I'm having a moral dilemma. My husband asked me why I'd let J. go to church still, if I think it's not true, and if it's teaching things that are false. Why would I want my kid to be indoctrinated to that way of thinking, especially if it's based on a lie? Why would I want my kid to go and learn that people who do not go to church are under the influence of Satan? There are actually many things I'm afraid he'll learn and believe if he keeps going there. We told J. he wasn't going to church last Sunday, since I was afraid that they'd announce my release (I still don't know if they did it or not) causing him to be asked what was up by people who were curious. Then my husband told J. that he wasn't going anymore, that we're his parents, and we have the right to tell him he's not going to that church anymore. When he grows up, he's free to choose.
My dilemma is this: do I let him choose NOW or later? I've told him the things that lead me to believe the church wasn't true, and Joseph Smith lied. And if he's not really a prophet, then he made the whole religion and Book of Mormon up. And if he did, why would I want to support it? Why would HE want to support it?
J. says he'd still rather go to church. This boggles me because he really doesn't have any close friends at church, and he hates scouts. All the friends he plays and talks on the phone with are sports kids on his teams, and kids he went to grade school with who aren't LDS. Yet he still wants to go. Finally I asked him "what is your reason for wanting to keep going to church?" He just shrugged, and I said, "Why should I let you go if you don't even have a reason for going?" He finally told me later that he was worried what people would think of him if he quit going. He had told a boy at school who's in a different ward that I didn't believe the church is true anymore, and his friend said, "That sucks! Are YOU going to keep going?" J. told him yes, and his friend said that was good. Then the next day we told him he can't go.
Do I let him keep going to church, just because he's afraid of what people are going to think of him? Especially if they are going to treat him differently for certain, now that I've quit going...Will this cause J. to resent me and treat me poorly or think I'm less worthy of his respect? Maybe. It's a real possibility. And I don't want to go there.
So, do I let him choose now (I'll admit that I figured he'd just quit going too, especially since I always had to drag him to church every Sunday) or do I tell him he's free to choose when he's 18? I don't let him drink or try drugs now, although he's free to choose that when he's old enough. Do I do the same for him with church?!
Oh, another thing happened...I sent my explanation e-mail Sunday afternoon to the primary pres. & 1st counselor. I am much closer to the pres., yet it was the 1st counselor who replied to me and said she'd still rather remain friends, and that she was very sad that I chose this road, sad for me, for the kids & D too. But that she'd always wanted to invite us over as a family for games and dinner. She said "I would love to still get together, whether this involves gospel discussion or not. I have truly grown to love you, and nothing will end that desire to know you better." So, I have to choose if this is what I want to do or not. I can picture, from the words she wrote here, that she may try to incorporate gospel discussion into the evening, forcing me to have to say something. Who knows? Maybe not.
Anyway, the PP hasn't called or e-mailed. I was closest to her at church, and expected I'd hear from her. Yesterday I got an e-mail from another acquaintance at church who said the PP had told her Sunday nite that I'd left the church, and she wanted me to know that she hoped that didn't affect our friendship and she still hoped that we could do lunch sometimes as before. I sent my e-mail to the PP Sunday afternoon. She really didn't waste any time! She must be burning up the phone lines!!
Her granddaughter talked to J. yesterday at school and told him she was personally inviting him to Zion's Camp ~ a pioneer trek in Wyoming the stake youth are doing for 3 days in October. He'd already signed up (or someone signed him up) for this, because we got a call a few weeks ago from his "Ma" he was assigned to, even though J. said he never signed up for it and didn't even know what Zion's Camp was. Anyway, the PP's granddaughter said she also invited J's good friend who's not a member to go as well. Already they are treating my son like he's inactive. I wondered why she was staring at me so hard at his football game yesterday. Blatantly staring at me hard. Finally I smiled really big and waved to her, and she just stared some more without waving back. Probably trying to find signs of how Satan had affected me.
Anyway, the big question that needs answering: do I let him choose for himself now, or not??