Ugly Call From The Folks

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
intothelight
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Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 23:56

Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by intothelight » 12 Jun 2014, 20:35

So my parents have known I'm less active for quite some time now. I guess most of our family have been damaged in our interactions with the church. In my case, is probably as much me as the church that caused the damage - but it occurred nonetheless from the interaction. I'm much better now that I'm not so tethered to it. Regardless, though, my sister with her 5 kids have been struggling with it as well, and we'd been discussing and commiserating. My parents, who just entered the MTC visited that sister, who proceeded to tell my parents all my views - which is fine. But they also presented them with a bunch of anti-mormon literature - which was likely a mixture of truth and mistruth. I got a call a few days ago from my parents, who accused me of being like Korihor, breaking their hearts, said I was going to hell, that I should be prepared to die for my beliefs, telling me to repent - basically trying everything they could think of to scare me into coming back to church 100%. They told me I had caused my sister to fall away from the truth and had just attempted to brainwash her. Anyways, it was pretty ugly. I honestly think they were expecting their kids to all come running back to the church since they were going on their mission - and then on their first MTC weekend, they found out that from their perspective, they'd "lost" 5 grandkids, a daughter, and a son in law. This normally would have ripped me up pretty bad, but I just stayed pretty calm. Of course, they cooled off, and we're back to pretending again that it's all good. I guess we're all ignoring the 500lb gorilla in the room.

I've just told them that I accept them, and don't feel like I have to pull them away from the church - that I'm glad they're going on a mission and that they'll do a lot of good. Also that I understand why they aren't allowed accept me as I am. But again, the unspoken bitterness and resentment they feel towards me just kills about any conversation. I honestly don't hate or dislike them.

Has anyone been able to develop a meaningful relationship with people who don't approve of you? They I'm sure will stay involved with me as much as they can, but they'll never accept the idea that I can be good enough without being a totally involved member of the church, married in the temple. And I am afraid I'll never be that way for them. Again, I understand why. They are about as hatable as is Tevya from Fiddler on the Roof - top notch people. Maybe it's just something that will have to wait until the next life. Not meant to be a sob post by any means. I guess God protected me from it affecting me too much. Really interested in your thoughts/experiences about how to make things as right with them as possible.

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Daeruin
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Joined: 15 Dec 2013, 20:56
Location: Utah

Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by Daeruin » 12 Jun 2014, 21:53

I'm really sorry you had to go through that. I know that I would have had a really tough time with a conversation like that. Honestly, I don't have any good advice to give. I am sure that others will chime in who have more experience with this kind of thing. I hope things can improve for you.
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

Minyan Man
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by Minyan Man » 13 Jun 2014, 06:11

intothelight, I like what you said:
I've just told them that I accept them, and don't feel like I have to pull them away from the church - that I'm glad they're going on a mission and that they'll do a lot of good. Also that I understand why they aren't allowed accept me as I am. But again, the unspoken bitterness and resentment they feel towards me just kills about any conversation. I honestly don't hate or dislike them.
Recovery programs like "AA" have alot of slogans. One I like is
Acceptance is the key.

It is key because you accept the reality of your disease (alcoholism). You don't argue with yourself & others about if you are (alcoholic). You accept everyone that comes into a meeting as being equals. Everything discussed stays within the walls of the meeting. It isn't discussed outside the meeting.

If, as member of the church, we developed a similar attitude, we would be better off. I don't believe that every member follows our faith exactly the same way at the same time. In the process of living our lives, we become critical. I refuse to do that anymore. I firmly believe that when you show acceptance, you receive acceptance. (for the most part.) You did the right thing by being open & honest. I like both of those qualities. I wish you the best.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by DarkJedi » 13 Jun 2014, 06:15

I'm sorry this has happened and causes you some stress. I might perhaps share with them the article from BYU Magazine here: http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=3306. If you don't feel comfortable doing so, perhaps someone you both know and respect could share it with them.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Jun 2014, 08:32

Remember that people can't understand what they can't understand.

Continue to be charitable to them, even though they "despitefully used you".

