Ex-Mormon here. I have stopped studying Catholicism for now

The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Mary was there at the birth of Jesus. Mary was there at the first miracle at Cana when Jesus turned water into wine. Mary was there at the crucifixion. Mary was there when the Holy Spirit came down on Pentecost. Mary was clearly a source for the Gospel and Acts writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Jesus would want His Mother to receive honor. Testimony of saints across centuries has been that prayer to Mary fetches miracles from God.

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Mary and the saints prayed to God when they lived on earth. Once they pass on to glory and eternity, they continue to pray to God. Almighty God hears and answers their prayers.

There is nothing wrong with needing more time. God will give you all the time you need. He’s not concerned about you not being a spring chicken either and Catholicism doesn’t rush anyone into the church. We want you to know all about it. In fact we try to give you all the information we can and answer your questions honestly. What you’ve read here is the same thing you’ll hear when you’ve been Catholic for 120 years. :slight_smile: We don’t have secret beliefs that you don’t find out about until you’re inside the door or have invested so much time that you’re afraid to leave. I think leaving a church may be somewhat like going through a divorce. There is pain and grief in leaving what you’ve spent so much of your life on and the friends you have made there. It’s also quite possible that you’re afraid that you might choose the wrong thing again and have it happen all over again.

Please don’t entertain the idea that God doesn’t want you to become Catholic. Do you think He’s lead you this far just to take you on a wild goose chase? He hasn’t. He wouldn’t. He is leading you. Keep praying, keep studying. Ask whatever questions you’d like. We are here.

You can also always contact a priest about any of these things. That is a lot easier than it might sound. Just call his office. Be sure you let them know that you need to talk to a priest. I will say that emails don’t seem to work as well. I think that is because they are busy people like we are. However when it comes to talking to someone who is sincerely considering joining and needs to talk, he will make time.

Don’t give up yet. No matter how long someone has been Catholic, there is always more. Just as with God, the more we love Him the more he shows Himself to us and draws us to love Him even more.

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I went about halfway through a couple of years ago. I stopped because of illness, but doubts also assailed me then.

I am certainly closer to Catholicism than to Calvinism. Still, there are things that trouble me. As a teen, I jumped into Mormonism with both feet and got stuck there for many years until I discovered what a mistake it was. I don’t want to make a mistake again. You are brave to join this Spring.

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It totally makes sense that you’re needing time to digest and allow what’s in your head to sink into your heart (or vice versa)! The Church makes some very large claims and it is either one of the greatest lies ever told or it is true.

In the end, I see Christ magnified in the Catholic Church. What I thought for years was a “scandal of grace” in the good sense in reformed theology is only that much more magnified in Catholicism. We are not counted as if we are holy based on Christ’s merits, he is making us holy and will unite us to him for eternity.

I was told by a priest that I knew more about Catholicism than most Catholics he knows. There was no mention of my formally joining the Church.

Me too, also by a Deacon.

The words of Jesus: “Have faith in God” are an imperative. The Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed state a summarized content of the faith. God gives us talents and each new day is a gift from God. We should grow in godliness and virtue and avoid procrastination. Jesus said to seek the Kingdom of God and to lay up treasure in heaven. It is good to seek, good to press on into the kingdom of God, good to lay up treasures in heaven and prepare for things unseen in eternity that God has been preparing.

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So, I don’t want to ask you to respond, but perhaps, merely to think about this question in your personal discernment: are your doubts centered on individual people in the Church (and questionable things they’ve done), or on the beliefs that the Church holds? If it’s the former, then I’d suggest that every group of humans has this dynamic, and it isn’t fair to hold it against the group (unless the group itself posits it as good behavior); if it’s the latter (like “Mary?”), then it’s something that I bet many people have talked about, and you can find good resources discussing the questions in many places!

I’ll keep you in my prayers!

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I was confirmed Catholic 3 months ago. I’d been a happily involved non denominational charismatic christian for 20 years. The last thing on my mind was becoming Catholic, but I couldn’t deny the Holy Spirit drawing me there. I was convinced by both historical facts and my own personal experience.
But let me tell you, it was mostly a tumultuous uphill mental battle to actually enter the Church. None of the cradle Catholics understood what I was going through. The doubts, the wrestling with dogma, the fear I was being duped. A couple of times I vowed I was done.
I weakly persisted; I was transfixed on the Eucharist. I attended Mass often and I asked Him if He was truly there. I watched others as they received Him, I longed to be part of His Body. I thought, if He’s truly here, I simply must participate.
Was it worth it? A thousand times YES.

Few things to help you:
1- The closer you get to entering the Church, the more the enemy will fill you with doubt, worry, anger, fear. Do not forget there are forces against God. Jesus himself was tempted by Satan in the desert; Satan soothingly offers us ease and affirmation of our own desires. When you recognize this happening in your own mind, acknowledge it and keep asking the Lord for truth. Recall Peter stepping out of the boat on to the water; even Peter was scared. The Lord still asked him to step out. The Lord asks all of us to step out… right through the fear.
2- Accept that Catholic spirituality involves both/and rather than this/that. The gospel is in plain sight, yet hidden to those who won’t receive it. The gospel is simple, and vastly mysterious.
3- Fix your eyes on Jesus. Every parish is a mixed bag; you’re going to be offended by a priest or parishioner. You will get hurt. You will feel humiliated at times- just like every Saint who ever walked the earth. I certainly fear hell, I fear those I love going there. I offer that fear to the Lord. We are all very small and we struggle to see.
4- Catholicism involves ongoing submission of one’s pride, of honoring tradition, of bearing with others’ faults, of humbly accepting Church teaching. Protestants don’t usually do this; they just start new churches. Catholics submit like children of a king. Protestants are busy setting up endless little kingdoms. You can find a protestant church to affirm anything you like: no hell, promises of riches, any sexual expression, all female leadership, etc.

