Confession and Clarity (dramatic subtitle: How the Bachelor has changed my life)

I watched the premier of The Bachelor the other night.  I wouldn’t even mention it except that I commented something about it on Kristina’s post, and have since been publicly mocked for watching it … and rightfully so.  DeNae said something to the effect of “Stephanie watched the Bachelor?  Now I’ve heard everything.  Bring on the Second Coming!”  (I paraphrased a little.)

In my defense, it was kind of accidental.  I had put my kids down to bed and turned on the TV to keep me busy while I folded laundry.  I happened upon the Bachelor at some part where he was being interviewed about his intentions, and he seemed nice and genuine enough (“I believe in lasting love, I’m ready to be a husband and a father, blah, blah, blah, etc.) so I kept watching.  (Pay attention ladies, this is how Satan works his magic.)  Anyway, then these 25 ladies showed up, and it was all downhill.  They came pouring out of limousines with predator eyes and dresses that were all bought at “Pamela Anderson’s Prom Shop.”  It was kind of like witnessing the destruction of the Twin Towers– you feel shocked and horrified, but can’t take your eyes off the TV.  I believe the producers searched far and wide to find twenty-five women whose most-prized possession is their breasts, and their least-prized possession is their dignity.  Enough said.

So, yeah.  I watched it.  And I couldn’t stop thinking about it all that night.  Or in the shower the next morning.  Or driving to the doctor.  Geesh, those women need help.  Plus it only took Mister Nice-Guy about 10 minutes into the program to fall straight into the “forget about forever– this is all about who turns me on the most right now” mode.  I kind of want to lock my children up in our house (with the TV unplugged) until they’re well past puberty.

And then yesterday, I received a copy of a talk I had requested by Sister Julie Beck.  (I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I love her talks.)  This talk is an address she gave recently to all the Seminary and Institutes of Religion teachers.  It is the BEST. TALK. EVER.  And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  So many great points.  Things I’d never thought of before, but make so much sense.  It totally gave me a new perspective on what I want to teach my children and what I want the young women I work with at church to know.  Unlike the Bachelor (that I couldn’t get out of my mind because it was so wrong), it was just so right. It just oozed TRUTH.

I know I give you links to talks and articles and stuff all the time, but you should REALLY read Sister Beck’s declarations about the theology of the family and our sacred, eternal roles as parents and teachers of the next generation.  It’s so good.  I’ve never tried to link to a .pdf before, so I’m hoping that if you click on this link, you can download the talk.  If you want to read it and can’t get it to work, email me — dd.stephanie [at] gmail [dot] com– and I’ll send it to you as an attachment.


So, rest assured (I’m talking to you, DeNae) that I’ve watched my first and last episode of The Bachelor.  Those people on TV and all the watchers who buy into those philosophies and lifestyles just have it all wrong; they have no insight into the power they have as women, or how mighty a relationship blessed by God can be.  I couldn’t be more grateful for a husband who’s my partner in a real “reality” relationship and the opportunity to teach my kids that they can have the real deal for themselves, even when the rest of the world is putting up billboards and neon signs telling them it’s impossible, even stupid.

“I would have you live in your homes, in
your families, in your marriages so your
students have the hope of eternal life from
watching you. Your objective is to live the kind
of a home life that your students want to have
—have that kind of a family. They won’t get
that message from many other places. Live it
and teach it with so much clarity that what you
teach will cut through all the noise they are
hearing and pierce their hearts and touch them.
You don’t need to compete in volume; you
don’t need to compete in the number of words;
you just need to be very clear in your examples.
You are the ideal for them. . . .”

