Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Building on", Not "Contradicting"

There have been a lot of times in my life when someone has said something at church that is different in some way than I see it.  (To be fair, I'm positive that many other people could say the same thing about lots of things I've said at church.)  In some of those situations, I've felt it was necessary to explain to my children why I didn't agree with what was said, but I don't try to contradict them.  I like "building on" rather than "contradicting", since I rarely tell my children that I am right and the other person is wrong.  There are times, however, when I have contradicted something that someone else has said in a meeting or class of some kind. I've tried to do it with humor and a specific reinforcement that I love the person who said it, but I've done it, nonetheless.

I mentioned in a post a while ago an example of a former church leader who said from the pulpit how proud he was that his son chose to date only other members. This was in "the mission field", and my teenage daughters at the time were the only active members in the entire town in which we lived. There were no Mormon young men in their high school - or within a 20 miles radius of their house. My daughters were incredulous, so we talked about the impractical nature of that personal opinion on our way home from the meeting.  I stressed how much I loved and respected the person who made the statement - and I was completely sincere in those statements. He is a wonderful man, and I learned a lot from my time associating with him.

I'm my kids' parent, and, more than anything else, I want them to learn to think for themselves, to wean themselves from needing to borrow my light (or that of anyone else) and to construct their own faith. I hope deeply it is within Mormonism and the LDS Church, but if it isn't, so be it. I'm trying to train them to be adults, and part of that is crafting their own beliefs and perspectives while not ridiculing and rejecting those who craft differently than they do.

I'd rather they start that process early, in their natural "developmental" stage when things still are being molded, than have to help them pick up the pieces when a less mature, more rigid paradigm shatters later in life. 

1 comment:

Apache said...

I absolutely agree with your post. I do worry when I see leadership disagree and contradict some members to the detriment of those members faith and desire to stay in the fold.