Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

When I’m at church, I feel like life is worth living, and I want to be good. Then I go to school or work, and life seems so discouraging. How can I keep the good feelings with me even while I’m surrounded by the bad?

New Era

It can be discouraging when you are trying to keep the commandments and live a good life and others do not judge that an important or significant goal. At times, you may find yourself in places where everyone seems to talk about and pay attention to the negative things. If possible, get out of this environment.

But when you find yourself in an “in-the-world” situation you cannot change, you need to rely on the truths you have been taught. They will see you through. You don’t have to be of the world. We were sent here to be tested and tried, and you will have many tests and trials in your life, as we all do. It’s part of the plan. (See Abr. 3:25.)

Just remember, life is always worth living. It is great that your commitment is strengthened by attending church. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons we worship together, to help and encourage each other. So it is important that you go every week. If your weekday activities have pulled you down, remember that Sunday can be a great time to gain some perspective.

One of the reasons you are feeling good about everything on Sunday is that you are spending time studying the gospel of Jesus Christ. It stands to reason that the more you include study and discussions of the gospel during the week the better you will feel. If you can attend seminary or institute, be sure to do it. Or take home-study seminary if that is available. Attend your midweek activities. Keep up on your individual scripture reading.

Remember your daily prayers. And in your prayers, before you discuss your problems or the things you desire, tell the Lord about the things you are thankful for. Don’t rush through this list. Think about the things you are grateful for that particular day. In fact, pay attention during the day to the good things and people around you and include them in your prayers. You’ll find that just by looking for the good instead of the bad your attitude can change.

Unfortunately, it is true that evil often seems to move unchecked through this world. Even if it touches your life, you can be determined not to be a part of it. If you must be around people or situations that are not the best, you can refuse to participate in unrighteous activities. You can choose not to become spiteful and angry. If you continue to do the best you can in making good choices and looking for the Christlike things in your life, you will eventually attract friends who have similar values. Choose to associate with those you know will make wise choices.

Sometimes it seems that people who choose to be immoral, smoke, drink, or use profanity are the popular ones. The truth is, “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). No matter how the world talks about or represents sin, nothing will ever change the result—pain, regret, and unhappiness.

There is only one way to find the kind of happiness that lasts. It is through the gospel of Jesus Christ and obedience to the commandments. As you learn to have his Spirit with you always, you will find the strength to face your weekday world and not become so discouraged.

Take one step at a time. Begin by praying every day. Next add scripture study. Then work on keeping all of the commandments. If this seems to be the same old advice, it is—because it works.

Readers

The reason why you feel good at church meetings is that you hear and read things that concern the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. If you continue to read or listen to those same things, you will feel the same good feelings outside of church.

Joseph Salomonsen, 19 Kristiansand, Norway

When I am at church it helps to listen and ponder the things that my leaders teach. I search for a new thought, trying to find one that fits me and the things I am trying to overcome. Then I go home and write down a thought of the week and display it in a place where I will see it often.

Mary C. Grant, 14 Salt Lake City, Utah

One of the best things to do is ask your Father in Heaven for help throughout the week. If the problem continues, ask for a blessing from your father, home teacher, or bishop. It truly helps.

Tom M. Fernandez, 18 Englewood, Florida

Don’t think of the people around you as bad influences. Instead think of them as people who need to be influenced. Take the Spirit with you when you leave church, and let it shine to all your friends.

Chelsey Ferguson, 13 Columbia Falls, Montana

Church on Sunday is like a spiritual refueling. As we go through the week we face things that try to burn up or take away what we had. We have to think about what we learned and how we felt, especially when we’re faced with challenges.

Tom Mead, 18 Chino, California

Try to realize that others haven’t been taught what you have. They don’t realize what effect their attitude has on others. In the same light, your attitude and happiness can be an example to others.

Keri Bozeman, 18 Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Surround yourself with good friends and good music that will help you keep the Spirit throughout the week.

Katie Voorhees, 17 Missouri City, Texas

[photo] Photography by Maren Mecham; posed by models

[illustration] Although Jesus Christ was aware of the evil in the world, he set an example for dealing with those who sin. When Christ came upon some men who were about to stone a woman for her sin, he caused them to examine their own lives by saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). And his advice to the woman was, “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). By coming unto Christ, we can find the true path to eternal joy. (Etching Jesus and the Woman Taken in Adultery by Gustave Dore.)