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Ask Angela: It's unfair that I'm forced to go to church

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  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:44 a.m.

    Like to agree with so many, that the information we have about this is insufficient.

    But since this is a common question and situation, my opinion could go like this :

    We cannot encourage her for anything, since we ought not to interfere with her parents,
    if she is not beaten to church.
    She is young enough to learn and change, but most likely tired of the think tank demand.
    The parents need advice, and I would tell them to let her experience Sundays in a switch between one day do as she likes another as the rules say. That way she would have more feelings to compare things with. The parents have lost control of their own comprehendo of life in general. If they had understood the gospel, her daughter would act out on other terms.
    Seek to understand Lehi when he said : "...for behold, I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go ye will not depart from it"

    If they depart, most likely we done something wrong.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    People make their minds up about "truth" based on the information that they are given and many MANY times, NOT given.
    Markie, I hear you. So many people have been in your position. It takes a great deal of strength to be able to challenge your beliefs and admit that you got it wrong.
    Those who will criticize you for leaving would likely not even consider putting their beliefs to scrutiny. To the contrary, they believe the best way to maintain a testimony is to not.

    “I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth - and truth rewarded me.”
    Simone de Beauvoir

  • Dan Bishop Lehi, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    Children under the age of 16 don't have a clue about life, let alone about sex, religion or money. Most of the current generation are spoiled beyond words and are increasingly more immature. In fact the only ones I have noticed that seem to have any sense are the kids who appreciate and respect their parents, unless the parents are alcoholics or worse.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Aug. 18, 2013 9:23 p.m.

    Markie23 -- interesting statement. Perhaps you are by putting asterisks around the word *knew* discounting your earlier convictions. But clearly you must not have "known." This does always present a challenge which I try to address with patience, tolerance and acceptance those who sincerely cannot get that assurance or who choose to publicly deny it. But the fact is that I do actually know. That won't change. Ever.

    Do feel people should not say they know when they just believe. It's okay to believe or only want to believe; just say so. Reserving sure knowledge for just that.

  • Markie23 Springville, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    I made my kids go to church because I *knew* it was true. Then I discovered it wasn't. Sorry kids!

  • redpointgirl Provo, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 11:44 p.m.

    I wonder if maybe your reluctance to attend church might be related to not feeling welcome there - because as some people have said, it's not just a spiritual environment, it's also a social environment. I know when I was sixteen and didn't have any friends at church and on top of that wasn't really sure if I believed what was being said that church was hard to go to.

    All I can say is, even if you decide you don't believe in the gospel, attending church because you have to will still teach you valuable things, like how to get along with people you don't like or don't agree with. It can teach you how to express your opinion in a public setting, how to ask good questions, and how to avoid arguments. Even disregarding the important spiritual things I have learned in church, those things can mean a lot to you in the next few years, even if it's hard.

    Good luck!

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    I'm not really sure how to explain, in a way that will be acceptable to the moderators, why it's not only INAPPROPRIATE to suggest that a girl who doesn't want to attend church probably has "chastity issues", but that it's also just so cliche.
    When I left, it was not due to chastity issues. I do not regret it. I shall never want to return. It was a fabulous decision.
    At some point you are going to have to stop painting each and every person who has a different philosophical way of thinking as lazy, apathetic, or sinful. Sixteen is young, but old enough to start developing political, social, and philosophical beliefs that would preclude a person from wanting to be a member of a particular group. For the sake of brevity, I will not go into each and every possible reason right now. I'm sure those who have been taught that apostasy is always the result of some sort of "sin" would learn nothing anyway.

    Amy, hang in there. Follow the house rules as long as you are forced to. Start making a plan for when you turn 18. Meet new people. Live your life.

  • Quagthistle Hays, KS
    Aug. 10, 2013 3:35 a.m.

    The problem is that forcing a 16-year-old to attend church will almost certainly drive her further from it. The moment she's no longer forced to attend, she's much more likely to never set foot in a church again. There's a good reason Satan's plan of compultion was rejected in favor of the Father's plan of free agency, with it's natural consequences to choices both good and bad. I'm sure the parents are doing it out of concern for her eternal welfare, but forcing someone to attend church against their will has never had a positive effect on anyone I've ever met who went through it. That said, a parent can set the rules. They may be ill-advised rules that put their children in further spiritual jeopardy, but those rules are their choice, and they will be held accountable for them, for better or worse. Sadly, there's little she can do except try to stay positive, as hard as that is to do when being compelled to attend a faith she does not embrace, a violation of the sacred right outlined in AoF 11.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Aug. 8, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    I like Angela's advice. I would also suggest doing a personal inventory toascertain whether the desire to stop attending meetings came from a wish to separate herself from her parents or lack of belief in this particular faith. If it is the latter, she is still required, as a daughter, to go, but she might still follow Angela's advice. She also might do some reading on her own, find things she does believe. I can think of nothing sadder than someone who, when times are dark, and no one seems to be there, has nowhere to turn--or, conversely, when times are bright, and there is no one who can truly comprehend one's joy, has no one to share it with. This is when people want faith in a Higher Power...Amy will want that someday, and certainly it is that, more than anything, that her parents want for her. At least, that is what I, a parent myself, want to believe.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Angie - when I was your age I loved Young Women's. I wasn't thrilled about high school because I was not popular, I was tall, skinny, quiet and active in the Church. Instead of staying close to Heavenly Father I chose to go the other way...I pray you won't make that mistake. My choice altered everything good I had had up to that time. I was sexually abused, misused and forgot all about what I truly believed was true. Satan is very real and just waits for us to become bored, angry or sad and he steps right in and takes control. I pray you will get down on your knees and ask your Heavenly Father for help...He is always there - we just have to ask. You can do this - I know you can.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:35 p.m.

