Jump to content

Help With Conversation With Son.


EllenMaksoud

Recommended Posts

My son grew up as a Fundamentalist Evangelical  (we all were), served 20 years in the navy and now works as chief of maintenance at a Homeless shelter in Virginia. Today, he expressed some disillusionment with is present denomination, and I understand. Working in shelters can certainly make one a bit jaded.

 

Previously, not realizing his disillusionment, I had been happily bubbling about the Mormon Church, which is to me a flat out miracle.

 

He revealed to me that he was OK with my experience with the Mormons, but that they have "Many dark secrets". Correctly or not, I simply said that there are things in our past that are viewed with sorrow and prayer, choosing to not deny the incidents, but to face things forthrightly and honestly. As the conversation develops, if it does, I will tell him about the church's impact on me and how special it was at the time. I'll likely reserve the man in white armor, on a white horse, with a sword for later in our conversations.

 

Mean while there will be ,much prayer for guidance in how to proceed.  This is a completely unexpected conversation. :)

Link to comment

The most important thing is to see that he has good websites such as lds.org... and not the anti sites that twist or misrepresent.  He needs to get info from LDS, not outsiders telling him and us what we believe.  You've been on this board long enough to understand how important that is if he is to get correct info and LDS perspective.  I acknowledge there are some questionable areas in Church history, but do not agree that there are "many dark secrets." 

Example:  For years there has been a film and book called "The Godmakers" floating around EV congregations... My sister obtained a copy of the book and was reading it... I told her if she was going to read that book, she needed to read the book "The Truth About the Godmakers" by Gilbert W. Scharffs, a CES seminary and Institute teacher who got tired of the misinformation in "TG" and wrote a response... so I sent her a copy of Scharffs' book...

Bro. Scharffs in his book takes "TG" and goes line by line, page by page, paragraph by paragraph and shows where they misrepresent and even lie about our doctrines, etc.  So I told her to put the books side by side and do a comparison.  After less than a chapter she tossed The Godmakers as she could see the on purpose misinformation...  

 

GG

Link to comment

There is a reason that Jesus said that, "A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."  Too often individuals are incapable of seeing the calling of a prophet because they focus on him as a human, an individual with weaknesses. 

 

When I teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ I focus on Jesus and his teachings, the scriptures. I remain committed to the Book of Mormon and its divine provenance and the restoration of the Church. The history of the Church, the history of each of the prophets has never been a main focus of mine. I personally have never felt particularly close to Joseph Smith whereas I have always felt a kinship for Brigham Young.  If someone is interested in the lives of the prophets, the members, the leadership, then they must first be capable of acknowledging that God uses men and women to accomplish his will on earth.  As such, those individuals are just as human as each of us are. I have always delineated between a prophet or a church leader from a holy man. Holiness is developed by each disciple and has no relationship with a leadership calling.

Link to comment

The most important thing is to see that he has good websites such as lds.org... and not the anti sites that twist or misrepresent.  He needs to get info from LDS, not outsiders telling him and us what we believe.  You've been on this board long enough to understand how important that is if he is to get correct info and LDS perspective.  I acknowledge there are some questionable areas in Church history, but do not agree that there are "many dark secrets." 

Example:  For years there has been a film and book called "The Godmakers" floating around EV congregations... My sister obtained a copy of the book and was reading it... I told her if she was going to read that book, she needed to read the book "The Truth About the Godmakers" by Gilbert W. Scharffs, a CES seminary and Institute teacher who got tired of the misinformation in "TG" and wrote a response... so I sent her a copy of Scharffs' book...

Bro. Scharffs in his book takes "TG" and goes line by line, page by page, paragraph by paragraph and shows where they misrepresent and even lie about our doctrines, etc.  So I told her to put the books side by side and do a comparison.  After less than a chapter she tossed The Godmakers as she could see the on purpose misinformation...  

 

GG

Perhaps I'll send him the book.

Link to comment

There is a reason that Jesus said that, "A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."  Too often individuals are incapable of seeing the calling of a prophet because they focus on him as a human, an individual with weaknesses. 

 

When I teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ I focus on Jesus and his teachings, the scriptures. I remain committed to the Book of Mormon and its divine provenance and the restoration of the Church. The history of the Church, the history of each of the prophets has never been a main focus of mine. I personally have never felt particularly close to Joseph Smith whereas I have always felt a kinship for Brigham Young.  If someone is interested in the lives of the prophets, the members, the leadership, then they must first be capable of acknowledging that God uses men and women to accomplish his will on earth.  As such, those individuals are just as human as each of us are. I have always delineated between a prophet or a church leader from a holy man. Holiness is developed by each disciple and has no relationship with a leadership calling.

