For Your Information

By Casey Null

Out-of-Church Parents

Do you feel sad when you hear a talk or lesson about eternal families?

Does a less-active or non-LDS parent make you wonder how far your family will make it? You’re not alone. Thousands of LDS young people go to church without one or both parents. Here are some of their suggestions:

Know that even though your parent may not believe in it, the gospel is still true. Nothing will ever change that.

Lean upon the Lord. Pray often and get close to him. He can be your greatest strength.

Remember that Heavenly Father loves your parent as much as he loves you.

Blame no one—especially not yourself. It isn’t your fault your parent has chosen not to go to church. You might not know the real reason for your parent’s feelings.

Find friends who can support you and understand without judging.

Persevere. Enduring difficulties brings great blessings. And there’s a strong possibility that someday things will change for the better.

Do Your Part

What can you do to help your parents see the value of the Church without being pushy?

  • Set a great example. Go to all your meetings, have a positive attitude, and live up to the standards they know you’re being taught at church.

  • Express your love to them. The gospel of Jesus Christ can help you find ways to love your parents more deeply. Make sure they know and feel that love. Express gratitude for their teachings that have helped you.

  • Make them aware of your goals. If they know you’re planning to go on a mission and get married in the temple, it might encourage them to prepare for that.

  • Invite them to certain meetings. You might not want to beg them to attend every meeting, but make sure they know how much it would mean to you to have them there when you give a talk or participate in a program.

  • Support them in their good efforts. Help them around the house and with the family. Be interested in their plans and projects. Don’t just be a daughter or son; be a loving friend.

Keep It in Focus

It’s easy to focus on one challenge as the source of all your problems. For example, you might think, “If Dad would only go to church, there would be a better spirit in the house. Then I wouldn’t fight with my brothers, and I’d be able to study more and get better grades.”

Don’t fall into that trap. Take as much responsibility as you can for your own life. Decide to be a Christlike person, no matter what. Your parents will admire and respect this, regardless of their religion. And it will help you realize that you are the one who ultimately decides which of life’s courses you will take.

When You’re Feeling Down

Sometimes a positive thought can help you through troubles moments. When you’re feeling down, try repeating one of these thoughts:

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling” (Margaret Lee Runbeck).

“Some of the greatest battles you will face will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul” (President Ezra Taft Benson).

“Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high” (D&C 121:7–8).

“Let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly” (D&C 100:15).

[photo] Photograph by Steve Bunderson and Phil Shurtleff; posed by models

Singing in the Philippines

Music in the Labo Branch, Daet Philippines District, has become even more beautiful since sisters Alona and Jonalyn Alaon were baptized in 1990. Between the two of them, they have won more than fifty singing competitions at district, town, province, and regional levels.

They’ve also been able to help the missionary work in their branch. Because of their good examples, their parents were baptized.

In addition to singing in public, Alona, 15, likes being a cheerleader and serving as ward music director. Jonalyn, 12, loves being in Young Women and playing volleyball.

Romanian Aid

When the young women of the Swansea First Ward, Merthyr Tydfil Wales Stake, saw pictures of people starving in Romania, they wanted to help.

So they went to local business and asked for donations—not just money, but also products and services—for an auction at the ward house. It seemed like everyone in town came, and money went to buy much-needed food, medicine, and clothing.

[photo] Young women in Wales sent help to Romania.

A Stitch in Time Saves

It happens to everyone: You hurry to an appointment and find yourself waiting, with time to spare. The Mia Maids of the American Fork 15th Ward, American Fork North Stake [Utah], decided to make that time productive. While they’re waiting, they tie quilts.

Every month they have a personal progress interview with their adviser, and before and after their interviews, they tie light-weight quilts on a frame set up in the adviser’s living room. Ward members donate the materials. When the quilts are finished, they are given to the residents of a local rest home. Actually delivering the quilts is the best part, according to the girls. The residents are very appreciative—so much so, in fact, that the girls have decided to continue the project indefinitely.

Magnificent Missionary

If you don’t like the thought of graduating from school as the only member of the Church in your class, you can always do what Tammy Shick of the Ridgeway Branch, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission, did. She helped convert two of her classmates.

But her missionary work didn’t stop there. She gave a class presentation on the Book of Mormon and presented a copy of the book to her non-LDS teacher. She also wrote a class research paper on Church history.