Former Mormon Converts?


#1

Hello everyone,

I was raised Mormon, but have been considering conversion to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy for the past few years now. I am hoping I can find converts to these faiths that are former Mormons since they will likely be better able to relate to the journey and struggles I have encountered. If anyone fitting this profile comes across this, please introduce yourself :slight_smile:


#2

I am not one myself, but I wanted to welcome you to the boards and to let you know that there ARE indeed such folks here.
The weekends can sometimes be a bit slower activity - especially now that it is summertime…so if you do not get a quick response - just be patient.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have - this site is a huge storehouse of good information.

Welcome to the Forums

Peace
James


#3

Hello Truthseeker, my name is Lynnette and I was a Mormon convert but now a practising Catholic. There are many of us on this site, and we are a supportive community. What exactly do you wish to know, personally I don’t want to get into the knocking Mormonism type of discussion, there a re plenty of those on this site. Also I think you will have formed your own opinions on Mormonism based upon your experiences. Suffice it to say that I converted to that faith when I was young and several years later became convinced that it was based on falsehoods and was not what it claimed to be. I left officially, that is I was finally excommunicated after contacting my branch with my concerns and new found information on the sect. I was very happy to be an excommunicant. I drifted to various protestant churches, searching I suppose. This was a fruitful time as I attended lots of Bible studies which were very informative, but I could not commit to any of these faiths, there was something missing. My Mum was a Catholic but never practised her faith, I had worked with nuns as a very young person, I was comfortable around Catholicism, and every time I went into a Catholic church, say on holiday I was struck by something, but could not say what. Long story short, about two and a half years ago I started to attend a Catholic church and was immediately sure that that was where I should be, I was home, and of course began to realise that the something that I had felt before of course is Someone. I was confirmed that past April, I am home, I heve no doubt and the Lord that I have come to know fulfills my every need. Blessed be God forever.


#4

Like James, I’ve never been Mormon. I want to welcome you as well. I think you will find a lot of love and support from ex-Mormons and those of us who have never been Mormon.

Welcome and God Bless!


#5

I was LDS. Served a mission in Honduras. Served in Bishopric and EQ Presidency in my wards. Welcome. and be blessed on your journey.


#6

Hello and welcome!

Im another former Mormon.

Was born into a Catholic family and baptized as an infant. Became LDS at the age of 15. Lived many years in Provo (home of BYU and heart of Mormondom in general). Served in all kinds of callings. Went thru the temple etc etc.

Came to know that Mormon doctrines were in serious error and left. Eventually formally resigning several years after having left.

Came back to my Catholic roots in '07.

Praying for your journey. Yes, the Mormon prism that you are coming from will effect your journey. We can help you sort out all of that when you need us too.

God Bless!


#7

I am well aware of the history of the Mormon faith, and the problems that arise from these realities. Being exposed to these initially 5 years ago is what first led me out. However I still have hang ups in other areas.

  1. My own spiritual experiences. There are two or three experiences I had while a Mormon that at the time I thought were a confirmation that I was in the right place. Looking back though, these experiences were always Christ-centered, so they are a bit easier to label as Mormon exclusive.

  2. The experiences of relatives. I have heard countless stories of “spiritual experiences” during my time in the Mormon Belt, and many times these can be dismissed as reading too much into a feeling. However, it is more difficult for me to dismiss these experiences when they pertain to relatives who I have difficulty writing off as liars or delusional. My mother, grandmother, and grandfather all have stories where they had a dream or experience in the temple or elsewhere that upon hearing I saw as a profound story.

For example, my grandfather had a dream that something was wrong with my sister who has always been the “good child” in my family, who always went to church and “Chose The Right.” A few days later we found out my sister became pregnant out of wedlock and as a result had been abused by her boyfriend. How do I account for something like this?

  1. Respected intelligent people who remain LDS. Some of my favorite professors and mentors are LDS. They are intelligent, well educated, and two of them are very familiar with Christian history and philosophy. They are aware of Mormonism’s dark history, yet are able to remain faithful. The one exception is a professor of mine who was recently baptized into the Roman Catholic faith.

