Recommended Posts

Hello! I am 17 years old, will turn 18 in January, and have had an interest in the LDS Church for a solid year now.  I went to a Methodist private school for elementary and middle school, despite being raised without religion at home. I've had an interest in finding the religion for me for almost 3 years now. I have read every section on mormon.org and visit lds.org several times a week. I got a copy of The Book of Mormon from a family friend and read both it and the Bible often, and I pray every day. I've just begun the seminary Old Testament home-study manual in order to dig a bit deeper into LDS doctrine to see if it's something I really agree with. Some concepts threw me off a bit, and my uneasiness about some bits of doctrine had me considering other groups, even though I've been focused solely on the LDS Church for a couple of months now. Despite this, I feel like I just keep on getting pulled back to the Church. I feel very strongly that the Church is for me and that the lifestyle is something I want to follow. My only issue now is that I'm not sure if I should ask my parents if I can convert, or just wait until I turn 18. My parents are against organized religion and I'm pretty sure they already think I'm crazy because I have such an interest in religion. I'm afraid they'll say no, and then think I'm being influenced and am too young to make this decision on my own. I could wait until 18, but I so desperately want to become a member. If I do wait until 18, I'm not sure if I should wait until I go to university, or convert while I'm still living with my parents. I'm not sure where to go, or how to approach my parents if I do decide to ask now.

 

Thank you.

 

Update Aug. 19: I told my mom how much religion means to me, and how my study of various religions has brought me hope, peace, and happiness. She said that that was fine, but she didn't want me to become a "Mormon follower or join the FDLS" (she's watched the TV show "Escaping Polygamy" and I think it's made her paranoid that I'll go and join some creepy cult, FLDS or not) and she said that it was okay if I had a normal relationship with God and joined a regular church. It was a bit disheartening for me because I know that I'll have to wait and I'm not sure how I'll bring up the topic of conversion when the time comes. Aside from that, I asked my dad (who is much more open with me exploring different religions) if we could go to church - as we did visit a Baptist church a few years ago - and he said that we could consider going this Sunday. I'm not sure where we'll go, but I'm hoping that we'll end up at a LDS service one week.

Edited by dancingmunchkin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 January is not so far away if you really wanted to pursue it.  Right now you need to honor your parent's wishes.  I would recommend meeting with the missionaries when you are able to.  But for now, do what you can to learn more.  Read the Book of Mormon and write down your questions.  

Also we love answering questions here.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, dancingmunchkin said:

Hello! I am 17 years old, will turn 18 in January, and have had an interest in the LDS Church for a solid year now.  I went to a Methodist private school for elementary and middle school, despite being raised without religion at home. I've had an interest in finding the religion for me for almost 3 years now. I have read every section on mormon.org and visit lds.org several times a week. I got a copy of The Book of Mormon from a family friend and read both it and the Bible often, and I pray every day. I've just begun the seminary Old Testament home-study manual in order to dig a bit deeper into LDS doctrine to see if it's something I really agree with. Some concepts threw me off a bit, and my uneasiness about some bits of doctrine had me considering other groups, even though I've been focused solely on the LDS Church for a couple of months now. Despite this, I feel like I just keep on getting pulled back to the Church. I feel very strongly that the Church is for me and that the lifestyle is something I want to follow. My only issue now is that I'm not sure if I should ask my parents if I can convert, or just wait until I turn 18. My parents are against organized religion and I'm pretty sure they already think I'm crazy because I have such an interest in religion. I'm afraid they'll say no, and then think I'm being influenced and am too young to make this decision on my own. I could wait until 18, but I so desperately want to become a member. If I do wait until 18, I'm not sure if I should wait until I go to university, or convert while I'm still living with my parents. I'm not sure where to go, or how to approach my parents if I do decide to ask now.

 

Thank you.

IMHO:  Your parents aren't going to magically disappear from your life once you turn eighteen.  They will continue to be massive, (hopefully) positive influences in your life; and unless you are concerned that they might react in a way that is truly abusive, I think you should at least let them know now that you're looking at Mormonism but that you will abide by their wishes as long as you are legally a minor.  Keeping secrets--or even just appearing to keep secrets--isn't really going to help your relationship with them or their perceptions of Mormonism in the long run.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gained a testimony of the LDS when I was 9 years old. My dad was against my being baptized, so I lived what I knew to be true until I turned 18 and was baptized at that time.

You are becoming an adult and an adult thing is to have tough conversations and do hard things. I agree to talk to your parents now, listen and consider what they have to say, and then if you decide to be baptized when you are legally able to, to let them know your decision and deal with them with patience and love.  Good luck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

IMHO:  Your parents aren't going to magically disappear from your life once you turn eighteen.  They will continue to be massive, (hopefully) positive influences in your life; and unless you are concerned that they might react in a way that is truly abusive, I think you should at least let them know now that you're looking at Mormonism but that you will abide by their wishes as long as you are legally a minor.  Keeping secrets--or even just appearing to keep secrets--isn't really going to help your relationship with them or their perceptions of Mormonism in the long run.

My parents are divorced, and I have a wonderful relationship with my mom but she's skeptical about the whole religion thing. I don't have a very strong relationship with my dad, but he seems to be more open about everything. I just don't know if I should take the risk of my mom judging me for ten years or if I should just wait. I feel as if it will be easier to tell her that I've decided to join a church that she has her skepticisms about when I'm not exactly living with her anymore.