    LDS parents (myself included) assume that their kids will continue the family tradition of active church participation as they graduate from high school but the pressures and confusion of the world today are much greater than ever before and I think our kids may surprise us when they reach the age of self accountability of 18. When your kids get to choose for the first time for themselves some feel the need to experience the world in spite of anything you can say or do as parents. When you see parents with pre-mature grey hair understand where much of that comes from....

  • lmc West Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 6, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    I am again amazed at the wisdom of this young woman. Her advise is something I only learned through raising several children and watching them raise their children. Looking for the positive will make any situation easier to bear.

    "When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will find it." From Pollyanna, 1913 Eleanor Porter's classic novel. To which I would add "and you will be miserable in the discovery." Sadly, "misery loves company" so those who seek & find the negative become obsessed with pointing out their negative findings to others (especially those "Pollyanna types who just don't seem capable of seeing the negative). I've tried the negative approach. Its no fun. I've also been accused (at times) of being a "Polyanna". Its a lot more fun.

  • soulsister houston, 00
    Aug. 6, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Brahmabull thank you for changing up what i said. Do you work for the media?

  • william e. kettley SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 6, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    I put it in the category of my mother insisting that I take piano lessons, didn't like it at the time, but glad it happened, and I've improved my life through her insistence in a worthy endeavor for her son. William E. Kettley

  • EW HENRIETTA, NY
    Aug. 6, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    One other thing to add to the discussion: there are three related yet distinct entities involved whenever we talk about Mormonism: the gospel, the Church, and the culture.

    The gospel embodies all eternal truth and love as taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ. The Church teaches the gospel, but as it is administered by imperfect mortals rather than divine beings of course people make mistakes. This is an opportunity for the people nearby to practice the gospel by loving and forgiving. Third is Mormon culture. Sadly there isn't always much correlation between the culture and the gospel or the Church because it is a byproduct of lots of Mormons who live and work in close proximity and it is most pronounced in areas with high LDS populations (I've lived in all sorts of concentrations and regions and attended internationally). The culture is to blame for most of the negative stereotypes about Mormons, like being exclusive, judgemental, "blindly following," etc.

    In short, just because the culture is flawed and Church isn't perfect does not mean the gospel of Jesus Christ is flawed.

  • EW HENRIETTA, NY
    Aug. 6, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Great article, Angela.

    One thing to add to the discussion in the comment section: sure, many 8 year olds don't really understand what they're committing to at baptism in the LDS Church. However, some conscientious and wise parents carefully prepare their children for this decision, or action, if you prefer. And some learn from teachers without parental support. I once knew an 8 year old whose nonmember father would not allow her to be baptized, which broke her heart because she already had a testimony and wanted to make promises with God. He later gave in, and she was baptized. I know other similar situations as well, including an 8 year old who was baptized as the only active member in her nuclear family (divorced parents). She continued to attend church, getting rides with a different family.

    So yes, culturally not all 8 year olds are prepared to be baptized; but no, just because not all 8 year olds are properly prepared doesn't mean that it is impossible for a child that age to be prepared.

  • Kit2350 Honeyville, UT
    Aug. 6, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    Your parents can only tell you what to *do* they cannot tell you what to *believe.*
    Parents make rules for their children, children who do not want to participate in those rules have to grow up and move out and take responsibility for their own lives. That includes things like curfews, language, how to dress, and yes, even going to church. When she's 18, she can get a job, move out, and do whatever she wants.
    Rules are what responsible parents do. When you have children of your own, you can make whatever rules for them that you want.

  • kenj SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    We have 5 children all but one left the church. It took me 15 years of prayer and study to learn that it is ok. We are all sinners therefore we are all prodigals. Like the prodigal son who left and returned, if we are faithful to our temple covenants are children who have left will return. If you want some comforting statements regarding this doctrine look up the quotes by the prophets in the 2002 sept. issue of the Ensign.

  • lollyclk Bloomfield, NM
    Aug. 5, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    I notice that in your letter you say that your parents are requiring you to participate in a social activity - going to church. Are they forcing you to say personal prayers (family prayers don't count because regardless of your religious non/belief you can send good vibes to your loved ones and leave out things you don't agree with)? Are you required to teach classes? Do you have to get up and bear your testimony? If the answer to these questions is no - then I'm afraid you don't have a leg to stand on. Your parents are placing you in a social situation that you find uncomfortable. That's hard, but it's also life. You will be in uncomfortable situations later on, and hopefully you can use this experience to learn how to deal with things you don't like while being polite and kind. That's what being part of a society means. We are polite to others whether we like them or their actions or not. Ask yourself what specific doctrines or practices you disagree with and then talk to your leaders, parents, or the missionaries about them.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Aug. 5, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    When I go to church meetings with even the tiniest bit of a good attitude I always leave the meeting happier and more optimistic about my life than when I came. ALWAYS!

    The times I go with a bad attitude (which has, in fact, happened a few times) I leave no better than when I entered the building.

    Yes, attitude really does matter in this situation.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Aug. 5, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    Yeah...

    Please don't take me anywhere....

    - where I am taught that I have eternal, intrinsic worth
    - where I am taught who my Creator is
    - where I am taught, in words, songs and whisperings to my heart, to love others
    - where I am encouraged to speak one-on-one to my Maker
    - where I am encouraged to set goals
    - where I learn about self-discipline
    - where I learn about the need to forgive others
    - where I learn about the need to forgive myself
    - where I am taught about the value of family
    - where I am taught about the value of good friends
    - where I am encouraged to seek after anything and everything that is good and valuable

    Yeah, please don't take me anywhere where I would learn those things.

    (sarcasm "Off")

    This young woman has a lot to learn. She'll learn it but she'll learn it much, muuuuch more slowly outside of the Church.

    I've told all 4 of my kids they can leave the Church if they want when they're out of my home but they're not taking me with them. Period.

