Few things in this life are more painful than believing in something very strongly and then having those you love most in the world reject or even mock those beliefs. The gospel of Jesus Christ brings joy and fulfillment in so many ways. The path of discipleship can sometimes be lonely, however, when you’re taking steps forward in the gospel but a friend, a parent, or even a spouse doesn’t support or share your faith.
Regardless of your unique situation, you can always have hope for yourself and for your family because of the Savior Jesus Christ. When you’re feeling helpless or discouraged about your situation, remember that “the Savior loves to restore what you cannot restore; He loves to heal wounds you cannot heal; He compensates for any unfairness inflicted on you; and He loves to permanently mend even shattered hearts.”1
Whether you’re the only Church member in your family or you have a loved one who has left the Church, the advice shared here by other young adults can give you the strength and hope to keep pressing forward.
“I thought that when I got baptized six years ago, my parents would become interested in the gospel and agree to be baptized, but that didn’t happen. One day I read the scripture, ‘He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’ (Matthew 10:37). I adored my parents, so I wondered how I could love the Lord more than them.
“My parents weren’t against me joining the Church, but sometimes they would feel bad when I would spend more time reading the scriptures or going to church instead of doing things with them on the Sabbath. And explaining why I didn’t do certain things on Sundays anymore was hard.
“We had a bit of friction, but the more I read the scriptures and the more I got to know the Savior and my Heavenly Father, the more my love for my family grew. And I knew that if I followed Jesus Christ, my family would be blessed. I decided to put Him above all other things. Needless to say, things between my family and me continue to get better. I know that if I am obedient to the Lord, He will continue to bless my family and me.”
—Magaly Perez, Coahuila, Mexico
“My family has taught me to be respectful of one another. Even if we don’t believe in the same things, they teach me a lot and help me become more like the Savior. I used to be sad that I might not be with my dad forever, but I know that God loves my family.”
—Anicée Dufour, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
“I try to be extra thoughtful when I answer my family members’ questions and concerns about the gospel. It took a long time, but eventually I helped them see past the false stereotypes they believed and helped them realize that I am just trying to be the best person I can be.”
—Brian Steven King, North Carolina, USA
“Stay strong. You lift and inspire those around you more than you can imagine.”
—Leanna Mohlman, Utah, USA
“Each of us has a different story of conversion. And even though our family circumstances can be challenging, as we continue to follow God’s words, He will guide us through every day. I have realized that when I stand with God, I don’t ever stand alone. And that keeps me moving forward on the right path. It’s worth everything.”
—Caloy Casuyon, Negros Occidental, Philippines
“My parents aren’t supportive of my faith. But I continue to have hope that if I am persistent and a good example, their hearts will soften. I know my family is important, but I always keep my sights set on my own eternal goals and my own journey in mortality.”
—Kayla Gonzales, Texas, USA
“My dad and I are the only active members in our family. What brings me hope is knowing that Christ too has felt alone at times. And even though my family and I choose differently and want different things, the love between us is simple.”
—Merania Stanley, New South Wales, Australia
“When your family doesn’t support you or is antagonistic toward your faith, I think it’s important to do the things that deepen your personal relationship with Heavenly Father. Instead of trying to sell your family members on the gospel or your reasoning, focus on becoming your best self and growing spiritually, and be patient. Hold firm to your decisions and see them as part of your eternal progression. People’s hearts change when they can see what the gospel of Jesus Christ does for you and how you live your life.”
—Romana Morris, St. Philip, Barbados
“For me, I just know if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and being a light in others’ lives, everything will work out. I’m not worried about the path my family chooses. I can’t control their decisions, but I can control mine. And I choose to move forward with Christ, even if they don’t.
“God takes care of all of us, whether we are members of His Church or not. I pray for my family, I put their names on the temple prayer roll, and I serve them. I am grateful for the differences in perspective we have and for what they teach me. And I’m just grateful to have them in my life, regardless of our differences.”
—Megan Johnson, Utah, USA
Although it can be hard at times when your family circumstances in the gospel aren’t what you might hope they would be, you can move forward with joy and faith knowing that the Lord will always support you in your struggles. And not only that, but He can also guide you in how to demonstrate love, show understanding, and offer compassion to your loved ones who disagree or believe differently.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has promised that “as we focus on our love for the Savior and His Atonement, make Him the centerpiece of our efforts to gather Israel on both sides of the veil, minister to others, and individually prepare to meet God, the influence of the adversary will be diminished and the joy, delight, and peace of the gospel will magnify our homes with Christlike love.”2
Always remember that you are never alone. You can have meaningful relationships with your family members, and you can always choose to be an example of what you believe, even if they don’t believe the same. And above all, remember that the Savior understands how you feel. Turn to Him, and He will always be ready to bring you peace, hope, and guidance in your circumstances.