How would you answer this question from your teenager?

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SilentDawning
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How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by SilentDawning » 26 Jun 2015, 18:44

So, with the passing of the gay marriage law, my daughter came to me trying to formulate an opinion on same sex attraction and marriage. I am letting her work that out on her own....then she said she's confused about the priesthood ban.

"How could that be such a strong part of our religion for so many years, and then change all of a sudden?"

I bit my tongue and asked for more time. Mostly because my gut feeling is that prophets will come out with things that aren't true, WILL lead the church astray at times, and that our organization is probably more temporal and composed of certain man made inventions that most traditional believers think. But I don't think I can say that.

Thoughts on an answer that might help my daughter work through this one in a way that doesnt' destroy her faith?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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LookingHard
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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by LookingHard » 26 Jun 2015, 19:43

SilentDawning wrote:So, with the passing of the gay marriage law, my daughter came to me trying to formulate an opinion on same sex attraction and marriage. I am letting her work that out on her own....then she said she's confused about the priesthood ban.

"How could that be such a strong part of our religion for so many years, and then change all of a sudden?"

I bit my tongue and asked for more time. Mostly because my gut feeling is that prophets will come out with things that aren't true, WILL lead the church astray at times, and that our organization is probably more temporal and composed of certain man made inventions that most traditional believers think. But I don't think I can say that.

Thoughts on an answer that might help my daughter work through this one in a way that doesnt' destroy her faith?
I am having some of these same conversations with my son that just graduated from school. I don't know I have all the answers.

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Holy Cow
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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by Holy Cow » 26 Jun 2015, 20:28

SD,
Tough spot to be in! I wish you luck with that. This might be a good time to have a conversation about how we are raised in the church being taught various things, and as a child we automatically accept those things. But, as we get older and more mature, we begin to gain the capacity to weight the truth of those things for ourselves. You might explain to your daughter that even you have to spend time finding your own answers to different aspects of the gospel, and that this can be a lifelong pursuit. Now that she's maturing, she can start relying less on the testimony of her parents and leaders, and start building her own foundation. I think kids appreciate when their parents are willing to admit that they don't have all the answers. And, maybe if you both have some of the same questions, you can sit down and look for some of the answers together. It could be a good lesson for her to see how her dad seeks truth and sometimes runs into walls, just as she does. It's good for her to learn young that it's okay to have questions, and that there are not always easy answers. Too many people give their kids the quick, easy 'sunday school' answers, or if an easy answer isn't available they say that it's just something that we'll learn in the next life or that it doesn't matter because it doesn't effect our salvation. I always saw those answers as a cop out. Some answers just take a lot longer to find answers, and those answers might end up being different for different people.
Anyway, I don't know how old your daughter is, or if she would be up to searching for answers along side you. But, good luck with the conversation! :smile:
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amateurparent
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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by amateurparent » 26 Jun 2015, 20:50

SilentDawning:


It's okay to say, "I don't know. I have wondered that myself. What do you think? "

Then listen.

Has she read the LDS.org essays? Maybe ask her to come up with an answer that makes sense to her.

As YOUR child, I know she is capable of higher level thinking.

I've always felt if a child is old enough to ask the question, they are old enough to get a real answer.

My 15 yo was struggling with the D & C in seminary this year. She felt that some of what they were saying just didn't make sense. She came to me with concern. I told her that I have always struggled with parts of the D & C .. And it was okay to feel that way. She was so relieved to have such validation. I could see all the anxiety and stress just leave her body when I told her it was okay to have struggles.
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.

Ann
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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by Ann » 26 Jun 2015, 23:33

LookingHard wrote:
"How could that be such a strong part of our religion for so many years, and then change all of a sudden?"
I agree that turning it back over to her is a great idea.

Another thought is to side-step a little bit and talk about "all of a sudden." As in, was it really that sudden? What had been going on in the world? What was going on in the church? Maybe have her read some articles - I don't know them well enough to cite them - about the long lead-up to the announcement.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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SilentDawning
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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by SilentDawning » 27 Jun 2015, 04:59

Thanks -- I'm going to give her the priesthood ban essay.

She came in to my office last night and with "prepared statement" [as if she was on the news -- as if making an official statement at a press release].

It was basically the church's position, and she said she believes same sex attraction is a form of illness.

I shared my position, which is certainly not the church's, which has an agnostic tone to some of it, but also indicated I wasn't opposed to the national gay marriage law.

I also said I hoped that it could lead to a separation of the temple ceremony from the civil ceremony at some point. [Some of you know the coercion involved in forcing couples to choose between a civil wedding/waiting period and temple ceremony really alienated my non-member family, which is a sore spot for me].

I have a feeling the conversation isn't over yet though, as I don't think her official position has set yet...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Daeruin
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How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by Daeruin » 27 Jun 2015, 07:54

You might warn her against conflating the cause of someone being gay with religious doctrines and beliefs. If God wants or allows someone to be gay, does it really matter whether he does so through genetics, free agency, or some complicated mix of causes? Would the answer force the church to change its doctrine? Basing religious beliefs on some assumed fact that science could potentially disprove is setting yourself up for trouble (think of how the church doesn't teach against evolution to justify belief in parts of Genesis). Besides, it's not the position of the church that ssm is an illness. You could show her mormon sandgays.org.


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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by Old-Timer » 27 Jun 2015, 08:42

I second the suggestion to look at mormonsandgays.org. I don't like or agree with some of what is there, but there also is a lot of good stuff.

After reading that stuff, I personally would point out that the Church's view about homosexuality has changed significantly over time, and that Elder Christofferson said recently that members can disagree about it (including gay marriage) and still have temple recommends. - so even the top leadership is open to learning more about it and being open to continuing revelation (from whatever source it comes). I might add Elder McConkie's statement about the lifting of theriathood ban and how leaders spoke from limited light and understanding.

I would end by telling her that I can recognize their humanity and still accept and sustain them as prophets, seers, revelators and proper leaders of the Church.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by SilentDawning » 27 Jun 2015, 11:12

Daeruin wrote:Y Besides, it's not the position of the church that ssm is an illness.
I wasn't implying that she thinks it's the church's position that it's an illness. She caboosed that on the end of her "statement" -- I don't know where she got that from -- she started researching the internet about it after it hit the web. I don't think she's committed to her position, and I like Ray's answer quite a bit. I will have to check out the site mentioned as well to see if it's a place I would like to send her.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

NonTraditionalMom
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Re: How would you answer this question from your teenager?

Post by NonTraditionalMom » 29 Jun 2015, 13:56

amateurparent wrote:SilentDawning:


It's okay to say, "I don't know. I have wondered that myself. What do you think? "

Then listen.
This. Kids are smart, and sometimes I think they just need a sounding board for their thoughts. Even if your DD has formulated an opinion, I would guess that it's still soft, and the fact that she is coming to you to discuss what she thinks means that she respects your opinions. When I was a teenager, I went to my dad with questions, and he was pretty quick to respond with a firm hand. That experience taught me not to ask questions, and if I did, don't trust them with my dad. How you handle your conversations with her now really will affect her faith in the future-- not what you say as much as how you say it, and how open you are to letting her explore and figure things out on her own.

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