  • Harrison Lapahie Shiprock, NM
    Aug. 5, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    Don't force them, give the child an option, but tell them the benefits of going to church and that they will be blessed. If they don't, that is their choice.

    This is just my personal experience. I know of a Bishop, who forced his son to go to church, and then go on a mission. Now his son is at BYU. He never gave his son an option. His son is doing OK at BYU. I also know of other Mormon parents who forced their children to go to church and also on a mission. These parents did it because they love their children, and want them to go the straight way.

    I give my daughter the option, but so far, she has always said "Yes" even when she was tired the previous night. I had always loved going to church when I was a teenager but not when I was a youngster. But I had no option, I had to go to church with my parents, because we were a family. When I was a teenager, I use to love running back home from church to continue doing my homework.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 5, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    @joe5 – “Your attitude is the problem today. People don't believe in real truth; they only believe in relative truth… your allegiance to intellect… is a woefully insufficient standard for eternal understanding.”

    It’s a fair point and certainly there is a great deal of moral relativism in the world today, and young people can be especially susceptible to latching onto “truths” that are little more than selfish and destructive desires.

    But let’s not make the mistake of thinking religion has a monopoly on either objective truth or moral behavior. It certainly works for many people but the fact that people can be moral across a variety of religious traditions (that make many incompatible truth claims) or even no religion at all, belies your characterization.

    And despite belief in the contrary, the Bible contains a fair amount of moral relativism so this is not just a problem for the secular.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Aug. 5, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    MajMarine makes a really good point -- and his examples are more than convenient. Really apples to apples. And Ben Franklin thanks for pointing out the blog. Reading that exchange sheds greater depth and understanding of both Amy and with Angela's answer. Which ties well to Mimifrans suggestion of meeting with the missionaries or, as discussed with Angela, learning about other churches. Hopefully Amy will read Geoman's comments here; some great insight.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Aug. 5, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Think dung beetle makes an excellent point. There is huge gap in this letter as to how well the parents know their daughter. Is this a rash decision? Is this a deep, thoughtful child or impulsive? Leader/self assured or follower/low self esteem? Think Angela's advice to her is spot on. It is just two years. Find the positives of which living at home is usually a pretty secure, cushy deal for a 16 year old teenage girl. Negotiate parameters and compromise. Make it work. Relish the time with family versus throwing it aside. To repeat, it is just two years and life after 18 is full of opportunities.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Aug. 5, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    Brahmabull for the record, even if it was just us that would disqualify the idea that NO 8 year-old chooses to get baptized. Our four children all made that choice -- one even waited till being nearly nine -- because we insisted that they be able to do so. I do believe in God and He said that 8 year children are old enough to make this decision. In fact I played devils advocate and basically tried to both talk them out of it and to really think about/delay such a big decision. Our oldest was fortunate to be able to literally pray about his decision while kneeling in prayer in the Sacred Grove near Palmyra. He knew exactly what he was doing. Two my daughters do not attend church; one (29) has a fair amount of antagonism about the church. But she is aware that she can have her name removed. But she openly has told us she made the decision and never felt forced.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    @Brahmabull - the imperfection of the people, and their lifetime of striving, is part of the perfect gospel. It's not a copout line. It is the plan.

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    As a parent it is difficult to see your children not seek after and grasp hold of the promptings of the Holy Ghost. We make rules that in and of themselves will not bring a person to Christ, but are methods and means to helping our children receive their own spiritual guidance. That is what makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ so great, that no matter what I say, or do as a parent. It is the Holy Ghost that does the instruction. It is the Holy Ghost that testifies of Jesus Christ, His prophets, His Scriptures, His priesthood, and His commandments.

    To not seek after that spiritual guidance and obtain your own witness of eternal truths is to not follow God and our Savior.

    So yes as a parent I get to make many decisions for my children, as parents have done in all generations of time. I get to teach, instruct, and guide. But I am most grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost because at some point, it will become their quest for the truth and not just mine.

  • soulsister houston, 00
    Aug. 5, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    I too growing up did not want to be a Mormon...most of my friends growing up were not LDS so i wanted to do what my friends were doing...and the "friends" that were LDS did not want to be my friend (which confused me) My parents always taught me that the gospel is perfect not the PEOPLE..I did become inactive for a few years while i did what i thought i needed to do..I am now back in the church with 3 children of my own who happen to be teenagers, they too do not want to go church. They are teenagers and i understand where they are coming from...i will be patient and keep on praying! :) it is sad for me to hear that people leave the church because they were offended by someone or something.keep on going my friends it will be worth it in the end. This young lady needs to find out for herself what is best for her and she will.

  • Charles.Reese FULTON, MO
    Aug. 5, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    The first question that I would propose to this young individual would be, why don't you want to be a member of the LDS faith anymore?

    Second, do you have a testimony of The Book of Mormon? If not, why?

    Unfortunately forcing anyone to do something they don't want to can have serious repercussions later in life. Granted her parents have their rules and that is the way it needs to be. I agree that when this individual turns 18 she can do whatever she wants with her life. I can understand how she feels as my parents were converts of the church when I was really young. And later in my teenage life I did not want to be affiliated with the church any longer. There were many reasons for my choice, but it came down to not understanding who I was or my purpose in this life. I had no testimony of the restored gospel, no belief in God or His Son.

    I wanted nothing to do with the Saints at that time. Being in the Lord's church can be difficult at times. But things have changed since that time as I know who I am.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Aug. 5, 2013 6:40 a.m.

    My father-in-law realized at 16 that he really wasn't sure what he believed about the LDS church. He decided he needed to find out for himself, so he read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, praying about it as Moroni 10:3-5 says. No one was pressing him to do this. He did it on his own, despite what he later realized was dyslexia.

    He came away with a testimony that prompted a lifetime of service to others in the most selfless example I've ever personally witnessed.

    I'd recommend the young lady do the same, find out by reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Maybe she's already done this, the article doesn't say.