#8

I think where you are getting hung up is the idea that spiritual experience are a hallmark of “Truth”. That is a common hang up.

Authentic spiritual experiences are a gift from God, because He is all loving and all merciful. He can and does give them to whom He choses.

That doesnt meant it is pointing to Truth. It is pointing to Love and Mercy , for God is Love and Mercy.

Remember, God shepherds all of us children as He so chooses. To bring us closer to Him.

Did I have significant spiritual experiences as a Mormon. You betcha! Have them now, too, as a Catholic, and I would say even more so, especially since my confirmation back in '07.

It’s never the event. It’s the journey. An educational journey. Where both faith AND reason should guide.


#9

This ‘spiritual experiences’ thing is a common ting Mormons say.

I believe Mormons are taught that they are the only people that have spiritual experiences and that they are proof of the truth of Mormonism.

This is, of course, nonsense.

The experiences you describe I have heard many people say and have had myself.


#10

Hi, TruthSeeker! Former Mormon here. My parents converted when I was a young child. I was baptized at 8, sealed to my parents at 16 along with my younger brother. I graduated from Seminary (although I didn't attend all 4 years), and went to Institute classes as a young adult. I was Mormon until I was 21, left the church for a while, came back in my mid-20's, and left for good around 30. I converted to Catholicism in 2006 at 36 and haven't looked back.

In my last stint as Mormon, I went through the Temple and got my endowments, and did absolutely every work I could do - I paid full tithing, went to church every week, read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, went to the Temple multiple times a month for baptisms, then for endowment sessions, kept the Word of Wisdom, left a chaste life, journaled and did genealogy, etc. And I prayed, prayed so much, prayed for the "burning in the bosom", prayed to know the truth and to know that what I was doing was what I was supposed to be doing. Yet I felt empty and hollow, like I never could do everything I should do to be "right" in the eyes of the church and in the eyes of God. I finally left the church at 30 completely disillusioned about the church, about Christ, and about God.

I was at a Catholic wedding a few years ago, and during the Mass at consecration I saw the host and felt this feeling I still can't explain. I wanted that. I wanted to consume that and be near that and I had no idea why. Then I had another though: I could do this every day. I could come to a Catholic church, every day. I could convert, and receive the Eucharist, and get to be surrounded by "this" every single day. I'm a grown-up, I can do this! Two weeks later I was in RCIA. and was baptized a few months later.

Here's the important thing, the one point you need to remember. Either Joseph Smith is who he said he is, or he isn't. Either he saw God, or he didn't. Either there were Golden Plates, or there weren't. Period. You have to resolve within yourself this one question: Was he or wasn't he who he said he was?

Every one of us who left the church heard or learned or thought of one logical point that tears down the entire house of cards that was built by Joseph Smith. Some heard the truth behind the Book of Abraham - that there is no way that Joseph Smith translated a single hieroglyph from the papyri. Others discovered that the temple ceremonies were based on the Masonic rituals learned by Joseph Smith only two months before Mormons began to practice their own secret Mormon temple ceremonies. Many became disillusioned when DNA evidence proved that the "Lamanite" Native Americans did not have one drop of Jewish blood in them, and others found frustration when the searched and realized that not one piece of archeological evidence can be found for the societies in the Book of Mormon. Some could not understand how the perfect book could have over 3000 changes, including one in most of our lifetimes that changed the racist "white and delightsome" to a more politically correct "pure and delightsome". The list could go on, but I think you get the point - anyone looking for a reasonable amount of truth behind the history of the religion will find enough holes to find it sorely lacking in anything real.

As far as some of your hangups, I've got some bad news. They don't go away quickly or easily. Every one of us who has converted has what I call "Mormon Scars". That dread of "What if?" What if I've been deceived by lies and the LDS church really is true? What if I throw away my garments and I'm punished for breaking the covenants I made in the temple? What if I tell my family and they disown me? What if what if what if??? It will happen now, and it will happen after you are baptized, and it will happen years after you are baptized.

