How can I reach my daughter who is being raised Mormon?

Do you have any advice? When I left Mormonism, my LDS wife divorced me and moved back home to Utah to live with her LDS family. My daughter who is now 8 is asking me to allow her to be baptized LDS. With everything that I know about Mormonism, I will never allow her to be baptized into the LDS Church, even though she is being raised by my wife and her several generation LDS family. I’m being called the “worst dad ever” even though all I’m doing is using LDS rules.   To counter what she has been learning in primary, I bought the primary books 4-7 which made me sick just reading them. But when I counter their claims out of the Bible, my daughter calls me a liar. What can I do?


Dear Friend,

We are so sorry to hear of another family split over the teachings of Mormonism. With what you’ve already shared, it seems that your daughter already has such a resistance to anything you say because she’s conditioned against anything “anti-Mormon.” As the saying goes,

“Until the heart is won, the mind is closed.”

Thus in your case, since she is so in-love with Mormonism, you cannot make any progress in her thinking until their heart is “won” back to you. Since she’s already thinking of you as an “anti-Mormon” she’s likely not even listening or thinking about anything you try to tell her as the cult mind control kicks in saying, “these are all anti-Mormon lies;” and no doubt her LDS relatives are reaffirming that thinking. She’s not even open-minded to discuss the problems with Mormonism when she’s in this mindset.

So having some understanding about the cultic mindset and how gentile you need to approach someone in that mindset, working hard to reestablish your relationship with her first is probably the most important thing you can do for her right now besides praying for her. It’s difficult because she doesn’t live with you, but we’ve learned that rebuilding or strengthening the relationship you have with the person on a personal level is the first step to making any headway in their thinking. Try to think of activities you do to try to connect with her on things other than Mormonism in an effort to win her heart back to you. Perhaps she enjoys horseback riding or dancing. Maybe you can schedule daddy-daughter dates, or trips (if she lives a long way from you).   If you can connect with her on those levels without even bringing up the subject of her religion, you’ll make a lot more headway with her than fighting over baptism or anything else she wants to do in Mormonism in the meantime.

Then, once the walls are down, you can gently approach the subject of religion by asking one or perhaps two questions for her to think about, not arguing or insisting that she believes as you do. But just one or two questions at a time that she can thinking about for a while with no pressure that she gives you an answer on the spot. She may not even feel the freedom to admit that she agrees with you when you bring up a point or question that doesn’t seem to agree with what she has been taught, but once she is listening, this is all you need to do to plant seeds of doubt and the Word of God. Remember that it is these seeds of the Word of God that the Holy Spirit will can use to bring her out Mormonism once she is able to live on her own apart from your LDS family. Never forget the promise of Scripture:

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. “ (Isaiah 55:11)

“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)


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