    Her parents definitely have the right to require she attend church until she's 18. As she says, they can't force her to believe anything, but they can require her to follow house rules, like attending church.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 2:22 a.m.

    @JoeBlow She may be 16 years old and capable of making her own decision regarding religion, but she should still attend church with her family even if to do it simply because it is a family activity. The same would apply if she was raised in a different religion and wanted to attend LDS meetings. Besides, it is just two more years. Better to keep the peace and just stick it out for the sake of harmony.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Aug. 5, 2013 12:00 a.m.

    Amy should know that, unfortunately, there are many adults who feel forced to attend church. Forced by their elderly parents, forced by a spouse, forced to attend for fear of their job or that their business will lose customers. There are sadly many people who attend only because they feel forced to do so.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 11:33 p.m.

    In the mid-90's BYU did a study designed to isolate behaviors that would save a child from engaging in deviant behavior. They fully expected church attendance to be important. But their study indicated there was no correlation. They hated the outcome so much that they expanded the size of the study dramatically. Second time around: Same conclusion.

    Church attendance was not a statistically important indicator of a child's likelihood to engage in deviant behavior.

    The authors of the study didn't like the outcome, but they did find a bit of truth. Here it is: Public behaviors (like church attendance, family prayer, family fasts) are not useful indicators of probable deviant behavior. However, PRIVATE behaviors (personal scripture study, personal fasting, personal prayer) absolutely correspond.

    Parents care about kids acting in a gospel centered way, they should focus more on helping a teen engage in private behaviors and less on public behaviors.

    This does not mean church, family scripture study and so forth are unimportant. But they take a back seat to public behaviors, especially FORCED public behavior.

    Each family is different, but I suggest the parents fast and pray about it and re-think forcing the issue.

  • Kaotic USA, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 10:44 p.m.

    I forced my oldest daughter who wasn't Mormon to attend Seminary @ 5:30 every morning in Las Vegas because I thought she would gain a testimony of the church and gain more discipline also. Although she had the discipline that made her a wonderful student, she did not gain a testimony of the church and was never baptized into Mormonism. As I reflect back, I now realize that she was a disciplined student because of how her mom and I raised her before high school, not because she had to get up that early before any of her friends to attend Seminary and then go to school. I now regret forcing her to go to Seminary because she despises the Mormon Faith and the four years of Seminary wasn't a factor in what type of woman she turned out to be. Later my wife and I adopted 4 other kids and left it up to them whether or not to join the church. Three did and 1 didn't. Don't force your kids to keep up with Joneses.

  • Bill Fitz LAKE BLUFF, IL
    Aug. 4, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    The rule is, As long as you are in this family living in our house we go to church as a family. Simple

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, Texas
    Aug. 4, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    To the whiny girl: Do as you're told. As long as you live in your parents' house, they make the rules, and you are to follow them.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    Dennis: You're wrong. The very word religion comes from the same root as the word ligament. Just as a ligament is designed to bind muscle to bone, so religion is designed to bind man to God. It is not always effective but that is its purpose.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    All children are different. We teach them all the same things and have several different outcomes. We had a child leave home when they were 17 years old. This person is now almost 25..This person has had almost eight very very hard years.Now perhaps a start to be headed in the right direction.I did not state the gender because it applies to all. Hopefully LOVE is the answer and wil be the problem solution. I have seen it happen many times..

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Aug. 4, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    There is nothing important about "going to Church". It only represents the "Culture" of Mormonism not the Doctrine. If you learn one thing from Joseph Smith about parenting it's this, "Teach them correct principles and they will govern themselves". He didn't say "force" them correct principles. Parents can be such idiots sometime. I'm 61 years old, I only went to Church because of the culture and friendships, never because of fear, guilt and doctrine.

  • wehage65 BURKE, VA
    Aug. 4, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    It sounded to me like the parents aren't trying to force belief, but rather attendance, although certainly that's what they hope comes of it. Is 3 hours of family unity on Sunday too much to ask of a child? There are a lot worse things they could be forcing on an unwilling child, surely we can agree on that? And this isn't an LDS perspective only, I grew up in the Bible belt, church was expected, no arguments allowed, in families of all faiths. I believe it's the things we didn't do in life we regret the most. I think looking back, pleasing her parents in this way will be one of the things she does not regret regardless of her religious beliefs.

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    Okay, so I'm going to critique my own earlier comment: "Most of the responses given here are simplistic answers to a complex question." After re-reading the posts of others, I find there are many excellent points scattered throughout that cover some of the issues where Amy and her parents need to come to terms.
    They would do well to sit down, make a list of possible areas that may be bothering Amy (the article, blog, and these comments could help compile the list), throw out the ones that may be irrelevant or speculative in her case, and plan together a course of action that reduces the tension between them. That, I believe, may reduce or eliminate the feelings of "force" that Amy has. Among other possibilities, she may be struggling to find her way out of what's left of childhood into full blown acceptance as an adult.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    Angela,

    One point I might add - but it is to the parents vs. the child. As many on this board have pointed out, the world changes entirely when she turns 18. They need to prepare and look toward that day. For them, perhaps the point to focus on is not strictly church attendance but to work toward the development of a testimony.

    I know - far easier said than done. But I still think that is the key. Other than the basics, the exact "how" is something that requires seeking and strictly following the Holy Ghost.

    The other thing is for them to let her know that she is always loved. No matter what. And to look to find ways to keep the relationship strong (despite the bumps). Should she choose a hard path, having that relationship still open will be key. Should she not, then it will just a source of greater joy to both her and the parents.

    Finally, I might suggest reading James Faust's excellent talk titled Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    Part 2 of 2

    All of us are at various stages in our journey through life and each experiences different things. Some things come in time, while others have experienced some things while they're young.

    Some may have experiences that they can say they "know." Like the Prophet Joseph Smith seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ. While others not having had these experiences trust what the other has said is true, so they "believe" what was said.

