A question for Mormon converts


#1

I’ve browsed this website for some time now and have read a lot of the threads that focus on Mormonism. Some have been nice and others have been rather hostile. I would just like to know what brought Mormons to the Catholic faith? There are quite a few on this forum so I hope that your insights and testimonies can help me. I’m stuck in a limbo on what to believe and what not to believe. I would just like to hear your story. Thanks.


#2

Hi there, I assume you are Mormon and going through a period of searching. That is good, and a blessing. It is quite likely that you are going through a difficult time right now I hope and pray that you come out the other side in a better place. Like so many former Mormons on this site that better place is the Catholic church. For many of us it hasn’t been a leap out of the LDS straight into the Catholic church, but rather a long period of searching, a lot of unthinking of Mormon doctrines and beliefs, learning to read and trust the Bible as God’s word which he upholds, not the adulterated Bible of Mormon belief. Prayer, not the “if mormonism is true show me” type, which I am sure many of us have prayed, but the ernest prayer of a sinner in need of God’s saving grace. Read, look at catholic apologetics, ask God to unfetter your mind so that you can reason, don’t look for a burning bosom experience, just sit in God’s company, let him speak to you, ask the Holy Spirit to help you listen. Many ex Mormons that have become Catholic will say that when they encountered God through the Catholic faith it was like a home coming. Whether it was sitting in a Catholic church alone, during the Liturgy, or any number of occasions they might be there, they felt there was something there that they had never encountered before. Of course it isn’t something but Someone. That is my story in a nutshell, don’t be afraid, remember Christ invited all those who labour and heavy laden to come to him and he will give you rest. Remember he left his disciples his peace, something I guess you are in need of right now, trust him.


#3

Hello again, please don't be disheartened by lack of response, but there is a very similar thread already running: Former Mormon converts? Take a look at it there may be some insights there that might help you. But in the meantime perhaps you can share your confusion here, something more specific might elicit more response from the community:)


#4

[quote="xCelticx, post:1, topic:289333"]
I've browsed this website for some time now and have read a lot of the threads that focus on Mormonism. Some have been nice and others have been rather hostile. I would just like to know what brought Mormons to the Catholic faith? There are quite a few on this forum so I hope that your insights and testimonies can help me. I'm stuck in a limbo on what to believe and what not to believe. I would just like to hear your story. Thanks.

[/quote]

I read Catholic material, specifically I found my way into the old Catholic encyclopedia. Started with the word "God" and went from there. Started going to Mass every week. I had no intention of converting. I just wanted to understand what Catholicism was about. I used Catholic For Dummies, the online New American Bible and Catholic Carechism as reference. Read some of Merton, all of Mere Christianity, Orthooxy by Chesterton. All the while, I had really, just one prayer going pretty constant. Asking God to lead me to him.

Eventually, over a years time, I decided I needed to meet a real live Catholic to nderstand what I wasn't understanding. Mainly, the Trinity, but I had a longgggg list of questions. I found a group meeting at a local parish, and just showed up.

Many Mormons and former Mormons have been where you are at. many ways in which we have dome to Catholicism. Every journey is unique, but all of our roads have lead to Rome.


#5

I was born into the LDS church of pioneer stock, going back six generations with polygamous ancestors, graduated from seminary, went on a mission, and married in the Salt Lake temple. I never did feel any spiritual promptings of any kind. That's a big problem for a mormon. As I got older, I was never comfortable with the priesthood ban and the standard justifications my parents, teachers, and church leaders would use (curse of Cain, Ham, black skin, etc.). I was also bothered by the fact that still, after all these years, there was still no trace of archeological evidence from Nephite civilization anywhere to be found. But I still kept working, reading BYU apologetic literature (also known as lame excuses) trying to explain these problems and trying to feel the spirit - until the day I discovered that all of the facsimilies in the Book of Abraham were standard illustrations found in common Egyptial funeral documents and that Facsimile 3 in my Pearl of Great Price still has hieroglyphics that you can look at yourself and translate with the help of an Egyptologist. The names for those figures in the picture are all the usual Egyptian gods depicted in all of those common funeral documents (Osirus, Maat, Isis) and those names are right there in your PoGP. Joseph Smith gave them other names and even got the genders wrong, e.g., calling Isis "King Pharoah"; Maat "Prince Pharoah" and Anubis "Olimlah, a slave"). That discovery was the nail in the coffin. Suddenly I knew why I had never felt any spiritual promptings or gotten any answer to my sincere prayers when testing Moroni's Promise. Joseph Smith was a charlatan and made the whole thing up. I became an overnight atheist. That lasted for years, though there was still something deep down pulling me toward some kind of spirituality. I began researching world religions and investigated christian origins, and in the end was attracted to zen buddhism for a long time. I didn't get anything out of that either. In the end, I never could see what the point was of sitting there in silence trying to experience the One (whatever that is) when the One is not a person. It made no sense. But I was still attracted to meditation and the idea of mystical experiences. That's when I read Merton's Seven Story Mountain and discovered the monastic tradition that sought unity with the One who really is a Person. Suddenly, Christianity re-entered the picture. I read Mere Christianity and Miracles by Lewis, St. John of the Cross, the early church fathers, and the New Testament - this time with fresh eyes and a much firmer grasp on church history and European history than the over-simplified pablum I was spoon fed in seminary and gospel doctrine. It was shocking to discover that there never was a Great Apostasy. The rest followed logically. Once I decided I wanted to give God and Jesus a try once more, there was only one thing I could do. I enrolled in RCIA. I still haven't felt any spiritual promptings, but at least I know my faith is reasonable and historically-grounded. Not like the rationally baseless, emotional faith in Joseph Smith that Mormons have.


