I joined the LDS Church as a teenager and was utterly jubilant to find a church home that deepened my Christian faith walk in ways I’d only longed for till then. I come from a long line of deeply religious Southern folk; I was born with Jesus in my blood. But as I grew and tried to make sense of Protestant doctrine, I just couldn’t reconcile the Bigness of God I felt inside me with my (admittedly juvenile) perception of the weak, nonsensical faith structure of my pewmates. So when I encountered the rich depths of Mormon doctrine, it was welcome nourishment to my starving soul. As an instinctive truth-seeker, I felt I had found that pearl of great price I sought. That was decades ago, and I have never had cause to regret my choice, even when the quirks and mistakes of my chosen church upset me. I still experience the doctrines of the Restoration with gut-confirming surety. And the further along the path I get, the richer and wider the vista, the more real and clear the promises.
I have always been grateful that I joined the Church early enough in life to allow me to go to BYU, marry in the temple and raise my children in the Church. I cannot tell you how deeply pleased I was to be able to teach my children not only to look to Jesus (many do that) but to be able to give them many more pieces of the Divine Puzzle, to explain the Plan in much richer detail and confidence. It never once occurred to me that they might not recognize the gospel and the Church (which I always understood as separate things, both “true”) as a pearl worth giving all you had to obtain. I never imagined that someone might not want it. My innate desire for truth, my love for Jesus and my gratitude for the Church were not hard-won; they were so obvious to me that I could not imagine a different perspective.
Well, guess what? It is not obvious nor innate for everyone. Not even your own children.