[quote="Marie5890, post:18, topic:288155"]
No never have gone into great detail about my conversion to the LDS Church.
Basic run down (even though it's kinda long).
I was born into an Italian-Polish Catholic family. My grandparents were very devout. My own parents not so much. In part I think because my father's personal struggle with alcoholism. That made for a very dysfunctional family unit to say the very least.
I do remember starting catechism and I know my older brother received his first communion. However, during that year that I started, a spinal tumor was found on me. (age of 7).
Had it removed on Good Friday, 1972. 40 years ago. Complications to that surgery has left me a paraplegic.
So any spiritual education was just never pursued. My mother was dealing with a very sick child (me) two other children at home, and a husband who was not well by a long shot due to severe alcoholism. She did the best she could.
I remember my grandmother always giving me Mass cards on Christmas and Easter along with the normal kinds of cards. It was always from the Shrine of St Jude and that so many Masses would be said for me.
Those early years were sooooo unstable and tumultueous. Filled with pain, fear, uncertainty.
Fast forward a few years to when I was a freshman in high school. I took a history class in World Religions. When we came to the Christianity unit, we had to do a term paper on a Christian church. I chose the LDS church since most other were doing papers on the Catholic church or other better known denominations. I wanted my paper to stand out. To be different.
I was very drawn to the LDS life style of very clean and virtuous living. Esp the no alcohol considering how it had caused so much pain in my family. Even my Polish grandmother, who loved to watch the "Donny and Marie" show, was impressed with the lifestyle in that sense. She even came to my LDS baptism.
I went to BYU and lived in Provo for 12 years.
I have no regrets when it comes to my LDS background. Living the Word of Wisdom was a great blessing for me. It helped heal me of the wounds of growing up with an a father who struggle with that demon has been so very real.
It was when I was LDS that my love affair for reading scriptures was born.
In time, I did come to see how the LDS church was not what it professed or proclaimed. And for good fruit that it bore in my life, namely the WoW, it also left it's mark in not so good a way as well. So though I have no regrets, I did need God's grace to undo and unlearn what I learned there, and the distorted prism I ended up with.
I do fully believe that it was the grace of my valid Christian baptism that help me see sooner rather than later how there was no so-called "Great Apostocy" and so no restoration was needed.
It didnt take many years to realize Joseph Smith was not even close to being a prophet of God. I dont know about now, but back than, the LDS church discouraged it's membership from really seeking and searching out the real LDS history. A great deal of whitewashing.
So I left. Had a time of being agnostic.
Then, John Paul II died. Being a newsfreak, I watched the entire coverage. For all the ceremony and pomp and circumstance, I was touch by how this Christian, this Catholic, this priest-bishop and even Pope, was, above all, a man who tried his best to be a credible and authentic disciple of Christ.
In his death, I was healing from my skepticism of organized religion and the inevidible corruption that comes with it.
So, I knew that up the street from where I lived was a Catholic parish. And I thought it was time to better understand the religion of my ancestors and my grandparents.
Never have looked back, and what I have now, the spiritual richness and nourishment cant even compare with what I had as a Mormon.
There is a ceiling of growth a person hits in the LDS church, and I would content because of the lack of graces. But that growth is unlimited in the universal Church, and again I would content because of the fullness of graces....
Hope that makes sense.. And thanks for asking,,,:)
It important for me to re-iterate, the effect of alcoholism that my father struggled with was HUGE in my being drawn to the LDS church. I felt protected and safe from that kind of harm that comes from substance abuse when I was LDS.
Thanks for sharing your story.
I bolded the part that I personally found to be the most striking and profound. I really think you hit the nail on the head with that statement.
ETA: Your statement of "I do fully believe that it was the grace of my valid Christian baptism that help me ...", also struck a chord with me.
I was baptized Catholic as an infant, but never catechized. (long story) Growing up, bouncing from faith tradition to faith tradition searching for what seemed "right", I always held onto my Catholic baptism. At the time, I didn't know why, but it seemed like the right thing to do.
Eventually, I got myself into an RCIA program. I thought to myself, I've tried everything else, why not the Catholic Church. Lo and behold, it was truly a "coming home" experience. Even though it was a new home for me.
I have been in full communion with the Catholic Church for almost 20 yrs now, and have been involved with our RCIA program the entire time. They have been foolish enough to let me run the program for the last 10. :p