Ep 524 – Believing Parents

Panel Discussion

Posted September 30th, 2018

How do you relate to believing parents when it is clear that you no longer believe in many things that are most important to them?  Would you give your believing father a priesthood blessing even after resigning from the Mormon church?  Matt and his wife Kristin talk to Tom about the difficulty of connecting and communicating with our believing parents and share a recent example of a challenging but incredibly rewarding act of love.  Matt’s “So Many Later’s” Spotify Playslist.



  • Ian

    Guys. Thank you. I know you guys have to feel weary of talking about straight Mormon / faith transition issues. But thank you. I loved this episode, and needed to hear it.

  • I almost didn’t listen to this…my parents are long gone, and they were never believing, but I was so touched by this. Thanks so much for sharing. I am sure we can all benefit by trying to understand how others might perceive what we are saying. Matt, your dad helped shape who you are, good and bad, and someone shaped who he is. I am glad you realized that, and are going to stop the cycle of making your kids be afraid to be in their own home.

  • Tracy Tomlinson Averett

    I loved this episode. I too struggle with talking father, who after my mom’s death became a Born Again Mormon, which led him to be sealed to a Nazi Mormon for All Time and Eternity… Needless to say the last three years have been very difficult. I thought the blessing was beautiful, I wish I could do something like that for my father… But me being a woman he would see it as I am making fun of his beliefs. I will keep trying to get through to him.

  • Matthew A

    Thanks guys. It’s great to hear raw accounts of how others handle these situations. That being said, my old legalistic Mormon self has to know something. Matt, didn’t I hear you talk in a previous episode about handing in your resignation to your bishop? If so, doesn’t that cancel all ordinances and ordinations? Doesn’t that therefore mean that you can’t “technically” invoke the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood for blessings? Not that invoking that authority means a damn thing in reality, but in the magical Mormon realm I would have absolutely wondered if your blessing was legit. Mostly I’m just anticipating the awkward looks around the room like, “Is he allowed to do this?” if I ever tried it.

    • Matt

      The only authority I need is Love.

      • Matthew A

        I completely agree with you, but I’ll never forget that this is how the church treats that sentiment. https://youtu.be/0_x8IMyMqLA?t=2m17s

        • Brrrrr

          Good idea, invoke the wisdom of morons.

    • Brrrrr

      Your legalistic point is exactly what makes Matt’s move pure genius. Parents should throw church legalism under the bus to promote family harmony.

  • Christian Braithwaite

    Fantastic discussion – thank you so much for the insightful dialogue. Every single ExMo with believing parents will just be nodding their heads in agreement the entire time.

    The role of “Patriarch” is problematic; and a real obstacle for Mormon Parents to evolve in their relationship with their adult children. It’s a damn good thing the Celestial Kingdom isn’t a real place, because when it comes down to it, it would just be a place where a bunch of adult couples are eternally trying to assert their patriarchal role on the rest of their family.

    Matt, I loved your story. You are becoming my personal Ex-Mo Aristotle. I loved how you equated giving your father a blessing to “speaking his language”. I think speaking the language of our believing family members is a great bridge to healing for everyone.

  • Christian Braithwaite

    As Greg Prince once put it “For anyone who has never really thought through the dynamic of the Celestial Kingdom – just ask yourself “Whose house do we go to for Thanksgiving, and how many Turkeys do we need”?

  • Leslie North

    Good Stuff and so much to unpack to get at what happened. 1)Matt added a ritual to bust thru the ego-mind. The ritual is not magic, but the process of slipping past the roles and ego is magic.

    2) All those platitudes that you mentioned at the end like – Be the Change you want to see in the world, – Love others as you love yourself, the Kingdom is within you, change yourself, find peace within yourself, bla,bla,bla, – are not necessarily a “to do” list, but they are a description of what you felt brought success and connection. Others and yourself have had to put into words something real – love – and all the words seem trite, silly and inadequate. They are descriptions, not prescriptions.

    Some of my favorites of IOT are because they bring a smile and laughter, but there are a few that are deep and very important for those transitioning into post, postMormon. 5 stars.