“Your role in this is to teach them so they don’t
misunderstand, to be very clear on key points
of doctrine, which you find in the proclamation
on the family. This is prominent in your
teaching, prominent in your classrooms,
prominent in what they’re learning. You are
preparing them for the blessings of Abraham in
everything you are teaching. You are preparing
them for the temple. You are seeking to send
forth from every classroom an Isaac and a
Rebekah. You’re living so they have confidence
in you, and through your example they know
they can form eternal families.”   –  Julie Beck


32 thoughts on “Confession and Clarity (dramatic subtitle: How the Bachelor has changed my life)

  1. As a lucky seminary teacher, I watched this training and LOVED what Sister Beck had to say… it was this talk when she said we don’t have to be perfect, but we can be precise. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sister Beck’s talk… and love Sister Beck. Someday, when we are together in person (in May possibly? Wouldn’t that be lovely?!) Inkmom and I will tell you all about our lunch with Sister Beck. She truly is extraordinary, and yet, so much like the rest of us.

    Oh, the Bachelor. I’ve paused a few times when flipping channels, and you’re right… it really is like watching a train wreck. Horrible, and yet you can hardly pull your eyes away from the awfulness.

  2. I completely agree with the train wreck analogy. I watched the Bachelor for a couple of seasons because it was exactly like a train wreck. It was repulsive and fascinating at the same time. But when I finally realized (takes me a while sometimes) that almost NONE of these people were ever going to end up in a committed relationship, I decided that I was not watching it anymore.

    Funny thing–I saw a headline while at the dentists office yesterday–there are more happy couples from 8 seasons of the Biggest Loser show than from something like 13 seasons of the Bachelor!

    Can’t wait to read the talk, but it will have to wait until my brain starts functioning again…

  3. My Mom told me that she spoke to the CES folks about this. Too many young single adults are losing their way. That is why the teachers need to speak about families and The Proclamation in their classes. They need to move on and “form eternal families” as she said. I’ll go read her talk now, thanks for the link!

  4. Well, I am relieved to see that you’ve grasped the iron rod again, Stephanie. Truly. I was looking for “Stephanie Watches The Bachelor” under “Apocolypse; Signs Of” in the Bible Dictionary.

    And I never have watched that show, because, and I’m pretty sure I’ve made this clear, I’m terribly righteous.

    Now, I’m off to read Sister Beck’s talk, cuz I’m an Institute teacher but somehow missed this!

    Sending you virtual hugs ‘on the wings of love’…

  5. great quotes- I ma going to click that link and see if I can print up the talk. I have been hit with the snap of reality that I need to really focus in and help lay a better foundation with my children. This post is perfect timing!

  6. Laughing hysterically. And reading my husband both your post, Kristina P.’s from yesterday, and your comments.

    Love this, all of it, both from a serious, “oh, my goodness, I can’t believe what goes on in this world and passes for entertainment” perspective and also just because I love my blog friends. And that means you.

  7. I will neither confirm nor deny that I watch the Bachelor. I can confirm, however, that I’m going to read that talk later tonight. It sounds awesome. Thanks for all the links you always put up.

  8. You mean the best way to find a mate isn’t to compete with 24 other women (in an abbreviated & voyeuristized time span) over the affections of one fame seeking guy? I may need to rethink the dating talk I just had with my kids…

    Next you’ll be telling me taking a lie detector test in front of a national audience isn’t a healthy form of couples counseling.

    I do actually have one reality TV weakness: The Amazing Race.

  9. That is such a sad show to watch. Truly the antithesis of how to find an eternal companion. I am looking forward to reading Sister Beck’s talk–thanks for the link!

  10. Thank you for that talk. I printed it off and plan to study it. Since we’ll be studying the Gospel Essentials manual in Sunday School this year, I think it might have some real relevance and interesting insights. I’m sure one of the lessons is on family and this talk would go great with it, I imagine.

  11. Thank you for posting the file of her talk! I was called to teach seminary shortly after she gave it so I missed it. I’ve printed it off so I can make it a part of my Proclamation study for this year. One of my goals is to memorize the Proclamation and then really study it.

  12. Your description of the Bachelor is so true. I have found myself like a “deer in the headlights” many times when the tv is on. I can’t wait to read Sister Beck’s talk. She is always a favorite.

  13. I watched the Bachelor once, too. It was towards the end of the season and I was horrified. And not because I consider myself to be some paragon of virtue, but it was just disgusting. Will never watch again.

    Love this talk. Thank you so much.

