Mormons converted from Catholicism

I converted from Mormonism to Catholicism. I now look back and realize that a large percentage of converts to Mormonism came from Catholicism. I didn’t have a religion before I became Mormon, but what gives with all of these Catholics becoming Mormon? I really can’t imagine why a Catholic would become Mormon. Almost all of these ex-Catholic Mormons bring up the Trinity as being a reason they have become Mormon – they almost all rejected the doctrine of the Trinity as “incomprehensible” while the Mormon Godhead makes sense to them. I’ve found just the opposite. It is not as if the ex-Catholic Mormons converted to Mormonism so they could sin more.

Since there are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world that means there probably millions of ‘cultural Catholics’ out there. They grew up in a Catholic home but maybe rarely went to church, many don’t know there faith at all, but identify themselves as Catholic. These Catholics are easily swayed to attend other churches (Protestant, Mormon, JW, etc.). And unfortunately, many of them become anti-Catholic and rail against the faith that maybe that they really never knew to begin with.

Mormon missionaries target people who are Catholic. Target Catholic countries. Target Catholic doctrines. They focus on the Trinity because a Mormon convinced them that an incomprehensible God is something Bad. When, all through scripture God is described as incomprehensible!!

Living here in Utah, with many Mormon family members, they ALL every one of them, who have gone on a Mormon mission have gone to countries that are predominantly Catholic. I have a nephew now, in Argentina, who write letters home of victory when he’s baptized a Catholic to Mormonism.

Purposely removing Catholics from their faith is the GOAL of Mormons. If they wiped out the Catholic faith all together, they would celebrate their victory.

Actually, having lived in Italy, even spent a good deal of time in Rome, this is completely untrue. No more effort is directed towards Catholicism than is directed towards any other faith. That is a very odd statement.

As for the Trinity, most of my academic study has been in the Near East. The oddity in the Trinity that most never study is the complex reliance on Greek philosophical thought, instead of the thought inherent in Judaism, to form Christian theologies. For a theology that is Near Eastern in origin (Christian), Christianity did not turn to the philosophy and social mores of the Near East, but to Plato. This is odd to some of us.

Same reason you and I joined Mormonism initially…you get sucked into its lies by two very well spoken, polite, well dressed missionaries on bikes who claim to have the restored gospel which was lost through the great apostasy.

It’s interesting how they actually admitted to NOT teaching certain beliefs and doctrines until AFTER they have baptised someone.

But in all seriousness, trinity is probably the big one…while false, Mormonism claims to have apostolic succession, sacraments etc which many churches don’t have now so it would be a similarity of some sorts (the reality is it’s NOT but I’m trying to go back in the head of someone who doesn’t understand the truth of mormonism and what it teaches). It’s big on family too. :shrug:

Quite frequently, orthodox Christians that leave for Mormonism that claim the Trinity as one reason end up criticizing the heresy of Modalism, and not what the actual Trinity doctrine claims. We also see this, as we’ve discussed before, in a few LDS leaders that have attempted to criticize the Trinity doctrine.

Not educated, trusting the wrong people.
Should’ve read,
who I believe is the founder of this Forum.

The few young adults that I know that came from devout Catholic homes converted simply because they fell in love with a Mormon person. The “must get married in the Mormon temple” sounds reasonable to a young person in love. Unfortunately though, the families cannot attend the weddings. But young couple do what they want, regardless of their respective faiths. How many Catholic friends do we have that want to get married on the beach?
Happens in every faith.

Really? Uneducated? Is it possible that people made a decision that you may not agree with without being uneducated?

I think what was meant by uneducated was that they didn’t hear the full truth or amount of information about the Mormon faith before converting, not that they weren’t a smart person.

I talk to people before they are baptized, what am I doing wrong?

I was baptized and raised a Catholic, with very Catholic aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. But my parents left the Church and ended up checking out all kinds of religions, dumping me with the Jehovah’s Witnesses when I was in my teens while they left to divorce and pursue more self-centered interests. After several years in that group I returned to the Catholic Church as an adult.

I have wondered the same thing for a while since the situation is similar with those who are converted to become Jehovah’s Witnesses.

While not exhaustive, I have been able to pinpoint a few reasons why so many Catholics end up Mormons or Jehovah’s WItnesses…or seemingly so. Part of it is just an illusion, so to speak.

