Former Mormons- share your testimony why you became Catholic

I would love to hear why you became a Catholic.

I was cradle Catholic and got mixed up with Mormonism for about a year (that year really messed me up) and now I am home in the Catholic Church. I can share more details if you would like.

So everyone… what’s your story?

My Mormon wife claims it is a matter of insanity. I just didn’t believe in Mormonism anymore and couldn’t embrace Protestantism because I couldn’t figure out what exactly they believed. I had confidence the Catholic Church was not going to renounce itself like much of Protestantism has done.

Any such testimony could be divided into two parts: why you left Mormonism and why you became Catholic. For me, I always begin by saying that I really loved being LDS, and even miss it sometimes (not the beliefs, more the social/community aspects).

I was raised Catholic, was a lector, extraordinary Eucharistic minister, etc. I was always curious about Mormonism, and had a Book of Mormon since high school (though I never read it). I took it with me when I went away to college, then to make a long story short, when I graduated and came back home, I decided to contact the missionaries. I was familiar with a lot of the LDS apologetics attempting to find LDS beliefs in “the ancient church”, an idea that would be part of why I went back to Catholicism a few years later. After contacting the missionaries, I was baptized 2 weeks later (I had already started reading the BoM on my own, and was pretty knowledgeable, and they were utterly surprised).

I enjoyed the LDS lifestyle, and my favorite thing was being around so many young people that were practicing their faith, and could talk about it. I liked having Institute, Sunday School, and other venues to study the scriptures and the Gospel. I especially loved the temple. Coming from Catholicism, Sacrament Meeting was sort of a step down for me. Maybe a few weeks after my baptism, I was ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood (after which I blessed or passed the Sacrament each week), and then received my limited-use temple recommend to go with the ward to do baptisms for the dead. I loved it. I loved going to a sacred place where only other believers were. It was very beautiful inside, and I loved how everyone was wearing white, smiling, saying “welcome to the temple”, :D.

A few more months later, I was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. At this point, I had already served as assistant secretary to the Elders Quorum Presidency, then ward missionary, helping the full time missionaries and teaching the Gospel Principles class. I still enjoyed it all, and didn’t really have any negative thoughts about anything. I stood up at testimony meeting all the time and said how I “knew” the church was true, and that it really was restored. At the year mark, I received my temple recommend to be Endowed. This was what I was waiting for. Finally I could see the rest of the temple, make more covenants, etc. I invited friends from the ward, the bishopric came as well, and the missionaries that baptized me came. As a former critic, I was already somewhat aware of what was going to happen, so I wasn’t surprised at the film, the tokens, the apron, etc. I enjoyed the experience, and really thought I was participating in something “ancient”. After being Endowed, I could be a proxy for all of the ordinances, administer some of them, and attended a friend’s sealing.

Shortly after, I received a call from the secretary or the clerk of the stake presidency (don’t remember which). I had to meet with the SP. I figured it was about a calling, and tried to think of what it could be. When we met, I was told that I was to be the next Elders Quorum President in my ward. I probably shed a few tears. After I was set apart and given keys for my calling, I did many things in the hope of strengthening the brethren, gave blessings, participated in setting aparts, confirmations, ordinations, etc.

It was at this point that I began to think about things that I had put on the mental “shelf”. A number of things were on that shelf, including:

-God the Father was once a man that progressed to Godhood
-the Great Apostasy
-Book of Mormon archaeology
-prophets that didn’t really seem like the Biblical prophets

But what really bothered me was the priesthood/temple ban of blacks. It just made absolutely no sense to me. Now, I used to say things like, “God restricted His priesthood during Old Testament times, so there is precedent, and I’m just glad we have the priesthood now”, but it made no sense in the context of Jesus Christ and what He came to do and did. Jesus Christ said to take the Gospel to all nations. Mormons did not go to black African nations specifically during this time. The nature of salvation history is one of progression, beginning with one couple, to families, nations, etc, leading up to Jesus Christ, who opened the fulness of Truth, Himself, to all. With the priesthood ban, black men could not participate in ordinances necessary for eternal life. Prophets of God said horrible things about blacks, including things related to spiritual conduct in the pre-mortal existence. These weren’t just personal, private opinions/thoughts, but declarations said from the pulpit, in books, magazines, etc. I couldn’t imagine being a member at that time. This sort of policy did not comport with my thoughts of what the Church of Jesus Christ should be doing, let alone what we read of that Church in the New Testament.

