Children feeling persecuted

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Reuben
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Children feeling persecuted

Post by Reuben » 02 Apr 2017, 06:44

A couple of days ago, Daughter 3, who is almost 10, declared that she didn't like a certain depiction of a same-sex relationship in popular media. She said it made her angry. I said I didn't have a problem with it. Daughter 3 was very surprised at my reply. Daughter 2 gave a thumbs up. Son was inscrutable. Daughter 1, who is lesbian/bisexual, had her face in her hands, turned away from the conversation.

I know what's up with Daughter 1: she identifies easily with those in same-sex relationships, so she feels that her sister's anger is partly directed at her. Daughter 2 knows about or suspects Daughter 1's orientation, and at any rate is an independent thinker. Son almost always believes what he's told, and so was likely confused.

I don't think Daughter 3 learned to feel threatened by homosexual relationships from me or my wife. She must have learned it at church. This ward and our last ward are liberal-leaning, so the leaders have gotten on board quickly with the new doctrine on homosexuality handed down from the top. Homosexuality has been mostly taught to be a life-long challenge akin to mental illness, and SSM has been taught to be Satan's counterfeit, a coordinated attack on families.

So I learned that, with Daughter 3, simply not reinforcing harmful teachings won't be enough. Anything that makes her afraid is going to stick. I need to teach how and why they're harmful, and why she doesn't have to be afraid.

I wonder if there's a unifying theory of harmful doctrine. Are they always based in fear? If so, can I watch for them mostly by looking for the word "Satan"?
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Roy
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by Roy » 02 Apr 2017, 08:06

For the most part I try to give my kids options and let them decide what they want to believe.

I suppose that if pressed I might discuss how it must be for gay people in the church to look forward to a lifetime of being alone. How is finding someone to love and be committed to not preferable? And how does that hurt straight people?

I would stay out of the "God said" stuff and stick to the more humanistic "what might that look like?" territory.

They still get to decide what they believe but they should also consider what effects those beliefs might have on others.
"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

ydeve
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by ydeve » 02 Apr 2017, 08:58

Another theme is attacking worth or "worthiness". It's attached to the "fear" theme. LGBTQ people, women's worth being dependent on staying at home, death being preferable to premarital sex, etc.

squarepeg
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by squarepeg » 03 Apr 2017, 17:12

Reuben wrote:
02 Apr 2017, 06:44

I wonder if there's a unifying theory of harmful doctrine. Are they always based in fear? If so, can I watch for them mostly by looking for the word "Satan"?
I was thinking we could answer this question by listing all the harmful doctrines and noting whether they are all based in fear. But I realized that almost ANY doctrine I can think of can be construed as either helpful or harmful, depending on how I think about it. ...except the no-gay-marriage policy, and a couple others, maybe.

But one reason we went inactive a few years ago was because I got burned out of reteaching or "un-teaching" my kids every Sunday after church - you know, trying to undo the things they'd been taught that we felt were damaging or biased in a bad way. But I definitely agree that with at least some kids, it seems we have to actively teach them what we believe when it's different from what the church teaches, or they'll assimilate the church-view.

That is a challenging situation. Thank you for sharing. I think often about how to handle the gaps between my beliefs and the church's teachings, with my kids: how much to tell them now, and how to say it, and what is best left out or left alone until they're older. It's difficult, but it sounds like you're really thoughtful about it, and aware of your kids' differences in temperament and personality, and in how they each internalize what they're taught, so you're probably navigating it beautifully.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by hawkgrrrl » 03 Apr 2017, 17:19

I thought Uchtdorf's talk (the only one I listened to) was directed toward this fear-mongering, and he was right on target from what I heard. I think only listening to Uchtdorf talks is a good strategy.

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dande48
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by dande48 » 03 Apr 2017, 20:19

“If we have the truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.” -J Reuben Clark

I don't have much experience with dealing with children. But here are a few things I wish I was taught:

1. I have been, am, and will continue to be wrong about many things. So have my parents, my teachers, my mentors, and my friends. We often have wrong/incomplete information, or learn from those with wrong/incomplete information themselves. It's to be expected.

2.There is no virtue in holding steadfast to a belief, just because you believe in it. When new or better information presents itself, we should take it into account and adjust accordingly. It is all right to change your mind. Sometimes, it is even courageous.

Teach them the story of Captain Moroni and Pahoran, from Alma 60. Captain Moroni was fighting a war to protect his people from slavery to the Lamenites. He was told by Pahoran, their "President", that he would send Moroni's armies regular shipments of food and supllies. For many days, food did not come. The people were starving. Moroni wrote a very angry letter. He said that Pahoran had betrayed him and his people. He accused Pahoran of breaking his promise. Moroni said that God told him that if Pahoran did not send food, he should march into the Captial with his armies and dethrone them.

Turns out, Moroni had it all wrong. Pahoran was kicked out of his position, and was in hiding. Wicked men prevented Pahoran from sending the food Moroni needed. Pahoran understood that Moroni was angry because he did not understand the full situation. They mended their friendship, and worked together to get the Nephite armies the food they really needed.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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nibbler
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by nibbler » 04 Apr 2017, 04:30

Reuben wrote:
02 Apr 2017, 06:44
I wonder if there's a unifying theory of harmful doctrine. Are they always based in fear? If so, can I watch for them mostly by looking for the word "Satan"?
Fear of death. Fear of injustice. Fear of uncertainty. Why it's enough to cause someone to start a religion. ;)

I wouldn't use the term harmful but doctrines that focus inward, the one's that are more centered on the state of our own soul, may not be as freeing as the doctrines that are more centered on the state of other people's well being... and not the do-gooder type of outward focus, simple lift another outward focus.

Which kingdom will I inherit after I die? vs. charity, what kingdom can I provide someone right now?

The wicked will burn at his coming vs. can I forgive someone and move on.
Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
― Jesus

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Heber13
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by Heber13 » 04 Apr 2017, 11:48

The 3 year old will learn in time, as you're setting a great example of love.

How did you talk to Daughter 1 afterwards? I would be concerned with what is going on in her mind, and how she will learn to respond to others in society.
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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Reuben
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Re: Children feeling persecuted

Post by Reuben » 04 Apr 2017, 17:57

Heber13 wrote:
04 Apr 2017, 11:48
How did you talk to Daughter 1 afterwards? I would be concerned with what is going on in her mind, and how she will learn to respond to others in society.
I didn't, but that's a really good idea.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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