Raising teens to become adults with a strong personal identity and a healthy view of physical intimacy goes hand in hand. Here is how identity and intimacy are related and how you can help your teen understand how living the law of chastity leads to greater happiness.
Identity formation in the teen years can be complex, yet surprisingly simple. The main objective of identity development is simple and straightforward: youth develop a clear sense of self and the role they play in the larger world around them. Youth need to know who they are and how they fit into the “bigger picture.”
Healthy identity development is an essential precursor to healthy intimacy. That’s because intimacy involves the sharing of one’s self. A good definition for intimacy is that intimacy is the vulnerable sharing of one’s self that is received with kindness and often returned.
Intimacy involves vulnerability and risk. When we share our deepest thoughts, feelings, dreams, fears, and (in marriage) our bodies, there is the risk that we might be rejected, unwanted, or ignored. When we take the risk to share our deepest and most revealing parts of ourselves, we hope that the other person will understand us, love us, and receive us with kindness and tenderness. When they do receive us with such kindnesses, we feel bonded and connected to them. If they, in turn, share deep and tender parts of themselves with us, the bond of intimacy is strengthened.
The term “often” is also essential to the definition of intimacy. It suggests that such intimate moments occur in the context of an ongoing, committed relationship. It means that intimate moments are to be repeated with frequency if they are to help the intimate relationship grow. One-time intimate exchanges, however intense, cannot build relationships that long endure. Rather, marriages are built on the repetition of small but meaningful shared kindnesses that happen often and consistently. Such predictable patterns of kindness lead to the pattern of trust in a loving relationship. The marriage commitment provides the assurance of lifelong opportunities to often share such intimacies.
Working on Sunday is sometimes unavoidable--but finding the Spirit doesn't have to be hard. Here are 10 tips from someone who's been there on how to make the Sabbath day holy, even when you're away from a chapel.
After graduating high school, including a rigorous released-time seminary program, I was on the spiritual high of my life. I was so sure that I would live the principles of the Church and stand for them no matter the cost. I would magnify my callings, I would read my scriptures every day, and I would never work on Sundays.
But life isn’t always so simple.
When I left for college that summer, I got my first real job doing IT work. I was occasionally required to work on weekends. Including Sundays. But I loved what I did, so I made a prayerful decision to stay.
I had a horrible time of it that first year. I had grown up going to Church every Sunday, and suddenly missing one or two Sundays a month, I felt… bad. I didn’t feel the Spirit as much as I used to. And I felt guilty. I learned from sad experience that you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.
Making room for Christ in your Sunday work day is no substitute for standard Sunday worship, but sometimes our circumstances make it so we simply can’t avoid working on the Sabbath. No matter where we are and what we’re doing, here are a few different things to try (in addition to Sunday scripture study) that worked for me to put a little “sun” back into my “day.”
We learn a lot from the examples of righteous prophets in the scriptures like Alma and Nephi--but we can learn just as much from the bad examples. Here are five lessons from five lesser-known "bad guys" in the Bible.
The Bible is filled with famous bad guys like Cain, Goliath, and Pharaoh who are classic examples of how not to act. But there are plenty of other lesser-known bad guys in the pages of the Bible who have powerful lessons for us as well. See if you recognize some of these bad guys in our world today.
Rabshakeh: Can You Hear Me Now?
Rabshakeh was the captain of the Assyrian army who tried to conquer Jerusalem in the days of Isaiah. After his army had the city surrounded, Rabshakeh shouted blasphemous and threatening statements “in the Jews’ language,” (Isaiah 36:13) in an attempt to frighten the people into surrendering.
Isaiah told the people, “Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard” (Isaiah 37:6) and prophesied that the Lord would deal with Jerusalem’s enemies in His own way (Isaiah 37:35-36). By trusting the word of the Lord through the prophet, the people of Jerusalem were saved, and Rabshakeh’s army was defeated.
Inspired by Satan, modern-day Rabshakehs often look powerful and may appear to outnumber us. They will use fear to try to shake our faith as well, and they will often do it in our own language. Satan can speak any language he wants, including “Mormon,” if need be. Modern Rabshakehs will use words and phrases familiar to Latter-day Saints to mock and ridicule. They will twist the scriptures or the words of the prophets and apostles out of context to try to confuse us and destroy our confidence. But if we trust in the Lord and listen to His prophets, we too can have the courage to ignore modern Rabshakehs.
Even if Halloween isn't your thing, consider decorating your porch this fall with a festive carved pumpkin that proclaims your faith!
This year, turn your pumpkin-carving into a fun family home evening and share your faith with your neighbors in one fell swoop! Check out these seven free LDS-themed pumpkin carving designs to get started.
Have another creative idea for an LDS pumpkin carving? Tell us about it in the comments!
Get the free pattern at Pumpkinglow.com
Get the free pattern at Pumpkinglow.com
LDS Living original carving design. Inspired by LDS Clip Art.
With the lowered missionary age came a wave of sisters ready to serve. But what about the sisters who didn't feel it was right for them? They can feel pressure to go still, but where is that pressure coming from--and should we fix it?
From a 26-year-old RM Sister
As a recent RM and a young Relief Society president at BYU in October 2012, I watched the missionary age change announcement transform the entire dynamic of my ward. Many of the 19-year-old sisters’ lives were turned upside down. Suddenly, many were eligible to serve a mission right then.
I saw girls giddy with the excitement of serving a mission. You could almost see their enthusiasm bouncing off the walls. I’ve never seen people complete mission papers so fast! I couldn’t have been happier for the sisters who were so determined to serve the Lord.
But it made for difficult times for the girls who were unsure whether or not they wanted to serve. Suddenly their uncertainty about serving a mission was seen as weakness. They saw themselves in comparison with the sisters bound and determined to go, and they began to doubt themselves.
Sisters came to me unsure about their motives for going, unsure about their future. Many felt that the age change and the sudden spike in sisters serving meant that if they didn’t join the ranks, they must not have a strong enough testimony of the gospel.
Occasionally I would see these girls pressured by other Relief Society sisters or even brethren in the ward, but no matter where the pressure came from, the pressure was never productive. Little phrases like, “Have you thought about serving?” were well intentioned, but they actually made some sisters feel as if they were required to go—which wasn’t true.