How would you advise this young woman?
Hi, Mrs. Latayne Scott,
Although I’ve never been a part of the Mormon Church, I’ve had various experiences through family and friends. I attended my first and last service when I was thirteen years old. My best friend, a member of the Mormon Church, invited me to attend to listen to a speech she was asked to write. Young as I was, I didn’t question anything except the extensive hours.
It wasn’t until high school when my questions stirred. During the summer before my junior year, relatives from Utah came to visit. It was then I learned that they were a part of the Mormon Church. When I returned home from a marching band rehearsal, I was approached by my uncle, asking me if I wanted to attend church. My gut feeling told me to decline but when I did so, I was pressured up to the moment my uncle, my father (his brother), and his three sons were leaving out the door. However, it wasn’t until they left when the pressure became almost unbearable.
A pair of women from the church came to my house and began to invite me to activities for other girls my age. Kind as they were, I wasn’t interested, recalling the memories I had when I attended church activities with my best friend and feeling uncomfortable. Despite my decline, they continue to come to my house to not only bring up what I already said I wasn’t interested but also wanted to share the Book of Mormon. In addition, I began to receive phone calls involving the same topics. The issue was dealt with after speaking with my mom but my bitter feelings remained.
The last straw was attending an event where my best friend would become secretary for seminary. As I watched other high school students praying in a circle, I noticed that–aside from the student–everyone was male despite if the mother was there. I sensed a male dominance, slowly angering me but I made sure to keep my composure. After all, no one from my best friend’s family came to attend. I tried to remain supportive but after my previous experience and what I witnessed, it was difficult to be optimistic.
I’m now eighteen years old, heading into college in a few weeks with my best friend as my roommate. Recently, I inquired my fear to my boyfriend of what to respond if she questions why I don’t attend church with her during college. He provided me with a wonderful sermon regarding God and His Grace, along with a link to your article, \”Mormonism and the Quest for Truth” on www.equip.org. I was amazed on what I didn’t know about Mormonism. From there, I found your website and began reading your “365 Reasons Why I Won’t Return To Mormonism”.
I wanted to say thank you so much for creating Latayne.com and writing your article. I truly appreciate what you’re doing, especially how you deliver your message.
I apologize for my lengthy story involving Mormonism despite not being a member but I feel if I can receive an answer for what step to take, it’s best if you hear my take and understand why I come to you for advice.
My best friend has been a member of the Mormon Church since she was twelve. Her brother attended for about a year or two before he stopped going to church. Their parents have no involvement in the church, thus it’s safe to say that my best friend is the only Mormon in her household. After reading your works and research, I strongly wish to show her what I’ve read from you. However, after reading a letter you received from an eighteen-year-old Mormon in regards to one of your books, I was hesitant, especially since my best friend is the same age. I’ve been best friends with her since the third grade. Now that we’re going to be first-years in college and living together, I’m fearful of approaching this topic with the risk of our friendship. Not being Mormon myself, I don’t want to come off as bias or uninformed. I feel that if I share your article and this website, this will help reveal my thoughts without saying anything irrational.
My question is a matter of when. Should I share this before we move into our dorm in college? Should I wait until the topic is brought up? My best friend means so much to me. I honestly want only the best for her. When it comes to this, I don’t know what action will be most appropriate.
If you’re able to reply with advice, it will be gladly appreciated but I do understand if I don’t receive a response. Honestly, being able to write down my true feelings on this has lifted a great deal off my shoulders and I thank you for allowing me to write this to you. I wish you all the best and success in your life!