Thursday, October 31, 2013

From the Deseret News and My Commentary:

Q: What should I do about this situation?

My parents surprised us with the news that they’re leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church they raised us in. They love the gospel, but feel like the people in their ward mistreat them, and have always mistreated them, and I guess this is the only solution they can think of.
Now my older siblings are angry with them (my parents) and have decided that if they don’t go back to church, then they (my siblings) won’t go home for the holidays. My parents are very hurt, and this is just hardening their hearts even more. I want to go home and I want everyone else to be there too, my siblings, their kids, it’s not home without all of us — even if things are tense.

I’ve voiced this opinion to my siblings who have said that if I go home it’s like I’m condoning their actions, which makes me “just as bad as they are.” I’m not happy about my parents' decision, but regardless, I love them and really look forward to my school breaks so that I can see them. 
A: (From Angela, at Deseret News)

Man, your siblings are being really harsh. I could write a bunch of flowery stuff about how I’m sure they’re hurting and this must be a difficult adjustment period for your family but “Just as bad as they are?” Really? Ouch.
Don’t listen to them.
Go home and love and enjoy your parents. Support them, make breakfast with them, watch TV with them, teach them about Twitter and complain about the government shutdown with them. Take moments to try to uplift them where they are weak but show them that your love for them “never faileth.”
I just read your question again and “condoning” is really an interesting word choice on the part of your siblings. In a way, you are condoning your parents’ behavior. You’re allowing them to live and struggle (as is often the case in life) without condemning them for it.
The best thing you can do is remain a positive, influential and wonderful part of their lives.
Don't be angry with your siblings, either. Pray for the power not to take offense. Hopefully your siblings will follow your example.

To me, the WHOLE POINT of earthly existence is to learn to love (not just the feeling, but the action).  I realize that we needed a body and there are tests.  But God could have created billions of tiny little worlds and said, “Right now it’s Aundrea’s turn.  After her, it will be Briana’s turn,” and we would all have had bodies and ready-made tests.  But no.  He put us into families first and into a world FILLED with people.  Why?  So we could figure out how to get along with people, and ultimately, get along with Love.  That is the Savior’s great example.

I recently had a conversation with Landon about this very thing.  He is concerned about his choices because of what I will think of him or how I will treat him.  I’m glad of that.  If “My mom would be disappointed” keeps him from making poor choices, I’m glad.  But I reassured him that NOTHING he ever does will make me stop loving him.  Ever.  I might be hurt, angry, or disappointed; but I will NEVER stop loving him. 

Therefore (and I didn’t voice this part), if going to church (or not going) becomes a fight, it is a battle he will win.  I never want the Church or anything else to come between the love Landon and I have for each other.  So far he pouts a bit, but he doesn’t fight us about going to church.  If he starts fighting, I will cave.  It’s just not worth it.  The fight would make it a war I am unwilling to engage in.

The two most important things in my life (which aren’t things, of course) are my family and the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes my membership in the Church.  I want those two things to be interrelated; but if they are not, it will not stop either of them from being important to ME.

I love you!