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Watch: Presidents Cordon, Lund answer youth’s question of how to navigate her divorced parents’ different beliefs

by | Mar. 07, 2021

In the most recent addition to LDS Living’s video series Real Questions, Scarlett has a pressing matter that has been weighing on her mind:

“I live part-time with my dad and part-time with my mom, and they have different beliefs. What are some of the things we can do to stay focused on the gospel when we have different viewpoints in our own family?”

In the 13-minute segment which seeks to help Scarlett with her important question, Don’t Miss This co-creator David Butler is joined by guests President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, and President Steven J. Lund, Young Men General President. But before they start to answer Scarlett’s question, President Cordon has a couple of questions of her own.

“What counsel would you tell somebody in this situation? What would you tell them?” President Cordon asked the youth.

Scarlett responded that she would tell that person to keep praying and to follow the promptings they receive. “Don’t distance yourself from the gospel,” she said.

President Cordon agreed, adding that Scarlett could also pray for her parents and how to share the things that are important to her with them. Then the Young Women General President asked a second question:

“Do you brush your teeth every day?”

“Since I got braces, every day, yeah,” Scarlett replied.

President Cordon asked Scarlett if she brushes her teeth both at her mom’s house and her dad’s house—or in other words, every day. She then followed up by asking why she brushes her teeth every day. Drawing an analogy to coming to the Lord every day, regardless of which parent’s house she’s at, President Cordon also encouraged Scarlett to seek to share the truths she knows in normal, natural ways around her house.

“I can already see you’re a brilliant light and I love the invitation that the Lord gave to let your light so shine. The light of the gospel will shine through you, and they’re going to feel Christ’s love because of all the good things that you do in every place that you’re at,” President Cordon said.

 You may also like: Youth ‘Real Questions’ video: How do I stand up against racism but also be a peacemaker?

President Lund added that Scarlett’s question is good one, since it’s very relatable—we all have people in our lives who we care about but who believe differently than us. As she navigates her relationship with her parents, he said, she’d also be better able to navigate other relationships in her life.

President Lund also had a question for Scarlett.

“Who’s in your life that is on the team? Are there people around you who are supportive of your values?” he asked.

While some of Scarlett’s friends may believe differently than her, they have been very supportive of her, she said. Clinging to those friends and changing their lives for the better in return is a great support to have, President Lund said. But there’s someone else on Scarlett’s team who will always be there no matter what—Heavenly Father.

“He’s always on your team, and He’s always available to you,” he said. “And so, sometimes always doing the right thing against a headwind, like you sometimes have to do, requires courage. You strike me as a pretty courageous person. So I’m so proud of you that you’re asking this question, and I’m just very confident you’re going to find the answers.

President Lund later added his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.

“Scarlett, one of the reasons we’re so confident that you’re going to be okay is because you know what we know,” he said. “And that is, the gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t just somebody else’s good idea. . . . It’s the very fabric that this universe was wound around. And understanding that is going to help you to live a great life, and the people around you are going to be blessed by your good life.”

David Butler also said that he’s grateful for Scarlett’s example that life can still be sweet and good despite its challenges.

“Sister Cordon said this, and Scarlett you said it also—that life is always going to change, but there are some things that can always remain constant. No matter what life looks like, you can stay connected to God and you can stay connected to the gospel. Whatever curveballs come, that one thing is never ever going to change,” President Lund assured Scarlett.

Watch more videos from the “Real Questions series here.

Featured image: Screenshot
Danielle christensen

Danielle Christensen

Danielle is a features writer and editor for LDS Living. Previously, she served as web producer for Church News, where she managed their website and social media platforms. Danielle is a graduate of Brigham Young University in English and has been published with Deseret News, Church News, BYU Magazine, and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine. Follow her on Twitter with the handle @danielleechris.

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