Starting with that, I really began to think about the things that bothered me. I read many articles and books related to LDS apologetics. I prayed fervently every single day for guidance.

I then began to think about Catholicism, and decided to look into it again. I started to attend Mass periodically, and prayed daily to God to guide me in this time, as I was really confused. I read more books about Catholicism, as well as Mormonism, and I realized something that ultimately led to be reversion back: LDS apologists frequently tried to find Mormonism in an “ancient Church”, but there really was no ancient “Church of Jesus Christ of Former-day Saints”, a cohesive organization with all of these supposedly restored beliefs they were attempting to find anciently. Frequently, things were taken out of context, a Catholic context, to fit Mormonism. Instead, I found that the ancient Christians were Catholic, and held to Catholic beliefs and practices, most especially the Eucharist. I also realized that many of the things that I found attractive in Mormonism were found in Catholicism, such as:

-Catholicism believes in a God that still speaks, and is active in our personal lives, as well as in the guidance of the Church into all Truth. Heaven was never closed. Catholic history has dozens more examples of Heavenly visions and visitations than Mormonism. Guidance from Heaven never ended.

-Catholicism has apostolic authority. We see from the Bible that the office of the Apostles was that of bishop (Acts 1:20). Catholic Bishops have that same authority to lead the Church.

-Catholicism has temples. All Catholic churches, basilicas, cathedrals, etc are temples, literal houses of God. They are in the Jewish temple tradition, much more so than Mormon temples. There is a sacrificial priesthood. Bread and wine are offered. Psalms are sung. There are altars. There is a perpetually burning flame symbolizing God’s presence. There is water purification before entering the church proper. Churches are literally temples, and the temple concept was never lost.

And then I realized that there never was a total apostasy of Christ’s Church. Nowhere does the Bible predict a total loss of Christ’s Kingdom. Sure, it talks about people falling away, which Catholicism always has understood, and we see historically. However, nowhere does it claim that the Church, the Kingdom of God, would itself fall away. The Great Apostasy is merely a theory for various religious groups to validate their own existence, and the LDS are not unique in this. After this realization, and after much study and prayer, I realized that, as much as I enjoyed being LDS, I couldn’t in good conscience remain so. I tried to rationalize it for some time (as one can see in my posts here from around a year ago), but realized I couldn’t. These two articles:

zomarah.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/thomas-s-monson-a-seer-a-revelator-a-translator-and-a-prophet/
zomarah.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/silent-revelations/

also captured my thoughts on the prophets in name only of the LDS faith (and the utter lack of claimed revelations like in the early days of Mormonism…we don’t even have the text of the revelation on the priesthood from 1978, only a declaration that said revelation was received), and why I could no longer sustain them as such. With that, I reverted back to Catholicism, and that was that.

My father was an abusive alcoholic. When I was five, my mom took my little brother and me and we left him. I did not hear again from my father until I was 22 and looked for him.

My mother was Lutheran. My grandmother was Baptist. I chose Lutheran. My intention was to become a Lutheran Minister.

But, I became very unsatisfied with the Lutheran Church. It just did not seem right. I rejected my scholarships to Lutheran Colleges.

I did not, however, stop my relationship with God. I still attended Church and still deeply believed in Him. Then, when I was a sophomore in college, a tragedy occurred. A young girl I knew was needlessly killed in an accident. I became very angry with God. How could He allow this to happen to such an innocent girl when so many animals like Ted Bundy were spared? (note: this was prior to Ted Bundy’s execution). I turned my back on God. I would have nothing to do with a God who cared so little about life.

For the next 2 ½ years, I did not go to church, I did not pray. I simply ignored Him. But it ate at me. After 2 ½ years, I realized I needed Him in my life. As I was making that decision, Mormon Missionaries knocked on my door. I invited them in and we talked. What they had to say made sense. They used all the right words like “Jesus”, “God”, “Holy Spirit”, etc. Additionally, Mormons do not smoke, drink, or drink coffee. When I was 5, after my dad would hurt me, my mother would say, “it is not you, it is the alcohol”. I decided then that I would never drink alcohol. I never have. I have also never smoked or used illegal drugs. And, for some reason, I have never liked hot drinks. The Mormon Church seemed like a perfect fit. What they taught sounded like the Lutheran Church except for the part about a prophet. But I liked that idea.

