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February 25, 2024

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AleceFebruary 22, 2015

Erika, just a clarification. The sister with the problem isn't inactive. Her children are.

AnonymousFebruary 22, 2015

It is often difficult for faithful members to accept the differing views of their children. People do not change because people beg them, or manipulate them (not saying the mom here has), or point out their flaws. People change because they are accepted exactly where they are. 1) Be welcoming to the women in their lives. Seek common ground and see what your sons see in them. If significant others detect even a single whiff of being less than from parents, they have great influence on the distance with the family of origin. But even more important is not to blame a significant other for that influence on your child --- your child's loyalty to the person they are sharing their life with is the right thing for them to do. Learn to love, those whom your children love. 2) Do not center your words or actions around the church, thinking that pressing that issue is most important. It is not. What is most important is that your sons experience the love of God through you, so they will seek Him in whatever pathway they are willing to move on. The best way to testify of the value of the Gospel plan is to live fully in His example, not to preach the gospel that you already presumably have taught. 3) Your sons, as imperfect as their obedience to the commandments may seem to you, may be more perfect in Christ than you are since the atonement covers their personal best, along with their quick repentance. So quit thinking of their choices or their being as less than, or ones you have to fix or even they have to fix. They may be more square with God than you are. (This advice isn't intended to result in guilt or despair: it is intended to help you change the way you think about your boys so they will experience your love of God, and not be pushed away by judgment (which they may be completely imagining, but is often present from faithful church members.) 4) Send them a word puzzle with family news or just a newsy letter or a photo every month. Maybe set up a quarterly family dinner which you hold absolutely even if no one comes but you. Seek their input before setting the schedule, give plenty of notice, and reminders, but no pressure. Don't give up hope. My son who resigned seven years ago ask last week for missionary contact info.

Mother tooFebruary 21, 2015

In my darkest days, I always remembered that these children belonged to the Father before they belonged to me and I couldn't love them more than He does, or want more for them than He does. Please take the advice to build and secure your marriage--that is where your eternity begins. And look for places to lose yourself in serving other families and children who will appreciate you and love you. Your sons will come around. In the meantime fill your life with love wherever you find it.

crystalFebruary 20, 2015

If parents are active, inactive adult children may feel guilty about their own inactivity and avoid their parents and consciences. We have stayed active, prayed for their repentance and kept the communications channels open. They may not return every call or email, but they do get around to it eventually, especially after they have children and start to mature themselves. We've helped them in many ways as adults, they appreciate us more now than before and allow us to talk about Church and its topics. Prophets have counseled us to be bold in declaring the Gospel, but activation also requires tactful boldness and a sense of good timing as provided by the Holy Ghost. Parents who reach out to their rebellious children do what God does--he extends his invitation all the time, without withdrawing, stands ready to help when, where & how it's wise for him to do so. With prayer & fasting, we can discern what to do for the best,when and how. Our most rebellious child returned to full activity when a young adult and put his life in order in every way. I still marvel at his repentance and steadfastness in it. God's blessings on him and his family are truly bounteous. He has my uttermost respect for it. I can still offer a word of advice occasionally if I see the need and to my best not to meddle. God has reassured me that I have the same hope for our other children's repentance as that son's. Something I learned in a parenting class I took: children will do anything to get attention, If we pay attention to the good things they do, we reinforce that behavior and show we approve of them, so they're more likely to listen to & welcome us. If we pay attention to the negative things they do, continuously scolding and finding fault, they turn away from us and God. Children perceive God to have the same traits as their parents. If we want them to feel God loves them and we love them, we can't afford to indulge our anger,hurt feelings and self-pity. It's been hard for me to repent, but my improved relationships with my children are worth all the energy that used to go into grieving at losing them into my repentance and slowly winning them back over the years.

anonymousFebruary 20, 2015

Take care of yourself. Stop beating yourself up. I have a son in prison for a very long sentence for doing something unthinkable. Another son was arrested for drugs but is out and doing better, but he took his name off the records. Another son is a successful doctor but is so busy he will hardly ever talk to me. My daughter is twice divorced with 5 kids and had two of them out of wedlock. My teenage son says he is gay. Hey, guess what? I am a good mother, a great mother. I am a success regardless of what my kids have done. I have 4 other children who have chosen very well and make me so proud. You cannot say you are a failure. Agency. All you gotta do is love those kids just the way they are. You don't have to tell them anything. You did your best, and that is enough. Life is so good. You can be happy inside no matter. Get positive. Get a recording of Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret" and listen to her read it to you every day. You can be happy. If I can, anyone can. Love every one of your kids unconditionally. And pursue your own dreams.

ErikaFebruary 20, 2015

I like the above advice. The only thing I would add is that you try to re-connect with Church. Think about your life and what led to you becoming inactiv, talk to the Bishop or some other friends you might still have and just come back. Your sons might become very curious that all of a sudden you are not calling them on Sunday morning or afternoon, whenever you might be at Church. They would also feel the difference in you by putting The Lord first and everything else second. It works, I went through a similar situation and now have my sons with me and a loving relationship with them. Set your priorities and stick to them and things will work out. Remember, the Lord still loves you as well as your sons and wants all of you to come to Him. You all might have a different path to walk but at the end, the goal is the same and worth every hardship. Remember, you are loved, Erika, Texas

Linda HFebruary 20, 2015

My oldest child is "out of the church" since high school over 20 years ago. I learned back then to watch my words carefully; she holds a grudge when she feels criticized. I never criticize or make negative comments about her lifestyle. She is who she is; I try to show unconditional love and accept her. She, on the other hand, tries not to rub my face in the things she knows are displeasing to me. I pray for her and keep her name on the temple prayer roll. She may or may not return to the church, but I try to make that at least possible by making her feel my love. Why would she want to be with me forever otherwise? It's hard not to say, "I taught you better than that", but sometimes you have to keep your mouth shut. IF this has been the situation with the person who wrote the letter, it may take a long time to regain your child's trust. Keep trying, it's worth it.



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