How Did You Come To Believe In God?

I’m curious to know how you as an individual came to the understanding that God exists and that you believe in a Creator.

I come from an LDS background and have realized that the church i grew up with is not the same church Christ built so very long ago. This knowledge however, has made me question everything, even the very existence of God. So how can one come to a better knowledge of God and find His true church?

I believe in God, because I believe in awareness, love, truth, beauty, compassion, and joy.

I believe in those things because I have seen them at work in life and I know they are more real than their antitheses. I have put my faith in them, and seen that is the way I am meant to live my life.

We use a word “God”, but it is only a word. If the word has too much baggage associated with it through those who have abused it, it is only a word and doesn’t have to be used. Sometimes it is easier to orient our lives towards the attributes of God, such as unconditional love for others.

Mama taught it, and I bought it :smiley:

Then I grew up, decided to make up my own mind, carefully looked at the evidence, and decided that Mama had been right all along.

Possibly through indoctrination at a young age, my mother was at the time a devout and very pro-active Catholic (she has since stopped attending like myself) so I was brought up with those beliefs. Like those who leave the LDS and gravitate towards the Catholic Church my personal beliefs have changed on the nature of God and doctrine, but not so much Theism itself.

Even now however I don’t think I really have ever questioned Gods existence, call it brainwashing or intuition, whichever word you like but I’m quite confident in the existence of a single God. If anything considering the nature of creation, the laws of physics and the development of life forms I find the idea of there not being one quite irrational. Perhaps that may be due to my strict Catholic upbringing (weekly Latin mass, mantillas, “Vatican II was overrun by hippies”, never question a single word the priest says ect) but…Nope, I never “found” God per say, he’s been there as long as I can remember.

Philosophical reasoning, mainly neo-Aristotelian and via cosmological arguments. The truth of x y z religious movement technically has no bearing on the existence of a basic God, but the concept of small-g gods held by the LDS is logically incoherent and not supportable by the same reasoning that brought me (back to) basic theism, so I don’t know if I can help you there.

Needless to say, my relationship with God has always been rather cold and pedagogical. :shrug:

The gift of my faith recognized the voice of Jesus as the Good Shepherd of our souls. It was His voice in Sacred Scripture and other believer’s witness.

Hello Irishman,

It can be difficult to trust after leaving the LDS church. The primary reason I am home in the Catholic Church rather than an atheist is because I reasoned my way to God in high school, independent of the LDS church. My non-Mormon friends and I basically used Aquinas’ Five Ways without realizing that was what we were doing. At the university, this accounting student was also interested in philosophy, so I took a couple of courses and was exposed to the ancient Greeks, Medieval Scholastics up to the moderns. I loved classical philosophy and really disliked the more modern philosophers. It all seemed to go progressively downhill from the Enlightenment on.

When I left the LDS church, this foundation kept me believing in God (even though I didn’t really want to). At first, I really struggled with that started second guessing myself when other ex-Mormons told me that I was delusional and believing only because of emotion. I then read Ed Feser’s “The Last Superstition”. This book reminded my why I still believed in God and that believing is thoroughly reasonable and not purely based on emotions. Ed Feser is polemic in this book, which, after getting a lot of flack for being a theist, was quite amusing.

Mormon metaphysics is philosophical materialism. They put their god inside time and space. Ultimately, philosophical materialism leads to atheism. This is why I believe most ex-Mormons become atheist or agnostic. They fall back on the underlying philosophy of Mormonism and the greater culture and don’t find God. Most Mormons assume that the Christian understanding of God is the same as the Mormon understanding, which is not the case. Learn about classical philosophy and you will find God.

Well be careful to hold on to what you have lest you even lose that. Yet maybe it is for the best. Like what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. God breaks a man down first before he makes him over. Maybe one needs to be on the cold side of things before he appreciates the Hot. The cold side is loss of any comprehension of the spiritual. Scary yet it might be honest and a good restarting point for solid truth, one block at a time. The Lord did say he would rather have you hot or cold. You have come to the ultimate conundrum. That little light which He has given you, in the flesh, your mind , conviction is telling to jump off the cliff of human wisdom that you have climbed. Your quest to know God in truth and in spirit is impossible. Go ahead and believe, confess the Lord as come in the flesh, confess His salvation for you, try all the rites and sacraments or even self sacrifice. Believe in sacred scripture, even that Jonah got swallowed by a whale and that Sampson slew a thousand with a bone and that Enoch was translated into heaven etc etc. believe all these things and we’ll know you are enlightened and on the path of salvation. Believe if you can. Once I could not. It was impossible for me to do so genuinely, and with the fervor that I saw other believers had. The more i tried the more I realized i really had no foundation for any faith. I even doubted Jesus walked the Earth historically. Yes faith cometh by hearing ,and that by the Word of God. I had heard but had no faith (except that I was now destined for hell for being dead to Christ my only hope). Is it cold for you yet, that is my bad news situation ? Well you can’t have good news till you understand the bad news. Not having saving faith is bad news. Believing it is out there and that others have it and you don’t is bad news. Being powerless to muster the faith is bad news. So, as to your question, how did I come to truly believe, even have saving faith ? The good news is that faith is a gift from God, given undeservedly. Your bad news is your problem but really it is His problem. Go ahead throw it back to His beloved face, even dare him, even call out to him, to give “it” to you cause you don’t have any saving faith on your own - none zippo, nada. Then go to sleep for that is all you can do, and even that you do because He lead you to the cry. But something happens when you treat a King as a King, an all powerful King. He bestows mightily and quickly, and makes a new creature out of you, a believing one. A broken and contrite heart He can not overlook.

My dad told me about Jesus and demonstrated his effective grace in his life. I figured if Jesus could change a guy like my dad he could change me as well.

