This is one of a series of web pages I created between 2001and 2006. I was angry and frustrated at the LDS Church. Since then I have moved on and calmed down. So please remember, if you read these pages, that they reflect my past and not my present feelings. Thanks for your understanding!      -  Chris Tolworthy


How to have a strong family

(Revised October 2006)

The church thinks it has the answers. Lots of other people think they have the answers too. But those are just opinions are subjective and often wrong. The University of Nebraska did some objective research on what makes a strong family, and this is what they found:

1. Appreciation and affection:

For every negative interaction, family members need to have at least 10 positive ones. So don't worry about all the "thous shalt not" commandments. If your kid swears a little or shows an interest in alcohol or sex, forget the Mormon rules, just show more appreciation and affection, and they will come to you for advice.

2. Commitment:

Members of strong families put the family first. If a member of your family breaks a commandment, then you must choose between God's desires and the family member's desires. Always choose the family member!

3. Communication:

Members of strong families care about what the others think and do. They talk easily and freely about their cares and joys. Forget about the Mormon rules, they always mean judging your family. Don't judge, listen.

4. Enjoyable times together:

Strong families do stuff together. They can look back on many happy activities where they just hung out together. Don't go to boring meetings on a Sunday, go to sports the park or somewhere fun together, or just spend time hanging out instead.

5. Spiritual well-being:

Spiritual well being has nothing to do with churches. "In Australia [where the bulk of the research was carried out] we found that a relatively small percentage of families went to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple on a regular basis, but many families still nurtured a sense of spiritual well-being in their lives."

Strong families have a positive, optimistic feeling of being a part of the world, as if to say "I feel my family is a part of all the families of the world." So forget all that Mormon nonsense about being "In the world but not of the world", forget about all those dangers. Stop worrying! Be part of the world. If you do the other 4 things, you have no reason to fear anything.

6. Successful Management of Stress and Crisis:

Every family has major problems sometimes. The "Creating a Strong Family" web site has a big list of ways to manage a crisis. For example:

  1. "Look for something positive, and focus on that positive element in a difficult situation."
  2. "Pull together rather than apart. Don't see the problem as an individual's problem but as a challenge for the whole family."
  3. "Get help outside the nuclear family when needed."
  4. "Create open channels of communication."
  5. "Keep things in perspective. 'These things, too, shall pass.'"
  6. "Focus on what is most important, not the details"
  7. "Actively meet your challenges head-on. Disaster in life does not go away when you look in another direction."

Let's apply this advice to the crisis in a Mormon family when one persons stops believing.

  1. Look for something positive: the anti-Mormons are usually telling the truth!
  2. Pull together rather than apart. The temple will separate believers from non-believers. So dump the temple!
  3. Get help outside the nuclear family when needed. And from outside the church too - the church is part pf the problem.
  4. Create open channels of communication. Listen to what the apostate has to say. Maybe he has a point.
  5. Keep things in perspective. The church is only a church. There are plenty of other churches where the members are just as convinced that they are right.
  6. Focus on what is most important, not the details. Joseph Smith lied. That's the bottom line.
  7. Actively meet your challenges head-on. See if you can answer the "anti-Mormon" claims. Go on, try it.

In conclusion

The Mormon church tries to make you think you need it. That is a lie. You don't need it. You don't need Mormonism for yourself or for your family. There are plenty of strong families outside the church. You don't need temples and Joseph Smith and its so-called moral standards (which are actually immoral). You just need to spend time with your family and show you care about them. It's as simple as that.