I became a Mormon. I was already a college graduate, so, though I was asked to become a missionary, I was not pressured like most young Mormons to do so. Most Mormons males go on their missions during their second year of college. As I had already graduated and had a job. I did not feel being a Missionary was a good idea. However, I have always felt a desire to serve God, I quit my job, land was sent to to be a Missionary. It was a wonderful 18 months. I was serving God.

After my mission, I attended law school. Every year in law school, I attended various temple ceremonies in various temples, visited Mormon tourist attractions in Illinois and New York, and were very active in the Mormon Church. I served in the Bishopric and the Elder’s Quorum Presidency.

One year, on a trip to Palmyra, I went during a time that the yearly outdoor drama about the Mormon Church was being presented on a hillside each night. I was amazed at the number of anti-Mormons in attendance. One afternoon, I approached a table of these anti-Mormons. We got into a spirited debate. Though I handled myself well, I decided I needed to become a “smarter” Mormon. I vowed that when returned home, I would read every Mormon book I could get my hands on. Big mistake. The more I read, the more I realized that I did not believe what Mormons really believe. I did not believe in the plurality of gods. I did not believe that I was going to be a god and have many wives in heaven. I did not believe God was once a man. I did not believe many of the things I discovered that Mormons believe. I contacted my bishop and informed him I was going to become an inactive member. I started getting harassing phone calls and visits from Mormons telling me I was going to hell for committing the unforgivable sin of renouncing the Spirit. I was harassed at work, at home, even in the grocery store at all hours of the day and night.

Then, one night, we let some friends baby-sit my kids while my wife and I had a quiet evening. Our friends were Mormon, but I trusted them. My "friends tried to kidnap my kids to Utah. It was huge mess that involved the police.

I had enough. I asked my name to be removed from Church records. Instead, I was excommunicated.

cont’d

Part 2

I began to attend various churches looking for “home”. For the next 13 years, I bounced around, but could not find “home”

Then came another horrible blow. My grandfather died. My grandfather was my hero. When we left my dad in 1965, he became my father-figure. He was everything to me. He was the man I had to please. He was also a very devout Catholic.

In Feb 2002, I had this strange feeling I needed to go visit my grandfather who had been ill. I got the kids and drove from Dallas to Austin that next Saturday. He was very sick. I sat with him for awhile and we just talked. I asked him if he had any regrets in his long life. He said that he was sad that none of his children or grand-children ever followed him in the Catholic Church. That Saturday evening, we drove back to Dallas. The next day, he was rushed to hospital. The following Thursday, he died.

The next weekend, we went BACK to Austin for the funeral. Because I am an attorney and a public speaker, I was asked to do the readings at the Rosary Service and at the funeral. I felt honored. On the day of the funeral, I got to the church early. I sat in the back of the parish and watched a Spanish baptism. While sitting in the pew, I heard a voice very strong behind me. The voice said, “Now you are home”. I looked around to see who had spoken. There was no one there. Then, all of a sudden, I had a strange feeling of peace and contentment that engulfed me.

After the funeral, while on my way back home, I called a friend, who was Catholic, and told him I needed to become Catholic. He got me the Catechism. I read it cover to cover. I then read book after book after book. I was NOT going to make another mistake like I did joining the Mormon Church. I tried to find fault in Catholic teachings. I couldn’t. I read everything I could get my hands on. I was a constant customer to the Catholic Bookstore. I expected it would take me a year to become Catholic, but, 2 months after I started, the Priest said I was more than ready to be confirmed…so I was- May 19, 2002.

All of this was happening during the sex scandal in the Church. Many of friends could not believe I was considering Catholicism. I was asked by one friend if the Priests were hurting my faith. I responded that the Priests did not give me my faith, God did, so how could they hurt it?

God brought me home.

That is my story…hope it did not bore you.

Have a blessed day

Thank you for the stories that have already been shared.

I was born in the covenant and raised in the LDS church. I am the oldest of four children in a faithful Mormon family.