#6

hi xCelticx, may I share a few thoughts with you?
I firmly believe that God's word does not return to him empty and without achieving it's aim, Is 55: 11-12. God's word will stand forever, Is40:8. God watches over his word, Jer 1: 1. God's word will last through all the generations, forever Is 59: 21. On God's own oath that his word is irrevocable Is 45:23. His word is living and active Heb 4:12 and his word will not pass away, Matt 13:31.
Statements made by God about his word so that we can trust it. In view of the above, bearing in mind that it is God who is saying it, the idea that the Bible does not contain what he wants us to know for our good and salvation is false. I am sure that many catholics would love to be able to say that it isn't translated correctly when something they have read in it stirs their concience, but we can't.
God does not, indeed cannot lie, his holiness will not allow it. So, when he says " I Yahweh, who am the first and shall be the last" Is 41; and " No god was formed before me, nor will be after me I, I am Yahweh, there is no other saviour but me," Is 43. God is being emphatic, read all of Isaiah 41-50 if you haven't already, he states repeatedly that there is no other besides him, he cannot lie. If he had gone through the mormon process of being man and earning godhood, as his own and other gods did ad infinitum, then the statement made above would be a lie, he would be denying the existence of his own god.
Psalm 119: 160 states that the sum of God's word is truth, there truly is only one God.
I have chosen these themes because when coming out of mormonism, these points of mormon teaching were a source of confusion to me. So I ask you to read the Sacred Scriptures prayerfully and ask God to speak to you through them.


#7

thank you for your posts and explanations everyone. Theres a few things that i'm still a little confused on and can't quite grasp (because i was raised mormon). For instance the trinity....how do I wrap my head around that? I feel like it should be right but I just can't understand it. Another thing is transubstantiation. How did you come to understand it? And get past the cannibalism that the mormons put on it? Now to mormonism I've always had doubts about the "Golden Plates" that were found by Joseph Smith and taken back into heaven and i'm a history buff and the lack of archaeological evidence is a big one. However my mission president told me in my exit interview that the church is on the brink of proving archaeologically that the church is true but doesn't really push for it because that would take away from the "feelings" that convert. I was always taught, its the spirit that converts not people or evidence, though it can be used to help "strengthen" it. And now for the kicker, The Great Apostasy, since birth i've been taught this and believe it. However, since reading the Bible while on my mission i've come to believe that maybe, just maybe, there wasn't one. Of course i only have the mormon bible with title headings to help "decipher" the true meanings of apostasy and all that jazz. How did you overcome that and find that the Great Apostasy never happened?


#8

How did you overcome that and find that the Great Apostasy never happened?

There was a Great Apostasy. However, it is not what Mormons say it was. Instead, it was the Gnostics, who combined all sorts of weird beliefs and then applied a Christian veneer to them. Mormonism is a Gnostic religion (another author calls it a hermetic religion). gnosis.org/library/polem.htm That happened from the beginning, but at Nauvoo they probably became acquainted with St. Clement and St. Irenaeus, and copied what they had refuted-- :juggle::hypno: thus forming a synthesis that made sense to them. The priest who discussed their heresy with them suffered from severe depression for the rest of his life. :(


#9

I am a firm believer that a lack of a valid baptism, and thus the grace that flows from it, makes many thing difficult for a BIC Mormon to "wrap their heads around".

I am a former Mormon but I was a convert to it as a teenager. I was baptized a Catholic as an infant but never received the rest of the initiation sacraments (ie First Communion and Confirmation) until a few years ago.

I had the discernible experience that until after I was confirmed that it was a challenge to "wrapped my head around" various doctrines. But within days of having been confirmed, I had the experience of my mind being opened and things becoming clearer. I called it a mini-Decent of the Holy Spirit experience similar to what the original disciples experienced after the Resurrection and the Paraclete came upon them. Witnessing the Resurrection wasnt even enough. They needed the Holy Spirit to help.

AFA the Trinity. The reason you are finding it difficult is because you have been taught, and wrongly so, that God is an exaulted man. You have been taught to think anthropomorphically when it comes to the nature of God.

God isn't a creature. Never has been. We are creatures. He is the Creator.

AFA the Great Apostasy, for me it was the writing of the Early Church Fathers and also seeing real echos of Judaism worship in the Mass.

You will not find anything in a Mormon sacrament meeting that even closely resembles the worship of the early Christians.

Read the writings of Justin Martyr, and you are reading about the Mass taking place.


