Sign in to follow this  
link_va

Child prays and receives an answer contrary to church teachings

Recommended Posts

Your adult child calls you up and says, "I have been studying and praying.  I listened to President Nelson's talk on moving mountains of doubt, and I did all the things he said.  I have only read faithful/Church supported sources.  I have spent hour upon hour studying about polygamy and Doctrine and Covenants 132.  I have wrestled through many prayers until I finally got an answer.  And I felt God speaking to me through my thoughts, telling me that polygamy was a mistake and it's okay that I don't believe in D&C 132."

Where do you go with that?  Any words of advise or similar experiences you have been through?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, link_va said:

Your adult child calls you up and says, "I have been studying and praying.  I listened to President Nelson's talk on moving mountains of doubt, and I did all the things he said.  I have only read faithful/Church supported sources.  I have spent hour upon hour studying about polygamy and Doctrine and Covenants 132.  I have wrestled through many prayers until I finally got an answer.  And I felt God speaking to me through my thoughts, telling me that polygamy was a mistake and it's okay that I don't believe in D&C 132."

Where do you go with that?  Any words of advise or similar experiences you have been through?

I would apologize to my child for having neglectfully allowed him/her to come off with the idea that (s)he should only be reading Church-supported sources (Of course, my apology would be somewhat facetious and perhaps a little passive-aggressive; because from experience I know *darned* well that I never told my kids such a thing and that this line is a pretty routine strawman most often set up by perennial gripers who have spent the last six months reading anything but “faithful/Church-supported sources”.)  I would also offer my opinion that revelation is to some extent a garbage-in, garbage-out process.  If I’m studying and praying about polygamy without reading the work of excellent independent historians like Brian Hales, the quality of any revelation I get through the process may be suspect.

But ultimately, professing a belief in individual revelation means being outwardly respectful of the revelations others claim to have gotten, even when you think they are wrong.  It means learning to shrug and say “Hmm.  I think my personal revelations have been contrary; but so long as you, my child, are still on the covenant path, I’m not going to get bogged down in minutiae here.”

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the utility of this revelation? Consider for a moment that your child called you and said they've considered the evidence and are now firmly in the flat-earther camp. How does that change day-to-day actions or relationships? It really doesn't. They may be insufferable when conversation circles around to the moon landing or air travel, but that can be handled by placing firm boundaries. "I disagree with you and you know where I stand but I value our relationship enough not to bring it up again. I ask the same courtesy from you."

If your child uses this revelation as an excuse not to engage in plural marriage then you'll find that you agree more than you disagree. If your child uses their revelation on polygamy as a lens to view the Restoration, I would hope they could be like David Whitmer - who had significant differences of opinion on Joseph's revelations and how the Church should be run but held fast to his testimony of The Book of Mormon. Similarly I would hope your child would hold fast to that testimony which they've already gained. Once again, if this is the path chosen, you'll have quite a bit in common and can continue to share that.

Finally, it's possible that your child is taking a big step to leave the Church of Jesus Christ. Just so you know, 2/3 of those who leave the Church leave religion altogether. Even if this does happen, there are still some values that your child will keep. You can focus on those values you continue to have in common.

Edited by mordorbund

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
Sign in to follow this