Over the last few years I have received hundreds of unsolicited e-mails like the following:
Our son has been dating a Mormon girl and is planning to be baptized Mormon so that he can marry her at her temple (she insists that she must be married in a Mormon ceremony). What can we do?These are heart-breaking stories, and doubly ironic because the damage to these family relationships is caused by a religion that touts itself as family-oriented.
My daughter was brought up Baptist and was active in her church youth group. But now she is hanging out with Mormon girls and has just told us that she has secretly been talking with Mormon missionaries, and is set to be baptized into that church next month. We are stunned! Is there anything we can do about this?
Our son was never interested in religion. He got top grades in school and won a full scholarship to college. His roommate at college is a Mormon, and we just learned that this roommate has convinced our son to be baptized into the church and to postpone his education so that he can spend two years as a Mormon missionary. We have no idea how this happened. It is a terrible waste! Are we helpless to do anything?
Last year our daughter fell in love with a Mormon boy and he pressured her to join his church and wait for him while he went on a mission for the Mormons. We hardly recognize her any more. She is aloof, depressed, and wants nothing to do with her old friends. Can you give us any advice?
My daughter married a Mormon man three years ago (her second marriage) and now she refuses to let me visit my grandchildren, whom she is raising as Mormon. She says I am a bad influence because I am not Mormon. I am heartbroken!
Of course there is no silver bullet, no magical potion, that can help these parents. But there are some guidelines that may prove helpful. Even if the child remains Mormon, damaged relationships can often be repaired. And in some cases parents have succeeded in bringing their child out of Mormonism.
In responding to these many pleas for help I have written individual letters. The basic content was the same, with a few variations depending on the extent of the involvement, the present status of the family relationships, the source of the attraction to Mormonism, and other factors. But I realized that there may be some who do not write to me, but do find this website. So I am posting the basic letters here, in two versions, one for a son (or brother or grandson or male friend), and one for a daughter (or sister or granddaughter or female friend). The versions are almost identical, except for using the appropriate pronouns, to avoid the constant "he or she".
FAQ: "Help! My son is involved with the Mormons!"
FAQ: "Help! My daughter is involved with the Mormons!"