Don’t give up. It’s worth the struggle!

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@Jamieleah, welcome, welcome to the forum. Converts are so gifted at affirming our faith, as you speak to inquirers. Thank you.

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In what way do you believe you made a mistake?

When you read the Church Fathers, what do you think when you come across ancient teachings that are unique to your former faith?

Some examples are these:

Clement of Alexandria speak of different degrees of Heaven.

[Clement of Alexandria] reckons three kinds of actions, the first of which is . . . right or perfect action, which is characteristic of the perfect man and Gnostic alone, and raises him to the height of glory. The second is the class of . . . medium, or intermediate actions, which are done by less perfect believers, and procure a lower grade of glory. In the third place he reckons sinful actions, which are done by those who fall away from salvation. ( ANF 2:506 .)

Irenaeus taught that we can become like God.

We have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods.

Quoted without the surrounding text, thus it makes Irenaeus sound as though he is stating something rather different to his actual thoughts. To show and highlight how this strategy is continually used by the LDS (especially with relatively obscure historical documents that most will not be familiar with or research) I’ve quote a larger section of the actual thought o Irenaeus below placing the quote in a wider context:
4. Irrational, therefore, in every respect, are they who await not the time of increase, but ascribe to God the infirmity of their nature. Such persons know neither God nor themselves, being insatiable and ungrateful, unwilling to be at the outset what they have also been created — men subject to passions; but go beyond the law of the human race, and before that they become men, they wish to be even now like God their Creator, and they who are more destitute of reason than dumb animals [insist] that there is no distinction between the uncreated God and man, a creature of today. For these, [the dumb animals], bring no charge against God for not having made them men; but each one, just as he has been created, gives thanks that he has been created. For we cast blame upon Him, because we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods; although God has adopted this course out of His pure benevolence, that no one may impute to Him invidiousness or grudgingness. He declares, I have said, You are gods; and you are all sons of the Highest. But since we could not sustain the power of divinity, He adds, But you shall die like men, setting forth both truths — the kindness of His free gift, and our weakness, and also that we were possessed of power over ourselves. For after His great kindness He graciously conferred good [upon us], and made men like to Himself, [that is] in their own power; while at the same time by His prescience He knew the infirmity of human beings, and the consequences which would flow from it; but through [His] love and [His] power, He shall overcome the substance of created nature. For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality, and the corruptible by incorruptibility, and that man should be made after the image and likeness of God, having received the [knowledge]

Sup with a long spoon when dealing with the LDS, indeed a spoon light years long.

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@brigidsalem I would urge caution when reading posts from @gazelam. He often uses portions of text taken out of context and then claims it supports LDS teaching.

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One who puts one toe into the waters of the Fathers, without orthodox guidance, best be prepared to go all in, or seriously risk deception.

I know I’m late in replying to your statement about some concerns about Mary but I think this might help. The author writes in a way that we can all understand.

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary

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Lovely post, and welcome!

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Maybe this will help: A Catholic view of “pre-destination” is that of an archer. We are the arrows that G_D shoots at the target. As such, we are all pre-destined to reach the target (heaven). However, due to external forces (wind, gravity, large birds-of-prey swooping down to knock the arrows off-path) not all of the arrows follow their pre-destined path and will fall short of the target.

The analogy breaks down because we, unlike arrows, have free will, and we can choose (regardless of the difficulty involved) choose to fight the wind, gravity, or large birds-of-prey (pray?) to put ourselves back on course, by uniting our will with that of the archer who launched us in the first place.

Oh, and thinking about salvation and fear: sometimes, I think those evangelicals who preach “Once Saved, Always Saved” (OSAS) hate the idea of a merciful G_D. It’s like they view G_D as standing on the edge of heaven, bouncing on His toes, just waiting to launch His Damnation Darts at everyone who sins, and the only way to keep from being hit by one of these Darts is to get a guaranteed authenticated OSAS Umbrella. Anyone who is carrying one of these OSAS Umbrellas is protected against a Damnation Dart because G_D then can’t see what you’re doing.

In my view, OSAS says since it’s impossible to know WHEN G_D will be merciful, then you CANNOT assume that He will EVER be merciful, especially to a sinner like you. The only way, the ONLY way, to assume mercy and therefore admission to heaven is to claim it in advance through OSAS.

Catholics reject OSAS. Our lives are a process, where we work, through the application of divine grace, to align out will with G_D’s will. If we consistently trust in G_D’s mercy, in that we believe and act on the belief that no matter how many times we fail we can still honestly seek G_D’s mercy and rise up again, until the moment of our deaths. Even if our lives have been one of sin, if at the moment of death we honestly repent and say, “My Jesus, Mercy” G_D will forgive our sins and permit us to enter eternity with Him.

That was really Comforting. Our Lord is so humble to put Himself at the hands of men in the form of Bread, when he before would not even let people gaze upon the Ark. Such a good and Merciful Lord we have and how blessed we now are.

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