    Others, though they have not seen God the Father or Jesus Christ, they have had their own experiences in answer to prayer that thought they have not seen they, too can say they "know."

    Might not be the best analogy, but to me it's kind of like being a blind person. Though the blind person might not be able to see a person standing in front of them, using their other senses they still know someone is there. To recognize spiritual things, we need to learn how to use our spiritual sense.

    Hope this helps.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    Part 1 of 2

    Reading more into the blog, I can relate to feeling uncomfortable when folks get super emotional sharing their testimony. It doesn't really have to be testimony meeting where folks get all weepy, though. It can be movies or what have you, leaving me wondering what is wrong with me because I'm not. But have I had prayers answered? Sufficient for me to accept they have been. So then when I share my testimony, is it ok for me to then say I "know" prayers are answered?

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    I have known a few people who wanted very much to join the LDS church, but their parents would not let them be baptized until they turned 18. I suspect Amy's parents as well as the parents of my friends all have had the best interest of their children in mind and are doing their best to teach and raise them according to the knowledge and understanding each has of things. Then it's up up to each of of to find out for ourselves what we really want and what we will believe.

    Parents aren't perfect, but they care about you more than anyone else. Being a teenager, living at home with a simple request to continue going to church isn't so bad. Time will come soon enough and you're grown. Enjoy your folks while you still got them. You'll miss them when they're gone.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Aug. 3, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    Is there more to this than what is in this letter, or in the excerpt Angela quoted?

    Saying she doesn't want to be LDS anymore is only half the story. Does she have any alternative in mind, for example another church she might be interested in (perhaps, the church of a boy she is interested in)? Or is she rebelling because she wants to sleep in on Sundays, wear revealing clothing, ditch Seminary, or drink frapuccinos?

    Toddlers, immature children, and brats of all ages say "I don't wanna" and "I'm not gonna." At 16, she is old enough to stop the babytalk and have some positive alternatives. If my teenager were seriously interested in exploring another spiritual path, I might be inclined to allow it. But if this is just rebellion for its own sake, there ought to be a price. For instance, since you no longer believe and Church teachings mean nothing to you, you can make yourself useful on Sundays and have every dish clean and stored, every floor vacuumed or swept, the garbage emptied, every pet fed and walked, and dinner ready when the rest of us get home from worshipping God.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Aug. 3, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    I'd like to thank the poster that pointed out that there was more to be found on Angela's blog. It is a very interesting exchange.
    Amy,
    I just want you to know that it is very common for people in the church to use the words "know" and "believe" interchangeably. Sometimes it is innocent enough, but in this case it has caused you some angst. In the Doctrine and Covenants is tells us that to some it is given to "know" and to others it is given to "believe" (I'll leave you to look up the whole scripture). Both of these spiritual gifts are mentioned in a context that allows that perhaps someone might have neither of these two "gifts." Personally, I think that for many this means that we have to work hard and consistently at nurturing a testimony. I think you have convinced yourself that you are more different, and alone, than you really are. We humans are really good at this, especially in our teens. I recommend Elder Holland's recent talk "Lord I believe, help though mine unbelief."
    Most of all, be glad that your parents give a hoot. Many others do too.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 3, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    ...so if this 16 year old wants to date a 25 year old or wants to become a prostitute living on the street...to follow the logic of some on this board, the parents should step aside and let her decide for herself. What’s the difference between the parents stepping in and stop her from ruining her life and making her go to church until she is old enough to make her own decision?

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    Most of the responses given here are simplistic answers to a complex question. The issues of faith, agency, choice and accountability, hope, dealing with real or assumed "teen rebellion", peer pressure, and many more such issues are all in play. The one key word which seems to be at the center, both in the article, and the blog, is the word "force".
    If Amy and her parents can come to the point where she's not feeling "forced" and her parents can deal objectively--with continued love--with the issues she's facing, there will probably be an acceptable outcome for all concerned. But it may not be what either Amy or her parents are expecting at this point.
    Every family has those who have chosen lifestyles other than committed LDS activity. There will be those "prodigals" who eventually may decide to return. But for all: give them a little time. As far as our knowledge goes, judgment is a long way off.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Aug. 3, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    To assert that no 8-year old chooses to get baptized is nonsense. Are there children that are "told" that they will be baptized? Regrettably, yes. Is that the most common case? Absolutely not, in my experience.
    An 8-year old has an interview with their bishop, alone, before their baptism. I suspect that it is extremely rare for a bishop to hear that the child doesn't want to be baptized. They may change their mind by the time they are 16, but at 8 they are choosing it.
    The parents of "Amy" are not forcing her to believe anything. Nor are they telling her she has to believe it. They are simply saying that as long as she is a minor and living at home she must attend church with the family.
    In many cases an 8-year old is a better decision maker than a 16-year old. Adolescence plays havoc with many teenager's brains.
    Finally, I agree with what many here have said. "Amy" needs to figure out what she does believe and want to be. Deciding to just not be something is childish and likely the reason that her parents have the rule.

  • Mimifran Gymea, NSW
    Aug. 3, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    Ever cross anyone's mind that she probably just wants to take control of her own life and is trying her wings to break free? Perhaps she is staying up late Saturday night and is would rather just sleep in?

    They say youth is wasted on the youth and this is typical behaviour of a sixteen year old.

    Parents, spend more time as a family including discussions around the meal table. Give her grown up responsibilities. She is formulating her own testimony now so treat her as you would an investigator. Have the missionaries over more for meals etc.

    Talk with her about what the Gospel means to you and your relationship with the Saviour. Don't assume she knows, she is now hearing things as an budding adult.

