A graduation speaker at Brigham Young University encourages brand-new graduates to end their relationships with those who aren’t also Mormons.
I hope as well that you will stay connected in appropriate ways with friends, classmates, and professors from BYU. The world is small, especially in the church, and your friendships can be perpetuated and enhanced as the years go by. Those connections will circle around over the years to bless and help you in happy, righteous ways. For example, some of my present quorum associates in church service met each other as roommates at BYU, and have friendships that extend back for decades. In these regards, however, 3 brief reminders seem important:
Just as there are connections that should be strengthened, there are others that should be relegated to history.
Some of you have had dating connections during your years here that did not result in marriage, and either you or your former interest married someone else. If so, wisdom suggests that you disconnect from that association. Staying in touch with each other electronically or otherwise after eternal covenants or connections have been made is spiritually unwise, and unfortunately all too often dangerous by permitting or encouraging familiarity to exist when such closeness is no longer appropriate. Don’t do anything that exposes your own or someone else’s eternal connection to a spouse to hazards in any way. In matters of such consequence, there is no room for error.
A similar warning should be sounded about the perils of pornography. Though church leaders continually fire off warning flares about the seriousness of this selfish and gullible sin, too many still fail to make the lasting behavioral change required. The transgression is serious enough by itself, and the risk of greater evil it entails is real. Any closeness to this temptation should be abruptly disconnected, and effort focused on seeking help from church leaders and through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
A few of you may have run into some who cease to hold fast to the iron rod wandered off the straight and narrow path, and have become lost. They started sometimes with online tours of the territory of the faithless. This indiscretion is often accompanied by failing to earnestly study The Book of Mormon everyday, and by the companion problem of gradually becoming lax in keeping other commandments. This sometimes leads to listening and then harkening to those who mock the church, its leaders, or its history. The faithless often promote themselves as the wise who can rescue the rest of us from our naivety. One does not need to listen to assertive apostates for long to see the parallels between them and the Corihors and Nehors and Sharoms of The Book of Mormon. We should disconnect immediately and completely from listening to the proselytizing efforts of those who have lost their faith, and instead reconnect promptly with the holy spirit. The adversary sees spiritual apathy and half-hearted obedience as opportunities to encircle us with his chains and bind us, and he hopes to destroy us. We escape his chains as we voluntarily chose to bind ourselves instead to God. In what at first may seem ironic, our choosing to bind or connect with Heaven frees and empowers us to become all that we possibly can in this life and the next through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
I don’t know about a jealous god, but religious leaders are the most jealous and insecure people on earth. Seriously: Wouldn’t you think the Eternal Truth could take care of itself and not require isolation?