Mormon neighbors


#21

I am from a very conservative (Polish) Catholic family. My father’s job moved us to Utah, where I grew up.

We were the only gentile family in the entire neighborhood. I went to Mormon scouts, played Mormon sports, attended Mormon dances. Everything in Utah is controlled by the church.

Even though we were Catholic, I got along fine. My older sister didn’t - the Mormon boys wouldn’t ask her out on a date.

Just invite their mom to go to Mass with you. It will probably lessen the frequency of her invitation to you accordingly.

If not, put out a “Mormon scarecrow,” like my father used to call our big statue of Mary and invite them over for coffee. They will get the hint from there.

Deacon Christopher


#22

The best protection you can give your children against them abandoning their faith is by teaching them the fullness of the Catholic faith, especially by helping them experience and recognize the how profoundly they encounter Christ during Holy Communion.

Also be sure that you and your husband walk the walk of being Christ’s disciples better and more faithfully than the parents of the Mormon family. Kids notice and pickup the hypocrisy of their parents and other adults around their lives easily. If the Mormon family appears to your children to live a more holy and Christian life through their charity and actions than your own household, you might be in for a bit of trouble.

But if you teach your children well the fullness of our Catholic faith (and then live it), you shouldn’t have anything to really worry about, especially in regards to your new Mormon neighbors.


#23

We have a big statue of Our Lady on our front porch. They’ve been over to our house a bunch of times already. We’ve had them over for dinner, babysat for one another, we spent New Year’s Eve with them. They are a very nice family and will be great neighbors, I think, but the invitations to their church haven’t slowed down with us talking about our faith. :grimacing:


#24

Thanks, that’s helpful. We are really committed to our Catholic faith, it’s the most important thing in my life, and my husband and I both work for the Church (he for the diocese, I for a Catholic nonprofit ministry). Still you never know how the kids absorb that stuff, especially since they see the ways we fail more than outsiders would.


#25

Perhaps just be honest and say, “I know you mean well, but I have to tell you that the chances of us attending your church for any function are highly unlikely. We are totally convinced in the truth of the Catholic Church. We feel like even a social visit to your church would give you the wrong impression of us, so I would like to decline this invitation and any in the future. We enjoy your friendship and hope we can still be friends.” If they keep pushing, back away from the relationship.


#26

Yes, I think you’re right. This is the best course of action.


#27

Good luck!


#28

Thank the Mormons for their kind invitation but decline stating that you and your family are Catholic. You can give them an open invitation to attend Mass at your parish any time they wish to.

Mormon services are also longer than ours. Your kids probably wouldn’t be able to handle that.

Be sure your kids are well grounded in the Catholic Faith and leave the Mormon kids to theirs.


#29

You can test them to see how much they want to convince others of their religion by inviting them back at your church. See what they reply. Why should you stay on defense and explain why you won’t go to their church and not invite them to yours as well? See what they say.


#30

I’d start with asking your children to let you know when religious topics come up while at the neighbors, and you aren’t there. Then discuss what they discussed.

My entire family are Mormon, they work on your kids when you’re not around. When my daughter was little, she always had a religious question that my family put in her head, while I wasn’t with her. They gave her Book of Mormons, one time an expensive leather bound set of Mormon scriptures, taught her Mormonism pretty much. She knows Mormon teachings and she’s never been to a Mormon church in her life.

What I did with her, was explained that our family have beliefs that are important to them, that she should respect, and which they will always try to convince her to believe too, but she doesn’t need to believe what they believe in order to love them.

When she was a teenager, she had a Mormon friend in full blown Mormon rebellion. Mormon teenagers in rebellion are very experimental. I told her to be a good friend, go to the coffee shop with her, but she didn’t need to experiment with harmful things with her in order to be a good friend. I told her the Mormon rebellion was not hers, so just be a supportive friend.

Made it through. She’s in her 20s now, and some of our Mormon family are snobbish and standoffish towards her because she isn’t Mormon. Too bad for them.


#31

God bless, something you said in this post really stood out for me. You said that your Mormon friends keep inviting you to church even though you’ve told them that you’re happy as a Catholic.

Are your children witnessing this? I’m asking because if you want your children to be firm, you have got to be a firm example for them to see! Tell your friends IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN “You know I value our friendship, but I insist that you stop asking me to your church. I’m perfectly happy as a Catholic please respect that.”

I suggest you do this soon, or something like it in your own words. Talk openly with your children about it, that you love your friends but are not interested in their church. Your children will learn witnessing a parents example how to stand up for their faith! Praying for you.


#32

If the Mormon neighbors and their family accept the invitation, wouldn’t OP then have less defensibility to not reciprocally accept an offer to hear all about the Latter-day Saints?


#33

They won’t though I wouldn’t have thought


#34

From what I read here I don’t think they will. And if I was her, if they did come to my church, IF they did then I would go once to theirs. And they would say they are not interested in mine and I would say for sure it was entertaining but I don’t think God is there. Early Christians did go to Pagan temples and then said “no, thank you” and people replied sometimes very violently. Why are we Christians afraid of saying “no”? I believe in Virgin Mary and virginity is composed on the rational, well informed ability to just say no.
“Yeah, well…interesting… but no!”


#35

My wife, my two kids, and I are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All of us have been to multiple Catholic masses. My wife and I and I think my oldest have been to midnight mass on Christmas. I personally have been to a couple dozen Catholic masses since becoming a LDS (including an Old Catholic Mass and a a couple of Latin Masses with the SSPX).
I know some BYU comparative religion classes require attendance at non-LDS services.

I have no idea if the family would agree, but they MIGHT, so an invitation to attend mass should not be a ploy (for this reason and the reason that it is a bit manipulative).

It is my position that interaction between LDS and Catholics in real life will expose the interaction here as the unhinged/unbalanced mess it is (and I say that as someone who is responsible for a good bit of the unhinged/unbalanced mess)
Charity, TOm


#36

Why did you go to Catholic masses may I ask ?


#37

Hello,
I’m not Catholic or Mormon and don’t have a real interest in what church service you attend. I’d just like to mention that if you do attend an LDS service you will probably be treated as a celebrity as long as you say nice things.


#39

This is such an offensive statement. Calling all CAF Catholics “poor substitutes” for Christians is probably the worst I’ve heard from you yet.


#40

I said “what passes for religious discuss here” is a poor substitute. And I said I was part of the problem. (See quote below.) I did not impugn the Christianity of anyone here. I only said that real understanding comes when dialogue happens in real life where Christians love one another.
I love everyone here despite the frustration I feel when I see folks say things about my faith that are inaccurate. I expect that I am loved though regularly vilified even when I am not trying to say something particularly jarring.
Charity, TOm


#41

I think I get what you’re trying to say. Perhaps faith interactions are more meaningful when you personally know and love the individual?

While I agree, I think there are also drawbacks in that situation. When you care for a person, there is a deep desire not to hurt their feelings. When exploring faith, often people have questions, strong objections even! It can hurt someone when their good friend questions their faith, I have seen it.

This forum can be useful in that regard. A person can be more open with their objections. People still get offended here, but honestly it’s an anonymous person on the internet, quite different from a dear friend.


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.