Usually I would try to handle things like this myself, but now I am going to take advantage of the priesthood. I'll be calling our Missionary President in the Morning to see if he can get Missionaries to approach him and his wife. It may be a great surprise to you that I would do this, but I know power when I see it.

Link to comment

It is easy to refer missionaries.   But missionaries don't teach the truth about dark secrets.  So they aren't the best equipped to deal with what you think your son might understand.  So when you make the call, suggest the missionaries say to him, Your mother thought we should stop by and ask if  you want to learn what she was taught about the gospel before she was baptized.   We are happy to answer any questions about what the Church of Jesus Christ teaches."

Link to comment

But whatever you do, don't invite him here. 

 

Heh heh.

 

Of course, it may be just what he needs, how would I know?  This place is wonderful and scary all at the same time.

Link to comment

But whatever you do, don't invite him here.

Heh heh.

Of course, it may be just what he needs, how would I know? This place is wonderful and scary all at the same time.

I agree Stargazer! And Ellen, I remember a time that she was worried about being on this board and tried another board with more mainstream LDS (forgot the name). But maybe came to realize that it can be a wonderful place, where she can be loved for who she is and not be judged. Sounds like it's the perfect place to discuss his concerns out in the open, where people have heard it all, researched and found fact and still can't deny their testimony and belief and spiritual witness of it.
Link to comment

My son grew up as a Fundamentalist Evangelical  (we all were), served 20 years in the navy and now works as chief of maintenance at a Homeless shelter in Virginia. Today, he expressed some disillusionment with is present denomination, and I understand. Working in shelters can certainly make one a bit jaded.

 

Previously, not realizing his disillusionment, I had been happily bubbling about the Mormon Church, which is to me a flat out miracle.

 

He revealed to me that he was OK with my experience with the Mormons, but that they have "Many dark secrets". Correctly or not, I simply said that there are things in our past that are viewed with sorrow and prayer, choosing to not deny the incidents, but to face things forthrightly and honestly. As the conversation develops, if it does, I will tell him about the church's impact on me and how special it was at the time. I'll likely reserve the man in white armor, on a white horse, with a sword for later in our conversations.

 

Mean while there will be ,much prayer for guidance in how to proceed.  This is a completely unexpected conversation. :)

 

Disillusionment is a difficult experience.  I was a social worker for a while and it really changed my world view.  I also have spoken to many online who introduced me to things about the church's history I had formerly been unaware.  My own husband, born in the church, return missionary and married to me in the temple now says he is closer to agnostic than anything but attends church with me and our children.  I am thankful for the personal revelation that helps me step by step come through these tests of faith with a deeper trust in my testimony of Christ and God's eternal plan.  I have a lot of unanswered questions, and suspect that will continue to be the case for the rest of my life.  I love the analogy of placing these jars on the shelf while continuing to do what I know and believe is right and trust that the Lord will uncover and teach me everything that is expedient to my salvation and that many such questions/jars may never be removed or answered until I can sit with Him face to face.  But they will not stop me from making my walk, day by day, in faith and trust in Him.  (The analogy was from the book: "Holding Fast: Dealing With Doubt in the Latter Days" by Robert L. Millet.)  Some of Millet's opinions are stated as fact and so that was a bit difficult, but overall, I agreed with his advice and appreciated his attitude that doubt and questioning is natural and shouldn't be treated as shameful.

 

Sorry - I get off topic probably more than any other member here LOL.  I just have a gush of semi-related thoughts hit me and feel the need to share.  I will pray for you and your son as you make this journey together.  I trust that if you wait to feel prompted by the Spirit, and not your own emotions and desires, the Lord will help you lead your son to receive answers to his questions and to be offered his opportunity to accept the Gospel in its fullness.

Link to comment

Disillusionment is a difficult experience.  I was a social worker for a while and it really changed my world view.  I also have spoken to many online who introduced me to things about the church's history I had formerly been unaware.  My own husband, born in the church, return missionary and married to me in the temple now says he is closer to agnostic than anything but attends church with me and our children.  I am thankful for the personal revelation that helps me step by step come through these tests of faith with a deeper trust in my testimony of Christ and God's eternal plan.  I have a lot of unanswered questions, and suspect that will continue to be the case for the rest of my life.  I love the analogy of placing these jars on the shelf while continuing to do what I know and believe is right and trust that the Lord will uncover and teach me everything that is expedient to my salvation and that many such questions/jars may never be removed or answered until I can sit with Him face to face.  But they will not stop me from making my walk, day by day, in faith and trust in Him.  (The analogy was from the book: "Holding Fast: Dealing With Doubt in the Latter Days" by Robert L. Millet.)  Some of Millet's opinions are stated as fact and so that was a bit difficult, but overall, I agreed with his advice and appreciated his attitude that doubt and questioning is natural and shouldn't be treated as shameful.

