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Dear Gramps

I am a convert to the Mormon Church and have children from two previous marriages who are grown and not members of any church. They seem to not want any contact with any church but are having many problems in their lives due to not making the right choices and now they feel as there is no hope. What is the best way for me to try to get them to look into the LDS faith? I have asked them to come to my church but they shy away from doing so. I know as a parent I am supposed to teach them about the gospel but I don’t know how to start. Thank you.

Harry

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Answer

 

Dear Harry,

A couple of points. You mention that your children are now grown and you wonder how you can teach them about the Mormon Church. Parent/child relationships, as I see it, may be divided into three categories—

Category 1, the parents of pre-school children. In this category the parents are truly the teachers. Very young children learn, and they learn mostly from their parents because the parents are their closest contact. In addition, very young children ALWAYS learn–whether the parents try to teach them anything or not. They learn from the tone of voice, from body expression, from the example of behavior, and they learn from verbal council and instruction.

Category 2, the parents of school children. When the children start to school they begin to learn from their peers and school teachers. Here the parent’s role changes from that of principally being a teacher to that of principally being a coach. The parent’s role now is to cheer from the sidelines–to motive and inspire.

Category 3, the parents of adult children. Adult children are ADULTS. They have moved away from home; they live their own lives. The parent’s role now changes to that of a consultant. The consultant’s role is to offer expert advise WHEN CALLED UPON TO DO SO. If the parent consultant attempts of offer unsolicited advice, that is called meddling, and is generally met with opposition.

So, your roll as a teacher of your children is past, as is your role as a motivator. You must now wait until you are called upon for opinion or advise before offering it; otherwise it will normally be rejected without much consideration.

But there is something that you CAN do to help your children accept the gospel of Jesus Christ–PRAY FOR THEM. I would suggest that you make it a constant prayer that your loving Father in Heaven will intervene in their behalf and guide them to the truth and implant in their hearts testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel. If He will do that, they will join the Church and become productive members. Also, when you feel that the time is right, you might contact the missionaries and ask them to contact your children with the purpose of teaching them the gospel. If your children are in a position to feel the Spirit of the Lord, they will do so in the presence of the missionaries, and it will be easy for the Holy Spirit to begin to build testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel in their hearts.

All this may take a little time, so it is essential to pray with faith. In other words, you should pray with the full expectation that the Lord will answer your prayers. But you must realize that it will be done in His own time and in His own way. But NEVER give up hope. Live the gospel to the fullest so that your own worthiness will be unquestioned. Then understand in your heart that your children will one day join the Church, AND THEY WILL.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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