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Over the years, I’ve noticed that a common reason for not being baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “my parents would freak out,” or “my parents would disown me.” There are hundreds of variations on those sentiments, but I think it’s safe to say that many people don’t officially join the Church because deep down they don’t want to disappoint their parents.
Those who face that decision don’t just read Matthew 10:34-37 . . . they are living it:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And sometimes the fulfillment of these words from the Savior can be excruciating.
I personally cannot identify. I’ve never been in that position. But, over time, I’ve witnessed and admired the courage of those that have chosen to follow the promptings of the Spirit by being baptized, even in the face of anxiety, worry, and concern for their parents’ feelings.
So how does someone tell their parents that they’ve joined, or are joining, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
My best friend, Brian, and my dad, Jim, came from a heritage of Catholicism and lived through this exact situation…