A Mormon Philosophy Professor Crosses the Tiber!

A few notable quotes from the article that encapsulate exactly why I also left Mormonism to become a Catholic:

“I soon realized,” Sherlock says, “the story [of the Great Apostasy] I grew up with was intellectually unsustainable.”

"He does not believe God withdrew from the emerging Christian church or that the church fathers abandoned Jesus’ teachings. They used reason, which he sees as “God’s greatest gift to humans,” to “explore, develop and make reasonable sense of biblical convictions.”

“Where LDS leaders warn against the dangers of intellectualism, he embraces an essential partnership between reason and faith.”


Great article!

Thanks for the link.

He makes a good point: How could the LDS Church POSSIBLY accept the KJV of the Bible which was translated, etc when there was no authority on the earth?

I pray Sherlock’s conversion may spark other Mormons to explore and embrace the Truth of Catholicism, a Truth that is – as he discovered – based on Faith and Reason. Mormonism, IMO, requires one to have faith in Joseph Smith and to turn off one’s ability to Reason.

I found this to be interesting. As I first started reading the article, I wondered why a Salt Lake City newspaper would post a story like this. Especially without some kind of jab to the Catholic faith or something, then I read this part:

A strong correlation » Though his family lived in Bountiful, young Richard did not have a typical LDS upbringing. His mother was not a regular at Mormon services and his father wasn’t a member until later in life. They sent their offspring to church, where the children were immersed in LDS principles and practices, but the theology didn’t go deep.

“There was not much religion in my home,” Sherlock recalls. “I mostly went to church as a teen to play sports.”

He did not serve a two-year mission for the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, instead focusing all his energies on school. Still, questions of faith engaged him. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Utah in 1970, Sherlock headed to Harvard Divinity School to study moral theology and ethics.

I took the above as, if both his parents where active Mormons, they had FHE on Mondays, he went on a mission etc… This wouldn’t have happened. However if you read the comments, one of his brothers corrects the portion above:

Rick, I support your decision to find your religious path and I am glad that you are happy, you deserve to be happy. Our parents were religious and there was religion in our home. Our mother did go to church and was active in the mormon church. She held many church positions in primary, relief society and scouting. Our father through not a member of the mormon faith was very involved in scouting. Our parents listened to our nightly prayers and we always took turns blessing the food at the dinner table. Mother told me that she and father said their nightly prayers together on their knees for many years. When you were 23 and I was 16 our father was baptised into the mormon church and later they were sealed together in the temple. You ordained our father a high priest. You were encouraged to go to Harvard, and take your scholarship, by our dad who didn’t want to risk his son being drafted in 1969. Concern about the draft played a role in not going on a mission. A personal journey is a process of moving forward and it is not necessary to rewrite history. Like I said, I do support your spiritual journey because I want you to be happy. I know spirituality is a personal journey.

I know this kind of takes away from the joy of the article, but thought I should point it out.

Sibling have different experiences, especially when there is a large age difference.

My sister is 11 yrs older than I, and you’d think we had entirely 2 different people as parents if you happened to ask us how we were raised.

Their father was baptized LDS long after the oldest son was out of the house and at college. No doubt, he experienced a different upbringing than his older brother.

Does this mean that all those Protestants that tell me that there was an Apostasy should not be believed?

I discussed this point with my wife, who blames my parents for my departure from Mormonism. What struck me in the article is the explicit, necessary link the professor makes between faith and reason - a link that the Catholic Church makes and has always made. Mormons tend to denigrate the role of reason if it conflicts with their emotions. Mormons will grasp at any straw to account for someone leaving the church, any straw that will offer them comfort when the facts contradict the good feelings they experience at church, e.g. “if both his parents were active this wouldn’t have happened” or “if his parents weren’t so hardcore and strict this wouldn’t have happened”.

Blessed be God! Grace works in the most unlikely of people, and it is a beautiful thing to see.

I find it odd that he mentioned he didn’t have the courage to leave the Mormon church until after the death of his wife. I didn’t have the nerve to explore the Cathlolic church until my father passed away. He was even serviced during Hospice by nuns, and yet I was still afraid of his judgement. I didn’t even tell my mother for five years that I had been baptized Catholic.

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