Children, effects on

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
For many believers, the gift of the holy Ghost is a crucial way that children are blessed .The Holy Ghost is an essential guide to them as they grow and progress in their tender, formative years.
        While the outside world might question the need to indoctrinate children with beliefs, to believers it is seems obvious that you would teach your children important eternal truths. Establishing a foundation of truth and righteousness when children are young and still humble enough to listen can be a great blessing to them when they are older. Children are pure and able to feel the spirit and gain a testimony that will be with them for life. The church teaches children reverence, which is a quality not frequently valued outside of Mormonism. A child that learns reverence will learn how to feel the spirit. Even aside from unique teachings to Mormonism, some teachings in primary and nursery are universally good, such as kindness and love.
        The church also provides a good social network for children. Children are vulnerable and at risk for feeling lonely and having low self-esteem. The church teaches that all people have great value. Kids can find great comfort in God and Jesus in a scary world that they understand little to nothing about. The church also provides activities for friendship and fellowship that can be much needed for lonely or at-risk kids. Sunday school and Young Men and Young Women’s programs provide great opportunities for kids to socialize in a safe environment.
        The positive values and teachings that children get at home by their parents through FHE  and other interactions are bolstered by the positive teachings and values children are taught at church.
Some nonbelievers who leave the church feel that they had an excellent childhood growing up Mormon. They often have good memories and feel that Mormonism helped shape them into good people. Some nonbelievers even struggle because they can’t imagine how to raise their children into good people if they don’t have Mormonism to help them. Other nonbelievers do not feel this way, but some will admit that some teachings in primary and nursery are universally good, such as kindness and love.
        Some nonbelievers also admit that the church provides a good social network for children. Children are vulnerable
and at risk for feeling lonely and having low self-esteem. The church teaches that all people have great value. Kids can find great comfort in God and Jesus in a scary world that they understand little to nothing about. The church also provides activities for friendship and fellowship that can be much needed for lonely or at-risk kids. Sunday school and Young Men and Young Women’s programs provide great opportunities for kids to socialize in a safe environment.
        Some nonbelievers think it is good that the church encourages things like FHE. The positive values and teachings that children get at home by their parents through FHE and other interactions are crucial. However, all too often important conversations never happen because the parents know that these things are taught at church (or because they are too busy with church obligations to spend much time with their children). This thus becomes a con: the temptation to shirk parental responsibilities to the church. Why would a responsible parent wait for or allow other people to be the ones who teach their children about morals, sex, and other intimate subjects?

 

 

Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
One of the last things any parent wants is that their child thinks they are being wicked. It is not an uncommon occurrence for children to be more zealous in their faith than their believing (or unbelieving) parents. This can lead to an unfortunate sense of judgement from children and disharmony in the home, even in believing families.
        Children who are LGBT have a very difficult time in the church. Many LGBT children and youth grow to feel they are wicked, wonder why God would do this to them, find little acceptance in church, and some LGBT find less acceptance from their parents because of the church (see “LGBT issues”).
        Although some children find great value and self-esteem from belief and faith, others find the opposite. Some children do not feel the spirit the way everyone else talks about. One of the likely conclusions for that child to make is that they are different than everybody else if they are not feeling what other people say they should be feeling. Being isolated as different is frequently harmful to children, but in this case it is even worse because children sometimes conclude they are not good enough for God to talk to. This can be true for adults too, but children have a brain that is more literal and are more likely to feel this way.
The nonbeliever is likely to agree with the cons listed in the believing section, and they are not reproduced here for the sake of brevity.
        Some nonbelievers see great harm in their children attending church programs, particularly primary. Children are young and vulnerable and easily indoctrinated or brainwashed. From the outside, some primary songs and teachings can even seem cult-like, such as “Follow the Prophet”.
        Some nonbelievers ask themselves the following questions:
  • Why would I want my child to learn that they are part of a chosen people and that they belong to the only true church on the planet, and possibly develop egocentrism, intolerance, and a handicap against appreciating the goodness in other cultures, religions, and philosophies at an early age (see “Chosen People” and “One true church”)?  Why would I want my daughter to go to this church (see “Women’s issues” and “Modesty”)?
  • Why would I want my child to regularly talk to an adult man about sex in private behind closed doors (see “Priesthood interviews”)?
  • Why would I risk having my child learn about Hell and God’s punishment and add a layer of fear to a world that is already rampant with pain and suffering (see “Armageddon” and “Hell”)?
  • Why would I want my child to be taught that homosexuality is a sex perversion akin to rape and incest (see “LGBT issues”)?
  • Why would I want my child to feel guilt and anguish over masturbation (see “Pornography and Masturbation”)?
  • Why would I want my child to learn that Abraham was righteous for being willing to kill his son for God (see “Abrahamic sacrifices”)?
 
        Many of the positive things that the church can bring to children, such as friends, fellowship, and learning good values, can be found in organizations outside the church.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

Top