In recent years, Iâ€™ve noticed that members put a large emphasis on diversity and being different. We celebrate the â€śIâ€™ve sinned and repentedâ€ť or â€śIâ€™m a Mormon outside of Utahâ€ť people much more than the â€śI havenâ€™t sinned or â€śI live in a place where everyone is a member of the churchâ€ť type of people. It makes me, a member of the latter group, feel undervalued and as though my accomplishments arenâ€™t also exceptional and worth recognition just because they arenâ€™t as colorful. Can you help me understand why I donâ€™t matter?
â€” The Good Guy
Dear Good Guy,
Hereâ€™s a list of three things for you to consider:
- You matter, but when you spend time comparing yourself to others, itâ€™s easy to feel like you donâ€™t.
- We all sin. One personâ€™s lying is another personâ€™s stealing, one personâ€™s pride is another personâ€™s judgmental attitude and so on and so on â€” we all sin.
- Weâ€™re all different. Our diversity is in our spirits, weâ€™re unique and precious, and our true definition isnâ€™t in our tattoos or our piercings or our geographical locations. Itâ€™s in our divine heritage, you are the only you that has ever been and that ever will be.
- Lastly, and probably most importantly, is this: â€śHow great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!â€ť (see Doctrine and Covenants 18:13).
The father responded to his faithful son that all that he (the father) had would be his because of his faithfulness. The same promise extends to you from your Father in Heaven. Donâ€™t waste time feeling like youâ€™re not getting enough recognition from your peers because of your obedience. Thatâ€™s not what obedience is about. Instead, ask God if you matter to him, ask him if heâ€™s pleased with your efforts, ask how you can bring others into the fold and re-affirm your willingness to be a part of the work.
Readers: Have you ever felt like the prodigal son? Have you felt like the faithful brother? What advice could you offer â€śThe Good Guy?â€ť
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Advice columnist Angela Trusty answers questions about a variety of topics, including the Mormon young single adult experience. She is published weekly in the Deseret News and Washington Times. @angelatrusty email: firstname.lastname@example.org