Conversion to Mormonism?

Before we start analyzing your claim…would you cite the source? That will make it easier to provide an answer…maybe this question should be answered in a thread by itself or some other related thread.

My understanding is that this thread is about conversion and what you are questioning here is not directly to the objective or mission of this thread. Don’t you think?

If you are so concerned about the original topic of the thread and sticking to it, why did you wait until now to bring it up? Why not bring it up days ago? Could it be because we are asking uncomfortable questions that you don’t want to answer?

LW started a thread about temple ceremonies that you are more than welcome to comment on. There is also a recent thread about prophets and prophecies you can join too. The threads are there. All you have to do is comment on them.

No…I welcome the questions…I will look the truth in the eye…I don’t run from it. but, if you have not noticed Marie brought it up today and I concur…this is something I also realized a while ago, but nobody really seemed to care…so, I continued. Another reason is that there are so many questions asked in this topic that I don’t have time to answer them all. I love to look at each question and investigate it and love to take my time. I love research.

I will look into it if you provide the source where this is stated.

I became LDS for most of the same reasons that evanfaust has listed: I was attracted by the beliefs on prophets, apostles, continuing revelation, temples, salvation of infants, a seemingly simpler understanding of the Godhead/Trinity, etc. This is what I call the “facade” of Mormonism. It looks nice on the outside. However, once you go deeper, things stop making sense, and are more convoluted than they appear. One of my friends that is still active LDS told me that she doesn’t want to go “deeper”, and just prefers the basics, since she knows things get murky.

For example, the LDS prophets don’t prophesy. They don’t do anything differently than the leaders of other religions. They don’t speak of visions or Heavenly visitations. If someone asks about that, they’re told “well, that’s too sacred”. Gone are the days where Joseph Smith and others openly talked about purported Heavenly manifestations. Instead, General Conference is just more of the same, over and over. The 15 LDS prophets, seers, and revelators simply don’t act like the Biblical prophets, let alone like Joseph Smith.

The priesthood and temple ban on blacks was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had put it up on the mental shelf for some time. It just makes no sense, within the grand scheme of Jesus Christ coming for all people, opening the Truth to all, hence why He told the apostles to go to all nations. Then along comes the LDS Church, which claimed that the full blessings of Christ’s Gospel were not available to part of humanity. Now, I would say things like “oh, during OT times, the priesthood was limited to a particular lineage”, but this was just a deflection, since again, it didn’t comport with what Jesus Christ came to earth specifically to do. The LDS priesthood and temple restriction seems to want to harken back to pre-Jesus times, and reverse what He came to do. And the fact that they don’t have a revelation that started the restriction, and claim that they don’t know how or why it started, just causes even further doubt on their prophets.

I decided to read various articles and books from LDS apologetic sources, in the hopes of finding answers. But it was these resources that confirmed to me that the LDS Church really wasn’t what it claimed to be. First and foremost, none of the Biblical references brought up as evidences for a predicted total apostasy of Christ’s Church didn’t prove it. Instead, they point to either partial apostasies of people, or something unrelated. None teach a total loss of Christ’s Kingdom from the earth. Secondly, LDS apologetics on finding Mormonism in ancient Christianity are a hodge podge of proof-texts, pulled from here and there. There simply is no Church of Jesus Christ of Former-day Saints with the supposedly “restored” beliefs of Mormonism. We see this in this very thread, with Gnostic references that have nothing to do with what was being done in the Jerusalem Temple(s). When looking for a historical restoration of an ancient Christian Church that was lost, there simply is no such Church. Instead, we find distinctly Catholic/Orthodox beliefs and practices, none of which were lost (including deification/theosis).

So, I think that many of us were attracted to the surface appeal of Mormonism. A “restoration” can also be appealing when confronted with troubling issues in Christian history. However, I don’t think that history vindicates Mormonism. Rather, it vindicates Catholic/Orthodox Christianity.

Well, like I said, there are separate threads addressing some of these other issues. I look forward to you commenting on them.

