Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

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Roy
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by Roy » 26 Apr 2017, 16:13

nibbler wrote:
26 Apr 2017, 12:23
If you loved me you'd wear that white shirt. ;)
Bishops should use discretion when giving such guidance to young men, taking into account their financial circumstances and maturity in the Church.
I agree that we should be careful with people who might be new converts or poor and therefore might not own or be able to afford white shirts. However the way this is worded it seems to me that those are the two exceptions. If you are new or cannot afford a white shirt you might get a pass for a while. Maybe someone can lovingly donate you one and then you can be in compliance.

and a white shirt could be seen as a gentle reminder of the white clothing you wore in the baptismal font and an anticipation of the white shirt you will soon wear into the temple and onto your missions.....As President David O. McKay taught, a white shirt contributes to the sacredness of the holy sacrament.
When, where, and why did the policy come about for white clothes in baptism, in the temple, and on missions? So many times in the church I think that we are creating justifications for the way things are. I see this also with scriptures. We search the scriptures for verses to justify, bolster, and defend what we already do in the church. Sometimes, we take the words out of context or even twist their meaning to make our point.

P.S. I believe that Catholics can also feel that performing mass in Latin contributes to the sacredness. To me it seems to be code for "that is the way it is done and we like it that way."
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

squarepeg
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by squarepeg » 28 Apr 2017, 13:18

Thanks for posting this. I have an 11-year-old son and we have reactivated ourselves within the last few months. He expressed last week that when he turns 12 he would like to be in the ward choir, or be a deacon, but not both. 😁 He asked if 12-year-olds HAD to pass the Sacrament. I told him that if he did decide to pass it, it would give another person a break that week, but that he didn't ever have to. Then he asked why his sister wasn't passing the Sacrament since she is 12. 😅 I love his fresh perspective on things and his confusion at all of the cultural traditions that don't make sense. I think I'll wait a while before telling him the white shirt and tie is recommended to pass the Sacrament!!

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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by Joni » 28 May 2017, 06:09

Update: Today is the first Sunday that DS will pass the sacrament. He asked his dad to help him by actually walking alongside him, meaning that DH would not be carrying a sacrament tray himself. (There is precedent in our ward. A young man with special needs was assisted by his dad not only the first time, but EVERY time he passed the sacrament. I never heard any ward members complain.) DH flat out refused. His actual words were, "He doesn't need that."

Needless to say, I am furious. (The fact that my husband, because he holds the priesthood, gets to override me doesn't help.) What kind of lesson are we teaching our son? That the appearance of passing the sacrament a certain way is the only thing that matters?

At my son 's last case conference at school, his teachers and I spent a lot of time talking about how to get DS to advocate for himself. (He is on the autism spectrum, as I've mentioned, and he is very aware that he is 'different' and smart as a whip besides.) How am I going to teach him how to speak up for what he needs when my husband, because he holds the priesthood, can *instantly* dismiss that request? And how do I convince my son that passing the sacrament is really something he wants to do when DH insists on being so inflexible about it?

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Reuben
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by Reuben » 28 May 2017, 08:06

If I said something like that, it would be because I was ashamed of having to help.

Men are terrific at shaming each other into being manly. Part of being manly is doing things on your own. Another part is raising your boys to be manly. It's possible that the very request makes your husband feel like he's not measuring up - that he's worth less as a human being.

Providing for your family is also required to be manly. His self-worth has probably already taken multiple hits from losing his job repeatedly. Not that he would put it in those terms, because being stoic in the face of defeat is also required to be manly.

Also, you offering to walk with DS instead probably won't fly with him, because letting someone else do your job isn't manly.

These are all just guesses, though, and worth every penny you paid for them.

Hopefully, someone more clever than I am can come up with a solution.
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Reuben
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by Reuben » 28 May 2017, 08:26

A couple more things, if my guesses are right.

Overriding you in particular would be less about priesthood than about exerting control. It's true outside of the Church as well as inside that leading women is manly. I can't pretend that the Church's hierarchical structure doesn't encourage this, but I also can't blame the Church for doing anything more than giving undue momentum to the culture it hails from.

You do have one thing working strongly in your favor: most men derive quite a lot of self-worth from what the women in their lives think of them. You probably wield a ridiculous amount of influence over DH's. I'm not suggesting threats, but building up. My wife does this: she tells me she thinks I'm great and waits for me to come to my senses on my own. It usually works.

