[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.
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.