love and acceptance when I was living without the Spirit. How I wish I could turn

back the clock with what I know now and what I went through to become faithful.

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JudoMinja- I feel like I'm learning a bit more about how God must feel when he sees his children make bad choices, and I have to say that I don't like it. I think of the following scriptures:

Moses 7:28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept;

37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; And the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?

Jesus comes to Jerusalem and weeps because the city will not except him, and he'll have to allow the people to then after suffer terribly.

Luke 41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it

42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

God knows the same pain, and he takes it, so I need to try to as well.

mhsmd- I've never thought of sex being dangerous in this way, but now I'm seeing it. Right now me and some of the family are trying to figure out where he is. We haven't seen him since last night, he never came home, and he's not at his girlfriends apartment. He's been up and down lately and we're worried about him.

Martian- Today I talked to my bishop (my friend is in the same ward) about what's going on and the Bishop is going to try hard to get him in just to talk, keeping the things that I've told him confidential. It's a YSA ward so the bishop has experience with these things. Hopefully that'll happen and that it'll help. I'll keep you posted.

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