I was born into the LDS church but left when I was 15 years old.. Fast forward to 2019. I’m now 46 and I want to improve my relationship with Elohim. I ring my mother who is very active in the LDS church to ask questions and all I get is “you should go back to church.” I told her that I wasn’t interested in joining any religion cos they don’t feel right. We end up in an argument. I hang up on her and send her a long text telling her I was disappointed. Why did she choose not to help me?
Please ponder with me a few questions: why did you ask your mother how to improve your relationship with God? Is it because you feel that your mother has a good relationship with God and must therefore know how to develop that relationship? Please take a moment to ponder that question before reading further.
If that’s not why you asked her, then consider why, and then redefine your expectation of the conversation.
I’m going to assume that’s the reason you asked her. Now, if that’s the reason, rather than asking her how you can draw closer to God, why not ask her how she did it? Whether you think the same will work for you or not, the way she developed this relationship is her own, and if it worked for her, it worked for her – there’s no debating that. This conversation might give you bits of insight into your mom and the process that worked for her. It might also give you ideas for how you can develop a similar relationship.
In other words, rather than asking your mom to tell you what to do – something which you say hasn’t worked well – ask her what worked for her, what her relationship with God looks like, what she does to maintain it, and similar questions about her own relationship. This lets her express the things she knows about developing a relationship with God without phrasing it as instruction to you – and you don’t have to receive it as instruction. In this way, it’s just you learning about your mom, and if you can follow her example, great! If not, then she probably can’t tell you what you want to know.
Now, having considered all that, have you considered that your mom chose to help you in the only way she knows how? In the New Testament, we find this verse:
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
How better to come to know God than to invite him into your presence? According to this verse, that is done when two or three are gathered in his name (the name of Christ) – in other words, by going to church. Now, I know you mentioned the Father, therefore please add this to your consideration:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
If you want to develop a relationship with God, you must go through Christ. Learn of him, study his life and teachings, follow his example. I think you know what that example includes.
Here is one final passage for you to consider:
D&C 84:19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
Many people might assume that “knowledge of God” (at the end of verse 19) means “the type of knowledge God has”, but it can just as easily mean “becoming acquainted with God” (see John 17:3). In short, these verses explain that we come to know, understand, and emulate God by participating in the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood. These ordinances teach us how to do that. I suspect this is how your mom came to have her relationship with God, and that is why she counseled you to return to the Church – the place where you can learn of and participate in these ordinances.
I hope this has helped you to understand why your mom may have given you the advice she did, and to find a new approach to discussing these things with your mom. I wish you the very best in your efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father.