  14. W O W! Thanks for sharing that talk. She is so good at teaching us! Antifamily is Anti-Christ. So straightforward. That should really help us and our youth to be clear on where we stand with all the threats and politics about family. I found it really interesting that she said The Proclamation on the Family ties to all lessons whether it be Old Testament or Book of Mormon. I was called to the Primary Presidency last year and we spoke a lot on the family. Now I understand that even though the theme this year is ” I know My Savior Lives”, my sharing times should still refer to The Proclamation. So interesting.
    I also liked her words, “Live in your home so that you’re brilliant in the
    basics, so that you’re intentional about your
    roles and responsibilities in the family. You
    think in terms of precision, not perfection.” I am trying harder to be brilliant in the basics!

  15. How do you request talks like this one? I would love to know where certain leaders are speaking and soak up every word they utter.

    Thanks for the link! I think Sister Beck might be the new Sister Dew for me. And Sister Dalton…. love these women!

  16. I’ve never been able to watch that show because I just don’t see how any self respecting man or woman can consider speed make-out sessions the path to a trust and love filled marriage.

  17. wow. i watch a lot of bad reality tv, a lot…u know, when i want my brain to be mush late at night. i have to honestly admit this show is one i cant do at all. it is a train wreck.! and i watch a lot of train wrecks…yes, i do watch at times those stupid desperate housewives shows on bravo, and i will never stop watching dog the bounty hunter 🙂 he is awesome. but, i have printed off this talk. i cannot wait for a quiet moment with no one crawling on me to read it. i already know without laying eyes on it that it will inspire and uplift me 🙂 thanks!!! maybe will read this late tonight instead of some bad reality show…hmmm…maybe a good idea

  18. I haven’t read all the comments above. And I am not Mormon. But Catholic. Im pretty sure that we share many of the same values though. And as much as I like watching mindless TV such as the Bachelor to relax I dislike very much that women across the nation are buying into it. I watch it as a train wreck. Hoping that I teach my daughters much much more that those women were taught.

    I do love watching it though.

    • I know we do share a lot of the same values, which of course is why I enjoy visiting your blog. And I certainly don’t condemn watching the Bachelor. I just can’t because it made me too sad/shocked. (I internalize stuff too much. When I watch the news, I think all men are shameless pedophiles, and if I watched this, I’d suspect most women are desperate hootchies! And then I’d wrap my children in a box and never leave my house. I exaggerate.) I can only pray that your girls and mine will somehow learn that they’re so much better than that. God help us mothers, right? 🙂

      at Diapers and Divinity

  19. I sat my daughters down and explained to them that life simply isn’t like The Bachelor.

    From women who are heartbroken because they fell in love after only meeting this guy once……to the expensive dates…… the overnight invitation. It’s no wonder that once the cameras stop rolling and the relationship gets taken out into the real world, that the whole thing flops.

  20. Thanks for stopping by!! I love Sr. Beck…always have. She truly speaks with inspiration for all of us. I always think of the scripture that says, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” –her messages give me hope and encouragement!
    Can’t say I’ve ever watched The Bachelor–just not my thing–I think it comes on after my bedtime! lol

  21. I read this and laughed. Then, I thought. Yes, Satan sure does lure us into acceptance, does he not? I could not tell you how many shows I watched, saw one dirty thing, and immediately excused it. It wasn’t until I would watch it with my husband that I finally let those dirty habits go. : )

  22. We had a moment like that last week when we turned on the tube at 9:00 and watched a similar dating reality show. . .after watching it, I felt like I had just wasted/had the dumbest hour of my ENTIRE LIFE!!! I also thought about it for a while after and came to similar conclusions as you.

    I am excited to read the talk. Thanks for all the links. . . . thanks for visiting me. . . .even though I sometimes tend toward the controversial stuff. I think I am a little more outspoken via the web than I am in ‘real’ life!!

    In regard to your comment about choosing a career and knowing what life has in store, my story didn’t talk about the many hours in contemplation and prayer that proceeded my spiritual experience. . . . . I think that might be the most important step in receiving revelation.

  23. Pingback: Tribute to Sister Julie B. Beck « Diapers and Divinity

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