I knew about the doctrine of polygamy from a very early age and it always bothered me. God blessed me with the unwavering belief in the inherent equality of men and women. I always had a difficult time accepting the polygamy is of God. It always seemed unfair (I’m a woman).

When I was a teenager, I started questioning the existence of God in my mind. I hated going to church and my mother forced me to go. I eventually reasoned my way to the existence of God. I had an amazing experience when I had this realization. This was entirely independent of the LDS church. Because I was born and raised in the LDS church, I didn’t really allow myself to consider that the LDS Heavenly Father wasn’t God. By this time I was a senior in high school and I applied to BYU to keep my mother off my back. I ended up attending BYU because they gave me a full tuition scholarship and the University of Texas did not.

I hated BYU and living in Provo. I always felt like I didn’t belong in the LDS church (or in my LDS family) because I am an independent, stubborn, opinionated woman and was far from fitting the Mormon mold of what a woman should be. That feeling went into overdrive while at BYU. I always wondered if there was something wrong with me because I didn’t really want to get married and have children. If there were Mormon nuns, I would have become one. I graduated and started my career and attended YSA wards.

Mormon men never found me remotely attractive; however, non-Mormon men found me beautiful, accomplished and fun to be with. I had major self-esteem issues (still do sometimes) because Mormon men who were supposedly inspired men of God with the priesthood wouldn’t have given me the time of day if I was the last woman on earth. I just didn’t fit the ideal of a sweet, submissive woman who wanted lots of children and stay at home.

I did it all. I taught Relief Society and was RS secretary twice. I was endowed in the temple and was even an ordinance worker at the temple. But I dreaded the celestial kingdom because I believed I was going to be some man’s plural wife for eternity. I wanted my own husband for myself and didn’t want to share.

When I reached the ripe old age of 29, I met my husband. He was a convert to Mormonism from Eastern Orthodoxy. He was on his way out of the LDS church when we met. He stayed for me. He never could understand why I didn’t already have a boyfriend when we met. We got married in Europe so we wed at city hall but we were also sealed in the temple. I was a very old woman when I married at age 30.

We moved to the US. My husband was never treated very well by the BIC men in our ward because he was a convert. It didn’t matter that he practically ran his branch while he was in the branch presidency. He was still treated like a second class citizen in the LDS church.

I read Rough Stone Rolling and learned a lot of things about Joseph Smith that I had never heard before in all my years in the LDS church including seminary and BYU religion classes. The polyandry really bothered me. I decided to learn more about the real practice of polygamy in the early LDS church. What I learned was horrible and shocking. I knew it was not commanded by God. I finally realized that a real prophet of God would never be commanded by God to steal another man’s wife. I finally turned to my husband and told him Joseph Smith was a false prophet. He was happy because he also no longer believed. He had been waiting for me.

To be continued…

Part 2

After knowing Joseph Smith was a false prophet, I was left with very little. My whole world fell apart but I was free. God had lifted a great burden. I still had my faith in God. I still believed in Him because my reasoning to find Him was independent of Mormonism.

I started reading and thinking. I decided that believing Jesus Christ is God to be reasonable so I wanted to become Christian. I looked at Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. I chose Catholicism due to the primacy of Peter and his successors. My husband decided to become Catholic as well.

I showed up at a local Catholic Church, figuring someone would be there who could help me. I happened to run into the RCIA director. I continued to read and learn. Teachings such as the Trinity, the Real Presence in the Eucharist and Mary were surprisingly easy to accept. It all made sense. I was baptized this past Easter.

I lost a lot. I lost my parents and most of my siblings. They rejected me for leaving the LDS church and becoming Catholic. But I have gained so much. I am finally home. I have the Truth and I have Jesus in the Eucharist. When I left the LDS church, I never thought I would become Catholic and lose my family. Even with this suffering, I have never had such joy and peace, which only comes from God.

Thanks for sharing LivingWaters7, Texanknight and iepuras :thumbsup:

Amen to that! Thanks for sharing. Spot on.

