My Evil Plan Backfires

Two of my children have had some issues with the LDS church in the last while.

One of them said that it felt hypocritical to be attending church if [he or she] wasn’t sure the church was true.

The other has no problem with seminary (and in fact is fascinated by our family history in the church and how it relates to the scriptures) but was completely unwilling to go to church on Sundays (there were better things to do with those three hours, I was told).

I told both of them that they shouldn’t make decisions about their beliefs without some serious thought. I also said that, once a decision is made, it should be stuck with until or unless there is a good reason not to stick with it. I told both of them that I would support them whatever they decided. I said they were free to ask me any questions they had, and I would answer as honestly as possible, but I would not go out of my way to push my own beliefs on them.

I thought I had set up the perfect plan and that apostasy was in the cards for both. Alas, the first child just made an appointment for a patriarchal blessing, and the other is attending church consistently and tells me a mission is in the works.

Oh, well. I still have four others kids and lots of time.

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6 Responses to My Evil Plan Backfires

  1. Don’t worry. Life is long. There is still time to corrupt your first two kids.

  2. Odell says:

    I have given this some thought since originally reading it. Unfortunately your family resides in a community latent with Mormon influences which communicate effectively and strongly what the LDS church and culture expect of your children.

    In a sense, your children have never been left alone to decide for themselves their beliefs and courses of action. They have been and continue to be bombarded by Mormon school friends, teachers, peers, relatives and others.

    Living in a heavily populated Mormon community might drum out the sound of alternatives.

    I grew up outside of Utah but my family was always involved in Mormon society and life, which reduced my exposure to alternatives. Even then, it would have been very difficult for me to leave the LDS church and faith.

    For me, seving an LDS mission entrenched me to a committed life as a Mormon. Eventually, that wore off leaving me able to select a different path but with a lot more consequences attached.

    I wish you and your children happines in whatever journey embarked upon.

  3. leggogarn says:

    Hello Runtu
    I’m sorry to use this article to comment on another one of your posts, but I wanted to be sure you saw my comment. I just read “What Matters” (January 21, 2010) and am quite impressed with how you grasped the idea of the butterfly effect of kindness. Even when kindnesses are quite subtle, the long term effect can be amazing. For example, you do not even remember what you counseled the gentleman who landed the job at BYU. But he remembers and at least in part credits you with that milestone. Perhaps he will go on to discover some life saving medicine, or a new way to preserve food, or a different way to convert solar power, or, or, or. The kindness did not start with you and it will not end with the gentleman you helped. That is how the butterfly effect works.

    For an wonderful read on this very topic and how three rather obscure people in history saved 2 billion people from starvation get THE SEEDS WE SOW, KINDNESS THAT FED A HUNGRY WORLD. You will enjoy it I’m sure. (Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, etc.)

    Best wishes.

  4. ZAROVE says:

    LOOK at the Bright Side, most Mormons aren’t bad people, and the Mormon Faith, while you don’t hold to it, isn’t so horrible as to make them wretches.

    I’m not Mormon by the way, I am Church of Christ, but I find that such things really matter in a different way than what we do with our lives and how we treat one another.

  5. I believe that merely having you in their life, your difference of thought and your willingness to listen to them and let them decide will help them very much. Even if they do choose to remain in the institution that you do not believe, I would guess that they do so with greater freedom than you had. Your children are fortunate because they have the freedom to choose within a safe environment, as much as you can provide. If they do eventually choose to leave, then hopefully this experience with will help them transition more smoothly and less painfully. Or if they do remain, hopefully it helps them do so with a happy heart which absorbs the best of what the religion offers while casting off the worst.

  6. juliathepoet says:

    I agree with the life is long idea. Recently I had a friend ask me how I can put up with my children living with my ex-husband when he continually attacks me in front of them, and it has been proven that he was behind a legal conspiracy to have me put in jail. I won’t go into all the specifics on each point because they aren’t important to anyone but me.
    1) My children are very aware of the fact that it is their father who has and continues to lie to them. I don’t need to defend myself because first the courts, and now my children, found me guiltless.
    2) My children have asked me to wait until the youngest is 13 so that they can petition the court and be taken seriously.
    3) They are 10 and 12. While it will be 8 years until they are adults, after that time they will be adults forever, and able to choose what relationships they will pursue.
    4 ) I know that their dad is not the best place for them, but I have no regrets keeping them out if foster care. They are in the same ward with people who are able to watch out for them, make reports as needed, and who care about them deeply. If they had gone into foster care, I would have had no way to make sure they had those resources. I know that if the situation becomes abusive (and not just unhealthy) that it will be reported, and they can live with me then.

    I know our situations are different, but I think you are wise to support your kids in their choices, even when they clash with what you think would be best for them. Knowing you love them unconditionally is the best gift you can give them. Being a family who sticks together is something the church can’t offer them in the same way you can. They will keep coming to you, unless you leave the church as their only possible choice for love and support!

    I hope things continue to get better!

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