Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tension in the family since my mom has converted to being Mormon. I need advice on how to adjust well.? —Amanda D

My mom has been converting for 2/3 months now and the first day I whent with her and her brother, wife & kids to their mormon church, I wanted to go to see what its all about (curiosity since i'm not christian). I definitley wasn't digging it, but my mom was. She's now starting to change her whole way of thinking, on big issues that were taught to us as children (gay rights, independant women, relationships ect.). Me and my brother are exempt from church and visiting missionaries since we are adults (who apparently will be going to hell...i'm sure) but she is getting my 14 year old devout catholic sister in on this and she is not happy. I am glad that mom is happy but I feel that her being Mormon is causing a rift in our once tight family. Can anyone who has been in this type of situation help? Advice?
My advice is that you begin to set some appropriate boundaries with your mom. For your relationship to stay strong there has to be an element of mutual respect, so that's something to talk about. I do not, however, think you necessarily have to respect her religion--just her right to choose to be a part of it.

If you're happy with the way you're living your life and the views you've grown up with about gay rights, women's independence, and so on, she should allow you room to do that. And you should do what you can to accommodate her in her new faith, recognizing that it may inconvenience you in small ways (no Sunday shopping together, no alcohol, busy with church callings, etc.). Adults can usually agree to disagree about such things.

But please don't feel like you need to reinforce her beliefs for her. In other words you don't need to be codependent in any way. If she wants to talk about it, then you have every right to be frank about what you do and do not agree with. I suspect you'll find the best chance of success in your relationship will be to simply not talk about things you can't agree on.

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