Again, this is if my guesses are right.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by DarkJedi » 28 May 2017, 13:09

In our ward there wouldn't have been an issue because we have a tradition that the father (or a father figure in some cases) passes with the boy the first time he passes and blesses with the boy the first time he blesses. I always thought it was nice. FWIW, we also have a special needs guy in our ward who has a "helper" that doesn't actually pass, but just walks with him and helps him know where to go. I know that doesn't help you, but it is done differently in different places. I think of the 8 units in our stake there are 8 different routines for how the sacrament is passed, and none of the smaller units (including my own ward) can do the sacrament without adults participating - and one of the bigger wards can't.

I'm trying to be as nice about this as I can be. Your husband holding the priesthood doesn't give him the right to override you, it's a different issue (and perhaps a misunderstanding of the priesthood is on his part, your part, and the parts of others). That is NOT what the priesthood is or what it's about.

Passing the sacrament (like many other tings in life) is either something your son wants to do or doesn't want to do. After doing it he may decide he likes it or doesn't mind. Or he may decide he hates it and never wants to do it again - but he might do it anyway to please his parents, bishop, YMP, or peers. He might do it because he believes or thinks he supposed to. Whatever the outcome, your attempt at convincing either way will probably have little to no effect. A man (or boy or woman) convinced against his (or her) will is of the same opinion still.
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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Roy
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by Roy » 28 May 2017, 14:21

I believe that there is great wisdom in what Reuben is saying. It reminds me of the book "Love and Respect". Essentially it goes that women (predominantly) need love and that men (predominantly) need respect. If most men had to choose between being loved and respected they would choose the respect. For me the reasoning goes that to be loved but disrespected is to be patronized. "We love you even if you are incompetent."

Therefore, by feeding his need for respect your husband may respond more in the ways that you are looking for.

The book had lots of ideas. One was a "respect note" (as opposed to a love note). Try saying and writing "I admire your ability to...." or "I respect your desire to..."

It is not a quick fix manipulative tool but if used consistently over time it might just improve the marriage dynamic.

FYI, I too am only guessing based on limited information. If this advice does not seem to fit your situation you may discard it without hurting my feelings.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 May 2017, 21:54

My guess is similar to Reuben's. Given what you have shared about him, your husband probably has taken a huge hit to his pride / self-esteem / confidence / etc., and he probably would feel humiliated by walking with your son. It isn't healthy, but it is natural and quite common, unfortunately.

I am sorry you and your son are in this position, and I have no advice that will fix anything instantly. The advice so far is excellent. God bless you as you try to work through this.
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.

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On Own Now
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by On Own Now » 30 May 2017, 08:49

Men are terrific at shaming each other into being manly. Part of being manly is doing things on your own. Another part is raising your boys to be manly...Providing for your family is also required to be manly...being stoic in the face of defeat is also required to be manly.
...letting someone else do your job isn't manly...It's true outside of the Church as well as inside that leading women is manly...most men derive quite a lot of self-worth from what the women in their lives think of them.
If I could just interject here a little bit. We have to be careful about sweeping stereotypes and about making assumptions based on stereotypes. I can pretty much guarantee you that if I wrote a similarly constructed set of statements based on stereotypes about women, hawkgrrrl would swoop in and rip my throat out; scattering my entrails in the yard.

I don't agree that men are shamed into being "manly". There may be a component of it that shows up more for some than others, but it's not accurate to my experience. I remember an event from my youth where I got hurt playing sports. No one shamed me into being OK with it, but I felt my self-confidence ratchet up as I was able to "walk it off" and realized I could take that level of pain and still be OK.

I know that in today's world it's "better" to be a generic person with no traits that set one apart; that the ideal man is one who is in touch with his feeling and willing to show vulnerability, rescues kittens, and sips hot cocoa while reading books, but I'm not sure that there isn't still a societal value in people who are "manly" as much of a dirty word as that is now.

In other words, we can't assume all men are the same, and when a man is conformed to some degree to a stereotype, I think we shouldn't automatically assume that they are somehow less-than.
"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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Heber13
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Re: Son doesn't want to pass the sacrament

Post by Heber13 » 30 May 2017, 11:54

What do you think your bishop would say if you asked to shadow your son to help him? I mean...you don't need the priesthood to stand next to your son while he passes.

Unless that is just way to awkward and your son doesn't want that. Just an idea...and if the bishop understood why...you could try it.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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