Head Of Family: "I should have done more to keep you from falling away."
One who Left: "....."
The sentiment expressed by Head Of Family seems to be a fairly common one for parents who's children "leave the fold"; this sense of guilt that there was some pivotal thing left undone that could have averted this tragedy.
First of all, I really really wish we could LOSE the language of tragedy when discussing someone changing their mind about something like religion. (Let's keep tragedy where it belongs: when something tragic happens)
Second of all; what more could you have done?! I am wracking my brain for an answer to that one and the only thing thing that comes to mind is "You could have locked us in the basement for life?" Really. Because here's a rundown of a few things that were done to try to forestall any deviation from The Path:
~Carefully censored all books and information that came into the house to make sure the content wouldn't challenge The Path.
~Home-schooled us to insure that Path Unapproved information wasn't disseminated via a teacher/fellow student.
~Made sure that the daily, weekly & monthly routines of our lives were completely immersed in Path Approved activities and people.
~Took EVERY opportunity to testify of the primacy of The Path.
~Took EVERY opportunity to warn of the dangers of leaving The Path.
You did your best to instill your own beliefs and values in us.
You also gave a lot of love and support.
Even though those beliefs may not have stuck, the love and support did. You did all right, don't guilt yourself out over the little things like us being at variance over the nature of the soul, the priesthood linage, or details of eternity.
Two maybe/maybe not relevant things on my mind as I write this;
- Ursula K. LeGuin's classic The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.
- And, just for kicks, How to Tell the Difference Between Mormons and Zombies. (Wendy, you rock!)