 

Sorry - I get off topic probably more than any other member here LOL.  I just have a gush of semi-related thoughts hit me and feel the need to share.  I will pray for you and your son as you make this journey together.  I trust that if you wait to feel prompted by the Spirit, and not your own emotions and desires, the Lord will help you lead your son to receive answers to his questions and to be offered his opportunity to accept the Gospel in its fullness.

He lashed out at me last night, rather unexpectedly, so I will stop my part of the conversation, but will forward his name and contact information to the Missionaries on Tuesday.  He is still Ev, so it may take a while. :)

Link to comment

He lashed out at me last night, rather unexpectedly, so I will stop my part of the conversation, but will forward his name and contact information to the Missionaries on Tuesday.  He is still Ev, so it may take a while. :)

 

Awww, that's hard.  I'm sorry to hear that.  I will pray for you both.  Yes...God's timing is very often much slower and drawn out than we'd like.   ;)   But I guess we can't push and prod and force an all-knowing Father...sigh....IF only!  hehe  It sounds like you've got the patience thing a little better under your belt than I.  Thanks for your example.

Link to comment

Usually I would try to handle things like this myself, but now I am going to take advantage of the priesthood. I'll be calling our Missionary President in the Morning to see if he can get Missionaries to approach him and his wife. 

I would not do that unless he asks for the missionaries himself.

 

I have a son that was very negative about the church.  One day he needed some help doing some major yard work, so I suggested that the missionaries would be happy to help him out.  He gave me permission and they were able to help him.

 

It was a very positive experience for him.

 

It had taken several years before the right opportunity came along, so patience and wait on the Lord's timeframe.

Edited by cdowis
Link to comment

I would not do that unless he asks for the missionaries himself.

 

I have a son that was very negative about the church.  One day he needed some help doing some major yard work, so I suggested that the missionaries would be happy to help him out.  He gave me permission and they were able to help him.

 

It was a very positive experience for him.

 

It had taken several years before the right opportunity came along, so patience and wait on the Lord's timeframe.

I will take what you say under advisement. He is 46 and I am 66. I worry that there will not be time. Thank you.

Link to comment

Awww, that's hard.  I'm sorry to hear that.  I will pray for you both.  Yes...God's timing is very often much slower and drawn out than we'd like.   ;)   But I guess we can't push and prod and force an all-knowing Father...sigh....IF only!  hehe  It sounds like you've got the patience thing a little better under your belt than I.  Thanks for your example.

Me as an example? Thank you. :)

Link to comment

Sorry - I get off topic probably more than any other member here LOL.  I just have a gush of semi-related thoughts hit me and feel the need to share.  

You haven't read enough of my posts yet.  Since I am too shy to go to a therapists, this board is my substitute....and sometimes it comes out as totally free association.  :)

 

Now it just may be the drugs are making me all warm and cuddly, but at the moment I am really liking you and glad you have decided to join us.   :give_rose: It is an interesting group of people and a great group and there are very, very few...under 5 at most, probably only one I might considered inviting to the door and then giving a good strong shove between the shoulder blades after handing him/her a bag of cookies to take upon his/her way.  :girl_devil:

Link to comment

He lashed out at me last night, rather unexpectedly, so I will stop my part of the conversation, but will forward his name and contact information to the Missionaries on Tuesday.  He is still Ev, so it may take a while. :)

I am sorry...I hope the contact is kept up and that other things can be enjoyed together.

 

If someone hasn't mentioned it yet, you could call your local temple and ask for your two names to be placed on the temple prayer roll.  Prayers are asked over them in the sessions.  It is beautiful and is a wonderful connection between those within the walls and those without.  And there is not restriction on any name.

Link to comment

I am sorry...I hope the contact is kept up and that other things can be enjoyed together.

 

If someone hasn't mentioned it yet, you could call your local temple and ask for your two names to be placed on the temple prayer roll.  Prayers are asked over them in the sessions.  It is beautiful and is a wonderful connection between those within the walls and those without.  And there is not restriction on any name.

 

I am sorry...I hope the contact is kept up and that other things can be enjoyed together.

 

If someone hasn't mentioned it yet, you could call your local temple and ask for your two names to be placed on the temple prayer roll.  Prayers are asked over them in the sessions.  It is beautiful and is a wonderful connection between those within the walls and those without.  And there is not restriction on any name.

My Relief Society President did that for me.  If anything happens with him now it will undoubtedly be Heavenly Father doing it. Scott is unbelievably stubborn, um perhaps like me.  :)

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...