An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Fathers’ Day Maneuvers

George was properly honored on Saturday when our nearby offspring
gathered to feast on his grilled bison burgers. Techie called Friday to let his
dad know he was taking his family out of cell phone and computer range for a
week and to wish him a Happy Fathers’ Day. Our other out-of-state kids called
on Sunday.

Wort, who spent Sunday afternoon at his in-laws called to
say their dinner table talk included sharing lessons learned from their fathers.
(Have I mentioned that his father-in-law is a pastor? Who else would think of
programming uplifting dinner conversation at a family gathering?) Wort reached
back to early adolescence to share a time when a neighbor hired him to dig out
the thistles in his pasture. Like most kids, Wort went after the small ones.
George directed him to the tall ones going to seed and said, “Take care of the
big stuff first and the small stuff later.” Wort said he’s used this advice to
set priorities ever since. A gratifying tribute. The phone calls should have
ceased at that point.

When Lolly called, she told her dad how much she appreciated
the religious values he taught her. Then she dropped her bomb. The deal for
allowing her 11-year-old to spend a week with us and attend a summer school program
at the University includes promising to take him to church on Sunday—the whole
three-hour block. I feel kind of like we’re being asked to inflict child abuse
on this beloved grandchild—not to mention ourselves. At least now I know who to
blame for Lolly’s zeal.



Comments on: "Fathers’ Day Maneuvers" (3)

  1. When my daughter started having children 13 years ago I was told that if anything happened to her and hubby that her kids would be raised by the other grandparents…. wait for it…. because they are active in the LDS Church. That cut pretty deep. Now ten years and many horrific mother-in-law stories later I wonder if she still feels that way. I don’t dare ask. However, I do know that my grandchildren have learned valuable life lessons from us that the video games and movies at Nana’s house just don’t contain.

    On the other hand, these same grandchildren have been very exposed to our Buddhist beliefs and participate in our church activities all the time. They also attend Catholic Mass with other family members and friends. If any of them are on a church program I will be sitting in the pews. My daughter is one smart young woman and has realized the importance of diversity.

    The custody battle would be intense.

  2. Please update on how you handle this delicate situation. I know what my reaction would be and am curious about how you will handle this.

    • My best wishes for your daughter’s long life and health!

      I can’t help wondering if other churches place such a premium on church membership and activity. Do other people choose doctors, dentists, attorneys, and teachers primarily because they are of their own faith?

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