I’ve been curious to find out what motivates people to convert to Mormonism. Most of what I’ve read and watched seems to be connected with an emotional or spiritual sensation, or perhaps after doing “Moroni’s challenge.”
I’m curious to know if any LDS converts here can confirm whether that “challenge” is what brought them to Mormonism, or whether they had an intellectual argument that won them over?
I’m not attempting to downplay or dismiss either Mormonism, converts to Mormonism, or experience leading to conversion. I’m just genuinely interested.
When we were trying to figure out which Christian “denomination” was the right one, we briefly looked into LDS. We really liked how it seemed more “orthodox” than others (full-immersion baptisms, firm moral values), and we liked the emphasis on family, like how you would bring your family into church with you, and how they made one day a week for family time.
Very glad we became Catholic instead though.
We’ve actually had several Mormons visit over the years, and each time, we invite them in and talk to them about religion (not just superficially, but the deep meaty stuff) until they apparently get too overwhelmed by the temptation to join the Catholic Church and need to leave. At least that’s my guess why they always leave. Well actually, they also give themselves a curfew of like 9pm or something.
I was “born in the covenant” and raised Mormon. Even when I was a teenager, I knew I would have never converted if I hadn’t been born into it. At that time, I figured either the Mormon church was the one true church or the Catholic Church was.
My mother converted to Mormonism when she was a teen. She did not have a good or happy home life growing up, and she was really attracted to the plan of salvation and eternal families. She also liked baptism by immersion.
I think most people convert to LDS because of the feeling of family the church provides, without ever researching their actual beliefs. If you visit a Mormon service, everyone is extremely nice and includes you in everything, there’s Sunday school and food, and it feels very close. To someone that has never had a church experience or is looking for more of a family, I can see how they’d be wanting to convert. Just remind them what exactly the Mormons believe in…
:eek: I must ask you, what sort of arguments do you use with these Mormons that make you think they leave because they’re tempted to join the Church? I ask because most LDS I encounter are very staunch and apologetic of their faith.
It’s probably just prideful thinking on my part, they more likely leave because the conversation gets hung at the question of interpretive authority or the unbroken lineage of apostolic succession, and it gets late and they have to leave to meet their self-set curfew.
Hate to be another Catholic critic when not a Latter-day Saint’s poked up, but I did get the opportunity to speak to a Mormon last week when I was giving plasma. I asked him why he was. If I recall correctly, his answer was existential in nature - i.e, he chose it because he thought it was true, good, the gambit.
Every time I speak with a Mormon, they can’t really refute the variation on Pascal’s wager: if Church of LDS is right and you’re a faithful Catholic, you’ll almost definitely end up in a pretty-okay place (“telestial kingdom”), rather than their idea of hell (“outer-darkness”); but if the Catholic Church is right and you’re a faithful LDS, there’s a greater chance that you’ll end up in hell (already taking extra ecclesiam nulla salus into account).
Yes indeed - both of those. I was 26 yrs old, and had admitted to myself years earlier that I didn’t even know if God existed or not. Trying to find the truth, I had come within a few credit hours of a minor in philosophy (it was a huge waste of time btw). I found these two book of mormon scriptures, and decided to see if I could reach a conclusion one way or the other.
Alma 32:27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I’ve posted my journey through these scriptures in various message boards over the years, I’m thinking it’s probably not appropriate to post here - probably a little too close to proselyting for anyone’s comfort.
Without wanting to push you beyond your sensibilities, I would actually be interested in knowing that story.
I’m curious because I’ve read a few conversion stories, for Evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, and mainline Protestant converts. I’ve read various reasons on why people convert. I’ve read a lot of intellectual conversions. But with Mormonism, I’ve mostly read emotional responses. I don’t mean to sound condescending when I state that, because I’m not trying to denigrate people’s choices. Have you compared what you found with the LDS with mainstream Christian denominations? Why did you end up picking the LDS? Was the “challenge” the decisive factor?
for me, it was the fact that they did not smoke or drink alcohol, as I did not either. Still have never.
It was also the fact they believed they were the only true Church (I did not know Catholics believed that) and even as a kid, I did not believe God intended for there to be so many different Churches.
The camaraderie was impressive. The morality, view of families…all impressive.
And they never told me the truth about all the teachings, doctrine, and problems.
Do you think you might have chosen Catholicism if you had a better understanding of the Catholic Church at the time you decided to become LDS?
Thank you all for your responses. I find them all fascinating. I’m amazed at the comments with regards to people choosing this or that faith on the basis of family values or what “fits” right. What about where truth lies? If something feels “good,” is it necessarily true? If not, then is it wise to choose a religion based on the feeling?
Mormonism has much to offer…at least socially. The problem with Mormonism is that none of the story is true…and they do not tell you the truth about themselves. You have to find it on the net, or, as in my case, by reading old doctrinal books.
If I had been the told the truth, I would not have become Mormon.