It is well known that the Adam-God doctrine was formally taught by the LDS Church as part of the temple Endowment ordinance, in the “Lecture at the Veil”.

en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_temples/Endowment/Adam-God_and_the_%22Lecture_at_the_Veil%22

mormonmatters.org/2013/06/06/176-177-the-adam-god-doctrine-what-when-still/

sharpenedsword.com/page/page/3770658.htm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%E2%80%93God_doctrine

Thanks LW! I’m on my phone and copying and pasting the links would have been difficult.

Funny, you haven’t responded to the false prophecy that I provided regarding smith…hmmmm

The thread kind of went off the rails several pages ago (probably in the first page), but I appreciate you taking the time to address the question (which you already did, albeit in lesser detail than this post).

Putting aside all the discussion on whether Mormon or traditional Christian doctrine is correct; did you initially have issues with some of the more unique Mormon beliefs on the preexistence, the plurality of gods, and exaltation? I imagine there must be some Mormons who find this difficult to reconcile with their previous understanding of Christianity. I know that when I was initially discerning Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the devotion to Mary was a big stumbling block, coming from a Pentecostal background. Was your family okay with your decision, since you came from Catholicism?

I do agree that in terms of conversion it cannot be* all* intellectual. I think it’s certainly an important component nowadays, but a simple intellectual assent isn’t enough. I think all converts or potential converts probably expect or hope for some kind of experience to confirm their journey. How much weight should be placed on that experience, however, is another question entirely.

Thanks for sharing.

Pearl of Great Price, History of Joseph Smith, verse 34

No. I am asking questions directly related to your claims about the Mormon Church and why you converted. You claim you converted because Joseph Smith was a Prophet; he was not. You claim you converted because Mormonism is a restored Church of Jesus Christ; yet three times you ignore my post showing that Mormonism is not a restored Church but an invention of Joseph Smith.

How committed can you be if you decide not to go past the basics? Isn’t the point to get deeper in the faith?

I decided to read various articles and books from LDS apologetic sources, in the hopes of finding answers. But it was these resources that confirmed to me that the LDS Church really wasn’t what it claimed to be. First and foremost, none of the Biblical references brought up as evidences for a predicted total apostasy of Christ’s Church didn’t prove it. Instead, they point to either partial apostasies of people, or something unrelated. None teach a total loss of Christ’s Kingdom from the earth. Secondly, LDS apologetics on finding Mormonism in ancient Christianity are a hodge podge of proof-texts, pulled from here and there. There simply is no Church of Jesus Christ of Former-day Saints with the supposedly “restored” beliefs of Mormonism. We see this in this very thread, with Gnostic references that have nothing to do with what was being done in the Jerusalem Temple(s). When looking for a historical restoration of an ancient Christian Church that was lost, there simply is no such Church. Instead, we find distinctly Catholic/Orthodox beliefs and practices, none of which were lost (including deification/theosis).

So, I think that many of us were attracted to the surface appeal of Mormonism. A “restoration” can also be appealing when confronted with troubling issues in Christian history. However, I don’t think that history vindicates Mormonism. Rather, it vindicates Catholic/Orthodox Christianity.

I wasn’t particularly impressed either with some of the proof-texts the LDS website provided to defend the idea of a total apostasy of the Church. If that website is supposed to be the official Mormon Church website, then they need to do a better job because a simple search on a Bible software - at least to me - appeared to dismantle the idea entirely.

What brought you back to the Catholic Church?

A conversion based solely upon the intellect is no conversion at all. Christianity is based upon an encounter with the living God and the truth revealed by that God does not contradict reason nor strain the intellect. By this I do not mean that we can comprehend all mysteries. Intellectually, mysteries make sense in that it stands to reason that our human minds could not comprehend the One who created them without divine aid. In fact it would strain reason to believe that we could fully comprehend our Creator.

