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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : To All Former Rebellious/Apathetic/Too-Cool Teens: A Question » To All Former Rebellious/Apathetic/Too-Cool Teens: A Question

To All Former Rebellious/Apathetic/Too-Cool Teens: A Question

Rusty - July 17, 2006

We were all silly teenagers. We were all at least relatively rebellious. And I would imagine most of us had some issues with our parents/the Church/authority in some way or another during that time in our lives. The odds of you (9M blog reader) being a now-active member of the LDS Church is pretty good. That means you’re probably not still rebellious/apathetic/too-cool (even if you think you are).

What I want to know is what helped you get through it all to become the psychologically healthy, socially normal, spiritual powerhouse that you are today? In other words, if you didn’t go to church, didn’t talk with your parents, didn’t care to do all that well in school, didn’t wake up before noon, and loved video games, what would/did motivate you to grow up, to communicate with your (very caring and faithful) parents, to perhaps go to church, to care?


  1. Well, Im an adult who came out ok and I still love video games, so I don’t know what that has to do with this coversation :)

    Comment by Veritas — July 17, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  2. Rusty,

    Interesting question. Having gone through what you describe, and having a brother who is now deeper in it than I was, perhaps I may comment.

    Two words basically sum it up for me: the gospel. Once I (pardon the french) pulled my head out of my butt and started asking myself some serious questions about life and my goals and religious things, it led me to study, to question, to ponder, and really figure things out.

    This happened to me, oddly enough, while I was in the MTC. I had a fire lit underneath my keister and I began to read and read and read.. I couldn’t get enough. I learned, I grew, I matured. I understood the gospel better, and everything else in my life just fell into place.

    I think a lot of it has to do with maturity. And I think maturity only develosp when catalyzed by an experience. For me, it was seeing a friend get sent home from the MTC. That really made me think about things in my own life. For my brother, well, I think he’s yet to have an experience that makes the light bulb turn on in your head. He’s still very immature and needs to grow up before he can fully understand, respect, and live the gospel.

    Anywho, it’s very interesting to ponder, and while it’s a slow, gradual process, there have been experiences in my life, that as I say, catalyze that progress and propel me forward into maturity, appreciation, and righteous living.

    Full disclaimer: I’m 24, so my “rebellious teenage years” aren’t that far behind me, as they may be for some of you. :)

    Comment by Connor Boyack — July 17, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  3. This will sound trite, but moving out of Utah was for me a very, _very_ good thing.

    My dad also came to visit me once while I was away at school, by himself. Again, an exceptionally good thing.

    Finally, I happened to move into a very low-key branch (later ward) with some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

    The first two are easily replicable; the third virtually impossible.

    Comment by Randy B. — July 17, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

  4. I wasn’t a rebellious teen. But now I’m a rebellious/apathetic/not too-cool middle-ager.

    Comment by Jack — July 17, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  5. You and I have ALWAYS known that I was NEVER cool.

    I think for a lot of people it takes moving away from home. We get on our own, realize HS was just a samll part of the world and most everything there really wasn’t a big deal. We have to make decisions and do things to survive or drowned and the gospel makes all that TONS easier. It was always fun to see the huge difference between a freshman girl and a sophomore girl.

    Comment by Bret — July 17, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  6. I think there is an enormous pressure brought to bear on most teens by their parents. Usually, this is can be a good thing; it helps many of them complete their homework and not flip over their cars.

    But adolescents always have to work against that pressure to find a personal and private space. If all you are getting from your parents is “CHURCHCHURCHCHURCH”, you don’t feel like you have been given a choice. Everyone likes choices.

    The first time you can choose whether or not you want to go to church with no consequences either way, is probably the first time it can be a truly private experience, and not one dictated to you by your parents or BYU.

    At least, that’s how I felt about it.

    Comment by NFlanders — July 17, 2006 @ 8:30 pm

  7. Thanks for the thoughts folks.

    Veritas, I love video games too. Wanna play Halo2?

    Conner, you made it to the MTC which indicates you held on to at least some connection to the church through your teens. What about those who likely will never get that far. They’ve made enough choices that the parents couldn’t dream of their kid going on a mission, they’d just be happy if he went back to church?

    Randy, what if the kid has almost no connection to Utah whatsoever (has never lived there, probably never will)?

    Jack, welcome to the club :)

    Bret, living-at-home ≠ cool, nor will it ever. There’s an easy solution though…

    Ned, it’s interesting because so many kids (I’m speaking of Mormons but this probably applies more broadly) push against the “churchchurchchurch” thing but eventually embrace it (like me and many of my friends). Of course everyone is different and have different tolerances which is I guess what explains one person’s apathy and another’s embrace.

    Comment by Rusty — July 17, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

  8. Like Jack, I wasn’t a rebellious (or cool) teen or young adult.

    I turned around because the view from the other side wasn’t that great. And when I turned around, there were a lot of indicators that I was again headed in the right direction.

    Comment by LisaB — July 18, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

  9. As a convert at 16, I had the luxury of rebelling against my family *BY* living the gospel. Having my cake and eating it too, how cool is that? :)

    Comment by KMB — July 18, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

  10. Yeah, I’m with Jack. No help here, sorry.

    Comment by annegb — July 20, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

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