First of all, I would say that if God exists, He exists irrespectively of whether the LDS church is true or not. I will be consistent and also say that God’s existence does not depend on the Qur’an saying so. His existence transcends all of that. Even without getting into specifics about which God exists, I believe that the fitra, or intuition of man, is potent enough in every person to assure them that there is an eternal Being and also an intelligent designer (God is both of those things).

If there’s a Creator, that means He/She owns it, which means that He/She has every right to do what It wills with It’s creation (in other words, God has the right to command us to worship Him).

All things are a reflection of the Designer’s power. It’s similar to how a painting is a reflection of the painter; when you look at the painting, you can see the immense amount of talent the painter has and his/her ability to integrate every stroke into a lovely masterpiece. To make a long story short, it was considering those things that made me believe in God.

Same here. I suspect that is how most believers acquired their belief.

The end of my uncertainty about a Beginner came when I read Thomas Aquinas’ proofs for God.
Most recently Robert Spitzer’s book on “New Proofs for the Existence of God.”
I find the academic arguments more convincing than my own spiritual experiences, and certainly more credible than tales of miracles, “warm bosoms,” and the supposed logic of beauty and order. I guess new presentations on intelligent design sort of confirm for me, but do not prove, the existence of God.

I believe, help my unbelief. I doubt a lot. I have had a life that’s very rough. So I bounce back and forth. I try to convince myself it’s better to believe.

TheIrishman, I think a good book for you would be the new “Why Be Catholic?-Ten Answers to a Very Important Question”, by Patrick Madrid (Catholic apologist). I’m reading it right now, and it’s pretty good so far.

Born into the faith and baptized as an infant. My parents instilled good morals and taught me well. Saw true Christianity among many great priests I’ve known as an altar server, also great examples in people in Protestant denominations. There have been bad examples as well in Catholicism and among Protestants, but I never let that hurt my faith. I did, however, take my faith for granted. For a long time I did not practice my faith, though I never stopped believing. I did let doubts creep in and allowed the world to guide me and become what was important. I have since learned a lot and am taking my faith more seriously and through it all even now, I know God has never left me and I place my trust in Jesus.

Short Answer:…The Big Bang Theory:thumbsup:

Yep – God said, “Let there be,” and BANG! There it was! :smiley:

The short answer: Greek philosophy, namely the Stoics.

I was raised as a fundamentalist Pentecostal, but abandoned its view of god, and faith altogether, as I started my twenties. I was still interested in religion and began studying them, trying to understand their strengths and how they operated. My notion of God was very old testament; I was attracted by His glory and power, yet repulsed by the cruelty of the Pentecostal creed and of the god it portrayed. In university I encountered the philosophy of the Stoics, and – after employing Stoic practice to great effect in my own life – began to study it in earnest. I began to share the Stoic appreciation of god, not as separate from the Cosmos but his logos constituting it. At the same time I was reading about Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, considering the radical love at the heart of their lives, and of Jesus’ though I avoided him considering my tortured history with Christianity. Although I did not believe in anything at the time, the old imaginary-friend-in-the-sky-who-sometimes-smites-you Pentecostal version of god had fallen away to a more noble understanding, one that restored my reverence for the majesty of YHWH.

Then one day, brooding over the betrayal of a friend, waxing self-righteously angry about his behavior toward me, I realized for all my moralizing I was just as sinful as he was; I thought the same thoughts, I just did not give them voice. I dwelled on them, but I was too vain about my own morality to ever give anyone reason to doubt it. This was the first time I’d ever felt like a capital-S Sinner, and what I wanted more than anything else was redemption. At that moment the full weight of divinity hit me, and I felt as though I had been walking for many months on a trail at the base of a mountain without knowing it, and now the fog had cleared so the point that I could fee lit. Eventually it sank in that my yearning for redemption was a Christian vision, so I put my fear aside and began to study Christianity anew. A friend of mine was converting to Catholicism at the time, so I joined him in a Catholic PalTalk room and began attending liturgical services for the first time. I’m not Catholic, but a kind of high Anglican. I listen to Catholic podcasts and read both catholic fiction and nonfiction, though, so…who knows where the road might yet go. My experiences have convinced me that the light of God shines on all men, as surely as the sun illumines the whole globe. I could not be a Christian but for the Stoics, Gandhi, and Khalil Gibran.

Long story, that I typed out and then the powers of the forum lost my post. So, is that a sign? :smiley:

PM me if you like and I’ll try again.

I was born into an Anglican family. But I was an agnostic. I believed that God probably did not exist, but I still always said he might exist. But I first came to believe in God when I became a Non-denominational-Evangelical-Fundamentalist-Baptist. I ended up switching denominations though for a short amount of time, first to Reformed Baptist, then to Southern Baptist. Eventually I left and was thinking about going back to Anglicanism but I decided Lutheranism, I only was a Lutheran for about a year and I still couldn’t find peace. I was giving up hope, I then tried Eastern Orthodoxy and wanted to convert, but it didn’t feel right. So I stopped trying to become Eastern Orthodox. I then looked into other religions other then Christianity. First Judaism, I tried to convert but again did not feel right. So then I decided that I didn’t feel right maybe because I believed in a personal God. So I became a Deist, and also became a Buddhist. I thought I found peace in Buddhism so I stayed for a while. Then that feeling came back. So I kept searching for a while. Eventually I found Catholicism, at first I hesitated. But then I decided to try it. I went through RCIA, and studied theology. I’ve been Catholic for 10 years now and have never felt that feeling again. I feel so at peace and at home, I feel love and joy in the RCC. The longest I stayed in any other religion/denomination before feeling that feeing was about 3 years. I have been RCC for 10 and have not felt that. I am in the church of Christ. And will never leave. :smiley:

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