Recently I read an article a friend posted on Facebook regarding appropriate behavior of young women toward young men. It discussed how young ladies ought to prove modest in dress, manner, speech and the like because the author was attempting to raise her young son to be a noble, respectful young gentleman. Bravo!
My thoughts drifted to my own teenage years and in response to the sentiments outlined I found myself overwhelmingly grateful, not only for having the stringent moral standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in my life but also for at least one decision that rocked my foundation and proved a powerful factor in the rest of my life. I address more particularly the young ladies out there, though it would prove a solid concept for anyone.
Some of my cousins still tease me about a boyfriend I had for approximately three years in high school named Rex. We were nowhere close to marriage in age but he had for all practicable purposes decided that our lives would be united someday. Though he hadn't formally popped the question I had a beautiful and rather expensive ring from him and we dated quite steadily. He was a normal teenage boy and as such I found that the relationship slowly sliding into a morally strained state. I was a straight arrow girl from the first and Mormon standards mandate total abstinence before marriage, including the avoidance of petting, necking and the like. I could see the pressure of forbearance in Rex and I eventually heard him often trying to reason out some kind of loophole in the whole abstinence rule. Eventually I came to a crossroads and found that if I stayed in the relationship self control was going to snap and I would find myself in a moral train wreck. I felt very much as though I was between a rock and a hard place and realized that I would be forced at some point to offend either Rex or God.
So I dumped my boyfriend.
Was it hard? Absolutely. In fact, I was a bit too much of a coward to do it myself, and had a mutual friend break the news to him instead. But the relief and innocence of conscience proved so immediate and powerful that I waltzed into choir class the next morning and announced to my dear friends what I had done. Some of them picked me up and twirled me around in the air for joy. I had lost a potential fiancee. But I gained a higher kind of freedom of self respect and alliance with heaven, and to this day I have never once regretted making the decision to put God before man.