A recent “Ask Angela” article appeared in the Deseret News titled, “It’s unfair that I’m forced to go to church.” In the article, a 16-year-old girl who identified herself as “No Church for Amy” complained about her parents’ rule that she must continue to attend LDS Church meetings with them until she turns 18.
She said, “I know my parents love me, but I think this is so unfair and I don’t think it’s their place to tell me what to believe. Do you think it’s possible for me to get them to change their rules? Or what is a good way to deal with this situation?”
The full article, published here, attempts to tackle the issue that “No Church for Amy” is facing. In the interview below, “No Church for Amy” responds to the comments and answers that were given regarding her situation.
Angela: Were you surprised at how people reacted to your issue?
No Church for Amy: A little bit. I told you that I was afraid people would judge me and I feel like they did.
Angela: What specifically made you feel judged?
NCFA: When some commenters just assumed that because I was asking a question about my parents’ rules, I must be ungrateful. There was one comment where the person outright called me “whiny.” Like, you don’t know my life. Adults get so far removed from being 16 years old that they forget that you’re not "just a child" at this age. You can have real concerns and you don’t just have to do what you’re told.
A: There were some pretty harsh comments, but I also read some that I thought would be very helpful to you. Were there any that you thought might be useful?
NCFA: Yeah! I mean, there were a couple that made me stop and think. This "Joe5" man in particular wrote one. He said:
"We love them (our children) 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."
I guess this comment just reminded me of what I already know; that my parents love me. They make me go to church but they’re pretty patient with me during our discussions about why I don’t want to go. They never tell me that I’m “just a child” or whatever. I think they just want me to be happy and I want them to be happy with me. It won’t kill me to go to church one day a week and maybe if I change my attitude it can be a good thing for our family.
A: That’s a really mature conclusion and I think you’re right. Again, thanks for sharing your story and I hope others are able to learn from and relate to your experience.
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Angela Trusty is a young adult advice columnist. Read more Ask Angela on her blog: askangelaslc.wordpress.com Twitter: angelatrusty