There are a lot of things in today’s world that kinda throws us for a loop. For example, getting fired from one job and having to find another. Having to move to a new town and make new friends (this is hard for everyone involved, especially adolescents). But there are a few things that we don’t have to change, no matter what our circumstances: who we are and what we believe. Who we are is something that we as a person can determine. We are the only one who can determine that. But sometimes, we aren’t truly the person we’ve made ourselves out to be. Don’t understand? Let me help.
Sometimes, when we meet new people, we put on filters. Or a mask, if you’d rather. In this world, we have some control over what people see of us. Take this picture for example:
We notice the nice looking muffins on the plate covered in the filter. They look nice, don’t they? But in the background, we have a messy table and a crying child. This is an example of how we choose what people see about us. Sure, there are some things we can’t control if people see but whenever we can, we take control.
When we meet new people, potential friends, or even just a stranger, we immediately put up our shields (aka our filters). But when we’re around people we know, we’re a completely different person; without our filters. So why do we paint a picture around people we know and comfortable with but paint a totally different one around others?
Think of your traits as a big filing cabinet. Your mind organizes your traits into files. Psychologists call these files schemas.
Each one of us has a number of self-schemas. I personally have a student schema, a [son]… schema, a friend schema,… employee schema and many more.
You might feel like you have contradictory characteristics because you have multiple schemas.
Your brain needs to pull files out of your mind’s filing cabinet depending on the situation you are facing. This file gives you the information you need in order to deal with that specific situation.
(Thanks to The Circle of Psyche)
So, biologically and mentally, we are going to put on filters. So we may not be able to avoid this, but what else can we do? We can keep from changing what we believe. In this sense, I’m talking about religious beliefs.
As an LDS member, I get criticized a lot about my religions beliefs. Like “Why don’t you date until you’re sixteen?” or “Why don’t you drink coffee?”. They always tell us that we’re here for a good time, not a long time so we might as well do whatever we want. Let me take a moment to explain why this is not true.
We don’t date until we’re sixteen because “Dating before [the age of sixteen]… can lead to immorality, limit the number of other young people you meet, and deprive you of the experiences that will help you choose an eternal partner” (For the Strength of Youth). It’s not us just following blindly. It’s us following the Lord counsel and teachings. While it (For the Strength of Youth) doesn’t specifically rule out dating before the age of 16, it does strongly advise that you wait until that age.
Well, what about coffee? Mormons don’t drink coffee because it’s against what’s known as the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom is written in Doctrine & Covenants 89 and states that “hot drinks are not for the belly”. It does not refer to what hot drinks exactly but through revelation from latter-day prophets, we know that it means coffee and tea. We don’t know exactly why; all we know is that the Lord revealed it to prophets and we follow the prophets word.
With all that being said, so long as you follow the Lord’s teachings and the prophets word, you don’t need to change anything for anyone. We are put on this earth with our trials and afflictions as a test; to see if we’ll be obedient. So long as we are obedient, the Lord will bless and guide us.
If you have any questions, write them down in the comments. I’ll be reading all of them and answering all of them to the best of my ability. Hope you have a fantastic day and I’ll see you next time!