They probably suspect I do have an interest in the Church. I saw the Book of Mormon musical last year, around November, but I had previously researched Mormonism before and had found it interesting. After the show, my Catholic friends took it as it was, a satire about a group they (I'm assuming) hate, where as I wanted to delve even deeper into the history and doctrine of the various groups that make up the Mormonism movement. After I saw the musical, I wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon, and asked my father if I could request one from the Church. He didn't want me to do that, I'm assuming because he didn't want missionaries trying to contact us, so he got a copy from his girlfriend, who is Lutheran, but has a Mormon neighbor who gave it to her. Because of this, I'm partially trying to make it seem as if the Church is an inside joke (which it partially is, but I try my hardest not to disrespect a religion I find so fascinating). Trying to cover up what I'm doing is not at all right, but I don't want them to think I'm crazy and strange. I don't want to burn a bridge with my parents because of what I believe.

...I guess I just answered my own question.

I'll be waiting until I'm 18, and most likely have moved away.

 

P.S. I feel so extremely hypocritical now, for 1) asking a question that I already knew the answer too and 2) wanting to join a church that preaches honesty, but covering up my own interest in that organization from my parents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, dancingmunchkin said:

I feel so extremely hypocritical now, for 1) asking a question that I already knew the answer to

You may have known the answer, but you'd not be the first one to find out he knew only after asking the question of others. It's often a good way to learn, and almost never hypocritical.

Lehi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I congratulate you on your careful and diligent study of church doctrines and resources and wish you all the best. Perhaps you can take the time between now and January to start preparing your parents for your baptism by seeking to engage them in conversations on religious subjects, and try to get an idea of why they feel the way they do about religion. These conversations would then be an ideal opportunity for you to tell your parents how you feel about religion and how you intend to act on your feelings and beliefs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
10 hours ago, dancingmunchkin said:

...but I don't want them to think I'm crazy and strange...

If you do take the plunge when you turn 18, then get used to people thinking you're crazy and strange.  But at some point, people will look past it and still have some kind of positive opinion about you anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@dancingmunchkin, you could always just be casual about it - don't bring it up, but don't conceal it either (e.g. don't hide your Book of Mormon).  If they ask, just tell your parents you're trying to understand what makes those weirdos (see below) tick (which seems true enough :D ).

34 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

If you do take the plunge when you turn 18, then get used to people thinking you're crazy and strange.  But at some point, people will look past it and still have some kind of positive opinion about you anyway.

I'm not sure about the rest of you1, but I'm definitely crazy and a little bit strange2.

1(I'm being polite.)

2I'm the only person I know with actual buckets on her bucket list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, dancingmunchkin said:

I'm afraid they'll say no, and then think I'm being influenced and am too young to make this decision on my own. I could wait until 18, but I so desperately want to become a member. If I do wait until 18, I'm not sure if I should wait until I go to university, or convert while I'm still living with my parents. I'm not sure where to go, or how to approach my parents if I do decide to ask now.

 

Thank you.

You won't know until you ask.  How to ask?  You know your parent's better than we, how do you ask them other stuff?  From here you sound well researched, well thought out, and very mature about the whole thing.  Let them see that.

PS, if you have any questions/concerns about anything feel free to ask.

PPS.  Forgot to say-- welcome to the forum!

 

12 hours ago, dancingmunchkin said:

 I just don't know if I should take the risk of my mom judging me for ten years or if I should just wait. I feel as if it will be easier to tell her that I've decided to join a church that she has her skepticisms about when I'm not exactly living with her anymore.

Obviously I'm not your mother, but I am a mom to my kids, and I would prefer them to come to meet and talk about what's on their mind, rather than trying to hide it because they fear I'd be skeptical about it.  

12 hours ago, dancingmunchkin said:

They probably suspect I do have an interest in the Church.

If they do not know you have an interest in the church, talking to them about it would be a very good thing, even if you decide to wait to officially be baptized. 

12 hours ago, dancingmunchkin said:

 P.S. I feel so extremely hypocritical now, for 1) asking a question that I already knew the answer too and 2) wanting to join a church that preaches honesty, but covering up my own interest in that organization from my parents.

1) Don't feel bad about talking to people to clear your thoughts :)

2) Yeah... dishonesty is not a good idea, ever.

Edited by Jane_Doe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

IMHO:  Your parents aren't going to magically disappear from your life once you turn eighteen.  They will continue to be massive, (hopefully) positive influences in your life; and unless you are concerned that they might react in a way that is truly abusive, I think you should at least let them know now that you're looking at Mormonism but that you will abide by their wishes as long as you are legally a minor.  Keeping secrets--or even just appearing to keep secrets--isn't really going to help your relationship with them or their perceptions of Mormonism in the long run.

You are the only one with a relationship with your particular parents, so its up to you to decide what kind of relationship you want to have with them.  But the above is very true.

In general though, being open about your intentions is probably for the best (but you are the only one that can decide that). I mean.. whether you tell them or not... you'll probably have to wait till you are 18 anyway. But what if they say yes? That would be sweet. But even if they are very against it, they will probably (hopefully) respect you more for being open about things with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now