You did well.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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On Own Now
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Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by On Own Now » 13 Jun 2014, 09:51

It's a tough one for sure, especially because they are heading out on a mission. Everybody's situation is different, so it's hard to give concrete advice.

There are two 'rules' for how to treat other people in just about every situation where you have disagreements but want to be on good terms. One has to do with logic and the other with love:

- Don't expect to change them. You worry about yourself. Trying to convince someone else to see things your way usually results in frustration. But by concentrating on yourself, you can ensure that you are projecting the best of yourself. When we try to show someone else 'the light', no matter how sincere or logical we think we are, we simply often come across as combative. We want people to accept us the way we are. Yet we often don't accept people the way they are and we try to force our logic on them. I'm not saying you are doing this, because I don't know, but it is an all-too-common trap; I have fallen into it and I would guess that we all do from time to time. Logic, when used this way, is the antithesis of love.

- The golden rule. Seriously. This is so basic that it's easy to dismiss, but it's the most important factor in being accepted, IMO. Take a sincere look in the mirror and ask yourself if they treated you the way you treat them, if you would be satisfied with their love for you and acceptance of you. Then go overboard to treat them, their beliefs, their lifestyle, their hopes, fears, and priorities with the same (or better) acceptance and appreciation as you want them to treat you and yours.

If it were me, and my parents had just entered the MTC for a long missionary venture and we had parted on these terms, I would look into meeting with them face-to-face (I can't imagine that even in the climate-controlled environment of the MTC that you couldn't arrange this with full permission from the MTC leadership), and I would want to tell them that I love them, that I fully support their effort, that I will miss them, will be thinking about them, maybe that I will be praying for their success. If the discussion gets tense, I would just continually fall back on the idea that I just want to make sure that when we say good-bye for this extended period that we do so with love and hope for each other. etc. etc. etc.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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RagDollSallyUT
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Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by RagDollSallyUT » 14 Jun 2014, 12:28

I find it so ironic that we are a church who proclaims a central belief of the family- yet I know more families have been split over this church than any other I have ever heard of. Families are split when non-members join and families are split when someone is less active or if they leave.It seems most members definitely put church over people. I have to applaud the exceptions,
Attacked by Christmas Toys? That's strange. That's the second complaint we've had!-Nightmare Before Christmas
We're gonna need a bigger boat.-Jaws
If we are to be saved in an ark, as Noah and his family were, it will be because we build it.-Brigham Young

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On Own Now
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Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by On Own Now » 14 Jun 2014, 17:31

RagDollSallyUT wrote:It seems most members definitely put church over people.
Just to be fair, I have observed cases where people on their way out of the Church have put anti-Church over family. People are fallible. Fallibility shows up in similar ways on opposite sides of many arguments.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

amateurparent
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Joined: 19 Jan 2014, 20:43

Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by amateurparent » 14 Jun 2014, 19:03

Unconditional love and acceptance will win in the end.

Isn't it interesting that the church teaches about generations following the "Evil traditions of their Fathers" and talks so much about how important it is to find answers for ourselves through God .. Even if the answers are uncomfortable for the family dynamic.

YET .. we are also told not to sway from the teachings we were raised with.

Unfortunately, some of the things I was taught as a child are not truths. They are poor and incorrect traditions. I won't call them evil, but they are not purely good either.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

intothelight
Posts: 48
Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 23:56

Re: Ugly Call From The Folks

Post by intothelight » 14 Jun 2014, 23:33

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts. I guess my initial feeling is to refuse any interaction with them based on the church. Perhaps I need to meet them a bit on their own ground - as much as I hate doing that. The things that hurt like hell I guess are usually the ones you need to do anyways. They've already left the MTC and are on their way.

To be honest, I think they are a bit ashamed of how they lost their composure. But I guess they feel about me about the same way I might feel towards a child who told me tarot card readings and witchcraft were helping them draw close to God. At the end of the day, nothing I can say will ever convince them. But if I can show them you can still be good and well adjusted in ways they also accept as being good without being totally active in the church, then at least I can alleviate some of the torture their minds are feeling right now.

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