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Dear Gramps,

My mother is a member of the church, and she has taken out her own endowments, and my brother too, who went on a mission following this sacred event. She was also sealed to my deceased father and sealed to my brother also. My brother served his mission and is back. They have fallen away and don’t see this. My mother now listens to some guy on the radio who is preaching false doctrines and she believes his counselings and is applying these things to our teachings. She gets mad at me when I tell her she is wrong. Should I tell her bishop? I told her I believe she could lose her membership of the church if she doesn’t stop, am I right? She said she’s got friends and this would never happen! I have a testimony, I know there is a living prophet, my mom doesn’t like me and never did, it was tough being her child.

Laura, from New Jersey

Dear Laura,

Whether or not your mother and brother would lose their membership in the Church is a secondary issue. Membership is not the key, but rather obedience to the principles of the gospel. If they believe the false doctrine preached in the sectarian world, then they do not believe in the truths that are essential for salvation, and unless they repent their salvation is indeed in jeopardy.

Now, should you tell her that the is wrong? Do you think it will do any good? Perhaps a much better course would be, in spite of what you think your mother feels toward you, to show all the love, acceptance and support that you can. I don’t mean acceptance of her way of thinking, but acceptance of her as a person. Each one has a right to believe as they wish, and the influence that we have on others is much more powerful through our actions than through our words.

If you could show your mother that you love her in spite of your differences, she would be both pleased and honored, and would be much more amenable to share ideas with you than if an adversarial relationship existed. Further, it would be appropriate to plead with our Father in Heaven every day that he would soften your mother’s heart toward the gospel so that her testimony of the truth could be renewed. It may take some time. We shouldn’t expect immediate results, but the prayer of faith availeth much.


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