#10

When Jesus founded the church he said that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. He also said that he would be with believers in the form of the church until the end of the age. He told the disciples that they would not be left orphans that he would send the Holy Sprirt who would be with them forever and continue to illuminate their understanding and who would live in them. If this great apostacy had occurred then all the above promises would have been broken. In order for that to happen the Holy Spirit would have had to have been removed which was not God's plan. God does not lie, he keeps his word, the gates of hell have not prevailed even in these times when a case for a great apostacy could be made, we can be sure and confess Christ crucified and resurrected and the Blessed Holy Spirit, the Sprirt of truth is still here guiding the church.


#11

[quote="xCelticx, post:7, topic:289333"]
However my mission president told me in my exit interview that the church is on the brink of proving archaeologically that the church is true but doesn't really push for it because that would take away from the "feelings" that convert. I was always taught, its the spirit that converts not people or evidence, though it can be used to help "strengthen" it.

[/quote]

God never intended us to not use our intellect. He gave it to us.
Mormon leadership holding back on what they think is evidence of "proving" that the church is true is to tell God we dont need the intellect He gave us...

That is just screwy thinking IMO.

Faith AND Reason are the ways to know AND find God.
Faith alone==leaving one's self vulnerable to being fooled.


#12

I find it incredible that the Mormon church would not scream it from the roof tops if the BoM could be proved archeologically, never mind "not push for it" on such flimsy grounds cited. It's surely an insult to anyone's intellect to expect them to believe this, and what exactly does "on the brink" of proving mean?


#13

[quote="lynnettejane, post:12, topic:289333"]
I find it incredible that the Mormon church would not scream it from the roof tops if the BoM could be proved archeologically, never mind "not push for it" on such flimsy grounds cited. It's surely an insult to anyone's intellect to expect them to believe this, and what exactly does "on the brink" of proving mean?

[/quote]

Makes me think they would fix the BoA if they could, too.

It certainly is NOT what Smith claimed it was.

Mormonism has so many credibility issues on it's claim of being the "restored" gospel that it's not even humorous


#14

[quote="Marie5890, post:13, topic:289333"]
Makes me think they would fix the BoA if they could, too.

It certainly is NOT what Smith claimed it was.

Mormonism has so many credibility issues on it's claim of being the "restored" gospel that it's not even humorous

[/quote]

explanation please? I don't quite understand, granted i never did get into the PoGP that much

and can you elaborate on some credible issues please. You seem like you've researched this a lot before converting back to Catholicism, i would just like a little piece of your knowledge :)


#15

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=667280&highlight=mormon

We have a veritable library by which any question can be answered!! :smiley:


#16

Hello Celtic,

When I happened upon this thread I could not help but smile for a few reasons:

  1. I was also Mormon until a few years ago.
  2. My questioning started around your age (21-22).
  3. I am a full blooded Celt.

Anyways, the reasons for which I fell away from the LDS faith are numerous, and stemmed from historical to philosophical inconsistencies.

I studied philosophy in college and became a convinced Aristotelian. This was troubling because the cosmology of the LDS faith, being that the universe and thus matter are eternal, did not complement this philosophy well.

Then there are the various historical problems surrounding the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith himself of which I am sure you are aware.

I find that the RCC also has a compelling argument that the Christian Church never fell into apostasy.

I wont expound any more here, but I would be happy to speak with you privately if you want to send a PM.


#17

Im not up on Mormon apologetics these days. How do they explain the reality of what the BoA really is?


#18

They are stuttering and stammering. The best they can come up with is that the papyri were only a catalyst for the BoA. It wasn’t really a translation, but Abraham really wrote his story a it appears. They are instead diverting attention to other issues, such as how hateful non-Mormons are, and how liberal (read closet apostates) Mormons are leading people into apostasy, like this guy mormonstories.org/ . The voice from on high is shutting up the radical right (probably for political reasons).


#19

[quote="Jerusha, post:18, topic:289333"]
They are stuttering and stammering. The best they can come up with is that the papyri were only a catalyst for the BoA. It wasn't really a translation, but Abraham really wrote his story a it appears. They are instead diverting attention to other issues, such as how hateful non-Mormons are, and how liberal (read closet apostates) Mormons are leading people into apostasy, like this guy mormonstories.org/ . The voice from on high is shutting up the radical right (probably for political reasons).

[/quote]

Wow. Really weak. But then, there really isnt much a defense of it is there. :shrug:


#20

[quote="Jerusha, post:15, topic:289333"]
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=667280&highlight=mormon

We have a veritable library by which any question can be answered!! :D

[/quote]

I watched the video of Abraham and found that it was quite compelling. However wrong or right it might be, my complete testimony and that of most LDS persons is in the book of mormon, not the book of abraham. So how did you overcome the obstacle of the Book Of Mormon and how do you come to explain its existence? I'm quite fond of this question actually because as we are taught in the mormon faith. The book of mormon is either true or its not. Joseph smith is either a prophet or he's not. The great apostasy happened or it didn't. The Mormon church is right or its not. Can't be both. So to me, the biggest stumbling block is the book of mormon. how did you overcome it?


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