“My parents aren’t active in the Church. How do I stay strong without their support?”04284_000_008
This is a difficult situation because parents are usually the ones we look to for guidance and direction. But there are things you can do to stay strong, and doing these things will help you be a good example to your parents.
To invite inspiration into your life, continue to pray and study the scriptures. Heavenly Father hears your prayers and will answer them.
Turn to other relatives or Church members for the example and support that you may need. For example, ask your home teachers or bishop or branch president for a priesthood blessing if there are no worthy priesthood holders in your home.
You can strengthen your siblings and parents by the example of your faith. You may be able to have family home evening, family prayer, or family scripture study with your siblings. Your parents may even want to join you.
Most importantly, continue to love your parents. Do not judge them. Rather, be kind and patient. They still need your love and support, just as you need theirs.
Pray for Your Parents
Invite your parents to have family prayers. Invite them to Church activities. Organize home evenings. Pray for them a lot, and strive to be a good example. That way you will strengthen your family and your own testimony, you will feel better, and the Lord will help you to stay strong in the Church. Do it with faith and dedication, and He will answer your prayers.
Sonia B., 20, Yucatán, Mexico
Don’t Give Up
My dad is not a member, and my mom and sisters aren’t active. It hurts having them disregard my beliefs. But my faith has grown as I attend seminary, church, and Mutual and as I pray and read the scriptures. The best advice I can give is to not give up.
Amanda B., 16, Nevada, USA
Ways to Stay Active
I know an amazing girl who is extremely strong in the Church even though her parents are less-active. She is an inspiration to the other girls as she has already earned her Young Women medallion. She says that the support of the other young women, going to church regularly, and really communicating with her Father in Heaven are all great ways to help her stay active.
Chelsea C., 17, Oklahoma, USA
A Safe Haven
I rely on prayer and scripture study to strengthen my testimony, and I found a safe haven by participating in Scouting and the Young Men program as well as fulfilling my callings. Following the counsel of the prophets and selecting good friends help as well. Remember to always set a great example for your family by showing them sincere love, concern, and respect. If you do your part, the Lord will do His.
Elder Whigham, 21, California San Francisco Mission
Courage from Their Examples
My mother is less-active, and my other relatives are not members. What I do is trust in my leaders and my friends; they are always helping me. They have been very important in my life since they have contributed to my way of life and my goal of going on a mission. They give me a lot of courage through their examples. You need to appreciate the friendship of those people who help to build you up as a member and spend more time with them, for surely you will always have something more to learn.
Ivana S., 20, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Express Love to Your Parents
Continue to speak to your parents, and try to get their support. Express your love and appreciation to them, and tell them how important it is to you to go to church. Ask your leaders for transportation, and see if your bishop would try to speak to your parents. Pray and ask Heavenly Father for His support, and pray that your parents will begin to see that staying active is important to you. You can also become stronger by reading the Book of Mormon daily and keeping the commandments.
Craig L., 16, Missouri, USA
Two Support Systems
I see this situation a lot in my mission, and the kids who face this are courageous. How do they do it? By developing a support system within the Church through friends and leaders and by developing a support system with the Lord through prayer, daily scripture reading, and Church attendance. You can make it by doing these things!
Elder Jones, 21, Tahiti Papeete Mission
Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
You Can Strengthen Your Family
“For the Strength of Youth reminds us that ‘being part of a family is a great blessing. … Not all families are the same, but each is important in Heavenly Father’s plan’ ([pamphlet, 2001], 10).
“All families need strengthening, from the ideal to the most troubled. That strengthening can come from you. In fact, in some families you may be the only source of spiritual strength. The Lord is depending on you to bring the blessings of the gospel to your family.
“It is important to establish patterns of righteousness in your own life, which will enable you to set a good example for your family, whatever form your family may take.”
Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, “Strengthen Home and Family,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 11.
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