What to Say to Son

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Linked
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Re: What to Say to Son

Post by Linked » Wed Dec 14, 2022 9:14 am

Thank you for the kind words of validation and support, it means a lot.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Linked
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Re: What to Say to Son

Post by Linked » Mon Jan 09, 2023 3:42 pm

My son was ordained a deacon yesterday. It was unexpectedly painful.

He seemed to have an unvoiced opinion about the idea of me performing the ordination, so last week I asked him who he wanted to perform the ordination. He was silent. I gave him a hug and told him that I will always love him no matter what. He remained silent. So I asked if he would rather have someone besides me perform the ordinance and he grunted a quiet yes. Eventually he settled on asking his grandpa do it.

My son and I discussed a little bit about why he had qualms with me doing it and he said that he didn't think it made sense to have someone who doesn't believe in it to perform the ordinance. I'm quite sure that he came to this conclusion himself, and I'm proud of him for his thoughtfulness and strength to voice his conclusion. It took me a similar thoughtfulness and strength to find my way out of my indoctrination.

In spite of that, I was unprepared for the moment. I joined in the circle and gently placed my hands on my son's head with the other men. My inner voice was screaming as my FIL pronounced a blessing of testimony and faith and praise for continuing on the covenant path. I suffered silently as the church placed itself and it's adherents above me as my son's moral authority. But, what am I to do? I will continue to show my son love and support as he is shepherded toward embracing the dogma. I will always love him as he concludes that I am misguided or lazy or evil. I will be there with a smile on my face and a video game controller in my hand and a broken heart.

Hopefully somehow there will be room for respect and space for love. Hopefully his journey brings him to a place where he can understand me and understand the sacrifices I am making for him. Only time will tell.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Angel
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Re: What to Say to Son

Post by Angel » Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:20 pm

Time will tell.

My parents did not attend my baptism, and did not attend my marriage (different faith). At the time, I disconnected myself from it, chalking it up to growing up = leaving parents, which can be kind of true. Now that I'm out, my parents have been amazing. Shortly after I left, my in-laws were over at my parents. My nevermo dad caught my TBM mother-in-law staring at a religious thing (not mormon) on the wall. My dad asked if he could explain it, and my mother-in-law stomped away. Dad and I had a good chuckle over that. I never joined my parents faith either, have a diverse family. Everything circles around. Different seasons. From parents to people. It's better when your parents become people. Honest, non-controlling, people.

I have kids of my own. Seasons. If you love someone, let them go. They come back.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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alas
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Re: What to Say to Son

Post by alas » Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:18 pm

Deacon at 11 is pretty young to be figuring out that love is worth more than being right. Angel said a lot of what I thought of saying while I was reading your story, so, just read what she said again from me.

When your son is older, he will recognize how hard it was for you to step aside and let someone else take your place. Someday he will maybe even realize it takes more love to step aside than it does to demand your “right” to do the silly ceremony.

And given that more and more people are leaving the church before they are 20-30, I bet it is not too many years before he sees through the church’s crap.

But for now, you can admit to him that it was hard to let someone else do what you always assumed you would be doing.

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Red Ryder
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Re: What to Say to Son

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jan 10, 2023 2:03 am

Have you discussed the dangers of him aimlessly pointing his pinky around? You know, since he has more power in his pinky finger than all the women of the church combined?

Congrats on the family milestone. Even if it was emotionally difficult. I’ve been in the exact same position as you when my son was 12 and a new deacon. You have plenty of time to focus on video game controllers and his interest in church will wane.

Just keep being an awesome dad and keep the conversations going.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

Cnsl1
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Re: What to Say to Son

Post by Cnsl1 » Wed Jan 11, 2023 2:01 am

My heart goes out to you, Linked.

This is a heart wrenching experience that seems so silly and needless, but very much a part of what so often happens due to the priesthood stair steps expected of the Mormon male.

The other day my wife asked our inactive young adult male son if he was an Elder. She couldn't remember. He said he was not. She mentioned that most guys his age are, but recognized what's the point. Although she's no longer a true believer, the traditions and check boxes are hard to get out of your psyche, and I know she felt just a little disappointed at that moment. Somewhere in her strong mormon DNA there was a thread of guilt that flicked against her heart. My boy didn't advance in the priesthood. Knowing it's silly doesn't stop that feeling.

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Linked
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Re: What to Say to Son

Post by Linked » Wed Jan 11, 2023 5:11 pm

Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. My post was in a pain peak and I wanted to get it written down. Things will settle I'm sure, and some other thing will be painful later.
Cnsl1 wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 2:01 am
The other day my wife asked our inactive young adult male son if he was an Elder. She couldn't remember. He said he was not. She mentioned that most guys his age are, but recognized what's the point. Although she's no longer a true believer, the traditions and check boxes are hard to get out of your psyche, and I know she felt just a little disappointed at that moment. Somewhere in her strong mormon DNA there was a thread of guilt that flicked against her heart. My boy didn't advance in the priesthood. Knowing it's silly doesn't stop that feeling.
My thoughts about this have been similar. The root of my frustration is the pressure to conform that is being placed on my son. Accepting mormon faith and testimony and covenant path and priesthood duty as inherently good is what puts the capital T in "the church is True". It's key to the dogmatic worldview of a TBM, and it is what the rose colored glasses are made from. I don't want my kids to feel pressure to believe. I think it's evil. And it's not fair to me as their father with a different view.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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