LDS Son coming home next week from mission - Advice?

My beloved son is coming home from his LDS mission next week. He had a reasonably good time and feels good about his missionary accomplishments.

So first, when he left I was an apostatized Catholic in the LDS Church. During his mission I put off coming home to Rome until I couldn’t any longer, and on May 30th I went to Confession and Holy Communion thus returning to the Catholic Church.

His reaction while on his mission was, understandably, that of shock and dismay. HJis strategy in his communication with me was just to parrot the Mormon doctrine and to try not to talk about anything substantial.

With his coming home and his living with his mother (LDS) and me (Catholic) I don’t really know how to re-establish a relationship with him and just, at this point, to show him that I am at peace.

I’m looking for any advice on how to build a relationship with him without our respective religions interfering in a natural, normal father-son relationship. The last thing I want to do is to alienate him because of religion.

He will be living with us for a few months prior to his starting at BYU-I.



Perhaps just sit down with him and explicitly tell him that? Mention that (if it’s true) you would be happy to discuss religion with him, but do not want to be in a constant battle over it, flinging scripture quotes and arguments in an effort to bludgeon each other into changing your minds. Further, that you still respect his Mormon beliefs (you held them once yourself, after all) even though you don’t hold them now and that while obviously it only makes sense for each of you to desire that the other comes to believe what you each believe to be the truth, this need not be a constant source of argument.

My father is not (and never was) Catholic (my mom, my brothers and myself are), and we have never had anything less than a great relationship. If there is any barrier to the same continuing between you and your son, I doubt it will be the difference in religion (barring any express anti-Catholicism) so much as the shock of the difference coming about - which will hopefully dissipate. It may help to emphasize that your reconversion (reversion? whatever the word is) is not a rejection of him at all, and not even so much a reaction against what he believes as a movement towards what you believe to be a fuller expression of the truth; and that while he will obviously disagree with you on this, that there is no ill will on your side and that you hope the same is true for him.

I am listening to this talk right now. Thomas Smith is a Catholic speaker that grew up Mormon. It might be helpful to listen to his talk and it is really cheap via Lighthouse. I bet you could find his contact info online somewhere too and ask him how to discuss all of this with your son.

Did you have a good relationship with him before he left? Did you do things together? Continue doing things together. Shared interests builds bridges. Be prepared to talk honestly and openly about both of your faiths. I would say that sweeping the issue under the rug completely wouldn’t be good, but getting in his face wouldn’t be good either!

Go to mass, even if it’s by yourself. Set an example. Show him you are happy with your faith without disparaging his. You might win him over. If he asks you what you see in Catholicism, be prepared to tell him intelligently why you came back.

And always remember he’s your son. Not your Mormon son. Your son. And you’re his father, not his Catholic father. Just his father. The most important commandment Jesus gave us is to love one another, and love God. Everyone can do this, no matter what denomination you find yourself in. Peace!

Catholicism and Mormonism are two paths to God. You guys have a lot in common. For now, just focus on enjoying the common parts. Don’t focus on the differences.

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