So where does that leave you? That leaves you under the providence of God and His will for you. Pray to know the Truth, and that if He is real that You will desire to seek Him, and in seeking Him will find Him. God loves you. God really loves you. He delights in your happiness and wishes only to be with you. He created you so that He could love you. Pray for the grace to accept that love, and for direction so that you can find Him and do only His will.

If you can, go to a Catholic church when there is no Mass going on, and simply kneel infront of the tabernacle and pray. Look for the metal box with a red candle lit near it. This is where the blessed Eucharistic hosts sit in repose. If you cannot make it to a Catholic church, simply imagine sitting with Him, in His presence. Try to talk not to "Heavenly Father" in the formulaic Mormon style, but to God the Son, Jesus Christ, who came down from heaven and suffered a horrible and gruesome death because He loves you. Talk to Him as if He were in the room with you, and as if He is your very best friend. Read your bible when you do this if you want, to remind yourself of all that Christ suffered because He loves you. Use your imagination to put yourself in His presence, and it will make the conversation come easily. Tell him of your troubles, your doubts, your fears. He will listen.

If you have started this journey towards the Catholic church, it is because He is calling you, drawing you to Him. It is not an easy or a fast journey, but God will be there to give you all of the graces you need to find Him, if you only seek Him with love, and with your whole heart, might, mind and strength.

You will be in my prayers. God be with you.


#11

No, Latter-day Saints are not taught that we are the only people that have spiritual experiences.


#12

No, LDS are taught they theirs are the only VALID religious experiences…


#13

Truthseeker,

What prompted the question for you in the first place? A sincere question on my part.

Perhaps if you can explain why the question raised in your mind we can get to the foundation of your question. Thanks! :slight_smile:


#14

[quote="HonoraDominum, post:10, topic:288155"]
Hi, TruthSeeker! Former Mormon here...

[/quote]

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and thank you for your prayers.

[quote="Marie5890, post:13, topic:288155"]
Truthseeker,

What prompted the question for you in the first place? A sincere question on my part.

Perhaps if you can explain why the question raised in your mind we can get to the foundation of your question. Thanks! :)

[/quote]

My inquiry about former Mormon converts? I suppose I just wanted to find people who can better relate to my experiences. I like what HD said about "Mormon Scars." I tend to refer to it as Mormon Baggage, and it is a real thing that converts from atheism or other protestand denominations cannot understand as well.


#15

Hi Marie
Did you go into your conversion to LDS in more detail in another post (and if you did could you direct me to it? 15 seems so young, still under the care of your parents, if you haven’t “told your story” would you mind telling a bit more of it?


#16

You know what, that Mormon baggage thing is real headache. I was converted with my friend at 18. I think after the first session with the Missionaries we are aske if we would consider baptism and joining the one true church. It was that quick and we were baptised within weeks. It was a very slick and quick process. When I wanted to become Catholic, very differnt, took over 2 years, so that I would know for sure. Back to the baggage,I was not a good Mormon, and was inactive for long periods, however until our Christian friends started to discuss the Bible with me I totally believed it. But the baggage is still there, I can be reading apassage from the Bible, probably one of their proof texts will pop up and it transports me back to that time, the work of the evil one is to deceive, and the Mormon deception, conceived by the prince of lies, is very binding. If I, a bad Mormon still feels these flashbacks, then a cradle Mormon will feel them all the more I feel. Only a knowledge of God as he really is will gradually loose these fetters, trust him.


#17

I started Bible Study this year, but had to stop because of this very thing. My last class was one where they were teaching about the Tower of Babylon, and to hear the teacher say “Let us go down” gave me temple flashbacks so bad I never went back.

I think I might try the class again next year, but I don’t know how much I’ll be able to tolerate of it. I have to take learning scripture literally verse by verse and chapter by chapter, because things get me confused. I’ll say, “No, that goes blah blah … wait, no, that was in the Book of Mormon.” Don’t even get me started on how much damage Alma 32 did to my tiny little brain. It’s got some great sentiments that are almost … almost … but not quite the Bible.

