RCC and LDS church to 12 year old


#1

When my husband and I married in 1996, his ex-wife was Catholic as is his ex-in-laws. His daughter was being raised Catholic and started attending Catholic school. Her mom married a man who is Mormon and they had a daughter. When my stepdaughter was 8, she received her First Holy Communion. A a couple months later, we found out that her mom and stepdad decided to be sealed in the Mormon temple. Since my stepdaughter was 8, she had to be baptised Mormon in order to be sealed with them. We didn’t mind the sealing part since we don’t recognize it. But the joining the Mormon church was another story. Her mom left the decision up to her which we did not agree with. She had be raised Catholic and just received Communion and then she was supposed to make a decision like this? Anyway, she is now 12. We have told her that eventually she will have to make a decision as to which church she wants to be a member of but haven’t pushed the issue. It seems to us that she thinks the differences in the churchs are things like how long the services last, what the dress code is, etc. Yesterday, she made the comment to me about choosing her parents when she was in Heaven before she was born. I told her that was something the Mormons believe but the Catholics don’t and left it at that. Obviously, we need to start explaining the real differences between the two churches. Does any one have any suggestions on how to approach this subject with a 12 year old who lives with her mom and step dad who are Mormon? We can use all the help we can get.

Thanks,
Maggie


#2

I’d say use logic to show that Mormon doctrine is wrong. Go to the story of Joseph Smith, and the crazy things he said and did, the archaelological proof that there were no huge Jewish civilizations in America in 600 B.C.

Look at more matters of faith and show their discrepancies with the Bible. It takes a lot of blind faith (and disregard for logic) to be a Mormon. If you can get someone to reason (kids are usually good at reasoning at that age I think), you may be able to persuade them back to Christianity.

Then of course, pray your heart out about it.


#3

[quote=UtahMaggie]When my husband and I married in 1996, his ex-wife was Catholic as is his ex-in-laws. His daughter was being raised Catholic and started attending Catholic school. Her mom married a man who is Mormon and they had a daughter. When my stepdaughter was 8, she received her First Holy Communion. A a couple months later, we found out that her mom and stepdad decided to be sealed in the Mormon temple. Since my stepdaughter was 8, she had to be baptised Mormon in order to be sealed with them. We didn’t mind the sealing part since we don’t recognize it. But the joining the Mormon church was another story. Her mom left the decision up to her which we did not agree with. She had be raised Catholic and just received Communion and then she was supposed to make a decision like this? Anyway, she is now 12. We have told her that eventually she will have to make a decision as to which church she wants to be a member of but haven’t pushed the issue. It seems to us that she thinks the differences in the churchs are things like how long the services last, what the dress code is, etc. Yesterday, she made the comment to me about choosing her parents when she was in Heaven before she was born. I told her that was something the Mormons believe but the Catholics don’t and left it at that. Obviously, we need to start explaining the real differences between the two churches. Does any one have any suggestions on how to approach this subject with a 12 year old who lives with her mom and step dad who are Mormon? We can use all the help we can get.

Thanks,
Maggie
[/quote]

I find that this matter is a difficult thing for me to respond to, because I do not believe that the LDS church nor the Catholic church is the true church that Jesus founded. But aside from that, I don’t believe that you will be able to persuade her to make a decision by throwing adult logic at her. Even though I believe that a child that age has the ability to reason and think abstractly, I do not believe that throwing logic at her or presenting her with ideas that cannot be proven either way right now (i.e. whether a civilization of Jews inhabited the Earth around 600 BC,


#4

[quote=UtahMaggie]When my husband and I married in 1996, his ex-wife was Catholic as is his ex-in-laws. His daughter was being raised Catholic and started attending Catholic school. Her mom married a man who is Mormon and they had a daughter. When my stepdaughter was 8, she received her First Holy Communion. A a couple months later, we found out that her mom and stepdad decided to be sealed in the Mormon temple. Since my stepdaughter was 8, she had to be baptised Mormon in order to be sealed with them. We didn’t mind the sealing part since we don’t recognize it. But the joining the Mormon church was another story. Her mom left the decision up to her which we did not agree with. She had be raised Catholic and just received Communion and then she was supposed to make a decision like this? Anyway, she is now 12. We have told her that eventually she will have to make a decision as to which church she wants to be a member of but haven’t pushed the issue. It seems to us that she thinks the differences in the churchs are things like how long the services last, what the dress code is, etc. Yesterday, she made the comment to me about choosing her parents when she was in Heaven before she was born. I told her that was something the Mormons believe but the Catholics don’t and left it at that. Obviously, we need to start explaining the real differences between the two churches. Does any one have any suggestions on how to approach this subject with a 12 year old who lives with her mom and step dad who are Mormon? We can use all the help we can get.

Thanks,
Maggie
[/quote]

I find that this matter is a difficult thing for me to respond to, because I do not believe that the LDS church nor the Catholic church is the true church that Jesus founded. But aside from that, I don’t believe that you will be able to persuade her to make a decision by throwing adult logic at her. Even though I believe that a child that age has the ability to reason and think abstractly, I do not believe that throwing logic at her or presenting her with ideas that have not been proven right now is going to persuade her to leave the LDS church and its doctrines.