Dear OP, I really agree with LivingWaters7, that joining Catholicism ends up having to do with thinking things through and not allowing religion to remain a purely subjective, “this is what I think I feel” type experience. When Mormon missionaries try to convert people, they encourage them to “feel the spirit,” read the BOM, and see what they “feel.” Feelings can be misleading, though. This was not the model that our Lord left on earth, either. He founded a Church, and what made a doctrine authoritative was not what people “felt” about it, but the fact that it came from an authorized source.

I’m converting to Catholicism from Mormonism (born and raised). Also spent some time away from organized religion, and then in various forms of Protestantism (non-denominational, then Evangelical).

Back to the “feelings” issue. Feelings aren’t necessarily invalid, it’s just that they will never be a trustworthy standard for absolute truth because they can be corrupted by the flesh. This is from the catechism:

1763: “The term “passions” belongs to the Christian patrimony. Feelings or passions are emotions or movements of the sensitive appetite that incline us to act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagined to be good or evil.”

and a little later:

1768: “The upright will orders the movements of the senses it appropriates to the good and to beatitude; an evil will succumbs to disordered passions and exacerbates them. Emotions and feelings can be taken up into the virtues or perverted by the vices.”

Takeaway: Feelings or “passions” are products of our sensitive appetite (flesh) and need to be “ordered” vis-a-vis a standard of absolute truth (Church teaching).

Interior experiences are not entirely to be discarded however, for at the same time, we are told by the catechism that there is a natural law “engraved in the soul of each and every man” (CCC 1954), and that faith is a grace (153). So we know that people have an innate sense of right and wrong, (conscience) and also that the Holy Spirit (grace) is working on souls everywhere to draw them to Jesus Christ. Conscience and grace are “interior” experiences as well, but they are not corruptible like “feelings.” It is easy, however, for uneducated persons, to confuse all of these things one with another.

From the lense of hindsight, I would now say that what caused me to leave Mormonism was that it violated that Natural Law of conscience written on my heart. The inherent sinfulness of its heretical doctrines, founding, and illicit “priesthood” did not sit well with my conscience. I also believe that the Holy Spirit was drawing me away from it, mercifully. I didn’t know how to distinguish between feelings, conscience, and grace at that time, so, using my old and imprecise terminology: Mormonism just felt “off” for me. I couldn’t love it. I wanted to get away from it. I remember being a little girl and thinking that General Conference was depressing. I didn’t feel “alive.” I didn’t enjoy Mormon culture. I preferred hearing Bible stories to Book of Mormon stories. In fact, I never loved the Book of Mormon. I didn’t feel at peace. So I stopped going in my mid-twenties.

Then I had a few years outside of organized religion, followed by a few years in Protestantism. Protestantism left me utterly exasperated. At first, I loved it. It felt warm, emotional, welcoming, contemporary, “Jesus-centered.” But when I started asking tougher questions about doctrine and church structure, all I saw was disunity. Protestantism could never satisfy my hunger for absolute truth, because it didn’t have any divinely-ordained hierarchy. It quite honestly made my head hurt, and left me worried if I could ever believe in anything again. After all, if feelings are so invalid, how can I know that any religious experience is ever valid? Including my belief in Jesus?

(Part 2)

What I had to decide was if it was indeed reasonable to believe in God and absolute truth. I decided that it was. From there, it became a question of, “which religion can give me absolute truth.” The world will try to tell you that all religions are the same. The are not. Not only are they different in doctrine, but they are wildly different in structure and founding claims. The Catholic Church is unique and unmatched in its claims and institutional structure to deliver and safeguard absolute truth. It is the only one that claims to be unified under a single leader who can speak for deity, with an unbroken history that doesn’t contradict itself (unlike Mormonism, which teaches an unbiblical Great Apostasy theory), to be founded by God himself, and to be endowed with priesthood power and sacraments, so that people can interact with God here and now. (Side note**: there were many apostasies in the Old Testament, and yet when Jesus arrived on the scene He was a practicing Jew. Therefore, apostasy never invalidates established hierarchies or priesthood. As LivingWaters7 stated, apostasy=invalid priesthood, is merely a way for groups to justify their own doctrinal innovations).

If you believe in absolute truth and the existence of God, it’s reasonable to become a Catholic! I’m starting RCIA this Fall.

