Thursday, 7 April 2016

Family versus church

This is one post in an A-Z series of 26 where I am writing about living as a Mormon in the wilderness of Kuantan

For all the uniting the Mormon church does, it also divides families. Families like my own. My mum joined the church but my dad decided not to. That has caused 30 years of division in our family. Missionaries knocked on our door, converted my mum, and inadvertently caused a lot of time and attention to be taken away from my dad and given to the church. That has been tough for him to take. But he never stopped us from attending church or its many meetings. I am thankful to both my mum for setting us up with a spiritual foundation, and for my dad who never prevented us from following our faith, even though it was not preferential for him.

Meetings seemingly too often in frequency, too long in duration, and too awkward in timing. I can attest to that. I have sat in meetings outside of the regular worship services and wondered why on earth I was there. Suffice it to say that all too often there was no apparent plan or order to these meetings, no focus or concentration on the purpose of the meeting, and ultimately no positive outcome or plan of action.

Of course, as long as freedom of choice is a human possibility, the church will never be able to keep everyone happy. Meetings will continue to be a divisive issue; part-member families will continue to be a divisive issue. It doesn't always continue in tension or end badly, but it does happen.

For the last 10 years I have been living in the wilderness and this has been one of the benefits - no meetings; more family time. It has been bliss. While there are some church meetings that just have to be done, people who need a helping hand, plans formulated for reaching out to others, the family is always the priority. We will not find love, loyalty or anything more important than in our own families.

The Mormon church produced a written statement on the family in 1995, which I fully endorse:

Elder Christoffersen, a top Church leader is quoted as saying, "In the beginning, the church was the family." 

And that's where we are now. 

One family nowhere near a meetinghouse. 

Back to the beginning. 

But a family nevertheless.

What things do you do to demonstrate to your family that they are the priority?


  1. I can imagine that can cause some tension. Sounds like your father is a very understanding man!

  2. Interesting! I have Mormon friends, but everyone in their families is Mormon, so I never thought about what it would be like for divided families. Thank you for the explanation :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

  3. I remember working with a Mormon young lady years ago. For some reason (and rules could have changed in the past close to 40 years) her parents were not eligible to go to the temple to see her get married when she would be getting married. They could wait outside but not there for the actual ceremony. I would imagine that could be hard on parents who would want to share that special time with their child(ren).

    Your dad was good to realize your mom's and then subsequently your faith was something that he could accept and allow you guys to practice it as you did.

    We try to spend as much time with family as possible and obviously help out as much as we can as we can.



I welcome comments and discussion on all perspectives relating to Mormonism and Christianity and the personal quest for acquiring truth and developing a relationship with Deity.

Go ahead!