I've read the last few installments of your column and I like it. So thanks for writing. I'm an active member of the church and a young single adult. I believe the gospel is true, but sometimes I wish I were a convert to the gospel, you know, join the church after my college years when drinking isn't such a huge way of life and when I'm ready to settle down. Is it wrong to feel this way?
Thanks for the compliment! We're glad you're reading.
As for your question, how you feel is how you feel. College can be a difficult time for young adults who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because college life is notoriously a time to experiment and live a little recklessly without the watchful eyes of your parents to keep you in line.
In fact, I didn’t attend a school affliated with the LDS Church and the unofficial class theme for one of my sophomore semesters was “Sophomore Summer, No Parents!” So I can empathize with where you are coming from.
That aside, I would caution you to watch your thoughts and to be prayerful as you consider your life and your current circumstances, including your friends. The adversary knows that the party lifestyle is especially appealing to young people, and he'll use all sorts of forms of entertainment, even your friends' pictures on Facebook or Twitter, to make you feel like the way to really have a great college experience is to live it up, be crazy, get wasted and all that. Plus, it’s true, I'm sure if you decided to do that you could have a lot of fun.
But you want more than fun. You want happiness, the kind that lasts longer than a night or for a few years, the kind that is eternal. Pong, quarters, kings, whatever drinking activity you're feeling drawn to can't give you that, but a commandment-keeping lifestyle derived from faith in the Savior can.
Hypothetically, if you were to forget about the commandments and stop living them or rather stop trying to live them, maybe (temporally speaking) nothing too drastic would happen, but you would miss out. You would miss out on a strong specialized connection with your Heavenly Father, a connection that has the potential to transform and enhance your life in every way and to provide you with divinely given opportunities that you can't even imagine. A connection that is best developed through faith and obedience.
So, as challenging as it can be to live the gospel, are you prepared to forfeit those blessings? Or even to put them on hold?
I'd encourage you not to. It's not worth it.
Keep me updated on how things go, and pass the sparkling cider!
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Readers: What has helped you remain faithful during your college and young adult years? Have you ever wished you learned about the gospel at a different point in your life? What prompted these feelings? See Facebook for thoughts on this topic.
Advice columnist Angela Trusty answers questions about a variety of topics, including the Mormon young single adult experience. Published weekly in the Deseret News and Washington Times.