1. So many converts are Catholics because the majority of people are Catholic.

If you had a basket filled with marbles of many colors, but the majority of them were red, you are likely to grab more red marbles with every handful than any other colors. It’s just simple math. The Christian majority is Catholic, so that’s reason number one (even though these religions usually ignore this fact and make it sound as if the larger number is due to other reasons). You have less converts from other religions because they have less members. Less marbles, less chance for one of them to show up in your hand.

2. Number of Catholic Vs. Quality of Catholic.

What kind of Catholic becomes a convert to another religion has a lot to say regarding what kind of people might make up that new religion of choice. I know for the Jehovah’s Witness the profile is a non-educated (no college), non-professional Catholic, one who was mostly Catholic because they were baptized as one and little more. Practically none of the converts were regular attendees at Mass. None in my experience had been keeping up with Catholic religious education as adults or were engaged in the apostolate.

We would teach these people a thing or two and they would be amazed that “such-and-such” was in the Bible (they would also admit they never read the Bible before as Catholics). This “enlightenment” would be seen by many converts as “proof” that their previous religion was wrong, “otherwise I wouldn’t have had a need to be enlightened, right?”

But the truth is that these people hadn’t bothered to take advantage of what the Church offered in the first place. Most of these converts would latter burn-out soon and end up being very uneducated about the Jehovah’s Witness faith. Ingrained habits don’t wash out. If they weren’t very good Catholics to begin with, they usually ended up being just as serious about their new religion after the initial excitement wore off.

3. Anti-catholic Propaganda

Showing off the number of Catholic converts and speaking against the Catholic Church is actually a form of anti-catholicism that gets so firmly fixed into some of these other religions that they don’t realize they are passing on harangued habits to non-Catholics.

It’s a very bad habit that sometimes doesn’t get noticed when people leave these religions like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. They take for granted these religions’ anti-catholic views and keep them. So we might “notice” more Catholics leaving the Church because we were trained to notice and make an anti-catholic issue of it.

How often do we notice Presbyterians leaving their faith? Do we talk about all the Methodists leaving their church to become members of LDS and the JWs? Does it even have the same amount of “punch” to boast about them?

No. It’s because these religions (though the LDS has lately been making strides in building bridges with Catholics) have a long anti-catholic history. Old ways die hard, especially when they get passed on to new members without ever realizing that anti-catholicism is just as bad as antisemitism.

Reasons for leaving are often attached to what the religion finds most troubling about Catholicism. For Mormons it’s the Most Holy Trinity, for Jehovah’s Witnesses it’s images and prayers to Mary and hellfire (the Trinity too, but less down the line at times). I’ve heard religions that do accept the Trinity boast about Catholic converts while making an issue of the Corpus being displayed on the Cross (because for them that’s the sticking issue).

There are a lot of other reasons too, but this is just the main list I’ve composed. I preached and made converts for over a decade with the Witnesses and talked to hundreds of thousands of people across the United States in three different languages while doing so. It’s based on that limited experience (and yes, I view that as limited). I am sure there are other valid points others can add to my list.

In the end it’s easier to blame the Catholic who leaves the Church, but that’s not always fair or correct to do so. These religions are in the business of making converts. They are going to come from somewhere. Where they come from is not necessarily proof of what they might claim it to be. Just because a tree drops leaves doesn’t mean the tree is dead or dying.

I assume you mean before they are baptized in the Mormon faith. I don’t think you’re necessarily doing anything wrong. The post gave that people weren’t educated or trusting the wrong people as reasons for Catholics converting to Mormonism. My understanding was that by saying not educated enough, it was meant that the person converting only took a surface-level interest in the Mormon faith without doing deep research, or perhaps trusted people who only wanted to be able to say, “look, a Catholic converted!” rather than helping someone find the truth.

Yes, the responses you get are rationalization since thats how they were proselytized. I would almost guarantee that most of them were not sitting in their homes, before a Mormon Missionary knocked at the door, thinking " Im really struggling with the Trinity. I wonder what another religion thinks about it. Oh , hey theres a knock at my door". My thinking is that Mormonism is attractive to nominal Catholics because they know what the Catholic Churchs teaching on many moral issues and know about Her support for family, and Mormonism shares much of this aspect but also provides a very welcoming and inviting community life that most Catholics never bother to find in their parish.