But this is where Mormonism falls apart, IMHO. It simply does not make sense. The very theology of man progressing to god and the eternal regression of gods flies in the face of simple reason and the philosophical truth that there must be a prime Mover of all things, uncreated; eternal. Really, I cannot think of a single theological truth that Christianity has in common with the Mormon faith. I find it fascinating that there are Mormons at all.

I became LDS for the same reasons you did. I think that everyone who joins for legitimate reasons, unlike many people I saw baptized on my mission in Taiwan who were merely trying to gain status by having American friends or those who join just for the friendship and feeling of community, joined for those same reasons. Most of the ex-LDS here will agree with me.

But when my wife and I deep-dived the Standard Works, the History of the Church, and the JoD we realized that none of it really made sense and the whole house of cards came tumbling down. The authorities that I asked for answers had none.

I remember like it was yesterday; After a night of research, I turned to my wife with tears in my eyes and said “I think the church isn’t true”. She began to cry also and said “I know, I know”. We wept for a long time that night.

A week or so later, we wrote a letter to our bishop (at the time I was his 2nd counselor) asking to have our names removed from the roles of the church. It came as quite a shock and a scandal that a member of the bishopric would leave the church.

Even though we had declared that we no longer believed and asked to be taken off the roles, they held a church court on us in absentia and excommunicated us. I still wonder how they did that with only 2/3 of the bishopric present. :slight_smile:

That was in 1986. I had been LDS for 11 years. My wife was a BIC Mormon.

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

I think she believes in the principles the LDS church teaches, goes to church and other meetings, and focuses on the “basics”, i.e. the surface teachings of the LDS church. She doesn’t go into things like Book of Mormon translation matters, archeology, Freemasonry and Mormonism, the priesthood ban, etc.

What brought you back to the Catholic Church?

I realized that many of the the things that I liked in Mormonism are actually found in Catholicism. For example, Catholicism teaches that God still speaks to man, and never stopped. The Church is guided by the Spirit, and we can receive inspiration from God. Apostolic authority continues in the Bishops. Catholic churches, cathedrals, basilicas, etc are “temples”, where the presence of God is found in a special way, and where the sacrificial priesthood ministers (which the LDS church doesn’t have, in discontinuity with the ancient temple). There have been many prophets and prophetesses throughout Catholic history, receiving Heavenly visions and visitations. But foremost, I think the Eucharist was the main thing. On an intellectual level, it was interesting to me that the belief in Real Presence is found in all of the most ancient churches, no matter where they were/are, be it Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Constantinople, Ethiopia, Syria, Alexandria, Armenia, etc. I was also particularly drawn by the ancient Jewish connections to the Eucharist (see Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist), which further took me away from the belief that it was a result of an apostasy or Greek philosophy.

Still waiting for Evan, in his OWN words, to address all the issues…

Thank you for that, very insightful. Even though this was way before the easy access of the internet , what information did you have available to you? In what ways did this affect your family?

All we had were church publications. I had no idea that there was such a thing as anti-Mormon literature until the internet came along. We had the 4 “Standard Works” (The Bible, the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price). We also had a large collection of church magazines, The Journal of Discourses and The History of The Church. We also had all of the church manuals that we had taught from for several years.

After my mission in Taiwan, for 3 years I taught Gospel Essentials. Then for 2 years I taught Gospel Doctrine. Then I was called to be 1st Counselor in the Elders’ Quorum Presidency in 1984, then 2nd Counselor in the bishopric in 1986.

My wife taught MIA Maids (they call it something different now) for about 5 years after we were married. The girls really loved her. Then she was Relief Society secretary and then Relief Society president. She asked to be released from that calling shortly before the birth of our second child (our daughter) in 1982. That was her last calling other than occasionally Visiting Teacher, which nearly all active women are called to. Her health suffered greatly after our daughter was born, so she was much less active after that.

It was in 1986 that we left the LDS church.

Thanks for asking.

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

A side-issue question - did they teach you the official Mandarin dialect, or the native Taiwanese dialect? From what I understand there are reasonable differences between the two.

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