    To the girl I'd say be patient with yourself, your parents have raised you to be an adult but you're not quite there yet. You don't have to discard your parents. The relationship changes now, allow them to be your friends too. Trust their wisdom. They earned it. Visit your grandparents and trust them too, if you don't have any, adopt some from the ward.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    @MajMarine
    ". We forced our kids to go to school. This only deepened their bitterness toward schools, and created problems for teachers and staff that had to deal with them. "

    Sarcasm aside, isn't that the argument being used by people who agree with that one state reps' push to end compulsory education?

  • mattwend IDAHO FALLS, ID
    Aug. 3, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    No one has a problem with parents expecting their children go to school even though few will be writers, mathematicians and scientists. So why is it wrong for parents to expect their children to attend church? If that is what the parents believe, they have a responsibility to teach their children the gospel. When the children are grown they can make their own choices. As to what to believe, no one can force another to believe.

  • MajMarine Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    I M LDS 2
    Provo, UT
    Her parents are wrong. Forcing children to attend Church meetings only deepens their bitterness toward the Church, and creates a problem for Sunday School and YW teachers and leaders who have to deal with her. These parents are just asking for trouble. She will "act out" to escape their controlling ways.

    Yeah, how horrible. We forced our kids to go to school. This only deepened their bitterness toward schools, and created problems for teachers and staff that had to deal with them.

    Yeah, because if we waited until they were old enough to decide for themselves whether they wanted to go to school or not, they would be illiterate.

    We also forced them to clean their rooms, do their chores, do their homework, blah blah blah.

    And yes, we, like many many other parents, forced our kids to go to church. They turned out just fine, thank you.

    Today, with all of the 'pop' psychologists around us, we're raising a nation of pansies. And we're not the better for it.

  • utah cornhusker NORFOLK, NE
    Aug. 3, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    I joined the lds church at age 18 (I was of legal age) but still had 9 months of school to finish before I moved to utah. My parents made me go every other week to the Methodist church in whichi was raised and than the other weeks I could go to the branch an hours drive. The branch presidencys wives would com and pick me up and take me home. That was difficult for me but I still had to respect the rules they had set. My situation is a little different but Im sure her parents love her like Mine did, they just have a hard time with it.

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    Aug. 3, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    Only one supportive point: these issues always bring out the opinion that there's no "proof" to substantiate what the LDS call truth. There's plenty of proof for those who have exercised their spiritual muscles enough to receive, test and live it. On the other hand, there's no possibility of proving to unbelievers what they refuse to acknowledge because the evidence begins with faith, although it doesn't end there. Those who insist intellect is the only way to experience "proof" are either ignoring whisperings of the Spirit--even their own--or they honestly don't know how to recognize these otherworldly influences. There's no shame in lack of knowledge. The character flaw occurs when presuming that nobody else can know what they don't know themselves, or want to know. Arrogance doesn't replace intellect nor does it appear very intelligent.

  • RDJntx Austin, TX
    Aug. 3, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    As someone that can relate to Amy, I will just leave my experience. My parents, while they did not "force" me to go to church, had a rule. I didn't have to go to church, or seminary, but I was going to be up, dressed, and ready to go should I decide I wanted to LOL!. by the time I was up and ready I just as well go.

    it's two years to your 18th, it is your parents house so their rules apply, and as long as they are paying your bills and you are living in their house you owe them the respect of living by their rules. Down the road, you may or may not be active but you will always appreciate what they did for you

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Amy -you remind me of me at your age. I didn't have much a testimony either, and church was a huge pain in the butt. When it got to be too much, I would sometimes fake sick, or you're sixteen, so you can get a job that may sometimes require you to work on Sunday.

    The more mature option is what Angela suggested, look at the positives, and in the meantime, do some research on your own. Research those things that make sense to you and go from there.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    I encourage people to read the blog between Angela and this teenager. I was exceedingly impressed with the quality of this interview and the maturity of this young woman's answers.

    I personally believe that religion is an intensely individual thing, no matter one's age or religion. Angela's advice is excellent and I commend her for taking on this difficult topic. I also appreciate that she took the time to give us much more detail in the article and blog regarding the situation.

    I disagree with the parent's approach, but I respect their judgment in raising their children and running their household as they see fit. I think this girl is going to do what she chooses, regardless of how her parents handle it. I just hope the parents the right balance between supportive and protective.

    I admire the character of this family. I am not LDS, but this is a good problem to have. Good luck to this young woman!!!

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    I kind of hold with the idea if you are not an adult and are the ward of or in the care of another person who feeds you, clothes you and shelters you, you are obligated to live and follow the rules of the house. The behavior demonstrated by the child is, well, childish. The parents have a right to dictate behavior and performance of their children until they are of age and independent.

    The cost of room and board and clothing is three hours of time in a religious meeting once a week. Acceptable social behavior is required, it teaches manners and adult behavior.

    Once 18 and independent the young lady is able to make her own decisions, and live with the results. Should she be like a lot of adult age young people who can't make it on their own and still life under the parental roof, you are still expected to comply with house rules.

    Is it "fair" she doesn't get her way? It is life, we all experience disappointment, hurt feelings, injustice, contrary winds for our sailing ship through life.

  • dung beetle Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    It's really pretty simple: She lives in their home, eats their food, sleeps in one of their beds; she's gotta live by their rules. When she's 18 if she won't live by their rules she can go establish her own home where she can make the rules.

    Whether requiring her to attend weekly church services is a wise rule or not depends on a lot considerations not illuminated by this letter - and that doesn't really matter. This kid wants it both ways - room and board provided by her parents, but she wants veto power on their rules. Sorry, kid: might as well learn now that life ain't like that.

