I have a question for you all, esp. those of you with adult children

To be clear this is a hypothetical question: but I would appreciate your sincerest answers, your sincerest honesty, not just what makes you look or appear to be doing the “Charitable” Christian thing. If you could include how you would FEEL if you were in this situation it would be very helpful. I am actually asking for a friend of mine, and I think your answers will help him deal with the situation he’s in better. OK here goes:

Let’s say you have an adult child, whom you have raised Catholic, and who enjoys her religion. She married another Catholic, they have two children, and the eldest of their children is only 8 years old. Your son-in-law has become very restless in Catholicism and seeked out another church, and it happens to be the Mormon church.

One day when your grandchildren are over, the 8-year-old mentions that Dad and Mom went to the Mormon church, to a class on becoming Mormon, and this is the first you have heard about it. Your grandchildren attended too.

What do you do or say? Would you be so bold as to undermine the Mormon Church to your grandchildren, over-stepping bounds that you didn’t even know where being established? Would you keep your mouth shut and ask your daughter and son-in-law about it the next time you saw them? Would you run the child to a Priest and/or other clergy and ask them to denounce the Mormon Church to your grandchildren? Would you consider the ramifications of hurting the child or confusing them even further? Would you consider the damage you could do the reltionship between your grandson and his dad?

I appreciate your answers – in advance. Me-thinks your wisdom is really going to be helpful.

Thanks and God Bless,


I don’t have any grown children, but I wanted to share my thoughts anyway (hope that’s OK).

I would speak with the daughter and son-in-law as soon as possible about the situation, speaking genuinely from the heart regarding my concerns for their souls and those of their children. I wouldn’t address the issue with the children directly since they are too young to understand and are just doing what their parents tell them to.

I would also get everyone I could praying for the family immediately, that they would return to our church and have a renewal of faith.

Just sent up a prayer for your friend’s family. :gopray2:
God bless,

My answer is based on the assumption that my imaginary daughter’s husaband is from a Catholic family.

I would NOT speak to the 8 year old when I first heard about it.

If I were not knowledgable about the beliefs of the Mormons, I’d get a crash course and educate myself. I’d speak with the parents of my Catholic son in law and share what information I have about the mormon belief system.

I’d them call my daughter and invite her out to lunch (or someplace where we can speak without distractions or interruptions). I’d ask her about it, have some books/literature and contact information from some folks knowledgable about mormonism for her.

I would continue to encourage keep dialogue open between my adult child and SIL and the other set of Catholic parents. I’d offer to facilitate a study group with some knowledgable folks from the Parish to discuss their issues with Catholicism.

Bottom line, educate myself, talk and pray and pray and pray and pray.

Yes, it would be the husband’s family is also Catholic. Sorry I should have included that. So his coversion would be difficult for the entire extended family, not just the his own little family.

Intervention time! Engage daughter and son-in-law in an in-depth discussion on Catholicism vs. Mormonism. Be prepared for a big apologetic debate. The Mormon church teaches some illogical things that can be rationally countered by our Catholic Faith. I would *feel *agitated and want to prove to them immediately that the Catholic Church is the True Church and that Mormonism is basically a cult.

See if you can find some good apologetic CDs or tapes for them to listen to in the car. Maybe a good one on the Eucharist (by Fr. Corapi or Scott Hahn, perhaps). No one who truly appreciates the gift of the Eucharist will leave!

I will pray right now that they return to the Catholic Church and grow in their faith! :gopray:

LOL I am the adult child in the opposite situation. My husband and I were married in a lds temple and around the time my son was eight we joined the catholic church. If you talked to my child about the situation and tried to influence them without talking to me first and getting permision I would have cut you off until you realised that such a conversation would be inappropriate. I think having a long talk with your adult child would be fine but do not try and talk to the grandkids directly or else you could be seen as undermining the parents authority. Religion is still a touchy subject between me and my parents. I was raised in the lds church and have left and have not baptised my son in a religious ceremony my parents accept. No matter what religion your now adult children choose you can be a positive influence in your grandchildrens lives.

I agree with Belle. Prayer and discussion with the parents. And as another poster said, if the husband’s family is also Catholic, I’d talk to them too.

I’d tell the daughter and SIL how I feel about it, pray for them, and let them reach their own decision. God gave us free will for a reason.

As for the grandchildren, they also need to make that determination for themselves. Expose them to Catholicism, if they haven’t been already. They will make up their own minds when they’re old enough.

Doing anything more will drive them further away, in my opinion. Realize that they’re not only your children, they’re God’s children, too, and He’s watching over them.

Just my $0.02.

OK to be perfectly honest, it depends on how old the child is. I won’t say I wouldn’t say anything to the child, but yes, if they were teens and had been catechised… yes I would. But it doesn’t stop there… I would definitely say something to my DD and her DH. I know this isn’t the politically correct answer, but I really don’t care about that when my grandchildren’s salvation is at stake!

If my DD did become Mormon, I would offer to pick up the grandchildren for mass and PSR classes. That way mom has no excuse for them not going, or using the easy way out and taking the kids with her to the Mormon church.

