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I Was The Only Person That Encouraged My Friend To Keep His Covenants

I Was The Only Person That Encouraged My Friend To Keep His Covenants

Skylar Sorensen and Preston Jenkins are two gay members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After seeing how things are trending in the online world today, they decided to take action and create a podcast where controversial topics are addressed and discussed through the lens of those who willingly sustain and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In one episode of their podcast, Preston shared an interaction he had with one of his gay friends.

A friend who was gay came to me and said, “I found a guy and I really want to date him. What do I do?”

I asked, “What covenants have you made?” He was an endowed member of the church and had served a mission. I wasn’t trying to be mean. I just wanted to know where he was at.

I then asked him, “What are other people telling you to do?” and he said, “They are telling me to ‘live my truth’ and they’ll love me either way.”

I said, “Well, what does that have to do with anything? Of course we’ll love you either way!”

But what shocked me is when he said that I was the first friend that had told him it probably wasn’t a good idea to date a man.

I said, “What do you mean? Why would I encourage you to break your covenants? You’ve made promises that you wouldn’t do certain things. Why would I encourage that?”

The world needs more people like Preston as friends.

Skyler recently shared an Instagram post where he explained the purpose behind the Sit Down with Sky podcast:

Nearly all our efforts on the podcast could be summed up with the one sentence: “If you believe in the reality of the restored gospel, you should probably keep the commandments.”

sklyer sorensen

In a world where many are scared to tell the truth because of the fear of being labeled “mean,” we need more people in the world like Preston and Skyler who show grace, love, and truth in their interactions with their friends. True friends point their friends to Christ. True friends help each other honor covenants and commandments.

Here a few reactions from Preston and Sky’s Instagram post regarding this interaction Preston had:

  • This is the kind of friend we should all be—the kind that encourages our friends to make and keep the very covenants that will strengthen and bless them for literally ever.
  • I loved that you answered with questions. A “tell me more approach” and that you specifically asked “what covenants have you made?” Sharing these tidbits are very helpful!
  • Too bad he didn’t also suggest this guy get “better friends.”
  • Thank you for helping me know what to say. Everyone can choose for themselves. If they already chose those covenants, not keeping them is another choice. What is more important to you. What your friends think or what God knows.

The wise words and counsel of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at Brigham Young University can aid us in our attempts to be more like Christ, who was full of grace and truth:

“…it will assist all of us—it will assist ­everyone—trying to provide help in this ­matter if things can be kept in some proportion and balance in the process. For example, we have to be careful that love and empathy do not get interpreted as condoning and advocacy or that orthodoxy and loyalty to principle not be interpreted as unkindness or disloyalty to people. As near as I can tell, Christ never once withheld His love from anyone, but He also never once said to anyone, “Because I love you, you are exempt from keeping my commandments.” We are tasked with trying to strike that same sensitive, demanding balance in our lives.”

Please be a friend like Preston. Stand against the majority who invite others to reject Christ’s commandments. Invite your friends to come unto Christ. Don’t encourage them to “live their truth,” but encourage them to keep the commandments of God.

As President Monson said, “We have been and continue to be taught God’s laws. Despite what you may see or hear elsewhere, these laws are unchanging. As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? … It is essential that we are able to face—with courage—whatever challenges come our way.”

Tammy

Sunday 11th of February 2024

I had a different kind of experience. I was asked by a nurse who needed a roommate, she told me she’d had problems with being gay at the time. I prayed about it and felt it was alright for me to be her roommate. I however was really careful, she wanted to come into the bathroom with me, locking the door cured that, when she came and flopped on my bed beside me I immediately stood up. We got another roommate who was engaged to be married, happy and excited. In a short amount of time she wasn’t engaged. And the two became inseparable. I think she had been groomed. I spoke to authority and left. This was in the 1980’s

Glenda Crump

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

Preston, let me ask you how you will stick to this standard when YOU are the one to fall in Love? How many of you commenting in support of Preston's response to his friend would be OK to be alone the rest of your lives? Or better yet how many of you would stone to death your disobedient son because the Bible tells you to? Why do we follow some Bible teachings but not all and yet condemn someone to a life of loneliness, disconnection, suffering, marginalization and dehumanization just because you THINK you understand the Bible? Lastly Preston how would you feel if said friend committed suicide because that was more appealing than a life of solitude you condemned him to? Hummm things to think about ...and while you are judging me let me add that I am a 61 year old lifetime active card carrying member of the church.

Aaron Foster

Wednesday 30th of August 2023

@Glenda Crump, we don't live alone for the rest of our lives.. Preston's friend isn't alone- he is friends with Preston and probably many others. Everyone experiences loneliness in their lives, but that's not the same as being alone. As we reach to others we are never really alone, especially with the Saviour nearby. Life is a struggle. It is sad and sorrowful, and even tragic. But the Saviour does not leave us comfortless. We don't condemn anyone to a life of sorrow. Rather, the Saviour can lead us to eternal happiness. We are not here to judge you or anyone else. If you feel you are being judged, seek relief from the pain you experience. Jesus said "Come unto me all ye labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me - for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls" We all experience pain in life, but through Christ we can find healing and peace. Even those who commit suicide can find healing and peace in Christ.

Ben Arkell

Friday 22nd of July 2022

Glenda, Preston has chosen to follow the commandments. He has recently married a woman. If you would like to reach out to him, you can find his Instagram page here > https://www.instagram.com/sitdownwithsky/

I would disagree with your statement that we are condemning people to the state which you mentioned. Preston and Skylar are just two examples of many who find joy, connection, fulfilment even with their same-sex attraction.

Thanks for your comments. Please don't assume that because we are having discussions that anyone is harshly judging. Again, if you would like to get Preston's take, I would recommend you trying to reach out through Instagram.

He also wrote a book that would help us understand Preston's perspective a little better > https://www.amazon.com/This-Boy-His-Mother-Latter-day/dp/B0B59HFQLJ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Elaine Mary Williams

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

I do have the courage to speak the truth and stand up for my beliefs for i know that the church is true. But i dont know how to handle this so i tend to stand steadfast to what is true but avoid talking about it to Gays. i wish that I could find the solution.

Aaron Foster

Wednesday 30th of August 2023

@Elaine Mary Williams, At one stake conference that I attended, some time was provided for people in the audience to ask questions. One woman arose and said " I have a friend who lives a lesbian lifestyle. She has asked me about the gospel, and we have had several conversations. but I hesitate to share the Book of Mormon with her because it doesn't fit with her lifestyle. What should I do?" The mission president's wife was on the stand and answered the question. She said "What we teach our full-time missionaries and my answer to you is - that if someone is interested in the gospel, we teach them! And we don't worry about the background or their lifestyle. The gospel is for everyone who wants to know."

Brian

Thursday 21st of July 2022

@Elaine Mary Williams, the Gays? That's an odd way to say that. The solution is just to love them and to not worry so much about what other people are doing. Follow the first and second greatest commandments.

Glenda Crump

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

@Elaine Mary Williams, the solution is to Love them Unconditionally as Christ does! Easy Peasy!

Sampson Darkwa

Monday 30th of May 2022

Thanks for sharing such a true story and wonderful testimony with us. These encourages some of us to cling to the iron rod, especially the covenants we've made with the Lord. It also strengthen our faith in the Lord and keep us going.