I thought that I would tell my story of conversion. It’s pretty lengthy so I’ll try to keep it short.
I grew up as a Mormon, living in Utah County, which is the heart of Utah and Mormonism. I knew nothing of other faiths and was a bit frightened by other’s beliefs. I have a few memories of Catholicism, but nothing of Protestant or any other faiths.
My memories of Catholicism were horrible. The only Catholic church in the valley was a Franciscan parish on 5th South in Provo. The rectory sat across a side street from the church. In order to get to my doctor’s office, we had to drive down that street between the rectory and the church. I remember every time we had to go to see the doctor, my Mom would make us kids hide on the floorboards of the car so that the monks wouldn’t see us and put a hex on us.
Late in the 70’s, perhaps the early 80’s, there was a big uproar in the valley because cable TV came to town. Everyone was up in arms, but surprisingly, my Mom did get cable TV, complete with HBO. One afternoon, there was a black and white movie on HBO called “The Song of Bernadette”. I sat watching the movie and remember that I was completely enthralled with it. I didn’t know who the lady was that was speaking to Bernadette and shortly, my Mom came in the room and yelled at me to, “turn off that filth”. Being the good obedient child that I was, I waited until my Mom had gone to sleep and the movie was on again late at night. I sat watching it with the sound turned down low and a blanket over myself and the TV so that I wouldn’t wake my Mom. I didn’t understand a single thing about the movie.
At Christmastime in 1982, my choir was invited to sing at the Disneyland Candelight procession in California. We made the long trek to the park and I took 5 or 6 pictures of some nuns in full habit sitting on a bench. I remember being surprised that they were able to get out of their church. I thought they were locked up or something.
In 1994 I married a Catholic man. My family absolutely refused to accept him. They weren’t very kind to him and didn’t really give him any chance. Thankfully, we moved to Minnesota in 1995 and I was actually living outside Utah for the first time in my life.
I started on the internet, talking to a Baptist gentleman in a Mormon chatroom. He knew virtually nothing of Mormonism, but he knew his Bible! Two years later and thousands of conversations……… I attended a Bible study. That night I looked at the women at the study and knew that I wanted what they had and I didn’t have it. I came home later that night and said my own version of the sinner’s prayer. So my husband and I straddled the Assembly of God and the Catholic church until my yearning for the Eucharist brought me home.