I would also refer DD to Catholic Answers and as always pray my buttocks off!

Sorry I didn’t see that it was an 8 yo… no, I don’t think that is old enough… he is still totally dependent on his parents at that age.

I concur with the others, I’d obtain good apologetics to refute Mormonism and have the sit-down with the daughter and also with the SIL.

Only IF they actually converted to Mormonism would I then make sure my grandchild was given a steady dose of Catholicism as best as I could. He is a baptized Catholic and I would remind him of that frequently.

My mom was baptized Catholic as a baby, but due to divorce my grandmother returned to her Episcopalian roots. My mom returned to the Catholic Church as an adult-- she says “I always knew I was a Catholic”.

So, I’d keep reminding the grandson he’s a Catholic. Even if his parents raise him a Mormon. You can still teach him the truth and hopefully he’ll return once he’s an adult.

I’d try not to alienate my children, but the Faith comes first. Period.

I would definitely not say much, if anything, to the grandson until I had my ducks in a row. Maybe just, “That’s nice, dear” and let him talk while I listened.

I WOULD take my daughter out to lunch or some such and come prepared to refute anyhting mormonish.

I would not talk to my son-in-law until I’d talked with my daughter.

Sheesh! I thought I had problems with an ex-son-in-law who was raised Methodist but acted always as if God wasn’t watching, and his mother who assumed all Catholics were going straight to hell- Italians and Irish faster than the rest.

(And yes, I know all Methodists aren’t that way. I worked for General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits for awhile.)

Where are the children’s godparents in this?

Sheesh! I thought I had problems with an ex-son-in-law who was raised Methodist but acted always as if God wasn’t watching, and his mother who assumed all Catholics were going straight to hell- Italians and Irish faster than the rest.

OH hahahaha ROFLMBO!!!

OK guys, this thread has gone on long enough and I want everyone to answer what you think when I give some more clarity to the situation at hand.

When I said the question is “hypothetical” it’s because I wanted to see what you all might say if this happened in your family, as Catholics, and what you might do about it. I am not being judgemental, I am just hoping to help my friend out – but by your responses I want to say I am PROUD to be your sister-in-Christ.

The deal is the situation IS IN REVERSE. My friend was born and raised mormon and he’s leaving the LDS to become Catholic mainly because that is where God is calling him. I figured I better spill now because you guys are asking the obvious questions like “where is his Godparents?” that really don’t apply to this situation. Also I said his parent’s “would be Catholic” but that was in hypothetical reference to my question – his parent’s are naturally LDS. I hope you don’t feel I was flat-out-lying to you, I was again just trying to get a real feeling for what it would be like to experience this in reverse.

UNFORTUNATELY for him, and for his 8 year old son: his MIL pulled a really undermining move. In so far as to have the missionaries speak to the child about how we Catholics fell away from God, blah blah blah, Joseph Smith is the salvation, and “we will never be catholic.” :eek: :eek: :eek: I think I would kill my mom or mother-in-law if they did anything of the kind without my consent.

So it was my sincerest effort to post what I did so he could guage how to handle his mother in law. AND how to go forth with teaching his son without having him be scared to death that his Dad won’t go to heaven and all the other worries kids have when religion hits turmoil in a family. Let’s face it right: as Catholics we view the LDS as a cult. They in turn view us as worshipping Satan, and that is what our church is built on. This is going to be a very TOUGH journey for him…and for his children. We have to remember this would be devestating to an entire Mormon family too. I am not going to judge all mormon’s on his MIL’s response, but let’s just say it again: I am so proud to be Catholic by the way you all responded.

Yeah so this is tough – especially IF the MIL continues to undermine him and the Faith to his children. Shame on her.

So now that you know the REAL DEAL and not just the hypothetical one, how’s about some advice for our new convert – who by the way is attending RCIA this year!

God Bless, you guys rock.

I’d lay down the law to MIL. If she talks religion to the kid again then no more unsupervised visits for her.

I wonder if there are support groups for former Mormons who leave. Have you looked around on the 'net? We have a couple of ex-Mormons on these boards, I believe.

Yeah my advice too. I guess he told his wife to tell her mother she is not to let the missionaries around the children again unsupervised – meaning he AND his wife are present if the kids are around them. He has to talk to MIL though – she needs to understand that despite her beliefs and her (justified) worry for her grandchildren’s souls…that IS her beliefs…that she can absolutely NOT undermine him to their children, specifically, especially, without a doubt: in regards to religion.

Just to be clear: aren’t the missionaries all very young, and out on their missions prior to marriage? Do I recall this correctly? That is some BOLD tenacity right there…to discuss things with a child when you are still a child yourself. Tsk tsk tsk. Shame on them. Again.

I would see if you can to let the children finish catholic school at least to get confirmed and just tell them how thankful you are if they do. Maybe pour on the honey with lots of sweetness and see if they will allow you to be an influence on the children.
Pray a lot of rosaries.

OOOO I heard of this happening with JW’s, the poor children are the real victims.
I pray that you complete your RCIA, it must be tough on you too.

Is the father and the mother becoming Catholic then?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.