John Huntinghouse, of the LDS S.M.I.L.E website, answers this week’s ‘Ask Angela’ question

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Photo credit: LDSsmile.com

You know all of those great articles like “45 of the Funniest Mormon Memes” or “23 of the Funniest Religious Memes” that you’ve seen circulating on social media sites? Well, John Huntinghouse and his wife Kara are the great minds behind those fun articles that can be found on LDSsmile.com. Aside from having a really fun content, their site is also full of great advice.

We got a chance to talk to pick John’s brain about this week’s ‘Ask Angela’ article and we wanted to share his advice with you below. Click the link above to read the question before you read their response!

If you are trying to decide whether or not to tell your parents the short answer is yes.  Secrecy or dishonesty never ends well in the end and eventually they are going to find out one way or another.  At least by initiating the conversation, you can frame and control the topic a bit and hopefully it will lead to a more pleasant experience.

More than likely when you tell them, they will probably have some form of angry, scared, or shocked reaction to the announcement.  They may surprise you with a very positive reaction but chances are likely they won’t.   This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because at least it shows that they care.  If you told them that you were baptized and their response was one of apathy, that would be a sign that they just didn’t care at all.  

Coming from a household where my mother was antagonistic to many of the decisions I made i.e. going on a mission and getting married in the temple, one of the things I have learned is not to shut your parents out of the important aspects of your life.  I took that approach with my mission, trying to keep her out of it as much as possible and we were constantly fighting, constantly yelling about the issue.  When I got married however, I learned to keep her involved in as much of the process as I could.  Even though she couldn’t go into the temple with me, there was a lot of things that she could still do to help and by incorporating and reaching out to her for help, I believe that was one of the main reasons why things were so much better during that event.  

One of the biggest thing to remember in situations like these is to take perspective from the parent’s point of view. One of the many reasons they get angry, upset or scared is because of the fear that they have of the unknown.  They don’t know what it means to be a member of the church.  From their perspective, they might very well be losing one of their children and what you need to reassure them about is that you’re going to be the same person and any changes that will be made will be for the better.  You need to be the real life example of what it means to be a member of the church and to dispel any of the myths of the church that they may have.  

If your situation is anything similar to mine, it’s going to be a process that takes time.  No matter how well accepting or open minded they may be, it just simply takes time and lots and lots of prayer and fasting.  Be patient and understanding of their feelings and try to view it from their perspective in the meantime.

Great advice, right? Check out their site here: http://www.ldssmile.com/

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