I'm a junior in college, and ever since I met my freshman-year roommate and borrowed her copy of the Book of Mormon, I wanted to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I held off on getting baptized, though, because I was raised in a different Christian religion and I knew leaving that faith would be a slap in the face to my parents. For years, I tried to work up the courage to tell them about my growing testimony of prophets and another book of scripture, but I just couldn't figure out how. A month ago, I decided to just get baptized and to tell my parents when I was ready. Well, since getting baptized, I feel even more strongly that I need to tell them. More than needing to tell them, I want to tell them; I just have no idea how. Any suggestions?
Dear New Member,
Congratulations on your baptism! I hope wherever you are, you have been welcomed with many loving arms.
I don't know if there is a perfect time or way to tell your family the big news, especially if you don't think they'll be happy about it. But it does sound like your feelings of wanting and needing to tell them about your baptism are spiritual promptings from your loving Father in Heaven.
With that in mind, I think you just have to sit them down, with all the love and courage you can muster, and tell them. They may feel hurt that you didn't tell them upfront and right away; allow them to feel that. It doesn't mean they don't love and/or accept you, it just means that they're human and your decision affects them, too.
Now you also have the gift of the Holy Ghost. As members of the LDS Church, we talk a lot about how the Holy Ghost leads us, guides us and protects us. I want you to know that he also helps us to have difficult conversations with our parents. He helps our hearts to communicate with one another when we struggle to find or know the right words to say, and he helps us to be brave.
Read these testimonies from Mormon.org about how the Holy Ghost has helped others in times of any type of challenge, and then ask your parents if they have some time to talk about something very important.
We hope so much that it goes well!
Readers: We've known a lot of members who have been in the same position as "New Member." What about you? What advice would you offer? If this conversation with her parents and family doesn't go well, what should she do?
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Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the Latter-day Saint experience. Twitter: askange_column