  • Some1outthere Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    I wish I had that problem when I was in my early twenties - my problem was that I lived far from the nearest chapel and needed to rely on other members to get too and from the church. Unfortuanately my parents whom I lived with weren't members and didn't understand that we help each other. My mom put it in my head that I would be riding with strangers and that something bad could end up happening to me or my children. I wish that I had fought her on this I wanted to go to church but because I didn't I made some very stupid mistakes such as I went inactive. I went to church once in awhile but that was it. After years of sitting on the fence I finally started going regularly. Had wonderful visiting and home teachers and was able to go through the temple. Stay in the church, read your scriptures and always have a prayer in your heart. Heavenly Father will guide you if you let him.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    @LittleStream
    " After all, it is just her eternity we are talking about here. Please remember, if you choose not to live the teachings. Long after these "friends" have left your life, you will still have your eternity. "

    But if someone doesn't believe the church is true, they won't think they're making a decision that affects the eternity, making the eternity aspect a non-issue.

    @poppycarlos
    "Young women, the streets are littered with the tired and smashed bodies of those who thought the church teachings are too strict. "

    The state with the lowest crime rates is New Hampshire, which has the highest rates of atheism and one of the lowest (I think Vermont is lowest) rates of church attendance. Seems like a lot of these people turn out alright.

    @joe5
    "If the gospel as taught in the LDS church is true, then this decision is the most momentous of her life"

    Would God rather someone be honest and leave what turns out to be his church if they sincerely don't believe it, or effectively lie and stay in a church they don't believe?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    How would LDS (or any church, but since that's the relevant one for this case I'll use that) parents want other non-LDS parents to handle a child of theirs wanting to visit or join the LDS church? I'd say that's probably close to the answer (obviously not an equivalent case since there's nothing in the letter about wanting to go to another church/religion).

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Aug. 3, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    Oh my goodness, I am wondering if you have talked to your Bishop? Have you attended Young Women, they probably need you as much as you need them. I know it is hard in this day and age to be a responsible young woman, and make the right decisions, all the time. Certainly 3 hours out of a whole week, is not a lot to ask. Just remember that your parents love you and want the best for you, if not they wouldn't care whether you went to church or not. There has to be an underying reason that you have made this decision, dig down and get it out, and go from there. Don't forget to pary. Grandma Great

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Aug. 3, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Amy's parents obviously love her very much. So many parents don't "make" their children do anything religious, saying/ believing that it is a personal choice best left to the kid when they grow up.

    The trouble with that is the child grows up with nothing to use as a yardstick/ basis / standard / experience to make a decision with.

    My bet is that Amy is currently experiencing the absolutely normal teen desire for independence, compounded by peer pressure. She is about the right age for parental intelligence to be approaching zero.

    My suggestion for Amy: hang in there a bit longer. Pay the "dues" of family standards/ chores as payment for all the stuff your family provides for you at the moment. Have something to go to, instead of running away from something. After you leave home, explore other religious options (go "inactive" for a while, if you must), but don't drop your membership 'til you have found a new spiritual home.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Aug. 3, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    This is precisely the reason why I won't baptize my kids when they turn 8 years old unless they ask me to, nor will I make them do anything they don't want to do. Elder Larry Wilson of the 70 gave an excellent talk about respecting the free agency of our children and allowing them to make their own choices using the gifts and knowledge they have been given. Yet this counsel continues to be ignored in cultural Mormonism, to the detriment of the children of the parents who exercise unrighteous dominion over them.

    This girl has nothing to gain and everything to lose by leaving the Church, but she's going to have to see that and learn that for herself. It breaks my heart to see life-long members go inactive, but sometimes the only way to learn to appreciate what you have is to go without it for a while. It probably is a chastity issue that is driving this girl away, and she is going to regret the decisions she makes later in life. But that is often the only path to a broken heart and contrite spirit—which is the only means of repentance.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    JoeBlow: The only exception I take to your last comment is your allegiance to intellect. I learned long ago that if someone can argue you into something, someone else can argue you out of it. I also learned that knowledge is not static. Much of what our intellect tells us is true today will be proven false in the future. That is a fine process for science, politics, arts and other temporal pursuits but is a woefully insufficient standard for eternal understanding.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 3, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    DonP

    Yes, an 8 year olds parents have to authorize their baptism... So the parents are essentially deciding that the 8 year old should be in the church. The 8 year old really has no say in it. It is no better then the catholics practice of baptizing an infant. If the 16 year old doesn't believe in it there is nothing wrong with that. What if she wants to be catholic, methodist, or have no religion at all? Isn't each person entitled to do what they want, and not be forced into attending a church she doesn't believe in? God gave her a brain to decide what she believes and what she doesn't. There is no shame in not believing, it is actually quite reasonable. It just isn't reasonable to those that believe because to them if you don't believe it means you are sinning or have done something wrong. Because nobody in history could not believe in church and still be a good and normal person..

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    JoeBlow: Your attitude is the problem today. People don't believe in real truth; they only believe in relative truth. You seem to think that our opinions can shape the outcome of our choices, a completely ridiculous concept.

    If the gospel as taught in the LDS church is true, then this decision is the most momentous of her life regardless of what she believes or hopes. She will still harvest what she sows.

    So where is she right now? She knows her parents love her. Perhaps she even trusts them. What could they possibly have to gain by telling her lies. Either they have had the spiritual experiences they claim to have had or they would be lying to their children (and everyone else).

    Most churches do not base their faith on the quiet whisperings of the Holy Ghost. It is either based on intellect or some kind of miraculous event. Those are both pretty weak foundations on which to make a decision that will affect your own life and that of your descendants for eternity. It takes a lot of work and humility, two things that are in short supply in today's society.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 3, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Angela and Amy,

    Angela has a good suggestion here: enjoy your time at church and find your own positives. I like the service idea. Find another teen who needs a friend and lift them up. Or a senior (e.g. widow) living alone who needs someone that will visit them regularly.

    I find when I'm in a situation I don't like that many others find value, that I just need to find my own way to contribute. I don't know why your parents are forcing you to go, but you have a choice: be miserable 3 hours every week or do something positive with the time. You ALWAYS have a choice.