As an informed faithful Catholic, Mormonism denies so much of what Christ gives us that I would never consider Mormonism or even Protestantism, although Orthodoxy is a different issue. Mormons are great loving people. But there is no real historical archeological nor philosophical grounding for the faith. It is anti philosophical. In other words, it rejects basic philosophical tenets used to reach theological truths that many other Christian sects use. These Christian sects and the Catholic Church may differ on conclusions based on certain presuppositions or disputed facts, but the basic tool of reason and logic for religious analysis still apply. You cannot apply the same tools to Mormonism. In Mormonism you must accept that Joseph Smith was handed a new Revelation without any archeological evidence of these writings, without any evidence of continuity of the faith of these supposed ancient Americans, and there is absolutely no basis for authority that limits changes to doctrine other than the word of the Prophet. Doctrine has and does change on the revelation of one man, the Prophet. Such a structure is antithetical to human reason.

As Catholics, we believe God gave us the ability to reason and our faith can be understood and enhanced through this gift of reason. As such, reason must be a part of every aspect of Catholicism , including its relationship to the material world. Therefore, physical evidence of the life and teachings of the Church ARE entirely consistent with the archeological evidence, including the relationship to Judaism. And while, you can disagree with some of the presuppositions or facts of Catholicism, internally and theologically it hangs together consistently. Mormonism contradicts physical archeological and historical reality. And based on just reading, never being a member, it also contradicts its own belief structure at times. Does it not? You tell me as a former Mormon.

My point is that this desire for belonging and love is good! But, it comes at the cost of reason and truth. That is why I really doubt any claims by converted former Catholics that they became Mormon due to a serious theological issue. There is no sound Mormon theology. Rather its a system of beliefs that cannot reason together with true Christianity. While denying the Trinity, they must somehow insist they are still Christians with a Christ who was a man who became God. This must simply be accepted on the words of Joseph Smith without any systematic reasoning about how this can actually be the “true” nature of Christ as historically understood. It simply does not logically fit into any understanding of Christ except that of Joseph Smith. Therefore, I say it is more likely that the reason they so numerously identify the Trinity as a reason for their conversion is simply because thats how they are so often proselytized. But ask them to reconcile the Jesus of the bible with the Jesus of Mormonism and they cannot because there is no way to other than to acknowledge that instead of being a religion of continuity with Christianity it is a religion of discontinuity, a new religion with a god named Jesus but not the same as Jesus Christ the Jewish rabbi sacrificed on the cross as Savior and properly worshiped for 1800 years before the Jesus of Joseph Smith was invented.

Please let me know where I am wrong in this. Thank you! God bless!

I should mention that I am talking about Catholics in the United States. I don’t have much experience with Catholics who have converted in other countries, but a high percentage of Mormon converts in the U.S. seem to come from Catholic families.

That is interesting. I have, as I stated before, studied Christian history extensively, and the philosophical underpinnings of most mainstream Christian sects rely far more on Greek thought, a pagan philosophical tradition, than they in any way associated with Semitic philosophical traditions.

I see a lot more of our beliefs in the early Christian experience than I even have in the Platonic conceptualizations of Christ. I consider the Trinity to be far more Athens than Jerusalem.

Again that is probably based on the chance of the draw.

Catholics account for somewhere around 59% of the United States population among those who claim a religion, according to the Statistics of Religion in America, Pew Research Center: Religious Landscape Survey.

This means practically one in every three Americans claims to have be raised in a Catholic household. One-third of the populace is a big chunk. So even if there were no other variables to consider, if converts from other religions are going to be counted you will end up with more Catholics regardless.

What would be interesting to note is of how many Catholics who do leave the Church, how many of these leave to become Latter-Day Saints and why, and how this data relates to those that stay or join other denominations or leave faith behind entirely. Without considering this type of data one cannot say much about why the LDS would have more converts from Catholicism in a land where the majority are Catholics.

The missionaries are supposed to ask people to be baptized after the second lesson, that is joining a religion in ignorance.

Do you tell them everything about Mormon beliefs before they are baptized? I knew a woman who converted from the Catholic Church to Mormonism. She was happy with her new church. But when I told her what Mormons really believe, she was shocked. She had never heard any of this before. In fact, after thinking about it, she admitted that Mormon beliefs sounded, to quote her, “Satanic”.

Mormon beliefs are a guarded secret until the converts are hooked. Why are temple rituals a secret? Don’t they take an oath of suicide if they should ever disclose what happens in the temple? That, my friend, is the epitome of a false religion.

I’m going back in my head over recent Baptisms in the past 5 years, and I know of no one who was baptized after 2 lessons. If I had to average, I would say maybe 2-3 months of investigation was an average? That would be throwing out the outliers like someone who attended for 2 years before being baptized.

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