I think for a child that age, she may be looking for social acceptance and friends rather than how to define her theological beliefs. I don’t believe that her believing that she chose her parents before she was born is going to hurt her too much. As a child, it is easy to believe in things that may not be true, and fantasize about distant lands and people. I would say that perhaps you might want to play along with her non-Catholic ideas that are not too harmful. You might want to use some of her beliefs to your advantage rather than telling her that her beliefs are absolutely wrong. I am not saying that you should tell her that her non-Catholic beliefs are correct, but rather, try using her current beliefs to eventually lead her away from Mormonism.

Also, if you can focus on the Bible and show her what it actually says, rather than showing her how the LDS church is not supported by the Bible, you might have a better chance. You should show her what you believe to be true, without putting any denominational label upon it. If you show her what you believe the Bible says and she becomes convinced of it, she should have no problem discerning which church abides by those beliefs. Attacking the LDS church or speaking against it will never lead anyone away from it. Teaching your step-daughter what you believe to be true will give her a platform upon which to make the decision she must make. This is my opinion on how to approach the subject with her.

P.S. Since she is a girl, you can relax a bit, because she cannot be ordained into the LDS priesthood. If she could, this would make your job more difficult.


#5

Maggie,

This is just my opinion but I don’t think a 12 year old is going to make a decision on religion based on logic. The decision will be based on social reasons unless she is an extraordinary teenager.
If you criticize the LDS faith she’ll talk to Mormons about the criticisms and she will get good rebuttals from people in her church and she won’t be able to debate with them effectively. I think that will do more harm than good.

My advice would be to get her as active in your parish as she can possibly be. Get her to every mass, activity, camp, whatever. Immerse her in the faith, get her socially connected to it and I think you stand a good chance of keeping her in it. The strength of the LDS faith lies in it’s social structure, it’s weakness lies in it’s logicality. But being 12 years old I doubt she can take advantage of that weakness. I hope it works out. I will pray for her and you.

God Bless You.


#6

There is a member on here…Darcee (I believe) who is from the LDS tradition. You may wish to find her and pm her to seek her advice on this situation.

Be charitable, above all when discussing the LDS religion. Your stepdaughter is of an age where hypocrisy is a big issue and she will be watching carefully to see how the adults are living their lives in regards to their faith.

Pray for her mother and her stepfather that they will come to know Christ in His Church and abandon the ways of the LDS doctrine.

I will be praying for your family. God Bless


#7

[quote=Tmaque]Maggie,

My advice would be to get her as active in your parish as she can possibly be. Get her to every mass, activity, camp, whatever. Immerse her in the faith, get her socially connected to it and I think you stand a good chance of keeping her in it. The strength of the LDS faith lies in it’s social structure, it’s weakness lies in it’s logicality. But being 12 years old I doubt she can take advantage of that weakness. I hope it works out. I will pray for her and you.

God Bless You.
[/quote]

I agree with Tmaque. I don’t think that appeals to logic will convince a 12 year old to accept one faith over another. The best thing to do is keep her engaged with her Catholic faith as much as possible. Go to mass every Sunday and talk about it afterwards. Get involved with any parish-connected activities - even scouting if its offered through the parish.

Also, incorporate Catholic practices in your household and daily lives too. Put out an advent wreath at Christmas, say the rosary and bedtime prayers together, crucifix in the home, let her pick out a “favorite saint” and buy her a special saint medal, etcetera… You get the idea. Let her see that Catholicism is real and beautiful, full of history, culture, depth and feeling in addition to a deep connectedness to God.

I think another item in your favor is the cultural connectedness she has with Catholicism. If her father and her grandparents are all Catholic, then there is a cultural and family connection that an LDS faith experience will always lack. ( e.g. - If she’s married in the LDS church, you and her father won’t be able to attend the “sealing” ceremony.)

Speaking from experience, I know that the more she makes the LDS church part of her life, the more difficult it will be for her to leave. It really takes hold of a person. Good Luck.


#8

Oh how horrid.

The best program in the LDS church is their young women program and the worst aspect of being Catholic is usually the same.

I agree with whoever said that logic won’t help her unless she is VERY remarkable.

Honestly, I would not push directly on a 12 year old, influence her gently. Take her to mass, pray with her when she is with you (include her mom and her step dad in your prayers), love her, accept her and be a model of charity and compassion. Have coffee with your breakfast and a glass of wine with diner. Speak warmly of the beauty of the Eucharist, the body of Christ, the Blessed Virgin but in the sense that these things are part of your life not in the sense that you want to change her. Give her a lovely rosary.

If she wants to talk to you about faith do so. Be sure you are up on Catholic to Mormon apologetics so you have truthful, sound and ready answers for any questions she might bring you. Always express your answers with love for those she loves.

I also agree with the idea of getting her as involved in your parish activities as possible.

-D


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