    I had "issues" with my parents and their giving me choices growing up. I didn't even have many friends in my ward. But I found other things and people that I did like and decided to find out for myself if it was true and raise a family in an environment without the same "issues", with love as a motivator rather than fear.

    Lastly, don't just decide not to be Mormon as soon as you can get out. Rather, decide what you WILL be.

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    Aug. 3, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Note to Joe Blow: Children under 18 are baptized into the LDS church only with the approval of their parents.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 3, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    So, we have

    - Her parents get to decide where she goes to church until she is 18
    - she could go to court and move out on her own
    - leaving the LDS Church = "self inflicted wounds"
    - leaving means ruining her eternity.

    Religious is a personal matter. A 16 year old is certainly capable of making their own decision regarding religion. And these ills are your belief. You may be right, but then again, you may be wrong.

    I imagine the responses would be quite different if she was raised in a Muslim or Catholic household but wanted to attend the LDS church instead?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Angela,

    From this and other columns of yours I have read, I think you give solid advice.

    Thank you.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Whether her parents are wrong is up to the parents to decide. How arrogant to think you are entitled to the inspiration for that family. And to the girl - a great big boo hoo. There are certainly a lot more oppressive rules some parents impose on their children. As a house rule for a child who almost certainly pays nothing for room and board, and probably gets her school, clothing, and social expenses paid, it shows an appalling selfishness and lack of gratitude to begrudge this expectation.

    Maybe the parents are oppressive, overly strict, charge rent, and chain her to a bedpost to control every decision she might make. Based on the article, no one knows. But if she's living the average life of an LDS teenager, life could be a whole lot worse than being required to attend church.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    I find it very ironic that they think she is old enough to decide she does want to be a member when she is 8 years old (baptism) but not old enough to decide she doesn't want to be a member until she is 18. That makes no sense at all. I can say that parents who force their kids to go to church are more likely to drive them away permanantly then keep them in it.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    The real question is: Why don't you like going to church? Do you believe, at 16 years old, that you have life figured out?

    Three of my six children decided to leave the church. In each case, we ultimately learned they were not living the standards of the church, therefore they were not experiencing the happiness the gospel brings. They were dissatisfied with their lives (and still are) and the church was the easy target.

    We love them very much and it aches in our hearts to see them struggle so much but we cannot give them happiness; we can only point them to the source of happiness. After that, it is up to them. We had until age 18 to do the pointing and then we set them free.

    As a family, we are very close seeing each of our six children and nine (going on ten) grandchildren several times a week. All my children know they are loved not only by my wife and me but by their siblings as well. But it breaks our hearts to see these three suffer from self-inflicted wounds.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    The young lady does have a choice here: She can go through the process of becoming an emancipated minor, at which time she'll be free to strike out on her own, find her own place to live, pay her own bills and support herself. In her situation, that probably doesn't sound very promising or attractive, so her alternative is to view church attendance as the cost of being supported by her family, deal with it from a positive point of view and make the best of it. It's really not much of a "cost", either. All it means is that once a week she will spend several hours in the company of people who aren't trying to lead her into trouble or giving her bad examples of how to live, and where she will get positive lessons about how to live her life in a productive way.

  • poppycarlos Scottsdale, AZ
    Aug. 3, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    This young person probably wants something a little less than what the LDS church teaches. She thinks she wants just the opposite--to be free and unrestricted. Perhaps she should try meeting kids that have run away from home seeking this freedom and the wonderful pimps on the street who require no such Sunday behavior and conduct as her parents require. Young women, the streets are littered with the tired and smashed bodies of those who thought the church teachings are too strict. These parents are right to expect conduct, but nobody is forced to believe. I have seen a lot of adults that would be grateful if their parents had higher expectations of them. A little stint in prison, a little rehab session for drugs, a few illegitimate kids, a life of beatings, addiction, abortion, poverty, welfare is what awaits those who run away from those nasty old restrictions of good parents and wise church leaders. When eighteen you should run and embrace the world. It will welcome you with open arms until you use up your usefulness and then you will creep back home and say your are sorry just like the prodigal son did.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    Aug. 3, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    What is causing this young woman not to want to go to church on Sunday? Is it her "friends"? Is it her "boyfriend"? I would bet its one or both. If its just that she doesn't believe the church is true, she can wait the two years and go have a talk with the bishop and ask him to remove her name from the church rolls. After all, it is just her eternity we are talking about here. Please remember, if you choose not to live the teachings. Long after these "friends" have left your life, you will still have your eternity. Remember who you are!

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Aug. 3, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    The bottom line is that until she is no longer a minor and living under her parants roof she should have to submit to her parents direction on this issue. She can save her self and parents a lot of angst by at least trying to experience the church with an open mind. It will be very hard to do (I could not at her age) but when she is finally an adult and on her own she can make up her own mind and maybe still have a good relationship with her parents.

  • FanofTHEgame Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    Ultimately, life and the gospel of Jesus Christ are about love. Real love. Where do we find true love, in our acts of service. For most young people, they are bombarded with false versions of love and must wade through those fakes to find the true love though service. It is very difficult. When we serve others selflessly we are rewarded with a deep feeling of love. It is powerful and consistent. Christ's entire mission was service including his ultimate atonement.

    Now, the LDS church is not perfect, but taking advantage of what a church has to offer is what makes it wonderful. And that is service opportunities. The LDS church offers the highest level of service opportunities (through the temple), but not the only and most churches help the soul through their opportunities to serve. We go to church to serve and be served. It is important and it is about recharging the soul. However, for most youth, they become ensnarled in themselves. The solution is difficult and it requires getting outside of ones self. I would try and teach this principle to every young and old person and then see them apply its truth.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    Her parents are wrong. Forcing children to attend Church meetings only deepens their bitterness toward the Church, and creates a problem for Sunday School and YW teachers and leaders who have to deal with her. These parents are just asking for trouble. She will "act out" to escape their controlling ways.