I can’t tell you how much my mind was blown when I read Matthew 15:

[BIBLEDRB]Matthew 15:11[/BIBLEDRB]

I feel very confident I read that many, many times as a Mormon and it never occurred to me that this pretty much blows away the Word of Wisdom and the Temple Recommend interview. Are there sins against things that are put in one’s mouth? You betcha, a capital vice - Gluttony. But when read in context, this makes so much sense. The Pharisees were chiding Jesus for not washing his hands in the ritualistic way, which history teaches was a set amount of multiple washings before anything could be touched. And he looked at them and called them hypocrites because they often broke the commandments given by Moses. He even quoted Isaias, who had prophesied about these very traits in men: “This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me.”. It was after he called them hypocrites that he stated that it’s not what a person puts in his mouth (i.e. the small bits of things that may be on the hands without washing them in the ritualistic way) but the things that he says that defile him in the eyes of the Lord.

And how many of us were not allowed to go to the temple because we drank tea, or Coke, or heaven forbid, Coffee? My father and mother both were denied temple recommends because they could not kick the habit of smoking. Is smoking bad for you? Absolutely, as is drinking too much or being a caffeine addict. But these are not mortal sins so much as bad habits, sacrifices to make towards God. And yet my parents were made to feel horrible, were left out of graces (or should I say, the Mormon version of “Graces”) from being a worthy Temple recommend holder even though their life was relatively sin-free, due to these small vices. It’s one thing to be an alcoholic, it’s another to have a Margarita with dinner now and again.

I cannot tell you how many “good, upstanding” Mormon ladies and priesthood holders I saw as temple recommend holding men and women who didn’t have a drop of charity in their hearts. They would look down on those who would drink Starbucks, but wouldn’t lift a finger to help someone in need. They would deny a person a Temple recommend for a coffee habit but wouldn’t give them a dime if they could not pay their rent, or would not visit them even if they were lonely and homebound. One of the reasons that I left the church was because my testimony was hanging on by a thread and I went in to talk to the Bishop. I had pretty much lost my testimony by that point, but I wanted to go to the Temple to see if I could maybe find that validation and consolation that I so very much needed to stay in the church. Instead I was given the grace of seeing the Mormon Priesthood for what it really is - a power given to men with no training, no counseling, no direction, and often, no spirituality.

I had missed church for three months due to debilitating agoraphobia attacks. Three months, I might add, where I did not receive one call from a Home Teacher or Visiting Teacher, or anyone else, to see why I had been away. I asked the Bishop what I needed to do to become temple worthy again. He then berated me for what felt like hours but was probably more like 10-15 minutes about not going to church and using the argument, “Well, you could go to work, you should have been in church.” Um, I went to work, but I ate McDonald’s every day because I couldn’t go into a grocery store. And I missed a lot of work from “sick days” of anxiety. After I got out of the office, I grabbed my friend who was Relief Society president and cried for a very long time. I never went back to that ward after that, and only attended a handful of church services after that. I thought, if a man of God could be that cruel to someone so vulnerable, my perception of him as being a “Man of God” has got to be wrong.

And no, this is not one of those “Oh, someone hurt you, didn’t they?” reasons for leaving the church. I already had one foot out the door and was leaning pretty strongly out the door. This man just gave me the push I needed. I still wore Garments for months, until I started dating my never-Mo husband. I tried, I honestly tried. But there’s no truth behind the religion, and I could not find God in my Mormon house built on sand. I needed Peter, the Rock on whom Christ’s church was truly built. My priest says that every man is made with a God-sized hole in their hearts. That hole became too big and painful for me to ignore, and when God graced me with the desire to truly know Him, He drew me to our Eucharistic Lord and the Catholic Church. Blessed be God for the grace of being Catholic! Blessed be God for the holy priests who bring Him to me every day! Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints who preserved God’s church until this day!

At any rate, yeah, I’m with you on the scripture study thing.


#18

Hi Zaffiroborant,

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.

Kinda sad.

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,:slight_smile:

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.


#19

[quote="Marie5890, post:18, topic:288155"]
Hi Zaffiroborant,

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.

Kinda sad.

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.

[/quote]

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


#20

Thanks Marie, yours is a very moving story and you present some very insightful points. I enjoyed reading about your journey, it left me with a smile:)


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