To me, it is not reasonable to be Mormon. Mormon claims and Biblical claims just don’t go together. Some Mormons may claim to feel “wonderful” about the Book of Mormon, or to feel wonderful about temple ceremonies, “eternal families” etc. (Btw, as a Catholic I look forward to seeing my faithful family members again in heaven, thank you very much!) But how do they know? How do they know their feelings aren’t deceiving them? Feelings aren’t enough. You have to think it through. It becomes a matter of spiritual and mental discipline. Leaving Mormonism can be really hard. My family is all Mormon and think I’m joining the dark side. It’s not easy, you have to be strong. Feelings of guilt and confusion are natural; but as previously discussed, that doesn’t mean they are valid or authoritative. Study and soul searching (separating conscience and common sense from fear-based feelings), will validate the Catholic Church.

Would be interested in hearing your story, and God Bless!

Very interesting, Welcome Home all of you, God Bless, Memaw

Amen! :thumbsup:

Mormonism always felt off even though I tried really, really hard to accept Mormonism and the teachings of the LDS church. Thanks be to God because He never gave up on me!

I had a Catholic friend that converted to Mormonism. She cited the social aspects of the Mormon Church as the deciding factor in her conversion. She knew nothing about their theology. Apparently, the Mormons are very active socially in their church. We Catholics should take a cue from them.

My question for you: when you were Mormon, was there a lot of anti-Catholicism present in their culture and worship services? My mother told me that every time she went to a protestant service, the minister always says something derogatory about the Catholic Church in the sermon. I get the feeling that many non-Catholics are so anti-Catholic that they just can’t leave the subject alone, even in their sermons when they should be worshipping the Lord instead of bashing their neighbors. Thanks for your testimony.

Good grief! How could that bore anyone? :stuck_out_tongue: Great story!!! I had to chime in because I also “heard a voice”. I mean, it was a real, physical, audible voice that I heard with my ears, it wasn’t a “thought” in my head. And just like your incident, it came from behind me. If I had to guess, I’d say about eight inches behind the back of my head. It startled the you-know-what out of me. Raised the hair on my head, it did. It told me a direct answer to something I had prayed fervently for earlier.

Did the voice sound like your grandfather? Or someone else? The voice I heard didn’t sound like anyone I knew. It also didn’t sound like a male or a female. It sounded normal, but totally genderless. Thanks for your testimony, I enjoyed reading it.

No, in the few years that I was a member, I don’t think I ever heard Catholicism mentioned in a talk, lesson, or anything. The only times I heard Catholicism mentioned was when someone told me that they also converted from Catholicism (there were a few). These days, Catholicism is very rarely mentioned specifically. What you may hear in General Conference talks and other church-wide settings are references to things like the Trinity (often a caricature that is more akin to modalism), or infant baptism, or the mode of baptism (immersion only) and how the “true doctrines” surrounding such things has been restored.

That’s good to hear. Thanks!

I should also mention that while the social aspect of Mormonism is definitely attractive (at least for me), another thing that I found attractive, and many do, is what I call the “facade” of Mormonism, or “missionary Mormonism”. The thinking usually goes like this:

“Oh, apostles, prophets, continuing revelation, temples, etc, just like in the Bible!”

After awhile,

“Wait, the prophets don’t really function like the Biblical prophets…the LDS temples aren’t like the Biblical temple and tabernacle…where is the revelation…”.

I also heard a voice, which answered a prayer as well :slight_smile: My little sis was invited by a man she met online to a bbq at his place, with a bunch of his friends. She didn’t want to go alone, and I didn’t want her to go alone so I went as well. When we got to the house we knocked on the door and my future husband opened it. The moment I saw him this voice, audible and real, told me that I would marry him. I nearly turned around to see who had said that, but I didn’t b/c I knew there was no one behind me. And less than a year later, we were engaged! We have now been married for 10 years, and God could not have fit me w/a more perfect match. If you’ve read the book “Something Other Than God” by Jennifer Fulwiler, she had the same experience when she met her future husband. God is so amazing!

Welcome home to all of you who are, and have already come home to the Catholic church. Although I’m a cradle Catholic, I had my questions and doubts as well, but it was through my mormon boyfriend in highschool that I began to grow deeper in my faith. Although he tried his best to convert me, his anti-Catholic “facts” caused me to study the issues from both sides, and talk w/my priest for answers. In the end, I fell in love w/my faith.

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